Monday, April 9, 2012

Inch by Inch - A Measured Approach to Fishing

After some postings in's forums this week about estimating a five pound largemouth bass visually I decided I'd measure and weigh the bass I catch and then run their length and girth measurements through a calculator to see just how close they were to real life measured weight. (the formula used is the same as I used in THIS post.)

My equipment was simple: Tape Measure, BogaGrip scale, my spinning rod, a Strike King Tungsten bullet weight, and a pack of Berkley Crazy Legs Chigger Craws in Pumpkin Green color.

I had an Owner #3 EWG hook tied on just south of the weight then I Texas-Rigged the craw and tossed it out to slowly work back with a slow, upward rod sweep punctuated with "twitch-stop-twitch-stop" until my rod was pointed straight up. Then I would reel back in slowly as I dropped my rod tip so I kept tension between the weighted bait on the bottom of the pond and the tip of my rod.

Now all I had to do is wait for a tap...single or double. Depending on the bass and the position of the bait I found that I had to wait for two taps like I would on a Texas-Rigged worm before a hook-set.

Fish #1
3.5 lbs. Unfortunately I didn't think to measure this one so here's the "money shot" for your viewing pleasure.

Not a bad picture of a nice fish that I had the pleasure to bring to the surface world. Observe how the bass can look thinner and thus appear lighter due to the angle of the photo. No girth shows so weight estimations can be off. Unfortunately in my excitement to get her back in the water she didn't get measured. I'd leave that for pond number two fish today.

Pond Two
16.75" x 11" 3.5# weighed

14"x10" 2.5# weighed
Calculated weight 1.5#

17"x12.5" 3.66# weighed
Calculated weight 2.86#

18"x13" 4.5# weighed

Here's where I messed up. I got excited by landing a 4.5# bass and in the effort to measure her, weigh her, and photograph her I missed the photograph step. My biggest bass to date and I can't prove it. %$^@#$^#^%$@^$#%$....ok..I'm better now.

Calculated weight 3.28#

14"x11" 2.5# weighed
Calculated weight 1.82#

So as can be seen by the weights versus calculations there is an mental-math difference of .75# when estimated versus weighed.  I never figured the formulas were going to be spot on accurate; that's what a scale is for.

Speaking of my scale the Boga Grip is calibrated at the factory but in the nine months or so I've had it could have thrown it off a bit. I'll take it to the grocery store and weigh bags of produce then compare them to the produce scales until the produce manager asks me to leave just to show my dedication in trying to be accurate in this situation.

I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend and wish all tight lines and downed bobbers!