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Using Fishing Records to Assess Balance

Using Fishing Records to Assess Balance

You can determine the balance of bass and bream by closely examining your catch through fishing. This is much easier if you keep good catch and harvest records throughout the year (see the printable example below). Make sure to use a variety of types and sizes of lures or baits. When fishing produces large numbers of small bass and large bream, you probably have an overpopulation of bass. When only a few large bass and many small bream are caught, the pond is probably overpopulated with bream. Good catch rates of both bass and bream of all sizes indicate the pond is in balance.


To use the information from fishing records to determine where your pond is in terms of predator-prey balance, compare what you catch to the characteristics below.


Image described in text.


Panel 1 

  • many small, often skinny bass
  • few bream, but often large
  • high catch rates

Panel 2 

  • bass and bream of various sizes 

Panel 3 

  • few bass, tending to be large and often fat
  • medium-size skinny bream abundant, few/no harvest size
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Large, silver fish swim in blue water.
Filed Under: Fisheries, Fish Management, Marine Resources September 1, 2021

Fisheries experts at Mississippi State University and other research institutions are conducting an $11.7 million study of the greater amberjack, an important recreational and commercial species in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico that is threatened by overfishing.

Girl in a blue T-shirt and baseball cap holding a small fish.
Filed Under: Environment, Fish Management June 18, 2021

Grandpa cast the jig and cork to the center of the pond and handed it to Lucy. “Now, start reeling in slowly,” he said.

She did as Grandpa instructed. On the third crank of the reel, the float disappeared several inches below the water surface, and Grandpa shouted, “She’s got it; reel it in!”

That day, Lucy perfected her casting technique and caught nearly a dozen small bass and several large bluegill.

Graphic showing red snapper count in the Gulf of Mexico.
Filed Under: Fisheries, Fish Management April 14, 2021

BILOXI, Miss. -- The results of the Great Red Snapper Count are in!

In 2017, a team of fisheries experts began a two-year task of estimating the population size of red snapper in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico through this unprecedented, federally funded $12 million project. Scientists from several Southeastern universities and institutes, including Mississippi State University, used a variety of methods across the Gulf to accomplish this ambitious goal.

Two men in a boat pose with a large fish in their laps.
Filed Under: Fisheries, Fish Management March 18, 2020

BILOXI, Miss.-- At Mississippi State University’s Coastal Research and Extension Center, we recently aged one of the largest tripletail fish ever caught.

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