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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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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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