Conservation News. New study says bed fishing does not cause population level declines in reproductive success


“These results suggest bed fishing may not cause population level declines in reproductive success or number of fall recruits.”


Assessing Population Level Impacts of Catch-and-Release Angling on Reproductive Success and Recruitment in Florida Bass Micropterus floridanus

John Hargrove , Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Nick Trippel , Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Eustis, FL  Mike Allen , Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
James D. Austin , Wildlife Ecology & Conservation, Assistant Professor – University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Black basses (Micropterus spp.) are the most popular recreational freshwater sport fish in North America. Although the majority of captured bass are released alive, studies have identified negative consequences associated with catch-and-release angling.    In particular, fishing that targets bass as they defend their spawning nests (bed fishing) has been shown to negatively impact reproductive success as a result of brood loss due to nest predation. Our study evaluated the impacts of catch-and-release angling on fall recruitment and reproductive success in Florida bass (Micropterus floridanus). Eighteen replicate populations were established to mimic local Florida lakes, and in ten ponds nest guarding adult bass were targeted using conventional fishing tackle. Nine months after establishment, all ponds were drained, recruits were enumerated, and fin clips were collected for parentage analysis. Greater number of nests were detected in unfished ponds, however no significant differences were observed in the number of recruits across treatments. Reproductive success was similar in both fished and unfished populations with most fish contributing few offspring. Contributions were detected for both males and female fish angled from their nests. Combined these results suggest bed fishing may not cause population level declines in reproductive success or number of fall recruits.

TBF Anglers Win BFL All-American Richardson tops boaters, Burgess paces co-angler field

TBF Anglers Win BFL All-American
Richardson tops boaters, Burgess paces co-angler field

A pair of anglers representing The Bass Federation claimed top honors and $170,000 at the prestigious Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American over the weekend at Kentucky Lake.

TBF member Curtis Richardson, of Belleville, Ontario, won the boater division, while fellow Federation member Bob Burgess, of Charleston, West Virginia, topped the co-angler ranks. Held June 18-20 out of Paris Landing, the event pitted the top 49 boaters and top 49 co-anglers from across the 24-division BFL circuit.

Curtis Richardson pic

Photo courtesy of FLW

Richardson, 31, earned his trip to the BFL All-American through the 2015 TBF National Championship in April on Grand Lake Oklahoma, where he finished fifth overall and first among boaters in the Eastern Division.

“I’m absolutely speechless,” Richardson said after holding off hard-charging rivals Jeremy Lawyer and Billy Schroeder for the victory. “This win means a lot for my family and I, and my fishing career. I’m still trying to take it all in.”

Richardson weighed 15 bass for a 66-pound, 5-ounce total. He collected $120,000 in prize money for his efforts, plus the chance to fish for $500,000 as a pro in the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita in August.

Richardson relied heavily on magnum spoons, which he fished on bars, ledges and shell beds near New Johnsonville, Tennessee, and also threw a drop-shot rig on day three to fill out his limit.

Burgess, a TBF member since 1985, qualified through the 2015 TBF National Championship from the Mid-Atlantic Division.

Bob Burgess pic

Photo courtesy of FLW

“Put me around fish and I can catch them,” the 66-year-old, longtime tournament competitor quipped after the weigh-in. He was also quick to credit his partners for much of his success. “I was fortunate enough to get paired with three of the best fishermen in this thing, and that made the biggest difference for me,” he said. “They were all on good fish and finished second, third and fourth.”

Throughout the event he mainly fished a homemade bucktail jig in a stop-and-go fashion, though he did score a 4-pound bass on a 10-inch swimbait on day three. In all, he sacked 13 bass weighing a total of 52 pounds, 6 ounces, including a monstrous day-three limit that tipped the scale at 24 pounds—and earned $50,000 plus a co-angler berth in the Forrest Wood Cup.

Burgess also thanked TBF for giving him the chance to fish the BFL All-American. “It’s a great organization that gives grassroots anglers the opportunity to fish events they otherwise couldn’t,” he said.

For more information about state federation memberships and all TBF tournaments and programs, visit or call 580.765.9031.

About The Bass Federation
The Bass Federation Inc. (TBF) is the oldest and largest organized grassroots fishing, youth and conservation organization in North America. TBF is 100 percent member owned and a proud member of the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame. TBF affiliated federations and their member clubs conduct more than 20,000 fishing, youth and conservation events annually. Serving the fishing industry for more than 45 years, “TBF is owned by those we serve and dedicated to the sport of fishing” and proud “Partners In Fishing” with FLW.

Southern Division Championship Final Results

Southern Divisional Ends on High Note

Joshua QueenJoshua Queen of Lincolnton, NC was the most consistent during the three day, Southern Divisional at Norman this week. He was rewarded for his efforts, with a spot in the upcoming TBF Federation National Championship next spring. His limits consisted of 13.10 pounds, 12.15 pounds and 13.00 pounds for a total of 39.09 pounds. Not only was he crowned the overall champion, he also took home the Ranger Cup bonus money of $1000 as well. There were a lot of fish caught today with a total of 48 limits weighed in on the last day.

By far, the most popular baits this week were a shakey head and a jig, which were pitched, hopped and skipped around the numerous boat docks on Lake Norman. Most fishermen said they could catch a few fish each morning on a topwater bait, but when the sun came out and it got above 90 each day, the fish would relocate to the shade of the docks. A spinnerbait and a square bill crankbait also caught a lot of fish each day.

North Carolina won the state team competition edging out South Carolina for the title. Defending state champion, Team captain and President of Alabama, John Hall made the presentation, of the rotating trophy, to Phillip Sain, the North Carolina President.

IMG_0730There were also fourteen anglers who qualified to move on to the Federation National Championship next spring. The top two anglers from each of the seven participating states were awarded the championship invitations.

AL:Justin Marbut – Michael S. Luster

FL: Wayne Black – Glenn Bush

GA: Steve Barber – Adam Wood

KY: Steven Taylor – Brian Hickey

NC: Joshua Queen – Brian Fritts

SC: Nelson Walker – Tommy Lindler

TN: Brandon Perkins – Dale Presley

A special thanks to the many volunteers and workers that helped this week. It all went very smoothly because of your efforts. Thanks to North Carolina President, Phillip Sain and his club for hosting the 2015 event. Visit Lake Norman and Visit Charlotte & Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation were also great host and sponsors of the TBF Southern Divisional. Thank to everybody that contributed.

For a complete list of daily results, state team results and top qualifiers from each state, click on the links at the bottom of this page.

Richard Phillips Big Bass d3Day 3 Big Bass went to Richard Phillips / Alabama with a Lunker tipping the scales at 6-02.

View Final Day Results

View Pictures of Final Day


Southern Divisional Championship day 2

Day Two Heats Up at Norman

The Southern Divisional started off with warm temperatures and numerous limits, but with very few quality

Joshua Queen / North Carolina   26-09

Joshua Queen / North Carolina 26-09

fish being weighed in. Thursday was even hotter and the bites, still did not materialize. Most anglers reported struggling to get any quality bites and most struggled to just catch an average limit of ten to twelve pounds.

Yesterday’s leader, Brian Fritts, NC, managed just 10.07 pounds today to end the day in second place overall. Joshua Queen, NC, turned in 12.15 pounds to take over the daily lead with 26.09 pounds. Third belonged to Tommy Lindler, SC, with 24.13 pounds. Nelson Walker nailed down the fourth spot with 23.10 & Mike Edwards, NC, rounds out the top five with 22.11 pounds.


The daily big bass went to David Kneece, of SC, with a big 6.10 lunker.

 David Kneece / South Carolina  6-10 Big Bass 6-10

David Kneece / South Carolina 6-10
Big Bass 6-10

With the heat and massive amounts of sunshine, most anglers are still talking about catching most of their fish while flipping docks around the lake.

The team competition is still pretty close after Thursday. Most of the seven states are within just a few pounds of each other. The race for the top two anglers from each state is still up for grabs as well. Multiple anglers from each state still have a legitimate chance of moving into the top two spots and qualifying for the Federation National Championship next spring. For all the team and state results, click on the links below.



Day 2 Pictures

Day 2 Results

2015 Southern Divisional Championship day 1

Limits Abound at Southern Divisional Championship on Day 1

The rumor was that numerous anglers were catching lots of fish each day and that the bigger fish were biting as well. So expectations were high as the Southern Divisional began today at Lake Norman, over in North Carolina. Seven states are participating and of the 84 anglers competing, 46 had limits on Wednesday.

Brian FrittsBrian Fritts, of Raleigh, NC is atop the leader board with 15.02 pounds. Just behind him is Rob Griswold, of NC with 14.11. In third is Tommy Lindler, of SC with 13.13. Rounding out the top five is Nelson Walker, of SC with 13-12 and Joshua Queen of NC with 13.10 pounds.

The big fish of the day went to David Davis  with a nice 5.07 lunker. High skies and hot temperatures are forecast for the remaining two days of fishing. Most anglers are reportedly catching their fish on drop shots and soft plastics around docks and brushpiles in five foot of water or less.

With two more days of fishing left, it is still up for grabs as most every angler at least weighed one fish today. The state competitions are fairly close, as is the race for the top two anglers in each state. To see all the overall standings and results, click on the link at the bottom of this article.

Click here to view Day 1 Pictures

Click here to view Day 1 Results

Central Divisional Championship comes to a Close


2016 TBF Central  National Contenders

The final day proved to be just as tough as the first two days of competition, for most of the 94 anglers participating in the Central Division Championship, this week in Aberdeen, Mississippi. Only four anglers were able to bring a five fish limit to the scales on the final day. Jeffery Sullivan, of Starkville, MS provided the largest limit with a 14.06 sack, which was the largest catch of the entire week. Brian Maloney of Missouri had 10.09 while Stewart Ryan of Oklahoma had 10.06 and BJ Gibson weighed 10.04 and Tim Carmouche of Louisiana turned in 10.02 pounds. All other anglers were under ten pounds for the day. The Big Bass of the day went to Jeffrey Sullivan, of Mississippi, with a 4.12 lunker.

The overall individual winner turned out to be Johnny Babb from Holdenville, OK with a three day total of 26.08. Hoyt Akins of Arkansas made a run, but ended up in second with 23.03 pounds. Third place belonged to Jason Benjamin of Kansas with 22.05. The only other angler above twenty pounds was Joseph Webster of Misissippi with 20.11 pounds. When asked, most anglers reported catching most of their fish on topwater frogs and then some type of plastic creature baits, fishing around the grasslines.

In the overall states competition, Oklahoma came out on top again today to successfully defend their 2014 state, team championship. Their twelve team members compiled a total weight of 122.10 while Mississippi ended up with 110.12 pounds, to take the runner up spot. Coming in third was the team of Arkansas with 97.03 pounds.

There were also sixteen members who earned a spot in the upcoming 2016 TBF Federation National Championship. The top two anglers from each of the eight competing states are as follows:

Oklahoma: Johnny Babb & Stewart Ryan

Mississippi: Joseph Webster & Jeffery Sullivan

Arkansas: Hoyt Akins & Mike Palmer

Kansas: Jason Benjamin & Davis Heffel

Texas: Tyler Fisher & Dennis Hastings

Missouri: Brian Maloney & Cole Findley

Louisiana: Seth Lablanc & Tim Carmouche

Nebraska: Pat Klausen & Terry Hussey

With the Central Division, now in the books, we want to say a big “Thanks” to the folks of Aberdeen, Mississippi. Everyone there went out of their way to make sure all the anlgers had a good time while in Aberdeen. Also a big debt of gratitude goes out to the host state of Mississippi, the President and his wife, Edwin & Angie Gregory. Their dedication to the Federation and the anglers w=is second to none. They worked non-stop for almost a year to see that everything went off without a hitch. Finally, too all the volunteers and alternates who came and worked the event, things went smoothly because of your efforts. Thanks to all who had a part in this event.


For Complete results check out our results page HERE

For the event Photo Gallery Click HERE


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