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  1. #1

    Default Are the fish getting bigger?

    Looking through the catches on fishpal the last couple of weeks there seems to be quite a few fish being caught in the 20lb+ bracket,what is not clear (to me anyway) if these fish are mostly kippers or are we getting runs of big back end fish again?.
    I have heard it said that big fish means less fish, so although there have been a lot of grilse in the 4 to 6lb range in general catches have been poor.
    Whats your thoughts?.

  2. #2

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    My guess is no, but due to catch and release all estimated fish are at least a fifth bigger than they really are. Just look at the photo page in T&S.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Aberdeenshire
    Posts
    144

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    I have to question the accuracy of the various weight to length charts.
    Having fished at a time when it was normal to kill your catch,I have on three occasions taken fresh fish of 39" from the Aberdeenshire Don.Each was accurately weighed and none of the three quite made the 20lb mark.
    The Sturdy scale suggests they should have weighed 25.5lb.
    I can't believe Don fish would weigh any different to fish in other rivers.
    The Tweed scale is a bit nearer to what I would expect but still on the high side in my opinion.

    Donury

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SOS View Post
    Looking through the catches on fishpal the last couple of weeks there seems to be quite a few fish being caught in the 20lb+ bracket,what is not clear (to me anyway) if these fish are mostly kippers or are we getting runs of big back end fish again?.
    I have heard it said that big fish means less fish, so although there have been a lot of grilse in the 4 to 6lb range in general catches have been poor.
    Whats your thoughts?.
    in answer to your question-they are mostly kippers the backened run seems to be very thin these days.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    North Yorks
    Posts
    3,989

    Default

    If a late season fish isn't actually weighed there's a strong tendency to over-estimate its weight by virtue of the extension of its length by 2-3 inches through the growth of the kype.

    Thus a 36 inch fish that if measured for length when silver fresh in May might weigh 20lbs, is another matter in October. A late season 36 inch male fish has a true body length of about 33-34 inches, with a base weight around 16 lbs. Then deduct the mass loss from body depletion and you're rapidly down to 14 lbs or less.

    As an example, my younger son caught a 36" Ure fish on Friday which tipped the scales a couple of ounces short of 14 lbs. When it was fresh and didn't have a kype it would probably have been somewhere around 16 1/2 lbs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Highlands
    Posts
    802

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    These not many fresh fish coming forward on the rivers I fish. The odd one or two but nothing to write home about. It's not easy to estimate the weight of back end fish, especially the cock fish. They are all head and kype. Any weight estimated off the length would be well out. These bigger fish always seem to get caught at this time of year.

  7. #7

    Default

    Iím not sure thereís still any meaningful back end runs these days, compared to even a few decades ago. Maybe itís that timing/effort thing again, who knows whatís going through after season end. Good water this year, a good chance to gauge. Few clean fish so far in October up this way is good to see, but these are still scarce. Regarding size, Iím not sure fish are getting bigger. If you look at catch records historically they have always increased and decreased over long time periods and thatís the same with the average size of salmon, and that also includes being caught at different times of the year. For any angler that catches a reasonable amount of fish from different rivers, you can absolutely see the differences in the shape of the fish, the depth the length, head size. That may play a part in weights v sturdy scale, but I wouldnít think the odd inch here and there would be that much, maybe an odd pound at most. Without having high tech counters measuring and counting each fish, we will never know and we end up making assumptions on the only information we have.

    DCH

  8. #8

    Default

    Another question
    What weight would you give to the 95cm Brown trout from Iceland pictured on the biggest Brown trout thread?
    According to the chart a Salmon that length would come in at around 20lb

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SOS View Post
    Another question
    What weight would you give to the 95cm Brown trout from Iceland pictured on the biggest Brown trout thread?
    According to the chart a Salmon that length would come in at around 20lb
    It would be much bigger. The condition factor varies in trout as much as salmon but they are generally far heavier than salmon for their length. A really good maiden Thingvellir trout in early season prime condition weighs very heavy for length. I caught one of 28.5" that weighed over 13lb. The pictured fish were previous spawners late season so would not weigh so heavy. 95 cm would still likely be over 20lb. I think the record was 36lb, or something like it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Gods County
    Posts
    4,680

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    I don't think fish are getting bigger at all!, just that all thats being caught is getting reported and coming to light more than it ever was.
    No disrespect what so ever at all in any way, but a lot of these fish used to be 10 a penny, and far far bigger was being landed in both a better condition and also slightly older condition too.
    I look back to my best Tay fish this season in Sept., there were fish of that size and bigger taken every single day and some far bigger regularly enough in years past, in fact it would have been called a Grilse back then(seriously!) and hardly rate a mention in despatches!.
    You would have expected fish in the teens and high teens regularly enough and been seriously looking for one of 20+ and hopes of a brute too!
    Honestly, my hopes aren't set so highly these days!, be nice though.
    Pedro.

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