Are the fish getting bigger?

SOS

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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?.
 

Aidan Rocks

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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.
 

Donury

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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
 

long Preston

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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.
 

MCXFisher

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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.
 

PerryPoker

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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.
 
G

guest2938

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I’m not sure there’s still any meaningful back end runs these days, compared to even a few decades ago. Maybe it’s that timing/effort thing again, who knows what’s 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, I’m not sure fish are getting bigger. If you look at catch records historically they have always increased and decreased over long time periods and that’s 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 wouldn’t 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
 

SOS

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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
 

Loxie

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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.
 

Rennie

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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.
 

Loxie

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7AC25B78-3A02-48BE-B231-CEA514918B47.jpeg
Boleside 50lbr... No... Any photos, please tell us more :rolleyes:
 

Lamson v10

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Cheers Loxie :thumb: I was joking re Boleside fish think it's been done to the death that one :lol:
:wow: that bottom fish on the the other hand is an absolute stonker :thumb: you dream of fish like that and one of the reasons I put a line in the water for them.. You never know what size of fish is going to attach it's self to your line

Arnold
 

Loxie

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Cheers Loxie :thumb: I was joking re Boleside fish think it's been done to the death that one :lol:
:wow: that bottom fish on the the other hand is an absolute stonker :thumb: you dream of fish like that and one of the reasons I put a line in the water for them.. You never know what size of fish is going to attach it's self to your line

Arnold

If know but I wanted to post the Aaroy one from June this year. I wish to all the fishing gods I could catch one like that !
 

SnapT14

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The tail of a proper fish.....
 

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Rosslinden0

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If i remember right i read here they planned to keep that big yin in a tank to stripping this winter?, anyone got an update on that, would be great to see pics of it now with its tartan on.
 

Loxie

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If i remember right i read here they planned to keep that big yin in a tank to stripping this winter?, anyone got an update on that, would be great to see pics of it now with its tartan on.

Woodcockandsewin would be the man to ask, I believe, but I think they kept that one in a tank for a bit to recover, take DNA samples etc then returned it to the river. They net, maybe around now, for broodstock and DNA test to ensure there are no farmed genes. Not many hens required at that sort of size to fill the hatchery! I believe they usually catch bigger cocks that the one in the photo too.
 

woodcockandsewin

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Unfortunately it didn't make it...one of the risks of sport fishing, but at the same time, where would these fish be without our protection? On the plus side, some of his relatives are safely awaiting spawning...just hope the recent upsurge in escapees aren't amongst them.
 

Aidan Rocks

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Well spotted and no I had not noted the missing fin. I think I understand why the hatchery idea is always ignored. If you have a hatchery then some people may think they can do anything you want to the river as the hatchery will always fix the problem. I think there is room for both ideas, especially for rivers that are below their numbers to allow them to restock themselves! Even if you only stock the bits of the catchment the wild fish can not reach. But we need to look after the wild ones and the environment they live in. Stop farmers dumping slurry in the rivers pretending they are putting it on the fields. Funny how they spread just before heavy rain. Unlucky I guess, as how can they tell the rain is coming.
 
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