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Bass Fisherman: 2 lb average??

  • big_dog_ia
    Omaha, Ne
    Posts: 180

    2-Pound Truth?

    Friday, December 23, 2005
    by Lyle Johnson

    I’ve been around bass fishing and fisherman for a long time and know a lot of those who love the sport – both men and women. As a bass angler, outdoor writer and TV co-host, I get to hear a lot of the dock talk. How many bass people are catching, where they’re biting, what baits are being used to catch them and how big they are make up most of the conversations.

    A lot of fishermen are tight-lipped about their locations, and what baits are catching them. But the numbers they’re catching and how big they are usually flow like an artesian waterwell. “Man, we caught our limit and all of them were over 2 pounds – one went over 4,” or “We caught so many big fish, we were culling 2-pounders.”

    Maybe in a disappointed tone you can hear, “We caught plenty of fish but none were over 2 pounds,” or “No big fish at all – our largest was a little over 2.”

    Being what I’d call a pretty fair bass fisherman – I fish for fun and for competition – the 2-pounder I kept hearing about caught my attention. In my younger days it was easy to overestimate the weight of a fish, but after a few years of tournament fishing, estimating weights became a little easier.

    The thought of 2-pound bass in the livewell always got my blood flowing. Although catching a 4- or 5-pounder might be a great goal, I always thought a 2-pound average was a very respectable catch.

    The 2-pounder seemed to be the mark. I thought to myself, “Man I must be missing it.” A 2-pound bass was a nice fish to me, but sort of routine or a little on the short end for some others. Surely all these bass fishermen couldn’t be exaggerating the truth. So about 10 years ago I took it upon myself to do some scientific research and test out just how big a 2-pound bass really was.

    I had an idea that if people could catch five 2-pound bass every time they went fishing, they’d do well.

    What better than the recorded weights of tournament anglers, amateur and professional, to compile my data? The results weren’t a big surprise in some ways, but they amazed me in others.

    The facts concluded that if you could catch five 2-pounders every time you went fishing, you could quit the grind of your day job and earn a good living bass fishing. Some years, you’d win a lot of money.

    So this fall I was on BassFan and a survey on the homepage caught my attention. The question posed was, “What size of bass do you typically catch when you go fishing?” The categories to choose from were: 1) up to 2 pounds, 2) 2 to 3-plus pounds, 3) 4 to 6-plus pounds, 4) only 7-plus pounders, bud! 5) I only fish for bluegills. This was too good to be true.

    When thinking about my vote, the first one that came to mind was 2 to 3-plus pounds, but in all honesty, that’s what I want to catch. The question was, “What size of bass do you typically catch when you go fishing?” Typically I catch up to 2-pounders if I average all my catches, so that’s how I voted.

    When I got to the results page, 41% of the people voted like me, but 49% said they usually caught 2 to 3-plus pounders. Over 2,500 votes were cast from bass fishermen, so this is a pretty scientific poll. If the guys in that category are honest, boy are they missing their calling.

    So just where would a 2-pound average put you? Do the math. When reading tournament results, see where five 2-pound bass puts you in the final results.

    After some tedious research on BassFan and some great help from ESPN Outdoors publicist Kim Jessup, here are some results that just might get your attention.

    The Bassmaster Elite 50s are a good example. The series lasted 2 years, with four tournaments each year. Five 2-pounders would have netted you a 1st at Wissota, two 2nds, then one each of the following: 8th, 13th, 16th, 27th and 30th. Not bad for fishing against KVD, Mark Davis, Greg Hackney and the likes.

    What about the Bassmaster Classic, the ultimate crown for a professional angler? You would have beaten the best gathering of pros in 2005 by a whopping 17-01. Your finish in 2004 would have been 13th, then 8th in 2003, 9th in 2002, 4th in 2001, and 1st in 2000. You would have also won in 1983, 1986, 1987, 1988 and scored plenty of Top 10s along the way.

    So now, just how big is a 2-pound bass? Bigger than most of us think. Is it just possible that we now have proof positive of the age-old adage that fishermen don’t tell the truth? I’m not telling.

    Lyle Johnson, from Louisiana, is an outdoors columnist and TV co-host.

    westby wi
    Posts: 864

    An interesting read but 10lbs wont win you the price of a stamp around here

    Rochester, MN
    Posts: 1885

    Interesting post. Seems to me that around this stretch of the river a 2 pound average won’t get you anything but the crying towel. On the other hand, some places it would be great to have 2 pound average.
    I’m sure most that took the survey were basing their decision off of their honey hole, home waters. Thats where we all excel. They probably didn’t figure on averaging what they would catch if they traveled around the country, fishing new water. Thats when things get a little tough and that 2 pound average would be nice.

    La Crescent, MN
    Posts: 2792


    An interesting read but 10lbs wont win you the price of a stamp around here

    Kinda sheds some light on how good we have it round here huh?

    Jeremiah Shaver
    La Crosse, WI
    Posts: 4941

    Agreed. Interesting for sure. 2lb’s won’t do you much good on Big time fisheries like OkeeChobee and others. It took @36lbs to win last week., but you would’ve cashed a small check…so it’s relavant there.

    Locally, it takes more than 2lb’s to compete. For Team Supreme-if you don’t average 3 to 3.5lbs, you might as well just write your entry check and take off. LoL.

    I guess it matters if you are talking about consistancy or going for the DUB!!

    westby wi
    Posts: 864

    I lived in Fla for 15 yrs. My home water was the St Johns river,Toho and the Harris chain. Not bad water? In my mind it dont compare with what we have here. This is great.By far no1

    Winona,MN/La Crosse, WI
    Posts: 3667

    so what would you guys say would be a 2 pound fish in inches?? i always kinda thought in the 15-16 inch range depending on the girth of the fish. I have caught some nice 14 inch fish that could have come close to 2 pounds with a good gut. Just wondering if i am on or not. Typically, i considered a 3 pound fish around 17-18 inches and 4 about 19-20. thanks.

    Saint Paul
    Posts: 156

    There is quite a difference between catching a limit of quality fish on a quiet Tuesday and catching a limit of quality fish on a Saturday during a 200 boat tournament.

    The number of fish that can be brought to a weigh-in will influence the average size bass needed to win. In a 5 fish tournament, you probably need 3 to 3.5 pounds to win or place really high. In an 8 fish tournament you will likely be in the money with a 2.5 pound average.

    Saint Paul
    Posts: 156

    I don’t know if you are thinking about Smallmouth or Largemouth, but I consider a 19″ Largemouth is about 4 pounds and a 20″ Largemouth is about 5 pounds.

    Winona,MN/La Crosse, WI
    Posts: 3667

    yeah thats about where i am at. It really all depends on how fat the fish is. I have caught 16″ fish that are really fat and almost 3 pounds, and i have caught 18 inch fish that cant be much more than 3. It all depends. Thanks

    Eau Claire, WI
    Posts: 272

    Yes, indeed it really depends upon the body of water. Some fisheries just don’t have a large abundance of 2 lbs+ fish. Others have an extreme amount of 2.5 or 3 lbs+ fish. Everything is relative. And remember, almost always there is going to be someone who calls the tournament water his “home” water and thus has a slight advantage (at the very least in the psychological aspect).

    As to fish size per length…I’ve also caught a scrawny 18.25″ Largemouth that weighted 1.75 lbs. Talk about one malnourished looking fish. Most of the 15″ bass were heavier than him.

    eldridge, ia
    Posts: 709

    One thing that goes unsaid but implied in this is a 2 lb average for a 3-4 day tourney with lots of boats. I think if you get 20 lbs in the everstarts around here you get a check. I know its a little better up on 7-9 than down here but a 15 lb bag on pool 13 usually includes at least 1 4-5 lb fish. If you get 4 x 2 lb plus a kicker (at 4-5 lb) for 2 days that is about 25 lbs which would make a nice check in most tourneys- probably wouldnt win though. And once you make the top 20 or 10 if you get 10 lbs average I doubt you end up last. Check the everstarts, I could be wrong here but most of us would be pretty happy with 25 lbs over 2 days. If you can make the cut with a couple kickers and still catch 10 lbs per day on days 3-4 you are even more golden imo. I dont have the time to back this up with real data, but if anyone does I would be curious to see what 10 lbs does for example in the BFL – I bet you finish top 30 in points and win some cash along the way.

    Isle, MN
    Posts: 20334

    bassbaron is correct. when you see these 3 day bass contests, usually 2 of the 3 days are less than ideal conditions. i know, when i go bass fishing, and average 2 lbs, which happens more than not, it is bass fishing weather. pitch it in the shade, there they are. i actually site fished with dman and my wife, and averaged about 3.5 lbs all day long !!! again, logisitcs is a big part of it. i always heard the bass dont get as big up north, because the growing season is so short, but then i watch a bass tourney in florida , and they are slapping high fives for a 1.5LB bass like it was the state record. hmmmmmmm……

    big G

    Jeremiah Shaver
    La Crosse, WI
    Posts: 4941

    Here’s the truth about the 2lb average: per ’05 BFL results
    A 2lb average each tournament for 10lbs would get you the following:

    Tourney 1: top 50 – 49th place – 151pts
    Tourney 2: top 20 – 15th place – 185pts
    Tourney 3: top 60 – 56th place – 144pts
    Tourney 4: top 30 – 26th place – 176pts
    Tourney 5: top 20 – 17th place – 283pts (super tourney)

    Year End Standings with 939 points = 7th Overall

    Conclusions: You might not win an event with a 2lb average, but if you are fishing for points, it’s the way to go!!

    Posts: 1514

    when i fish a tournament im thrilled w/ a 2 pound average, and then start looking for a better fish or two. if you go out around here looking for 4 or five pounders only in tourneies youll do alot of crying at the end of the season 2 pound average consistintly is great

    Burlington, WI
    Posts: 1417

    Slop, you forgot the rest of your example…

    Being 7th place in the points at the end of the year would have earned you a trip to the Regional last year on the Ohio River. With a 2lbs ave. (10lbs/ day) there you would have WON the tounament by more than a pound and walked away with a new $20,000 Chevy truck, $40,000 Ranger boat, and a trip to next year’s All-American fishing for $100,000.

    Yeah, I’ll take a 2 pound average…

    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts: 1123

    Interesting Topic.
    I for one go out on Tourney days and target 2#. When I get these I will try to up my weight with the hogs.
    Something to be said with all of this is that these guys don’t have a choice of what lake and when they fish. If it just rained with lighting, they still have to go out (obviously, less than ideal conditions) and make a day out it. Where some fisherman will look at this and know that fishing will be less than ideal and not go out. Also, the lake they go to has a huge effect. Prior/Minnetonka/Mille Lacs (to name a few) are great lakes to get out on but with bad conditions (wind, nice weekend) fishing gets tough and catching a decent limit can be a struggle.
    Our club has been keeping weights of our tourneys the last 8 years and on average if you had 5 fish over 3 lbs 4 oz, you would do well in the tourneys.

    My opinion is that at least in MN and western WI, bass fishing has improved remarkably. Catching 4-5 # fish is becoming a more common occurrence than I remember. (Still not close to every time out though) I firmly believe in CPR.

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