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#157251 - 04/07/09 10:11 AM More on soft plastic baits
Dave Willis Offline

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Registered: 09/09/02
Posts: 2587
Loc: South Dakota State University
Voluntary Ingestion of Soft Plastic Fishing Lures Affects Brook Trout Growth in the Laboratory

G. Russell Danner (a), Jim Chacko (b), and Francis Brautigam (c)

a Fish Health Laboratory, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, 81 Hatchery Road, Augusta, Maine 04330, USA
b Biology Department, Unity College, Post Office Box 90, Unity, Maine 04988-9502, USA
c Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, 358 Shaker Road, Gray, Maine 04039, USA

Abstract.—Thirty-eight brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis were fed a commercial trout diet mixed with a free-choice assortment of soft plastic lures (SPLs) over a 90-d period. Fish growth was recorded and compared with that of a control group. The brook trout readily ate the SPLs from the water's surface as well as from the tank bottom. At the conclusion of the study, SPLs were recovered from the stomachs of 63% of the test fish. Several fish stomachs contained multiple lures. Twelve percent of the fish voluntarily ingested more than 10% of their body mass in SPLs. These fish lost a significant amount of weight during the study, had a significant decrease in body condition factor, and began displaying anorexic behaviors. For these reasons, anglers should be discouraged from discarding used SPLs in trout waters.

North American Journal of Fisheries Management 2009; 29:352–360

* Corresponding author: russell.danner@maine.gov
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#157259 - 04/07/09 10:54 AM Re: More on soft plastic baits [Re: Dave Willis]
Shorty Online   content
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Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 4231
Loc: Raymond, NE
Thanks Dr. Willis!
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#157280 - 04/07/09 12:49 PM Re: More on soft plastic baits [Re: Shorty]
davatsa Offline
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Registered: 04/14/03
Posts: 1256
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Good info...thanks Dr. Willis.
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#157314 - 04/07/09 05:41 PM Re: More on soft plastic baits [Re: davatsa]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
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Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13600
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
If I ate some of the stuff that I tie onto the end of my line, I expect that I would get pretty constipated.
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#157317 - 04/07/09 05:52 PM Re: More on soft plastic baits [Re: Dave Davidson1]
Dave Willis Offline

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Registered: 09/09/02
Posts: 2587
Loc: South Dakota State University
Three of four posts by Dave....
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#157324 - 04/07/09 06:22 PM Re: More on soft plastic baits [Re: Dave Willis]
Russ Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 1011
Loc: Ulster Park, NY
Didn't Bob run into this with a bass awhile back?

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#157330 - 04/07/09 07:36 PM Re: More on soft plastic baits [Re: Russ]
CJBS2003 Offline
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Registered: 01/19/09
Posts: 10457
Loc: northern VA
The things stocked trout eat is ridiculous! They have to be some of the most retarded fish ever. It is amazing though, within about 6 months from stocking, the trout that do survive really do go wild and get smart.
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#157334 - 04/07/09 08:05 PM Re: More on soft plastic baits [Re: CJBS2003]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19590
Loc: Miss.
Russ yes it applies to LMB as well.
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#157352 - 04/07/09 09:39 PM Re: More on soft plastic baits [Re: ewest]
catmandoo Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5688
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
Thanks Dr. Dave.

I had first noticed this with LMB two or three years ago and didn't quite realize what was going on. This guy had a plastic worm in his tummy when I opened him up.



A few weeks later, I got another very skinny LMB that had a white plastic grub in its stomach. The consequences finally hit me when Lusk wrote about it, but I still didn't fully comprehend the problem. The presentation at last year's convention finally hammered it into my brain.

As I was listening to the presentation, I envisioned the furry and toothy critter that tore into the "fishing purse" I'd left hanging at the end of my dock. I could just see him ripping open all my bags of soft plastics, and letting them drop into the pond -- except for those that must have given him a heck of a bellyache.

After last year's convention I pretty much swore off using soft plastics and GULP products in the pond. But, last fall I finally threw them all out after I found that my chickens had snuck (sneaked??) into the shed where I keep my fishing equipment. They were ripping at several bags of soft plastics. I'm not sure what would have happened to the chickens had they eaten a bunch of soft plastics.

For now, our pond rules just keep growing:

- No GULP
- No treble hooks
- No soft plastics
- Keep every crappie
- Never fish with pellets
- No hooks smaller than #6
- Keep all CC over 20 inches
- Keep all LMB over 15 inches
- No glass bottles near the pond
- No fishing near active BG nests
- Never fish where you just threw the pellets
- NEVER keep a female BG over 9 inches, unless seriously wounded
- NEVER keep a male BG over 10 inches, unless seriously wounded
- Take all other BG

Good fishn'
Ken
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#157354 - 04/07/09 09:46 PM Re: More on soft plastic baits [Re: catmandoo]
adirondack pond Offline
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Registered: 08/31/07
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Loc: big moose ny
Boy Ken, that's gotta be one big sign. ;\)
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#157355 - 04/07/09 09:50 PM Re: More on soft plastic baits [Re: adirondack pond]
catmandoo Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5688
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
 Originally Posted By: adirondack pond
Boy Ken, that's gotta be one big sign. ;\)


It's a 6-foot 1x8 pine board, mounted vertically. I have about 4-feet left. When it gets filled up, there is a second post at the end of the dock!
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#157359 - 04/07/09 10:11 PM Re: More on soft plastic baits [Re: catmandoo]
CJBS2003 Offline
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Registered: 01/19/09
Posts: 10457
Loc: northern VA
I rarely if ever have a soft plastic bait tear off my hook and do not throw my old left over plastics into the water. I think many of these baits end up in a bass's or other fish's stomach from fisherman throwing their used plastics in the water...

This is the great thing about owning your own pond, YOU decide the rules and that is the way it should be!
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#157362 - 04/07/09 10:16 PM Re: More on soft plastic baits [Re: CJBS2003]
chadwickz71 Offline
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Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 402
Loc: texas
What is the problem with GULP products, catmandoo?

Is it just that they are a weak worm material that has a tendency to come off the hook?
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#157398 - 04/08/09 05:02 AM Re: More on soft plastic baits [Re: chadwickz71]
Theo Gallus Offline
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Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 12394
Loc: Central Ohio
IIRC Gulp is a very porous, sort of plastic that holds (and resoaks up) the flavored scent liquid it is in very well. It's not digestible any (or much) more than a standard plastic bait.

 Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson1
If I ate some of the stuff that I tie onto the end of my line, I expect that I would get pretty constipated.
Nauseous first, I would think. But y'all Texans have pretty tough constitutions.
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#157400 - 04/08/09 06:56 AM Re: More on soft plastic baits [Re: Theo Gallus]
Rainman Offline
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Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 6976
Loc: St Louis, MO area
I can't recall having ever lost a Gulp worm while fishing, except for the maybe the flat part of the tail( The last 1-2" ) or if hook and all were lost. But since Mustad discontinued it's best worm hook, I rarely use plastic any more.
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