5 pound bass everyone says they're catching!
6:08 PM | Author: Tech Tactical

By Brian Waldman

All fishermen are liars, except for you and me, and I'm not so sure about you (LOL). That is the quote on a small cedar plaque I have had for nearly 30 years. And while 'liars' is kind of a strong term, there is certainly this widely believed perception about anglers that they love to stretch the truth just a bit. Typically this happens in the retelling of a story and usually either pertains to the number of fish caught (because no one likes to admit they caught only one or two fish - or worse..none) or especially the size of the fish caught. We're all guilty of this, I'm certain at one point or another in our angling lives.

Ask a serious bass fisherman what he caught and without hesitation, an "eyeballed" fish grows. Suddenly the world is filled with guys who catch 4, 5 and 6 pounders. I don't know what it is about the 5 pound mark, but suffice it to say that any bass close to that mark will at some point exceed it in a future retelling. This is especially true with tourney anglers. They're always catching limits in practice and they always manage a 5 pound bass or two along the way. As a tourney angler myself over the past 20 years, I can't even begin to imagine all the tourneys that were won before they even started based on the practice reports (LOL). Everybody is killing them except you! But as I always like to say, the scales don't lie and the truth always comes out at weigh-in time.

Fortunately, many states have adopted a tournament reporting feature into their fishery departments. This is seen as a low cost way to capture lots of data on the general trends in bass populations in these states. Overall the data is fairly reliable, especially over time or as number of reports increase.

I'm not sure which state actually started the reporting trend, but many have caught on and they all seem to use a very similar and standardized format. You can view the most recent reports (2005) for Kansas, Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Mississippi with a simple Google search online. Many of these reports go back nearly 20 years for a given state and show some interesting trends. Of course, the part I am most interested in is the statistics concerning 5 pound bass.

I'll save you the gore of searching for and looking over all the numbers, but I have compiled all the data I could from these state reports concerning the hours to catch a 5 pound bass. One of the surprising things that came out of looking at all that data was how similar the time frames and numbers were from state to state. So after compiling reports from 6 states totaling over 18,000 tournaments and comprised of over 4 million angler-hours on the water, the average time it takes to catch a 5 pound bass works out to be 495.9 hours per fish. If you look at just the best lake in any given state for a year that has at least 5 reports for itself, and average these across states and years (again, striking similarity between states) you arrive at a best average of 165.5 angler-hours to catch a 5 pound bass.

Keeping in mind that all this data is compiled by bass tournament anglers and organizations, the target group most likely to have the best catch results for bass as compared to non-tournament or casual anglers, and you begin to realize that all those 5 pound bass everyone says they're catching probably isn't quite the truth.

So you now have the basis for comparison sake in your fishing adventures. Your best bet to crack that 5 pound barrier is to fish lightly pressured or private waters, intimately learn a particular public body of water, or focus on primarily "big bass" tactics and baits.

News Via - Big Indiana Bass

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