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mincmi

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 #1 

With the Labor Day holiday here to mark the unofficial end of summer and the trek towards the winter trout fishing season at Jocassee, thought it was time to see what we can do to improve the tournament fishing.

It is my understanding that once, not all that long ago, there was much larger interest in the tournaments, both individually and collectively as a series.  Reportedly, participation was in the triple digits, not the 20-30 that is now happening lately.   I know that the first tournament that we fished in April of 2009 was by far the most populated tournament that we have participated in at Jocassee.

Will and I had some discussion in the spring about the possibility of starting a “Trout Fishermen Tournament Series-Club” unrelated to what the Outdoor Center hosts.  The idea was not only to have events but to share info to make us all better on the lake.

This post then, is to gauge interest in creating an independent trout fishing series.

  1. What is your interest and pro/cons you have to having it?
  2. What do you think is the best price point for maximum participation?
  3. What frequency would you prefer in the series?
  4. What time frame (I would like to be able to fish the first light hour instead of waiting until 8)
  5. Rules suggestions
  6. How to administer the events
  7. Anything other ideas or suggestions in regards to having this type of event

 Thanks in advance for providing feedback.


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StandNdeliver

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 #2 

I Angler is fishing tournament I looked into a few months ago. I thought it would be unique to have monthly trout tournaments. This program allows anglers to catch fish take a picture (on a special ruler), then up load the pictures on their phone or computer at home. The tournaments can last for any length of time. I was thinking that I would have them each month, so any time during that month you can fish the tournament. All of the pictures of the trout would be sent to DNR for trout research. This would enable them to get additional data with no extra cost. One problem with that was, that DNR really can’t use pictures of fish, they really need blood samples of each fish. To do that you have to get trained, so it is more advantageous to train one person that fishes all the time. Then each month whoever wins the tournament would be sent a check. 


http://www.ianglertournament.com/


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Fisher87

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 #3 
Whats against the JOC changing things around that would better suit more competition and grow what crowd we have. I've only fished last season (2015-2016) and enjoyed very much. I also would like to see a larger crowd.

Maybe the fishing has changed and caused the decrease in competition. I sure don't know the answer to that. However, I'm always in for a solution to a problem.

I'm not opposed to advertising for JOC about the tournament. In fact I tell a good bit of people. All it would take is to type up a simple paper about the tournaments and info. Maybe a link to JOC for more info. Wouldn't take bit a few minutes and then drop by your local tackle store as you pass by.

Maybe I'm not seeing the reason or its just that I'm new around there during tournament time. All I want to do is come back next year for a good time.

Nick

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Fisher87

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 #4 
I would like to see more numbers but fishing there isn't as easy as other lakes to some people. I'm just happy to have a tourney to go fish. I also will be trying to join in on the dog fight this year.
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WP

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 #5 
We would be there every time if it were artificial only. The polygraph at every tournament is also necessary for obvious reasons. I don't think that there are as many people fishing Jocassee as there once were, but the turnout at the tournaments is really sad compared to years past.
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StandNdeliver

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 #6 

Will,    you definitely have some great viewpoints. We got to bring the polygraph back. A kids category is essential, every kid that participates should at least get a door prize. We also need to add a category for bass. With no trout in the lake we at least need to bring something to the scales. When trout are returned to the lake again, then the fisher men will return. With very few trout, it is not worth most people’s time to bother coming to Jocassee. Hartwell has some great Striper fishing right now. For the time, Hartwell is the better choice for most people who like to troll.


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cascrit

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 #7 
I was considering fishing the tournaments this winter.  I recently moved here, and I am not really set up for trolling deep (no downriggers), but I use dipsies and planers and leadcore.  I live in Columbiam so it is a bit of a drive to go up there for a day.  I am willing to make the drive for the prospect of catching some decent trout.  I realize my chances of winning a tournament on an unfamiliar lake are probably not that great but for 25 bucks (maybe 50? or 25/person and allow up to 4 anglers per boat?) and meeting new people, and maybe picking up some tips or ride alongs to learn how to better fish the lake,  it would be worth it.  But after reading the comments regarding tournaments, I doubt I would participate.  What it sounds like is the fishing has gotten bad- not many fish being caught and there are cheaters that don't follow rules (why in the world would a polygraph be necessary for a winner- who would lie just to win a few bucks, and how do you cheat in a trout tourney?).  I have pretty much decided that any trophy trout that I catch on the east coast are going to have to come from northern Georgia or North Carolina.  I love the peacefulness and beauty of trolling at Jocassee, but if the fishing has really gotten as bad as you all make it sound, why isn't SCDNR restocking the crap out of the lake?  Off topic but very relevant to having tournaments.  More fish=more fisherman=more tournament participants=bigger pots, and also more $$ for the local economy.
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Fisher87

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 #8 
Cascrit, fishing may be slow at jocassee but last year was my first and we finished 2nd and 3rd in the January tournament. Not bad for the first year. I believe it's about doing research, being at the right place at the right time, and have the perfect presentation of the lure. To me it's about getting out and having fun learning. I have more fun trying to catch fish then catching at times. I love the challenge and I believe that it makes me better at other lakes. Hope this helps and look forward to seeing you this December for the tourney.
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StandNdeliver

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 #9 

Cascrit, If you are looking for a beautiful place to fish then, Jocassee is it.  There is no prettier place in the South East. If you are trying to catch the next State Record Large Mouth or Small Mouth, this is the place. But the trout fishing is terrible right now. If you are looking for a fun tournament in the Columbia area, look no further than the Midlands Striper Club. They have great tournaments, with a great fishery for numbers of fish. Murray has very few big fish, but if you like to catch a boat load of 18”-26” fish, then check it out. I will still fish the Trout tournaments, but I go in knowing there are not a lot of fish to be caught. When more fish go in, then more fisherman come to the tournaments. I still keep in mind that it is a stocking dependent fishery. Without stocking there would be no fish at all. 


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Fisher87

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 #10 
Went ahead and got a jump start on this season. Ordered a good bit of Sutton spoons from the Sutton company themselves. Great people to deal with. Very friendly and fast response. Still no 44s in stock but got what I could. They even give a 10% discount if you buy more than 12. Can wait to hit jocassee and wet one.
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WKubler

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 #11 
Ray.
There is def a problem with the trout but Jocassee had never been know for quantity. It's all about quality. I caught six fish this year over 25". The best was a 27" 8lber. I stopped trout fishing before June this year
The trout fishing always is terrible from August til winter. I don't think the lake turned over last year
Regardless I love that fishery. I'll fish all day for one 25" brown. I also think some damn striper fishermen have placed a few stripers in Jocassee. If so they should be shot. It would make a heck of a striper lake but the trout would be bait And just so you do understand - people will cheat for $20 these days. I know for a fact there was cheating last year in the JOC tourney. Kinda sad but true. Polygraph fixes that problem. I do know years ago a man "won" the tourney with a bought fish. He got caught and banned from ever fishing the tourney. Jocassee is a phenomenal fishery !!
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mincmi

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 #12 

I would like to hear Dan Rankin’s opinions and better yet about his data research, but one of the things I have noticed empirically is that we do not see many rainbows over three pounds.  True they do not grow as large as the browns, but I would think we would at least see the different year classes of rainbows caught more consistently or close to the same rate we catch the different year classes of browns.  Is the survival rate of the planted rainbows so low that only a few make it to a second year, let alone a third?  Compared to the number of larger browns, you don’t seem to find the same numbers of second and third year rainbows.

While I would miss the rainbows, would it provide a greater population of larger trout if instead of splitting the plantings 50/50 rainbows to browns, just plant browns?  Would a different strain (like Skamania which is a summer run and consequently more heat tolerant trout) do better in Jocassee than the strain that is currently being planted thus allowing more fish to survive from each year classes?  It could also be that any rainbows, being a more pelagic fish, just are not going to do as well in the warm summer waters no matter what strain is planted. And if that is true, then back to my original thesis, would it not be better to just plant browns in Jocassee? That’s where I need Dan’s help.

Likewise, I assume that Dan and the SCDNR have a pretty good handle on the number of trout that an oligotrophic lake like Jocassee can handle.  You just cannot blindly increase the number of fish planted without determining other factors, as there is only X amount of energy in the lake.  Too many top predators and eventually the food chain breaks down and you lose all the predators, be they trout, bass, or cats.

Ray, I like your idea of a monthly I-Angler. 

Will, wish we would get a string of cold days and cold rains to knock the temp down soon. 


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