Friday, January 09, 2009
Tournament Bass Fishing Culling System's
In an email today I received a press release from Ardent Outdoors (Ardent: made in the USA fishing reels fame) about the fact that their SmartCull fish culling system was given an Editor's Choice Award at Tackle Tour(Click on the link for Tackle Tour's review.) I am assuming they sent me the press release to post on the blog, which I am not going to do, I figure linking to the Tackle Tour review is better than the press release.
The press release has inspired me to share my thoughts on tournament bass fishing culling system's. I think if you are a professional or semi-professional tournament bass fisherman paying significant entry fees with significant prize money on the line than you are going to want the best culling system possible. The Ardent SmartCull looks like a very good system but at Futurebass I was recently made aware of a culling product called Accu-Cull that looks like it would be pretty good too. Then there is the Cul-M-Rite system that costs $200 bucks. I'll leave it up to others to decide which is the best among those three different approaches or if the best is even something different from them.
For myself, fishing club tournaments with nothing much on the line other than pride, the culling system that I choose to use isn't all that important. I have never culled by weighing a fish on a digital or sping scale. I instead cull by length of fish and by sight on fish that are of similar size. I did use my partners balance beam once at Serpent Lake this past year. What I do is certainly not the most exacting method but it is quick and I would rather be fishing than sorting fish.
Last year and in the past I have used Bag-Em Bass Tags:
I ran into a problem last year with the Bag-Em's clips coming off the fish, which creates a hassle and in the case of Serpent Lake some confusion that led to culling the wrong fish. I think the Bag-Em's are generally ok if it is just my fish in the livewell but where I had problems was in the boats without divided livewells and so I had 12 rather than 6 fish swimming around and bumping into each other. For this year I bought EZ-Cull-RZ ropes.
As you can see EZ-Cull-RZ ropes have locking clips so the rope will stay with the fish. I just spent to much time last year messing around with fish that got off their clips.
Culling Side Note- It has been my experience fishing tournaments with club partners and watching professional bass fishing that most anglers do not start the culling process right from the first fish. I on the other hand always put the tags on the fish as I catch them and record the length right away before I get back to fishing. I think the way I do it leads to more time fishing and less time playing with fish. I suppose the people who don't start the culling right away do so because they don't want to take the time to weigh a fish when the "iron is hot;" While there might be something to that, I would think they would want to at least put a culling clip on the fish to make for easier retrieval, but more often than not this simple and quick step doesn't seem to be done. I don't get it, maybe they are putting on clips and I just don't see it, but I am generally in the back of the boat where the livewell is and I would think I would see the clips when they box their fish.