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Discussion Starter #1
It looks like they are finally going to remove the last safe haven on Escambia River for trophy cats and other fish. I believe they have already started working on removing it. I used to keep it a secret but now that its gone I guess it does not matter anymore.

We have pulled dozens of giant flatheads from this log jam and released everyone back into it... With this jam being gone its going to open the flood gates up to the river rapers to finish off whats left of Escambia River.. All the shockers, liner runners, hoop netters, trap setters, and trot liners will soon lay waste to this stretch like the rest of Escambia River.

Its a good possibility I may be done fishing Escambia now.. With no law enforcement up there Escambia River is going downhill fast.... This was the worst year yet since I have been fishing it and its only getting tougher with all the outlaws shocking the piss out of the river..
 

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If all the fish that were left in the river were under that log jam then the river was already shot. I did good above there this year the few times I went.
 

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It's great to see you getting so much from the resource and to see you releasing fish back to fight again.

Truth is, the Flathead is an invasive specie to the Escambia and Conecuh River systems. Brought here illegally from Missouri. They grow so big because they eat everything, including the Channel Catfish fingerlings.

So, maybe it's not such a bad thing that people can get to them now.

Is that a house trailer, house boat or house; in the background?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
If all the fish that were left in the river were under that log jam then the river was already shot. I did good above there this year the few times I went.
We did good on many nights also.. But not nothing what it should have been. We used to have 20+flathead nights on rod n reel in that area..Now if you nail a dozen you hit it big. During the tournament, we hosted in October I spoke to many locals about the river. They told me how it has changed just in the last 10 years..

They brought me photos of 60-90 pound flatheads that they used to catch..They told me how the river is being destroyed by illegal shockers to the point some won't even launch to set a bush hook anymore. We had some good fisherman on that river in October, I was not impressed with the numbers I saw. Just my 2 cents from the research Iv done..
 

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We did good on many nights also.. But not nothing what it should have been. We used to have 20+flathead nights on rod n reel in that area..Now if you nail a dozen you hit it big. During the tournament we hosted in October I spoke to many locals about the river. They told me how it has changed since then..

They brought me photos of 60-90 pound flatheads that they used to catch..They told me how the river is being destroyed by illegal shockers to the point some won't even launch to set a bushhook anymore. We had some good fisherman on that river in October, I was not impressed with the numbers I saw. Just my 2 cents from the research Iv done..
Have you called FWC? If there's shockers still around that's pretty poor monitoring of boats. It's not hard to look in a creek craft and see the wires laying there. I would be getting FWC into it..
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The law don't care about yellowcats, they want them gone!! Biggest thing is there's more people fishing than ever and it's a little river!
Compared to these big rivers Escambia is nothing but a tributary branch in size. Hell Escambia is not much bigger than Bottle creek in Alabama. You are right about that, being such a little river its easily spoiled..

I have spoken to some of the FWC officers up there many times.. Believe me it fires them up to hear what's happening to the river. Most of them grew up like we did hunting and fishing up there, it's their resource too and they love big flats.. The problem is lack of funding to get enough officers to cover the river. With so many parks, woods and beaches they are stretched for officers and funds.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I got two trot lines out tonight. I sure hope I've got a couple flats for my New Year's Eve supper!!

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We caught plenty to eat this year from up there.Three or four 10-15 pounders will feed many people. It was the big fish that was hard to come by. Fish over 50 pounds.. This is about an average night on Escambia now, a fine meal but definitely not a healthy fishery..
 

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My olé buddy has wore them.out the last couple days near montgomery. This high water in the those small creeks off the Alabama river is good as it gets.
 

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We caught plenty to eat this year from up there.Three or four 10-15 pounders will feed many people. It was the big fish that was hard to come by. Fish over 50 pounds.. This is about an average night on Escambia now, a fine meal but definitely not a healthy fishery..
Man, that is awesome! You got it dialed in. Sorry to hear about your fishery going downhill but remember there's a silver lining to everything. Maybe you'll pick up some new spots you never even tried or imagined because of that situation...
 

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yeah, its like most everything else, if people can kill something, most will kill it until its gone and no more are there to kill. I firmly believe, we have the fishery here (salt and fresh, not real knowledgeable about the freshwater though) because of tight regulations. I support tight regulations (unpopular I know) and harsh fines for those that think its their right to kill and rape the recourses we all share. Nice pictures, and keep looking and fishing, there may be a few around for you yet. bash away... For me its been years and years since I have even thought about fighting a Cat like those...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don't want anyone to think a river raper is someone who keeps fish for the freezer and fryer. That's not a raper, that's what we have fish for. A river raper is like the guys busted on the Chaoctwatchee with 96 flatheads that they shocked up. Or the guys busted some years back with 117 largemouth bass.
 
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