If you walk by any public lake, you will often see people with buckets and a really basic setup. They usually are usually worms and bobbers. They are known as the "bucket brigade". They fish to eat. Most of time they catch bluegill and the occasional bullhead, but sometimes they catch bass. Most bass fisherman don't care if they take panfish, but bass is hot topic to many people. It especially hurts if the bass they catch is over 3 pounds.
So what can you do about it?
Above: Most of the fish that the bucket brigade catch are under 2 pounds.
Not much, really. If the bait fisherman are following the law, such as catch limits, you can't stop them. But if you see them taking nice fish, you can gently walk up to them and remind them of the valuable fish they are taking out the ecosystem, and how it's important to preserve these fish to spawn. You could also ask the authority in charge of the lake or pond to make a rule prohibiting the taking of fish over a certain size, or at least put up a sign reminding people of the benefit these big bass contribute to the food chain. Other than that, you can't really do anything that won't get you trouble with the law. If you want to get away from all fishing pressure, you can find a untouched private pond to fish. Many farmers have watering ponds that have big fish but they don't fish. Politely ask them to fish their pond, and perhaps do some chores so they lt you come again.
If you don't want your honey hole on a public lake to be depleted, don't make your honey hole public knowledge. Don't brag to it to other anglers at the lake, don't post it on a forum, don't bring large groups of people there. Only bring a few close friends there. When the word gets out, we can't do anything about it. I have seen dozens of honey holes throughout my life destroyed by fishing pressure.
Sometimes what the bucket fishermen do benefits a fishery. For instance, many ponds and lakes are filled with a lot of skinny sub 12" bass, while there is no bigger fish. The fish in these waterways are sickly and starving, and are in need of a culling. Through culling, there will be more food and habitat for the other fish, and you will see the size of the fish increase, and you will fatter and healthier fish. Sometimes, a lake needs a cull. Since the bucket fishermen mostly catch small bass, they are improving a fishery by leaving more resources for the bigger ones to grow and reproduce.
Hi. I am Ian, an extremely avid bass fisherman living in Howard County, MD. I like to bank fish and fish at local ponds and small creeks. I will explore budget friendly options for people to use in this blog. I hope I can teach you something.