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Slyster

How not to target bass?

35 posts in this topic

Ok.. here's a question related to many recent questions (how to target pans etc).. how can one be sure to target only pike or walleye? If I fish with a large spinnerbait on a metro lake.. I might nab a bass.. but more likely pikes from my experience. Or trolling a Rapala for Walleye etc.. What can one safely fish with until bass opener?

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You really can't... that's the problem. You have people calling the tip line and blaming honest fisherman. It does happen, too often im afraid. One should observe closely the actions before jumping to any conclusions if that person is really targeting an out of season fish.

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Am I correct that a very large spinnerbait is targeting pike? And a deep diving rapala is considered targeting walleye? Any large plastic I assume bass only? Spoons basically safe for Pike only? Leeches/minnows are walleye only? I should try for Walleye.. never have before. Hmm.. leeches from what I heard are too early still? (cold temps).. what else works well for Walleye? Basically the are generally slower bottom feeders?

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I've caught most of my Northerns on spinnerbaits, but I catch a lot of Bass on them too. The only difference for mine lures is I use a little gaudier colors for Pike and 1/2 oz minimum. I was out yesterday on a local lake and the DNR was in a boat at the Ramp when I was taking out. I had 4 rods rigged with Spinnerbaits of different types. He asked me how the fishing was (it sucked) and then just reminded me that it was illegal to target Bass this time of year. I told him that I was aware of that and with the cold weather we had yesterday, I would have been fishing soft plastics or Jig/Pig if I was targeting Bass, not the 3/4oz Chartruese/Orange/Green spinnerbaits with Painted Blades and 4 inch trailers. He was cool with that.

Anyway, it's almost impossible to target Pike and not look like your bass fishing unless you're trolling. Until they change the regulations to open Bass along with Walleye and Pike, people are going to have to learn not to judge people casting Spinnerbaits, etc.

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I catch probably more pike on large soft plastics than I do Bass. Especially the 10" worms. However, I don't have the brass cohoneys to throw them this time of year. smile.gif I would stick to the spinners, jerkbaits, crankbaits.

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I've also run into this because my bread and butter pike lure is a big chartruese spinner bait. Here's my thoughts on not targeting bass. Sometimes an inline spinner like a mepps is a bait that will target pike more than bass, if people are giving you sideways looks you may try this instead of the standard spinnerbait. Spoons are typically safe as a pike only bait. Another thing I've done: if you're truthfully targeting pike and catching a lot of bass, move. At the very least you're keeping yourself honest. If it's happening all over, shrug and just know that you're doing your best to play by the rules. Also: I never use a leader when targeting bass, but seldom fish without one when targeting pike.

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Avoiding bass is pretty tough, no doubt - my friend was using a big spoon with a leader going for Northerns today and all he ended up getting was a big largemouth (on Harriet). First he said "Allright - fish on!" and then about 4 seconds later, "Oh, no..." - ironically, it was the largest bass he's ever caught (we didn't take time to weigh or measure it, we wanted to get it back in as soon as we could, but my guess is that it was 4.5 to 5 lbs) - I went to take a pic, but my batteries were dead and I wasn't about to have it out of the water long enough to change them. Later we went over to Lake of the Isles and I was fishing a Mimic Minnow + spoon looking for Eyes - I was on my retrieve and I saw a Smallie eyeing it, and was desperately thinking "Leave it alone, please leave it alone" - luckily it did, and I immediately left that spot.

I'm new to fishing the area, and I'm not sure what the rationale is for having the bass opener 2 weeks after the normal one - I'm guessing it has to do with the spawn. Either way, it's tough to avoid catching bass, but we did the best we could. It's a bit painful, since bass are my absolute favorite catch (I'm catch and release only - I even fish barbless) - it's a bit counter-intuitive to me to try and avoid them, but that's what I'm doing for the next couple weeks.

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We need to start a movement to have Bass season open with Walleye and Northerns. It's ridiculous that the bass fishermen have to sit by and watch all the hoopla over the opener and not be able to participate in our favorite sport too. It's like the state is having a big holiday/celebration, but only inviting select groups. All the research has proven that holding the bass opener back two weeks has no affect on the bass.

Let's get the movement rolling!

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ShoreOnly - just an FYI, but there are very few northerns in Harriet. Most of them were removed in the '70s although the few that are in there are good sized.

Calhoun is definitely the better bet for northerns and you won't have have people on/around Harriet thinking you're fishing for muskies.

DB

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Thanks for the FYI, DB - like I said, both my friend and I are new to fishing the area (we've both lived here for a while, but we've always gone to the family places in N. WI to fish - just occurred to us over the winter that we were living right in the middle of plenty of good fishing - I know, duh), so tips like this are greatly appreciated.

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Some people along with some not so bright COs just need a little refresher course on fishing. You will not see anyone who thinks a spinnerbait will only catch bass winning tournaments.

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Put on a wire leader and use larger gear. My favorite time to fish pike is this time of year and then the fall. I fish bass in the summer. I always use a thin wire leader for pike fishing with spinnerbaits, spoons, plugs, etc. but not for bass fishing. The problem really is that you are not targeting bass - they are targeting you! I caught a 22-inch largemouth while fishing for pike with a six inch suick the third week of May one year. How can you avoid it? Yeah, if your using Texas-rigged large soft plastics without a leader then you are asking for a TIP report. I would guess most COs are pretty knowledgable about fishing and can tell what you are trying to do just by looking at you and your gear. Remember, for every honest fisherman there are dishonest, poacher jerks that law enforcement has to deal with year round. If it means being asked about a spinnerbait in May so other genuine dirtbags can get caught, that's fine with me. I can't image a bigger red flag for a CO than hostility.

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I agree with most of what is being said. I also think it really just comes down to integrity. I personally don't jump through any hoops to make it look like I'm not fishing for bass because I won't be fishing for bass out of season and if a conservation officer asks what I'm doing, I'll tell him. He'll probably have a good idea if you really are telling the truth. My favorite walleye lake is also an incredible smallmouth fishery and I frequently catch more smallmouth than walleye no matter what I do (including last weekend). That's just an example of a time where you're gonna catch them and the CO has to use his judgement in any situation. I especially can't see a ticket being issued even if a CO watched you catch ten bass when you have 2 walleye on the stringer and all the bass went right back. Yeah it's a little different with pike, but it's the same principle. Just my .02

Take 'r easy wink.gif

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Geeze.

What DOESN'T target Bass this time of year?

I fish Crappies and if I am on a good Bass lake fishing shallow pattern Crappies, you bet I end up catching alot of Bass.

The saver is when I get into a school of Crappies, I catch way less Bass.

But while seeking...yeah...it can get outright rediculous.

I've caught more hogs on Crappie lures then when I am targeting Bass with "Bass Lures" in open season.

If I ever fish a Bass tourney early in the Bass season, I'm using a 1/16oz jig and a large Crappie Minnow and fishing all the classic Crappie haunts.

My ratio of Pike on a spinner bait to Bass is about 100:1. What I am doing different I don't know....But I don't get on the "spinnerbaits for bass only bandwagon".

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The one thing that I was told when I first ran into this problem a couple years ago was:

If what you're using is catching out of season fish, change your bait/lure. If that doesn't solve the problem, move to another location and try again.

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You think people will call TIP because they see you throwing a spinner bait for pike, try it a Ranger 520 for that matter try fisihng for anything in a Bass boat out of Bass season and see how many comments and dirty looks you get. It is a tough thing and I agree that Bass should opener should coincide with pike and walleye!! I just go to WI until MN opener they got it right!!

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Good point about the bass boat Pherris. I guess I'm not worried about it because I'll be using an open face out of a Lund Mr. Pike, not a smaller baitcaster with a 7' rod out of a bass boat.

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This post is not directed towards anyone in particular..

You guys need to get off the computer and go cast whatever lure you choose to catch a Northern.. and catch some fish.

The game warden is not going to ticket anyone for throwing a spinnerbait for pike. The spinnerbait is the go-to lure for many people targeting pike, especially on weedbeds.

You may encounter a problem if your hitting bass after bass, and fail to move(probably off spawning beds) to target your species in another location.

*How not to target Bass*... dont throw plastic worms, jig and pig, or any truely questionable bait across their spawning area.. if you start hitting bass, and not the species you are targeting .. MOVE.. let them spawn and fish elsewhere.

Too many people are just sitting staring at the regulation booklet and debating over what they may, or may not be able to get away with.. it is a pity.

Go fishing, abide the laws currently given to us, and USE COMMON SENSE. We will catch more on the water than on the computer.

I caught 14 walleyes, and 2 BASS last night, all in the same location.. was I targeting bass? NO, they just happen to frequent the same area the walleyes do... and I was not using a jig and pig to catch the walleyes.. In fact, I highly doubt it would have been effective, and I have no reason to find out... because I AM TARGETING SPECIES OF FISH IN SEASON WITH REASONABLE FISHING TECNIQUES FOR THAT SPECIES... It could have been similar results throwing a spinnerbait for a northern.. if the spinnerbait was not effective, and I was only catching bass, I would have CHANGED MY PRESENTATION AND LOCATION IF I COULD ONLY CATCH BASS.

Good Luck

Please use some common sense. Its less of a wonder why the laws become complicated.. everyone wants to debate everything .. even when something is not a questionable target for debate.

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Quote:

Its less of a wonder why the laws become complicated.. everyone wants to debate everything .. even when something is not a questionable target for debate.


This is what we do with weather like this! smile.gif

Thanks for all the talk.. great stuff.. I think many of us have learn a thing or two! I know I have.

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This is what WE do with weather like this?? I'm no part of *we*.

If anything, I would spend more time catching up on current, and especially new regulations when/if the weather is that bad.

I'm one step of shy of bowing out... I never want to become part of *we*.. if I need to be a *we*, I dont want to be here.... period.

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grin.gif Ok.. "I".. I was just making a humorous comment on this poopy weather we have been having. I didn't really mean to speak for anyone other than myself! In fact.. I only fish when it's dry and 70+ degrees out... I know many of you fish rain or shine, wind or calm, warm or cold... not me!

Again.. I think this thread is very good and very useful.

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None of this was supposed to be taken personal.

"We" will take a deep breath and move on...and I wish you the best of luck in your angling endevours.

Sounds like you had a productive night. 14 Walleyes in an outting has me pretty jealous.

Congrats!!!

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I gotta tell ya, I drove by Grays Bay at 1:00 today and here were some guys in a bass boat throwing spinners into the shallows along 101. In fact, one guy pulled up a bass as I drove by. The lure had a willow blade...you know...one of those spinner baits. Fishing for northerns you think? Probably cannot prove it, but my guess is some fellas pushing the envelope with the law. Or in my opinion, a lack of respect.

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i just got my issue of in-fisherman. "Pitchin' Plastics for Pike" The lures they show all seem to be bass jigs/pigs and such. What are we gonna do now...

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Seems simple to me...

fish for the northerns and walleye and if the occasional bass is caught just do your best to release it with as little stress as possible to the fish.

I am sure most DNR officers are aware of what techniques are used for each species of fish and that you may catch the occasional bass out of season while fishing for northern. I am sure there isn't anyone reading this that hasn't had it happen atleast once.

The DNR are reasonable people and most are fisherman themselves, they will know who is targeting bass and who has just happened to catch one while fishing for other species.

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