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Four years ago I retired and bought a house on West Rush. My grandchildren come up to visit for weeks at a time. I am some what disabled so I am limited to dock fishing with my grandchildren. The first three years, we used to catch 3-4 bass per day. Last year we were lucky to catch 2 fish per week after the wednesday Bass Tournament started. Correct me If I am wrong, but aren't the fish brought back to CJ's weighed and released at CJ's?? I practice nothing but catch and release and I am glad the tournament uses this method. What I am wondering is how the Rush lake Assoc. can sanction a tournament that catches all of the prime bass in the lake and moves them away from thier home and breeding grounds and releases them 2-3 mile away from where they live? Thank you for your time.

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pmcrawler

That is true that we take fish from the natural breeding grounds or from where they like it. But I know a person who fished a tournament on a larger body of water, cant think of the name off the top of my head but they caught bass and took them to the weigh in spot and let them go. They tagged the fish and took logs of the fish and where they caught them and a week later they had another tournament and they caught the same fish in the same spot that was a couple of miles away. So I think that the fish can find there way back to where they came from. And remember that there is a reason that they where there in the first place, Because it was perfect for them. So I think that the fish go back to where the were caught. Some people also take there fish back to where they caught them. Some other people try fishing by the docks by CJs and do not catch and fish.So that is why I think that they go back to there homes.

dad-n-eye

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pmcrawler,

You are not alone in your thoughts. That being said, Dad-N-Eye's point is one worth repeating (although I won't here). My point is this: With the bass getting targeted hard one, two and maybe three days a week, they do become numb to certain lures and presentations. I would advise trying some new and different techniques around your dock. Hope this helps.

------------------
God bless,
Judd Yaeger
Yaeger Guides (Twin Cities Guides) www.yaegerweb.com/guide

[This message has been edited by Yaeger Guide (edited 04-09-2004).]

[This message has been edited by Yaeger Guide (edited 04-09-2004).]

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I second both of these opinions. I've also read stuff about them going many miles back to there roming grounds.

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That's amazing. These fish actually come back to where they were caught. Maybe they will come back to my dock this year. I guess my main question is "How is the bass tournament improving Rush Lake since it is sponsered by the Rush Lake IMPROVEMENT Assoc?" Just my humble opinion but I would think that the increased boat traffic and the increased pressure on one species would not be an improvement for Rush lake. Just my 2 cents worth.

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First of all welcome to Fishing Minnesota.com PM Crawler!
The Rush Lake Improvement Association is in no way involved with the Wednesday Night Bass leauge. As a group The Wednesday night bass league contributed alot of money to the Lake Association, but we are not tied to them directly.

As far as what does the bass league do for Rush Lake? Well for starters, last year 40% of the fees went to the Rush Lake Improvement Association. Those dollars are being ear marked specifically to improve Rush Lake. The project that we are doing this year is a a couple of Bull Rush beds on East Rush Lake. These will do nothing but improve the the quality bass fishing in both East and West Rush Lake. These bull rush beds serve several other purposes as well, 1. They help to filter nutrients from the lake.
2. They help to cut down erosion by breaking down the wave action.
3. They provide nursery habitat for for small and young of the year fish.
4. They provide valuable spawning areas for numerous different fish species.

And the list goes on.

What IS unique to this league is the dedication of the anglers to give back to the lake, to try and make it better in the future. I know of no other tournament that gives this much back to the lake.

What is another AWESOME unique feature of this league is the amount of kids fishing it! We have a couple of father/son teams, we have just kids teams, and numerous husband and wife teams.

This league is perfectly legal to have, and, the whole tournament debate has been studied and researched numerous times, and found to have little affect on the lakes. We have MUCH bigger issues with our lakes than this, and I would love to have the opportunity to meet with you if you would like to get involved more with improving Rush Lakes.

We are having a meeting this Tuesday at CJ's on West Rush Lake at 7 PM. (April 13) I personally invite you to this meeting as we will be discussing numeraous things about this years schedule.
Some of the things we have open for discussion are to maybe rotate lakes and fish other lakes in the area.

I hope this helps to answer some of your questions, if you would like to discuss this further with me I would be happy to oblige.

Cory Frantzick
[email protected]

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Hi pmcrawler, Believe it or not my 13 year old son wrote the first reply. He is the "eye" in dad-n-eye. we fished as a father son team last summer and we both learned more about bass fishing than I ever imagined. Everyone was willing to share and help out in any way possible. The group as a whole learned as well. If you would be interested in fishing with our group this summer I know arrangements could be made to have you picked up at your dock...no problem. You could learn some tricks to teach the grandkids! If possible come Tuesday evening and meet us all. Sincerely, Dean

[This message has been edited by DAD-N-EYE (edited 04-10-2004).]

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I participated in the tournament mentioned where the fish were tracked. It was held on Lake Minnetonka about 10 years ago. There were 100 teams invited to this tournament, and it was held 2 weeks before the bass opener, and was run by the DNR. Every team was given special maps and tags to put on any fish caught over 3 pounds, and trust me, there were hundreds. This tournament was held during full spawning time for the bass, and they were literally "slayed".
Following the tournament, ALL the tagged fish were held in a netted off area for several days to monitor mortality. In addition, radio transmitters were placed in somewhere around 300 fish. The study showed 50% of the fish returning to their original area within 3 months of being caught (some as quick as 3 days) which is quite a feat on a body of water as large as Minnetonka. Another 25% returned to the general area of being caught within 1 year, and about 25% decided to take up residence in new locations (maybe just better spots than where they lived before?). Also, over 98% of the fish lived, that is, after the quarantine period, less than 2 % suffered from post tournament mortallity.

As far as Rush Lake goes, I would say given an average, an equal number of tournaments are staged in both East and West. Most club and "money" tournaments are held at the East Rush access, since it provides easier access from the freeway. The Wed. league and a few others are held either at CCJs or the West access. The fish are no doubt relocated at times, and I agree that in some cases may seem harder to catch following tournament pressure, but I assure you the fish population is not being harmed. I guess it's up to us to outsmart them once they wise up. Generally speaking, any "hot spot" becomes worn out after time, as I'm sure everyone has seen. Like was mentioned above, new presentations or locations may provide better results.

Cory also makes several good points, as I have participated in hundreds of tournaments over the years and have never seen a circuit as family oriented as the Wed. league, which as he stated involves several couples, kids, and grandpa grandson teams. And as he pointed out, much of the entry fee money is placed in a fund for lake improvement. I wonder how many others that live on the lake or in the area contribute money to the lake improvement association? I am with those that invite anyone curious about it out to see one once.

Mark

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PM Crawler, I feel your pain. I think of all the hots spots of days gone by, that are now no more. I am sure Rush Lake is not unique. There are 6 major tourneyments on Rush Lake this year. There will be lots of traffic. As far as the Wed. night league, we can not use live bait, that would be an option that the fish are not used to I think. A live frog on a weedless hook off the dock, cast into the weeds and hold on! Crawler off the bottom also, might get ya a walleye.

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That is true that hot spots have gone by and that fish are changing there cycle because us fisherman are becoming better fisherman and the tackle has gotten so much better. And as you said Littleranger live bait might work good. It is not so much that the league is taking fish it is that the fish are getting smart to the baits that we use. For example when my dad and I fish at the beginning of the bass season we like to use spinner baits and buzzbaits but as the year goes on those baits start to die and other baits get better. The reason is the fish get smart to the baits that we use and will not hit. So when this starts to happen we use different baits(jigs, worms, etc.). So as I was saying the fish are still there its just getting them to bite. What works good as the year goes on is try to get a reaction bite. So if your spots are not working as good as they did, try using different baits and you might have better luck.

Goog luck
--------------------------------------------
And remember recycle your fish and they will grow on you!

Tracey

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pmcrawler, I fish in a 12 boat league that fishes Rush twice a year and we have never had less than a 10 fish day. Like the others say we have to change locations, and spots that were hot one day are dead the next time. Fish move, they dont stay in the same area day after day. Changing presentations is key. Also we weigh in on the west landing so there are as many fish goin from the east to the west side as there are fish going from the west to the east. It just isnt an issue about moving the fish ,they find their way home. And the fact is that the catch and release guys are not the ones to worry about,it is the catch and eat a stringer of 3 pounders guys that I would worry about. I do have to say that I get a little tired of people blaming tournaments everytime they cant catch fish, the tournament fisherman remove no fish from the lake and are the staunchest believers in conservation. my $.02

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