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I am amazed and annoyed at the number of anglers I've seen in the past week who are clearly targeting bass. Working weedlines, shoreline, islands, and points under electric motor power, tossing spinnerbaits or plastics, is NOT legal fishing.

Sure, pike are caught this way, but let's get real. These guys are bass fishing.

Don't suggest calling TIP, 'cause it doesn't work. "Can you prove they're fishing for bass?"

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You fish clearwater a lot, don't you? I was out there today and found a boat load of 18 year olds in a great big ranger throwing spinner baits and skirted jigs. I said " whens bass opener start", In a sarcastic tone. They replied back, "Get F***ed" And then I went back to my business. I wonder if you saw these guys too. Their presence was irritating. Taking daddy's boat for some illegal fishing.

[This message has been edited by D-man (edited 05-19-2002).]

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It took me a lot of years, but I've finally learned to bite my tongue (most of the time). Confrontations with these clowns are rarely productive. More often than not, they think YOU are the one out of line, not themselves -- even tho it is clearly indicated in the regs that you cannot target fish that are not in season.

I wish I knew how we could stop this. Bass are presently on the beds and should be left alone. I see it daily -- one of the few "disadvantages" of living on the lake.

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Bigguns3, I got to give you some credit for keeping your cool. I think I would of waited at the landing for those little punks to come in and then see what they had to say.
I bet a person walks funny with a oar stuck up his $&%#-hole. See ya out there, Black ranger, old starcraft is my rig. How are the eye's bitin?

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Are you now suggesting you are available for psychological counsel? It's amazing the diagnostic acumen you possess from so little evidence as a couple forum posts. My, it must be wonderful to be so correct, so insightful.

Check the open water forum for a different reply.

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OH now now boys, maybe we should take his idea into the perspective of walleye opener. I wonder what people would think seeing someone pulling lindy rigs claiming to be fishing for crappies. I mean c'mon, It doesn't hurt the walleyes. tongue.gif

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For what it's worth, I'll agree with Clayton on this one. Reg's are reg's no matter what you think(or know) the bass are really "doing." In the long run, it all boils down to ethics. I misread some reg's in April before I went out, but when I got home and double checked I found out I didn't know the rules as well as I should have. If a CO would have talked to me that day I couldn't have pleaded ignorance, but what would have happened? Who knows, maybe a CO will have a "Come to Jesus" meeting with the pastor.

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Fellow Fishers,

Let me begin by saying that I find reprehensible the action of targeting out-of-season bedding bass in the shallows. Anyone doing so who can afford a thirty thousand dollar boat, and the vehicle needed to tow it, is a world class creep, and is hardly one of our brothers. Also, like everyone posting to this string, I have never knowingly violated a fishing law--and, NO, I'm not playing "dumb" either.

Still, fishing is not an exact science, and the following personal scenarios illustrate how troubling and confusing I find the issue of fishing "seasons".

On Sunday of opening weekend I was on 'Tonka in two of my long established crappie spots. Using 4lb test, size#8 light wire aberdeen hooks, and some very small minnows, I caught zero crappies, but I did catch 13 largemouths up to 4lbs. All were lip hooked, and all were released without being removed from the water.

Yesterday evening I was, again, on 'Tonka this time fishing for pike. Using 9 inch sluggos, and size 13 husky jerks in the cabbage of a large bay, I caught zero pike, but I did catch several bass and three small muskies. All were quickly played and released with a flick of the pliers.

The question is: If I am truly a sportsman, how do I avoid catching/harassing fish out of season? Taken further, should I not fish at all until all species in the lake are fair game?

Personally, I'm sure that in both cases I was targeting only legal fish. I'm also sure that I harmed no fish. But these troubling questions remain.

The Minnesota DNR adopts policies based on what they believe to be sound biological research. And I believe they have the best interests of all in mind while doing so. However, one can always find contrary research, and thoughful opposing arguments.
In any body of water, not all members of a given species spawn at the same time, and fish, of course, have no idea what a calendar is. In both cases there's no certainty that the bass I caught came off beds--in fact, they were all taken from water deeper than nine feet, and on the deep edge of the first weedline--hardly typical nesting areas. But, I'll admit here and now that I'll never KNOW with certainty that I wasn't harming the species. So, is the only way to be certain to not fish at all? If taking "spawning" fish is so detrimental, why don't these species suffer in states where there are no closed seasons?

As I say, I have no answers, but I await your thoughts.

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Sorry to throw cold water on ya'lls self righteous smugness about the "law being the law." Even if it is a dumb law? I refer you all to my entry under the open water forum: bass fishing. Let me regurgitate one thing from that post. I am very familiar with Syvia/Twin and the vast majority of bass on this lake usually do not spawn until the month of June well after the season has openned. You usually don't see the bass guarding fry until the second week of June. Yet this lake seems to suffer not even with it's late blooming ways. I am not advocating breaking the law, but I am saying that this particular facet of the Mn regs really does nothing to protect the fishery. I had a lot more to say in that other post. You need to get your undies out of a bunch and your eyes on the bigger picture in that your attitude is bad for you and if you express it is grating on someone else. The bass could care less, all they want is a kiss on the forehead and a quick release. I know because I've asked them wink.gif

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As I wrote elsewhere, a return to the "off limits" practice previously used by the MDNR would help. At least posted water would keep incidental catch of out-of-season bass to a minimum.

Sure, bass roam the lakes. There's no posting practice that would change that. But, who among us with fairly intimate knowledge of specific bodies of water does not know where you are likely to catch bass?

In Wisconsin the concern is for muskies. I find it particularly interesting that so many Wis muskie lakes are void of northern pike, yet early muskie hunters will swear they are targeting pike.

Minnesota muskie waters tend to be larger (Leech, Winnie, Mille Lacs, Cass, etc.) and can accommodate both muskies and pike, but you'll see guys jumping the gun on muskies in Minn, too.

Minnesota bass have as much right to be protected as any other species. With a later open season, simply post "bassy" areas of the lakes to keep anglers out. Of course, there needs to be enforcement -- something increasingly problematic with budget cutting and zero-sum mentality in the State Capitol.

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I also agree that fishing for bass out of season is wrong, but just because someone is fishing in a manner that looks like they are fishing for bass, the fact is that these techniques are deadly for pike as well. Buzzbaits, Plastics, Jig-n-Pigs, Spinnerbaits and other so-called bass lures are a great way to catch pike this time of the year. As chief said, he was using a sluggo...a traditional bass lure...but darn good pike lure as well.
I can see getting upset if they were obviosly sight fishing beds, pitching jigs and lures right into the shallows, but motoring along, blindly casting the weedline is another story. An angler cannot be held responsible if a bass decides to hit a bait that was intended for a pike.
I have been approached many times by those who think I am targeting bass out of season when in fact I was fishing for pike. In one instance, we amazingly found that walleye were hitting on spinnerbaits casted into a channel as we worked it for pike. This guy started yelling at us that he was going to call the CO because in his eyes we were fishing for bass. you should have seen his face as I lifted 2 nice walleye from the livewell and stated "Do these look like bass to you?" Needless to say he was down there casting spinnerbaits right along side us within minutes.

------------------
>"////=<
Gull Guide Service
fishingminnesota.com/gullguide
Brainerd-Mille Lacs-Willmar
Bemidji-Ottertail

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In the very first post that started all of this I did say that spinnerbaits and other "bass" lures DO catch northerns. Hell, in a lot of water a table spoon rigged with hooks will catch northerns.

What bothers me on Clearwater (and elsewhere) is the legion of "anglers" I see and hear who are specifically targeting OUT OF SEASON bass. I don't know how I could have made that more clear.

Yes, last summer I took a 7 lb walleye (among other non-bass) on a spinnerbait while fishing FOR bass. That simple fact does not refute what I tried to convey earlier. Frankly, I get sick and tired of rationalizations for breaking the law. That goes for the posted No Wake zones as well -- where oblivious boaters cruise along at half trottle and above.

Until we, as anglers, learn how to fully police ourselves, we're going to continue having image problems among the broader community. Slob anglers are no better than slob hunters, ATVers, SnoMobilers, etc.

If the DNR believes all species should open and close at the same time, then we have no problem. With different open-closed dates, we have a clear obligation to be cognizant of our actions.

I've written enough on this one. Go catch a legal bass next week.

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Little evidence? Sylvia Twin is a concrete case study. This year go and see for yourself how many fish are on the beds in early June. Then intentionally catch a male and immediatly release. In the clear water you will see that nothing invades the nest in the major spawning grounds. A sunfish there would be the eaten not the eater.

Here is some more facts: every body of water is different and all the bass do not spawn at the same time in any decent sized lake.

There is no biological or conservational reason as to why prespawn bass should be protected. The fact is that MN regs prevent Mn bass fisherman from taking part in the best bite of the year without a biolobical basis. A warm string of days in April on a spawning flat will outproduce anything that happens closer to the spawn.

Bass that are actually "spawning" are somewhat difficult to catch as that they have other things on there mind. If you read anything about bass tournament fishing you will discover that many a tournament fisherman has wasted to much of the day trying to catch a big old female on a bed that simply would not snap.

Females, which is what bass fisherman prefer to catch, DO NOT GUARD NESTS!

My position is that the law is a bad law. It's indescriminate (Sylvia/Twin late spawn or what about this year w/ cold water temps certainly holding peak spawn off until opener or later) and unenforceable.

On this issue all the evidence and ammunition is on my side. The law is bad and you should advocate for it's repeal not it's impossible enforcement and continuity.

PS. To Clayton, now that Clearwater is milfoil infested, that lakes bass are in no need of protection. They will be more prolific than ever. As the two tournements I fished there with winning 20plus pound 5 bass stringers would indicate. Maybe that is why the old posted no fishing in the spawning grounds signs were lifted. Or maybe those signs really didn't do much to protect the fish in the first place.

I am right on this, come over to the light side. Come one come all.

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One last thing:

I will be openning the bass season on Sylvia/Twin in the hope that these fish will still be early pre-spawn and hyper aggressive. I may end up on Clearwater later that same evening and I will fish the spawning area's and it's all legal baby.

If this offends you, I am sorry. But I do not believe it hurts the fishery and thereby is not unethical.

I'll be the guy in an old alumicraft 14ft with all the rods sticking out.

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Actually Clayton I hardly understand. I am so absolutely 100% right on this issue it's unbelievable. You think that's arrogance. Whatever! I think your outrage is outrageously mindless and unwarrented. My attack is not on you but a stupid law. The fact that you think it's a good law does not make you stupid. It makes you wrong. Maybe you are like Fonzie and can never say the words "I'm wrrrrrrrr". Wait, I guess I was wrong maybe I do understand.

Personally, you don't come off as the kind of person I like to fish with anyway. You think your head is bigger than mine. One boat hardly holds my ego let alone another.

Now for a low blow but I can't resist. Hopefully when I'm fishing your dock the jerk I get won't be you.
(Lord forgive these evil thoughts and I ask your forgiveness too Clayton, but that line is kind of funny in a mean spirited sort of way.)

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I think ********* needs to make some friends
(ABSOLUTELY NO personal attacks are allowed on this site...just a friendly reminder GG)

[This message has been edited by GullGuide (edited 06-03-2002).]

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In the most recent issue of Outdoor News, there is a Letter to the Editor that reminded me of this post.

Whether you belive it to be right or wrong, harmless or harmful, it does hurt the sport and sets a bad example.

Sorry to rehash this,
<;))))><

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Thank you Johnny B, that's the heart of what I was trying to say. I do not believe in making rationalizations to support breaking the law -- and I never once said I thought the law appropriate (I'll leave that to the DNR).

Anglers and hunters catch all sorts of flack anyway, there's no need for us to fan the flames. I have non-fishing neighbors who see the lake abused by anglers and they lump all together -- not an unusual phenomenon.

My principal critic on this one seems to put closed seasons on a par with women's suffrage and racial segregation. If the season is closed, let's respect that condition. When muskies are still closed in Wisconsin, leave them alone. When bass are still closed in Minnesota, leave them alone.
Futile claims about not hurting the resource fall flat. Again, I can try to fish in Minnesota with two or three lines, stay within the bag limit, and then argue I am not hurting the resource. But, I would be breaking the law.

Why is a closed season so hard to comprehend?

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