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bullyfish

Smallmouth Season Question?

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I have been reading the DNR Fishing regulations so that I am all up to speed before heading up (from Dallas) to Ely for some fun/fishing!

Question is...the regs say that for smallmouth (and largemouth too) the season is from 5/23/2009-2/28/2010. Later down the page it states for smallmouth (and largemouth) from 9/14/2009-2/28/2010 is catch and release.

So I am assuming that we can't keep any smallies caught after the 13th of September? Not that we usually eat smallies but..hey...if no walleys/northerns are caught...stranger things have happened :-)

The regs also state that it is unlawful to try and catch a fish that is out of season...So are we to not try to catch smallies? or is after the 13th until Feb ok to try and catch but not ok to keep?

Just want to make sure that we know (and understand) all the regs so that we are following the rules.

Also....are lead weights a no-no? I am planning on tossing my lead stuff out anyways...but I thought that I had heard that it was illegal?

Thanks!

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Smallies are illegal to keep from 9-14 till close of season, it is a protected season for them. Still legal to fish for just can not keep. Kinda confusing but protects the fish in the fall when they school. Largemouth are legal to keep that time of year though. Lead is still legal in Minnesota.

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Thanks Riverrat! Wouldn't it just makes sense to close the season in September? I do believe in catch and release...but if the idea is to protect the species, wouldn't it be safer for the fish to not target them at all during that time?

No worries...Hopefully the walleyes and notherns will cooperate for a couple fish dinners!

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The catch and release season was put into place a few years ago as a compromise to closing it entirely.

There were getting to be too many people figuring out the fall schooling patterns of the big fish and too many were being kept from small/concentrated areas.

Instead of cutting off everbody statewide from decent fishing, they just said: Don't keep em. smile

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I am in the minority but I will keep a bas or two every now and then. They are very tasty IMO. Especially in the early summer and in the winter.

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We have only kept one smallmouth...and that was because it was either that or have no fish for dinner. It actually tasted fine but was harder to fillet. We C&R all of our fish...with the exception of a few "eating" size walleye/northerns.

Looking forward to a couple great fish dinners, lots of pictures, and memories for a lifetime :-)

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bullyfish,

There's nothing wrong with keeping some bass to eat. I hardly ever do, myself, but have had both largemouth and smallmouth. I prefer the shield lake smallies.

I was a tournament angler for awhile and bought in to the "you should never kill a bass" mentality for many years. I don't believe in that so much anymore.

There are plenty out there and if you keep a few of the several hundred 12 inchers out there and let the bigger ones go, the population will be fine.

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I have heard from guys in the Spicer area, some walleye fishermen will kill evry smallie they catch no matter when.

I am looking for these guys just for T.I.Ps.

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What is the point of killing the smallies? To me they are a blast to catch...crazy fighters! Are these the same folks that kill the muskies because they "think" that they are eating all the walleye? Humph!

For "fun" I would rather catch some smallies or a northern..and Ok...and don't flame me for this...but I joke and say that catching a walleye is like reeling in a wet towel :-)

As far as eating...I personally like northern (again no flames) over a walleye ...but in a pinch will not turn my nose up at a bass.

Will be up in 30 days...not that I am counting!

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All walleye fight like a wet towel. smile J/K Some will put up a fight, but not even close to a smallie or largie - IMO.

Selective harvest is key for any fish species. That being said I release 99.9% of the time. I will take a couple eater size walleyes ice fishing and a stocked trout now and then, but that's it.

As my friend Rob would say - Eat a burger, save a bass. HA!

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My theory is, a strong bass population leads to a strong walleye population. I think that because smallies eat oodles upon oodles of crayfish. Walleyes lay their eggs before crayfish become very active, but they're still there to gobble up all the eggs they can get their claws on.

Personally I think walleye are the most overrated fish in minnesota. The only reason I like to catch one is because they're a nice surprise while I'm fishing for other species. I really like the fact so many people fish for 'eyes though, they are the reason I have all the bass fishin' to myself in grand marais and brainerd area lakes smile

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