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DEADhead

roughfish on clams *updated 9/24*

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Been fishing with a few clam patterns I developed, based on the small freshwater mussels present in the river I fish. The carp seem to love them, as well as some drum, quillback and redhorse. Here's some photos from the past couple outings.

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cop4lq7.jpg

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More photos and the full story posted on my blog.

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Cool pattern!! Carp and sheephead CRUNCH those mussels. Love the fly!

On a related note, please remember it is absolutely illegal to use actual mussels (or "clams") as bait, and it could get you nailed for a federal offense since Minnesota is home to a couple federally endangered ones.

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Nice fish man. It must be cool to catch them with the fly rod. You kind of like that one little spot there. I can always tell when you are fishing that one no matter what angle you take your pics at.

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On a related note, please remember it is absolutely illegal to use actual mussels (or "clams") as bait, and it could get you nailed for a federal offense since Minnesota is home to a couple federally endangered ones.

Really? I can't seem to find anything in the fishing regs on it. I do find where its legal to collect mussels (but not the ones on the federal list), but no where does it say anything about fishing with them.

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It is legal to collect dead shells if you have a fishing license. Can't collect live ones. It was in the regs last year, I dont have this years copy handy though

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Sorry for the debate, but I'm confused and need some help. MN Rules have it illegal to collect live mussels, but legal to use mussel meat for bait. How do you go about getting the meat? There are a few species of fish I've been wanting to chase using mussels.

Minnesota Administrative Rules (from the Statues, Laws, and Rules from the MN Office of the Revisor of Statutes) read:

6258.0900 SPECIAL RESTRICTIONS ON TAKING MUSSELS.

Subpart 1.

Restriction on returning processed mussels to the water.

Meats resulting from the processing of live whole mussels may not be returned to the water or deposited on a shoreline or adjacent land. The meat of mussels lawfully obtained may be used as bait for angling purposes.

.

Then you have this Rule:

6258.0100 SEASON FOR HARVESTING MUSSEL SHELLS FOR PERSONAL USE. Live mussels may not be harvested for personal use. During the open season, a person possessing a valid resident or nonresident angling license or a person exempt from licensing may take and possess at any time, for personal use only, not more than 24 whole shells or 48 shell halves of dead freshwater mussels. Mussel shells may be harvested in waters of the state where fish may be taken by angling. Mussel shells must be harvested by hand picking only and may not be purchased or sold.

So, I guess the question is how do you "lawfully obtain the meat"? Sounds like commercial harvesters with a permit can take mussels...do you have to buy from them? Maybe I've missed it sold in the bait stores. Maybe I'm reading too much into these rules, but I just want to fish and be legal. Seems more and more difficult. Anyone?

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sounds to me like you can't harvest the mussel meat yourself, but if your were to obtain it legally from a commercial vendor, it would be legal for use as bait.

It's possible that Rule 6258.0900 was written before 6258.0100, and it was legal to harvest live mussels at one point in time.

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I believe that in some areas there is/was legal commercial harvest (was a lot of it in the 80s and 90s), particularly on the Miss. R. They use the ground up shells as seeds for commercial pearl operations. Used to make buttons out of the shells back in the day). I think with the upswing of the conservation movement they restricted a lot if not all of that harvest and wrote the next rule, as DEADhead suggested.

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Thank you for the great post.

Last spring, on the Canon river I was catching carp that were setting on top of a clam bed. I now know why they were there. I though they were after the clams, now I know they were after the Clams.

I will be trying your patters as the water warms. What size hook should I use?

By the way. Just to let some of you know. you don't need a fly rod to fish with flys. A steelhead rod and a float or a drop shot rig with a fly are just two way to go about it.

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Muddog, I tie them up with a size 6 or size 8 mustad 34007 salt hook. I've tied them on 2457 scud hooks, but wanted something with a bigger hook gape. You could probably tie them on glo-bug or eggs too.

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I often caught channel catfish on the St Croix who were eating whole clams. They digested the insides and pass the shell. Many times I helped a cat by pulling the lodged shell out of the vent. Hans

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Thank you.

It looks like we will be having a Carp fishing get-together on Volney in Aug 09. We are hoping for the summer peak in water temp. Try to make it. Check the South Central forum for more info.

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