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Seasonal ethics?


Blackstarluver

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Just wondering your opinion on using bass lures berofe may 31. I am a strict C&R bass angler and during pike/eye opener will use topwaters and spinnerbaits for pike but I have ended up catching some of the best bass of the year. Would it be unethical to throw worms/jigs for bass if a person were practicing C&R?
A Garage logic "Good luck" to all!
JC

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Catch and release or not, it is illegal to fish for bass when it is not bass season. If you get caught by a CO you will be fined at a minimum. In my opinion it is highly unethical to do this. Good luck pike fishing.

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Ditto here.
The closed season is to give the spawn a good shot. I'll probably get a big bass or two on my pike rigs Saturday - I hope they co-operate and come in quick so I can get 'em back to their business. Only thing I'm worried about is that bass like to suction-feed from the tail, and I'll be using quick-strike rigs. Hmm. We'll see.

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Aquaman
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Peace and Fishes

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I agree with the above posts. I think it's fine to catch a bass on accident before the opener, but targeting them is a different thing. Plenty of fish to catch during the season

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Okay. I understand the ethical point. I even agree. Now my question is; why do other states have no closed season for bass? Is the reproductive cycle here up north under greater stress?
Thanks!
Good luck!
JC

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When fishing for pike before the bass season, I'll throw spinnerbaits, crankbaits, etc because those are my favorite pike lures, but I won't throw worms, jigs, etc. If bass are caught on my pike lures, thats fine with me, but I won't target them. I caught about 8 bass yesterday fishing for gills on red rock, but i caught dozens of gills, so it was boviously acciedental.

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No need to use the jigs or worms. Catch all the bass you can on panfish plastics, crankbaits, topwaters, and spinnerbaits once the "walleye/pike openner" is open. Just be trying to catch pike or panfish just as much. The notion of the closed season protecting the spawn is bunk and once pike season opens any notion of the enforcability for targeting bass out of season is bunk as well. A CO could issue a citation but it would never hold up in court, so they don't even bother.

If you are targeting legal species than there is nothing unethical about catching all the bass you can with C&R. Say what you want but on May 10 the line between an incidental catch of bass and non-incidental catch of bass becomes non-existant. You might as well enjoy catching them.

Case in point: Last weekend I was in WI trying to get bass and got more pike for the second year in a row.

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PS- I didn't get a single bass on a drop shotted tube but got three pike that way and my buddy had two Manns Baby Minus One's cut off by pike. Go figure.

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I would have to agree with the basspastor on this issue. I don't see any harm in enjoying a day on the lake catching pike and bass. With C&R the fish aren't hurt and the reproductive cycle can't be disrupted too much.

I was wondering what percent of the bass in the area lakes are from natural reproduction vs stocking...I don't know. I have heard that most lakes south of St Cloud have virtually no natural reproduction for walleyes is this true or similar to bass?

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Not to create a stir, but I think I remember Basspastor and Clayton having this debate last year. My approach has been to fish for what is biting when the season is open. When seasons are closed, fish for the species that do have an open season, and learn to become a better skilled angler by learning and mastering how to catch more types of fish. You learn to be a more skilled angler and feel good about mastering the skills to catch more types of fish. Then, when all of the seasons are open, fish for what you enjoy fishing for, or as I do, fish for what is biting.

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I usually try to stay out of this debate, however I got a cold and am grumpy so I am going to weigh in! THIS IS MY OPINION AND ITS JUST THAT AN OPINION~~~

I think about all the $$$ going to the state of Wisconsin, from MN bass tournament anglers. Hotel, Gas, licence fee's to help their tax and buisnesses. I realize that they open season later to help the spawn, however the state of MN is one of only about a doz that have a closed season on bass. I really dont think that Wisconsins bass populations are that much worse off than MN. So why not open the bass season the same time as walleye and pike, the same as wisconsin. Think of the extra $$ put into MN that we would not be spending in Wisconsin for that month that their season is open while we are closed. Usually there is only a week from the time that WI opens till MN opens walleye and pike. I highly doubt clubs would have tournaments in WI if they only had to wait another week.

With this all being said, I am all about following the rules. I dont think its a great idea to say you are targeting pike if throwing you lure in areas you know bass to be. The rules are there for all. Weather they are good rules or not they are rules. Expecially if you are a parent, set the example to our youth that its not all right to target a species that is not yet in season.

Ok... ~stepping off the soap box~

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I've had this debate with many people over the last two years and I think I have been winning it because within the law, common sense angling, and a conservation ethic you can enjoy catching bass without "targeting" them specifically. All you have to do is target the legal species in places and with lures that both they and bass enjoy.

The overlap is inevitable and to say otherwise is nonsense. I am not going to throw a drop shot for pike, but you can catch them that way. I am going to try a drop shot on Mille Lacs tonight for eyes and have been experiementing with doing it for panfish this spring. At this time of year all the fish are either on the flats or shallow.

My message is there is no need to cheat (throw jigs and worms) because you can fish for panfish or pike and catch many bass as well. I am being realistic.

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As far as I know the DNR doesn't stock bass very often; usually only after winter kills and on metro kids ponds. Bass are hardy reproducers and can spawn successfully in a wide range of environments.

Personally I wish the DNR would stock smallies in almost every decent sized lake in the state.

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Basspastor, you got that right, that you can catch alot of bass just by throwing pike and sunfish lures.
I was out this weekend casting crankbaits and spinnerbaits for some pike. I caught almost just as many bass as I did pike. I think it is fine to throw lures that attract pike but just not lures that attract bass only; like plastics and jigs.
Have fun on the water.

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AKA fishstunner

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Basspastor,

You have been trying to rationalize your illegal fishing here for over a year. Your ethics as an angler are severely lacking. The fact is, no matter if you think it is right or wrong, what you do is illegal.

You do what you feel is right, and so will I. If I see you targeting bass in the offseason, I will sign the complaint. And yes, it can be proven in court. If you think the CO's don't write it up, your wrong. I have seen it. They aren't as dumb as you seem to think they are.

Get over yourself. If I recall, you aren't a fisheries biologist, nor do you work in the conservation field. Please let us know your credentials since you are so knowledgable. I certainly don't have the credentials, so I leave it to the people that do.

But let's take a look at Texas as a good example. 18.18 state record. Anywhere from 5-15 13+ lbers turned in to the Share A Lunker program every year. Year round open season. Doesn't hurt their fish, right?

WRONG! Yes, they have big size. That is due to the planting of Florida Strain years back, and a longer growing season. They also stock every year. That is the reason for Share A Lunker. They also have times where the fish spawn twice a year. But if you go down there looking for numbers, forget it. I have fished down there, and I would rather fish MN anytime. The time and money to go down there and catch less than 10 fish between 30 people, including locals, just doesn't seem to me to be a healthy fishery. A really good day to them is 10 fish. Anyone that tells you otherwise is really lucky, or lying. Maybe a day here and there, but not on average.

Minnesota has to try to protect the spawn since the growing season is MUCH shorter here. I say try, because political pressure has it set in May, rather than later, like in Canada. They don't open bass until June to protect the spawn.

How many times have you had 30+ fish days? Quite a few, I would bet. That is a direct result of the management that Minnesota has done. Is it perfect? No. Is it better than other states? Yes.

If you don't like the laws the way they are written, work to change them. Breaking the law won't get it done. All that does is make you another criminal on the water.

You are poor representative of ethical angling, and I hate being lumped into the same group as you. You think you are winning people over with your lame rationalizing? You are only fooling yourself. I would bet that most here just think you are another poacher, and would roll over on you in a heartbeat. So don't flatter yourself.

Glenn

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If you want to fish early go to the river is right. Most of the time the fishing is better there anyway. Five pound largemouth or Smallmouth just waiting for a jig or crank. Fishing the river is a great way to expand your knowledge as well.

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I was just wondering, based on previous posts, if those ethical fisherfolk postpone their own bass fishing season when the weather is coooold long into may and the spawn happens just after bass opener? Seems like I opend a rock throwing fight in the crystal palace.
JC
ps I have read for the last 10-15 years in the newspaper and in fishing mags that the reason MN has a closed season for gamefish is purely due to "Tradition" as in.... It is hare to have an "Opener" without a closed season.

[This message has been edited by Blackstarluver (edited 05-12-2003).]

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I don't know about the rest of you but i have zero time to go out and catch a meal because i am always on the water prefishing or in a tourny. And this this was my first year in a long time i had a chance to go out and get a meal. Well the eyes were not bitting and gators always seem to bite so i went after them with a spinnerbait. I will tell you that cold water gators are excellent if you know how to fillet them and you can't tell the difference between eyes and gators now the summer is a different story because they get soggy. Well i caught a few bass and an old man came screaming down and started to chew me out saying he called the dnr well he failed to look into my livewell and he was not at the dinner table the nite before when we had fresh gator. My question is i never seen the dnr so i could not prove my case so can i still get in trouble?

P.S. fresh gator again tonight!!

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"You have been trying to rationalize your illegal fishing here for over a year. Your ethics as an angler are severely lacking. The fact is, no matter if you think it is right or wrong, what you do is illegal.

You do what you feel is right, and so will I. If I see you targeting bass in the offseason, I will sign the complaint. And yes, it can be proven in court. If you think the CO's don't write it up, your wrong. I have seen it. They aren't as dumb as you seem to think they are."

Wow. If what I advocate is illegal than it is basically unethical and borderline illegal to throw any lure or live bait in any water that contains a bass before the bass season opens. You obviously don't understand the points that I make. The concept of "targeting" is clumsy, bad law, not based on conservation and you as a fisherman should know this is the case.

Yesterday I was fishing off the public access dock at Rock Lake throwing a crankbait. Rock is a good bass lake. Was I fishing for bass? What I know is that I got 4 pike and 0 bass. If I had gotten 4 bass and 0 pike would I then have been breaking the law? Does the fact that I would not have minded one bit if it was instead 4 bass and 0 pike make me unethical and my fishing in violation of the law? You may think so, but I do not and find the suggestion of such to be ridiculous.

Those 4 pike are back swimming in Rock lake and had they been bass instead, the bass would now be swimming in Rock lake. I have no problem with a closed season, but to prohibit catch and release fishing with artificial lures makes no sense and really can't be done. You know it and I know it.

The analogy to Texas doesn't hold, WI would make for a better analogy as that they open bass 3 weeks before MN. (Keep in mind open means you can keep the fish). The bass fishing in WI is every bit as good as the fishing in MN if not better. Their state record is bigger than ours and I would be willing to bet more bass over 6lb's are caught in WI than MN in a season. As a percentage of days fished in my experience a 30 fish plus day is more than twice as likely to occur in WI than in MN. In terms of numbers of bass the second best day on the water I have ever had was in WI. The best day was in MN but that was on a day in April, obviously before they were open. (I did in fact go out with the intention of catching crappies on Sylvia/Twin that day but all I got bass after bass after bass more than 100 over 12" in about 4 hours. On Sylvia/Twin the only way to not be fishing for bass is to not fish.)

Glenn did you know that a few years ago the MN DNR had it on the table to open bass to C&R on the "openner"? The reason they didn't do it was lack of interest, namly if tournament guys couldn't put it in the livewell than what was the point. They were willing to wait! And so the measure died not because of bass biology but because of apathy and indifference.

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"Well i caught a few bass and an old man came screaming down and started to chew me out saying he called the dnr"

This came on when I was posting. Guess what? It is the "old man" who should be charged with angler harrassment and be fined about $500, not the person out fishing for what will bite and minding their own business. I have been on the other end of this kind of talk and that is why I am so outspoken. The dude who chewed me out had no right, as that I was legally fishing for and even "targeting" pike. If you think somebody is doing something wrong call TIP and shut up! because we don't want to hear it as that it is you who are in the wrong!

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I agree with Basspastor. Don't want to break the law don't fish in bass infested waters! So now I am going out to try a new Pike spinnerbait. I got the form from JB lures and added 3 french blades to it. I need to tie a bucktail to it but that will have to wait til I can access some materials. So I will fish this bait w/pork-o trailer. If I catch pike great, if I catch bass, back they go. On my way! ciao
JC

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Sorry to hear about your mis-fortune with the older fella. I think pike are better eating than walleye if de-boned.

Personaly I really dont care if people catch bass just as long as they go back in the lake and not the live well.

It's good that the season is closed cause bass are fairly easy to catch when there in pre-spawn. 50 degrees to about 58 right befor spawn. I just wouldn't want to see people loading the livewells with big pigs.

Else I wish we had a open season. Good topic

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I have a question,up here in the Duluth area the bass season opens the same day as the opening of fishing,as long as you fish to the east of HWY 53,if a guy is fishing bass in a legal zone such as I just listed,does that make him a law breaker in the essance that the fish probably can't tell if they are east or west of the boundry,or do the fish on the east side spawn sooner? In my opinion this brings up a whole new debate. We went bass fishing in the lagal zone and we did catch fish,but they were all released like usuall,that is they way we fish them totaly C & R. I guess i think of them as more of a sport fish than a meal, you would'nt eat a 40" muskie would you? This is just a thought,maybe I'm missing the point,if I am let me know. We also caught a 5 and a 15 lb northern while fishing and they were both released. I pesonally release a heck of alot more fish than I have ever kept,last year I caught a 31.5" walleye and released it also, still kind sick about that one,would have looked nice on the wall but probably looks as good still swimming in the river. GOOD LUCK TO ALL!!!!

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Buy a trailer,help support my fishing habit! [email protected]

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Hey smallie, what's it looking like for bass opener up in the alexandria area? What are the water temps at currently? I checked the forecast for this coming week and it sounds pretty warm and stable, highs in the low seventies. If this forecast holds true, what would you predict for the mode that most of the bass will be in by opener, prespawn, spawn, postspawn.

thanks

kt

[This message has been edited by kt (edited 05-12-2003).]

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