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Rick

Smallies on Ice - NEW

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Here is a short video of a few crabby smallies caught and if you pay close attention you will see the 1st one I missed.

WARNING: Not all misses or fish caught are shown in this video.

Can you guess where they were caught just this past Saturday, December 27th!!!

Those 18" BRUISERS ARE STILL SWIMMING WAITING FOR YOU TO COME TRY YOUR HAND.

Cheq Smallies - IceLeaders.com: 56K Modem - CLICK HERE

256k High Speed - CLICK HERE

Recommend that you Right Click on the 256k link and "Save Target As" to download to your PC. Then play it right off your PC. The 256k is a bigger picture with better sound.

Let us know what you think?

IceLeaders.com

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Very cool video smile.gif I've enjoyed all of the video's, but I'd have to say I liked this one the best. I'll definitely have to try that sometime...

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Rick,

There has been alot of press lately about the damage we can do if we target smallies in the winter. Because of their peculiar spawning and homing habits, aren't we supposed to leave them alone?

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As long as it's catch and release, I don't know why we shouldn't fish for them at the location we were at. It sure was a lot of fun and I know of no compelling reason to give up fishing for them.
Maybe you or other experts can convince us otherwise?

All fish have peculiar habits.
Many of those habits make them vunerable.
That's why we can ice fish for them. What makes a smallie different from the rest?

If we are causing smallies to decline more than any other fish we ice fish for, we definitely want to know and we want to know why and we want to know if it applies to all fisheries.

If you put a publication down it tells us nothing other than the publication, which by itself tells us nothing. So please fill us all in.

Educate us here on why we shouldn't ice fish for Smallies.

We certainly do not want to damage our fisheries and we may want to press for laws that protect overly vunerable fish.

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Yes, of course. There has been much discussion of the smallmouth bass fishery in the IN-FISHERMAN magazine lately about the risks of taking wintering Smallmouth Bass. I will attempt to pull this information up so that we can all look at it objectively.

As we all know, the smallmouth bass season had been changed a few years ago in Minnesota to protect wintering bass from over harvesting. The following is on the Minnesota DNR HSOforum.

"Fishing Pressure---

Smallmouth can be easily "overfished" for several reasons:

Even in good smallmouth waters, smallmouth are not terribly abundant. They are never as numerous as trout are in a good trout stream, for example.
Many smallmouth waters, such as modest-sized streams, are shallow and easily fished.
In the fall, bass migrate considerable distances, sometimes dozens of miles downstream, and congregate in a few deep holes, where big bass can be easily caught."

But this does not concern itself with the RISKS of catching them and releasing them back into the water. I believe the article I am looking for is in the October/November issue of In-Fisherman. The title is called, "When to Leave Smallmouths Alone-Conserving this Great Sportfish."

I will have to locate it and read it again to gleam the important points made. The author made a very convincing argument however.

[This message has been edited by mtheis (edited 12-31-2003).]

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It seems that the concern is mostly over over harvest.Smallies tend to congregate in the winter and a school can be easiley fished out.
With catch and release regulation this shuld not be a concern.
There is also the concern that bringing small mouth from deeper water can damage them.Of course this is the case with any species.Most responsible sportsmen are aware of this problem allready and would not do so anyway.
It also mentioned that smallmouth do not readily feed in the winter so there is concern that they may not have the energy to recover from the stress of being caught.It was suggested to catch a few and move on not disturbing the entire school.
Fish not feeding in the winter may not be true alltoghether.I should point out that for years it was believed that catfish do not feed in the winter and become dormant.We have found that this is not the case.They do feed less but only becasue the cold has reduced their metabolism and therefore they do not need to feed more often.This might be the case with smallmouth bass also?

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I think the main concern is river fish. River fish do concentrate in wintering holes. The Chequamegon bass are scattered everywhere. There is no rhyme or reason for their location. Lastly I recommend no harvest of smallies. So do most avid bass anglers. The smallies we are catching are quicky released. Using small single hook baits mean virtually no damage to the fish. Smallies are my favorite fish and I wouldn't endanger them. If their is evidence that catch and release of smallie thru the ice is damaging then I'd have to reconsider fishing them thru the ice. If you target smallie thru the ice please remember to be careful with them. Do not lay them on the ice especially if it's really cold and release them immediately after taking your photo. I have never seen a smallie damaged when ice fishing. A good day is 15 of them per person, 5 or 6 each is the norm. The area you see us fishing in is about 5 football fields of area and we drilled about 80 holes. We did not catch more than one fish in any hole. Have fun and be mindful of the smallies.

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Great video guys!

Just one question. Did you guys try for trout or salmon while fishing Chequamegon bay?

If you didn't you guys missed out on some great fishing.

As far as catching bass thru the ice I don't see why we shouldn't. Those bass showen in the video didn't look at all thin. They looked like they have been eating good so far this winter.
------------------
"Study to be quiet"

[This message has been edited by Renneberg (edited 12-31-2003).]

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It would have been nice to have you there Paul.

Looks like we might geta Winnie Video next and then a Laker video. Of course, that depends on if fish are caught of course.

These videos are real action (nothing fake or staged) and done recently.

Notice you don't see me catching any fish...
There's a good reason for that. My excuse is I was going on an hours sleep and I'm sticking to it.

You do see me tugging on a fish at the beginning of the video. It snapped my pink/white Glow Devil off. frown.gif

This Smallie one was done last Saturday, December 27th, 2003.

Of course that was last year smile.gif

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This is really Ironic that i caught you're video, great footage and nice to here about the responsibility taken with the smallies. I canceled out going to LOW tomorrow due to weather and thought I'd give the river by my house a try. This summer my kids and I hammerd smallies each time we went, a couple to eat but most were put back. So I figured I give the river a try, Thres also walleye and small channels cats too. It's a nice little hole that leads up to sand bar in the middle of the river. With a little luck mabey I can keep my cost for this winters ice fishing down. Later boar

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Hey boar,
just to be very clear, we were not on a river. We were on a huge Lake Superior bay.

If you fish those bottled up smallies now, close to your home, you may not have them there for long. At least that's what I'm hearing from those concerned with smallie survival.

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I sensed that I somehow "irked" Rick when I brought the issue up. I could tell by the terseness of his response? Anyways, I am sure the article didn't specifically refer to the dangers of catching smallmouth in rivers ONLY. I need to reread the article and highlight the important points for you readers. I gave that issue away and now probably need to go to the library to copy it. Does anyone have it handy?

I know my family will probably change the way we catch smallmouth in our family lake up north. There, we have a significant population of 18-21" smallmouths and we would hate to hurt this fishery. I will probably use bigger minnows in our tipups for example to help eliminate catching them in the winter, and if we find a hole of them, probably we will move elsewhere and concentrate on other fish species. I have to admit though, I was as captivated as the rest of you when his partner was catching them through the ice!

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mtheis,
you definitely did not irk me.

It made me curious for sure. Your post with partial information that basically insinuated no one should be ice fishing for smallmouths left me more curious.

Maybe you felt your post was an attack on the video and that is why you felt the response was terse and that I was irked. I definitely was not. I was definitely curious.

I did and do want all of the good information so we can all make wise decisions. Actually you sparked a good topic here.

Thanks mtheis.

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I was watching a fishing show last night and during a commercial Bill Dance came on and talked a little about fishing for smallmouth in the winter. He said that smallmouth don't go dormant during the winter like many people think, but there feeding does slow down to about 1/10th of what it is during the summer. He said that this is caused by the water temps being so low.

I think there's nothing wrong with catching smallmouth during the winter just as long as the angler catching them handles the fish properly and releases it as quickly as they can.
I understand everyones concerned about catching smallmouth during the winter, but I strongly feel that as more info about catching them during the winter is learned that we'll find out that it is safe to catch smallmouth during the winter.

------------------
"Study to be quiet"

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Boy, that looks like fun! I've often wondered if the smallies would bite in the winter....You guys sure answered that! Cheq. Bay is pretty big, did you guys just "wing it" as far as fishing spots? I know that you were fishing an old channel in about 20 fow. Do you think the fish would be somewhat "easy" to find? Most fisherman dont target sm. bass in the winter, or even think about them for that matter. I'll bet if more people were aware of the potentialy outstanding fishing that could be had, more would fish them. Cheq. Bay is one of the best in the nation when it comes to bass. The spring and early summer can have bass stacked thick in prime areas. As well as bass, other species of gamefish exist also. I've never ice fished here, but have recomended it to anyone that likes to fish bass. It is a place that needs to be fished at least once. Do you think that any place along Ashland would be good? Park and walk out? Thanks for any advise!

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http://groups.msn.com/canitbeluck

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Hey Can it be luck, my understanding about fishing out in Chequamegon Bay is that around Ashland you can expect to catch a good mixed bag of walleye, perch, smallies, with the occasional brown trout, splake and even coho. Off the Washburn side expect to catch splake, brown trout and the occasional walleye.

During early ice fish tend to orient to the bottom in 10 to 40 feet of water. If the ice is safe enofe to go to deeper water be ready for lake trout.

As the season progresses and the ice thickens, whitefish, herring and coho show up in greater numbers. As late ice comes the fish start to suspend and are caught more often right under the ice.

------------------
"Study to be quiet"

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