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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The following trash was published in "The North Woods Call" in the June 26, 2002 issue.

It scares me to think this narrow minded, un-informed so called C.O. worked for the State.

The following trash was after an event the Michigan Bass Chapter Federation had on this lake.

TOURNAMENTS
June 8th and 9th were free fishing weekend. This was someone's idea to get young people and non-fishermen interested in fishing. Maybe someday, after having a wonderful free day of fishing, these people will become fisherpersons, and by licenses.

These licenses are the principal finances for the biologists, conservation officers, and other professionals who make Michigan's fishing what it is.

It amazes me then; that the D.N.R. would issue a permit for a bass fishing tournament on Burt and Mullet Lakes for the free fishing weekend. For two days there up to 100 high-speed boats racing around the lakes, much over the 55 MPH speed limit.

These professional hogs remove bass from their spawning beds, to later be released, miles away from these beds. How many live after the strain is anyone's guess.

They took over fishing spots that young kids should have been using. They endangered these young people as well as other as they sped from spot to spot with their 250 H.P. outboards. They helped pollute the lakes with their gas and oil spills from their crafts.

These bass fishermen are backed by huge coroporations, with tons of money behind them yet they come from all over the U.S and Canada, and fish for "free".

What has the State of Michigan gained by this?? Not one thing.

These people are making a living off fish that belong to the residents of the State of Michigan that are heavily taxed, and pay hard earned money for licenses for the privilege to go fishing.

In the future, I would hope and pray that D.N.R would refrain from issuing permits to ANY fishing grous that rapes the environment and pays not a cent to do it.

There! I feel better now.
Eugene Elsenheimer
Retired C.O.
Cheboygan

What are your thoughts?

Doug
 

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Doug I was made aware of this last summer sometime. I do not agree with it, it seems as if the retired officer was as misinformed about our tournament as he is about bass fisherpeople in general.

I was there...I did not see many other boats on the lake other than tournament competitors (all of which are required to have valid fishing licenses, even on a "free" weekend). I paid a bunch of money into that local economy while I was there. I bought food, gas, housing, snacks, liquid refreshments, ice, etc. If he had a single working brain cell in his head he could have looked at the plates on the trailers and figured out that 99 percent of the copmpetitors in that event were from Michigan and were fishing legally. If he doesnt like that, well maybe he should move.

I guess it goes back to the same rule of thumb that you cannot make everyone happy all the time....but it is sad to think that he used to be paid by the the State of Michigan. I am so glad he is retired. Perhaps I should visit him and discuss this further with him on his own turf.

Mini
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had forgotten that I shared the article with you.

His opinion is his to share, I question the integrity of the so-called paper that published this trash. It was common knowledge that the group was M.B.C.F. and with very little research the paper could have contact me or any board member to address all of inaccuracies of the retired (Thank God) C.O.

My biggest gripe is they shouldn't issue us a permit!!!!! I'll go into that later.

Doug
 

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Maybe we should call him?
Eugene Elsenheimer
905 Thomas Dr
Cheboygan, MI
(231) 627-7830

BTW he retired in 91....been out of it for a while.

Alot of newspapers print "opinion" letters from their readers. Without seeing the actual text in print from the source, I cannot comment on it.

Either way, the man was wrong. Should we as a Federation draft a letter of rebuttal to the newspaper for print?

Mini
 

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John don't bother visiting someone like that. It wouldn't do any good. That type of person will never change. I knew a C.O. years ago from the middle of the state that was the worst poacher I ever knew. I saw him kill a Buck at midnight with a rifle he had just took away from a poacher he had caught and given a ticket to. I couldn't get through to him either. Bob.
 

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It just goes to show that there are bad apples in every walk of life.

I still think a letter should be written as a rebuttal. At least for the sake of the readers he may have reached, even though I think most could read through his lies.

This one has to be the worst of them all:

"In the future, I would hope and pray that D.N.R would refrain from issuing permits to ANY fishing grous that rapes the environment and pays not a cent to do it."
 

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I agree with you John. A letter of rebuttal is the least that should be done. Missinformed "opinions" like this should not go unchallenged. All Bass fishermen (cause we all drive big boats with 250 hp outboards), not just tournament anglers, would be affected if the DNR brass adopted this stance. The public needs to know all the GOOD things that tournaments, and the men and women who particapate, do for the lakes and communities that host them. As you know, I'm not a tourny angler,(not yet anyways), just a weekend fisherman, but I was stunned by these comments from a former DNR officer.

Craig
 

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There should be a response to all of these statements including his statement that the state owns the fish. This is not the type of thing I would expect to hear from a C.O. I'm glad he is retired, but hope his opinions do not represent his former co-workers. I am not familiar with the paper that this was published in or how big it is. Regardless, a reply to his letter containing the truth about the event in question is a good idea. I also don't get why tounaments should be banned on the free weekend. The idea is to get more people into fishing isn't it. Hopefully most people who read this saw through it, to me he sounds like the sterotypical old person that I meet every weekend at the boat ramp.
 

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Wow!

This one is truly scary. The number of inaccuracies and negative stereotypes used in this letter is truly amazing. I would not be a bit suprised to find out a couple of things...
1. He probably was not at the event and is reacting to second or third hand accounts.
2. This was a "put up" hack job directed by anti-fishing enviro's or another such group.

I am just speculating on this but I've seen and heard such things before.

Consider:

"Backed by big corporations and tons of money...fishing for free"
Sounds like my Federation. -- NOT

"making a living off fish that belong to the residents of the
State of Michigan".
In our dreams.

The only stereotype he forgot to use was that of the "drunken bubba basser". Maybe in his next letter.

I could puke.

Irritated,

Dave
 

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Now that I've calmed down a bit. We absolutely need a rebuttal letter that addresses each point with the facts. I agree with Mini, who knows who this idiot may have been able to reach with this drivel. Ignorant people can have their opinions easily swayed. Normally I could care less about the brainless except for the fact that THEY VOTE!

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
How many youth projects does the Federation do? How many young lives have we touched in the last year, better yet, in the last 10 years? How many fish could we have kept and NOT returned to the lake because the state allows us to keep fish? Who took a leading role in changing the size limit on bass, maybe it was the bass fishermen in the State of Michigan? How much money did the surrounding area get from the pre-fishing and tournament weekend? The list of questions continue?

The narrow mindedness of the retired C.O. I can accept, the paper really bothers me. We need to blast the paper for it's irresponsible actions. When the thread gets long enough send a email to them. I can assure you that I'll never purchase this trash.

Doug
 

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Hey Doug, you remember what they say about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer...

Kind of hard to respond now to something that was printed, if I read right, last June. Ancient news.

Besides, I think Mr. Wisenheimer just needs his drip turned up.

What we really ought to do is seek out the press more often for positive coverage EVERYTIME we do something good. We should drown twits like that out with good press. We should use the press to educate persons who don't fish tournaments what we really do and how we do it.

And yes, the MDNR generally does not want to issue tournament permits on free fishing weekend. I think the location should be taken into consideration too which is why Burt/Mullett would be okay. Way north. The Great Lakes are exceptions at times too. They mainly just don't want the popular, southern inland lake ramps filled by tournament boats...although we're all out there somewhere that weekend anyway.

I've said this many times before, make the MDNR guys that effect you your 'friends' before you need them. It's a lot harder to turn down a friend than it is a stranger, just like it's a lot easier to write a bad letter about strangers and maybe even have some sympathy shown for your pathetic, misguided, inaccurate, and slightly incoherent rantings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dan,

You are right about your enemies, but I don't see most of the D.N.R. as our enemies. Some may dislike us and some think the world of us. I have spoken to many C.O.'s and they seem happy that our type of people are the majority of the spaces at the launch. They have stated that for the most part, that we are trouble free and "HONEST". Many have stated that they don't remember when they issued a ticket to a "Tournament" bass angler. Our standards and way of conducting ourselves are at the top of all the different factions in the fishing world.

Too late to respond to an article wrote in June????? We can address the issue, I am one person asked to fight way too many battles. I get letter's of wrong doings from all over the place. I am just now reading last years Walleye Insider, after that I'll start on In-Fisherman or the few Bass'in Magizine I received. Unfortunately, this is my time to address an issue given to me from someone that was darn tootin mad but not mad enough to get involved. Monday, we listened on the radio and watched on T.V. and had every person imaginable interpret the words and writings of Dr. Martin Luther King who was killed many decades ago. Our issue only happened in June. I am not comparing us to Dr. MLK, but our fights are very similar! Why do Tournaments need a permit? Why can a large group of jet skies block a ramp and beach area of a launch "Without a Permit"? Equality!!!!

Yes, you are right about us needing to flood the paper's with our good deeds so the general public can form an opinion based on all the info. Maybe now is the time to organize a group of Tournament Angler's from all species, from our entire state. Maybe we have micro groups meet all around the state and have a representive come to a meeting during a evening other than a weekend. I have connections in many different parts of the state that can assist us. Maybe, many of our posters and friends could meet in the near future and get something like this formed as a non-profit and named group that has the respect of the public, State agencies and other Organized groups. GNT has a little over 1000 participants in some sort of what we do, M.B.C.F has about 950, Down River Walleye/ Lake St. Clair Walleye Association/ and the Walleye club in Bay City has over 2500 members. We also have the big tourney over in Manistee for salmon and trout which my two friends Paul and Mark are very active with and we can't forget the Blue Water Salmon and Trout tourney. I probably have access to over 6000 tournament fishermen, this combined with friends from this site and their friends we could have over 20,000 tournament anglers! This idea can be done as you are well aware, you are also aware that like every volunteer group you have one person working for every 100 members. I don't know if you remember my thoughts when we attended that meeting with Dick P., the thoughts about how a person should be paid a fair fee for attending "Important" meetings, maybe the idea would work to help the volunteer's stay hungry. What do you think Dan? Form a highly involved group with all tournament angler's in mind. Regulations, environmental issues and keeping the public in touch with the truth's of what we are about.

I understand that this jumps from place to place but I'm trying to get ready for work, type this and handle a couple of other household break downs (The stinking water heater is leaking). I think you'll understand what I'm trying to get across, if not I guess we're both lost then. LOL

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
There are lots of guys whom post here that have the ability to communicate well with words in writing or word that need to be spoken. Cameraguy, Dan K., Mini, Alex are just a few, if we could get on the same page of wants and desires, I too, have a dream!

Doug
 

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While traveling with Rocco from D&R Sports, he was talking about the walleye guy's organization that is working on tournament angler issues.

Check out http://www.proanglers.org/ for more information we could use on how to do something like this - or maybe consider joining that group that is already formed. I haven't spent enough time reading the site yet to decide what I want to do.

Regardless of whether or not we organize, or use NPAA, or the Federation, or GNT, we still need to do about 900% better in the PR area. I believe we'll gain more faster in improved PR than any other method. If the public reads stories about youth projects, fishing improvements, charity work that we do often, they won't think much about nonsense they might occasionnally read. It's extremely hard to find people who will volunteer and stick with this kind of work. Some groups can afford to pay a little and should for these kinds of things. MUCC is an example of a group that has paid staff to do many necessary duties.

Also, whenever you see someone in a bass boat do something really rude or stupid, such as unsafe behavior, say something to the person. If the person is an idiot, let other people hear you tell the person that their behavior was unacceptable and won't be tolerated by decent bass anglers. Good anglers should set examples all the time that you can be successful without the 'anything goes to catch a fish' mentality.

BTW, Doug, I didn't say the MDNR was our enemy. I wasn't even talking about the nitwit that wrote the letter. I was really referring to your comment about not getting the NW Call anymore. You might want to keep reading it to see what they print next. Maybe they show sympathy for Wisenheimer's opinion. Maybe not.

Some guys are watching the PETA site and getting the email just to see what they're up to.
 

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Ok.....Thats it.......

We need to organize and we need to do it now. The show season is upon us and we as fisher people can make a difference. I dont want to "join" another group, I have enough (too many) annual subscrptions. I want to have an organized faction of anglers from Michigan (or those that fish the waters of) that are willing to garner a relationship with every local DNR employee in their respective area. I realize that most of the folks that read this site are from SE MIchigan, on the same note I also know this site is read in many states.

Who is willing to do that?????

I "know" a few local DNR personel, but I can and WILL do better this year to get more involved. Anyone else?

It has been said too many times.....be like Mike and Nike.....Just DO IT

Mini
 

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I hope you don't mind a non-tournament angler (who deep down wishes he were one) responding to this but I have had some experience with how the MDNR interacts with organized groups through a retrieve club that I belong to in Michigan. The MDNR that we knew and loved, which was usually staffed with people that loved the out-of-doors and grew up injoying all the "old" sports that that entailed such as fishing and hunting, has slowly evolved into something different.
From my perspective, I think now the DNR is headed up by multiiple degreed college grads who have not experienced the "old" sports that we know and love. I therefore think that the focus of the MDNR has changed from these activities to non hunting and fishing sports and issues.
I might be off base here but could it be also that the MDNR is being insider influenced by national "anti" organization groups such as Pita and the Sierra Club? As might be obvious, I have gotten very cynical and suspicious lately when it comes to the protection of my rights to the out-of-doors.

Sorry about the venting here but the story about the Channel Islands in California that I forwarded really got the hair on the back of my neck up and now along comes this article. Granted, this retired CO probably grew up with the old school and, if so, it is even more disturbing. I'll shut up now.

Jim
 

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Mini (et al),
One obvious solution that wouldn't involve drastic change, if you're in a bass club, it should be a federation member. Every club is supposed to have an environmental director (A VERY BROAD job) who goes to state meetings and works with Ron Spitler at the state level.

If you belong to a club in the federation, get your club to create such a post and then find someone who will do the work as much as they can and make sure your club covers their reasonable expenses.

The MDNR has kind of an arm-length policy about tournaments right now that will only change if we make a concerted effort to change. If every club had one person locally who'd be reasonably involved, we'd be much farther ahead.

It's a lot of work, so the person needs support and some concentrated attention from fellow members. And we just have to learn to write a few letters and make a few phone calls, BUT it really helps if someone is knowledgeable of the issues and will take the time to help the letters and calls be intelligent and targeted correctly.

I have decided right now to spend what little free time I have educating bass anglers about studies, biology and management of bass. I want the season looked at. I have many plans for this. I will always be outspoken in all issues and do my best to stay informed and knowledgeable, but the season is my target right now. I have talked to a number of biologists recently including Mark Ridgway and Mike Thomas.

I have some things to pass on that I'm working on. Unfortunately, I'm running into more problems of shy biologists. They know what I'm working on and don't want to be controversial, misquoted, get ornery phone calls from their fellow biologists, etc, so some of what I've directly been told, I can't share in a public way as direct quotes. I'm working on how to present this information mixed with quotes where allowed and as my own opinion based on discussions with these people without being confrontational, without getting more people mad at the MDNR and without spending so much of my time arguing with people who have made their mind up already or who don't like anything I say because I'm a 'tournament' angler.

Some things I can share without directly quoting, but some things I will have problems sharing. People will not accept it without a direct source quote (and truthfully, probably not even with a quoted source anyway) or I will break agreements with the persons who have been willing to talk at length with me only with the agreement I don't quote them. That's what I'm busy with now. Some of what I'm posting is now being used in other states and provinces on other sites too, so I want to be careful that the issue of legal spring catch and release doesn't get mired down into all the other related topics it branches off into.

As far as getting organized, we already are if we use it and use it wisely. BASS has pushed for years now to have local and state level environmental directors. We just haven't consistently followed through. Start there. Maybe it can work into a federation 'staff' person who just works on issues effecting tournament anglers and groups. Maybe other groups could help subsidize such position (part-time, semi-volunteer) and then we need a PR person just as bad. Maybe it could be done the same way?
 
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