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I have listed below a post I put on BFHP regarding people pre-fishing for a tournament when the bass season is closed...

The first Michigan Division BFL tournament is June 26th on Lake St. Clair..The Michigan waters of LSC and the Detroit River open on 6/19/04. The Canadian waters of LSC, DR, and Lake Erie open on 6/26/04...the day of the tournament.

It is a known fact that some competitors have been fishing LSC, the River, and Erie even though those waters are not yet open for bass fishing. If questioned, they would say they are targeting other species...

There is no off limit period in the BFL rules nor is this addressed in the section on Sportsmanship.

Some anglers will not fish these waters until they are legally open. This could be due to 1) not wanting to receive a ticket from the DNR 2) They believe in following the law

Those who do observe the law, will not have any opportunity to pre-fish the Canadian waters until the day of the tournament....while those who break the law have been pre-fishing.

Do you feel it is appropriate that some may have an advantage over others? Ethically, should those who break the law, be allowed to compete in the tournament? If the FLW insists on the practice of making this the first tournament of the year...should they make all waters off limit until open under state law?

Personally, I feel it is wrong and inappropriate to be pre-fishing on waters that are closed in able to secure an edge for the tournament...I am probably in the minority here but thats okay...simply stating how I feel...

What do you think about this issue?
 

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well, the guys can go on the water and look at cover, water conditions, etc. if the water is clear enough, they will see the fish. also, i have recommended fishing with a tube with the hook bend down, so you can't catch the fish. that isn't fishing for the fish if you can't catch them. or a rattle trap with the hooks removed, you still feel the fish hit the bait, you just don't catch them. that type of prefishing, or prescouting, can't be illegal or unethical.
however, fishing for bass before the season is illegal, but i don't know if that disqualifies you from the tournament if the illegal action doesn't take place during competition hours. what if you are really fishing for walleye with a crawler harness, and you are catching both walleye and bass before the tournament, that is prefishing to an extent if you can catch bass constantly in one location. to be realistic, i think that if you have a tournament on opening weekend, you got to expect that people will prefish the tournament, so you are expecting your competitors to illegally fish for bass out of season. i think that it is the tournaments' fault that they schedule the tournament on that date. if it didn't expressly make me ineligible for a tournament if i prefished for bass before season was open, i would be one of the guys prefishing the tournament.
i've already been out to lsc a few times this year targeting bass. it is illegal, but it shouldn't be. it will be changed eventually, but not until at least 2006. it doesn't make sense to me that walleye fisherman can go out to lsc and catch as many bass as the like using hot n'tots, or nightcrawlers, but i get a ticket if i do it with a tube. where's the logic in that???
i don't keep any bass that i catch. i could keep hundreds of bass a year that are caught legally in the legal open bass season, but i let them all go. i am saving hundreds of bass a year, what is the deal if i accidently kill one fish before season opens? if i compromise keeping legally caught fish, i should gain the right to catch and release fish all the time. that could be a special fishing license, but then tournament fishing comes into play, and i keep fish for that, but are let go later in the day.
derrek
 
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