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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If the rest of you are like me, the ice can't leave fast enough. The weather is starting to turn and the itch to get back on the water is about to drive me nuts.
I've been doing some reaserch on fish caught (black bass) at prespawn & spawn. Some of the stough and numbers i've been finding out are mind blowing.From some of the information i've read, as soon as the guarding fish is taken off the nest, in 2 min. time half of the eggs will be eaten by predators. If he is gone for 10 min., it's likely the nest will be abandoned.
Should we be educating eachother as tournament anglers to not target during spawn? Mabey it dosn't have as large of effect in the great lakes?
Any additional information would be great.
Thanks Greg Wisniewski
 

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Heck of a first post....and welcome. I would suggest doing a search on here along with the fishing reports board.

There are alot of misnomers about fishing for bedding fish. The decision is yours as long as the season is open to rightfully do so.

Myself I have not yet formed an opinion on the subject and am a self admitted hypocrate (I stopped doing the preseason thing on St Clair BUT, when the season opens and the conditions are right, I will fish bedding fish in a tournament).

Mini
 

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gnewski5,

You have absolutely no idea what you may have started here. You should have been here last spring. LOL

Mr. Kimmel? Alex? Mini?

Anyone care to "weigh-in" on the subject?

I'm gonna sit this one out and just watch!

Regards,

Dave
 

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Mini,

How did you sneak that post ahead of mine? You only beat me by seconds or you pulled one of those "moderator tricks".

Dave
 

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Mini: We caught your seminar at BPS when you admitted exactly what you stated in this thread. Thanks for being up front. To paraphrase what you said on stage, when illegal, DON'T do it but when legal, basically use your own ideals to form an opinion. Does that sound correct?
Personally, I don't find bass on the beds during season but my methods are probably not conducive to that either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Guys, I didn't start this topic to stir up a bee's nest. I know whats legal and not. We all want to get rid of the old winter time cob webs and wet a line. I was looking at the bigger picture.
Mabey a little history is in line. I run a bass club out of South Eastern lower Michigan. Myself and 7 other friends started this club in 1999. A few of us used to fish the old tri-state events and some opens. Tri-state kind of fizzeled, so some phone calles were made and what is now known as Fin-addicts was started. We have 19 boats on the books this year. We fish inland lakes and the great lakes.
What I myself have been reserching is displacing bass in a tournament situation and pulling bass off beds. Off beds as we start our tournaments in mid May out of Sandusky, Ohio. It is "legal" in Ohio. We have caught males and females at that time. I have to believe that some of them are bedding. Thats my intrest. If we are catching them at Kelly's island or Ruggles beach and running them back to Sandusky. Is that detramental to the Lake Erie fishery? Also the "wet the line" after ice is out situation.
I would just like to do what I can to keep the great fishery that we have in our back yards great.
 

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There are several lakes in Southeast Michigan that allow catch-and-release fishing during the closed season. Check the Michigan Fishing Guide or the DNR website. As for targeting fish on their beds, I've seen films showing gobies attacking the eggs within seconds after a bass was pulled from the bed. This film was taken on Lake Erie. I guess it's up to the individual. Maybe DNRJon or Mike Thomas could ring in on this one?
 

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First of all Newski can't catch any fish, let alone one that he can see
just kiddin buddy!

I think the only reason we have this discussion in Michigan is because we have a bass season.

In Ohio it seems that the smallmouth fishing (expecially in Erie) is at an all time best, even though the fishing pressure is at an all time high. You can't tell me that all these anglers are avoiding the big ones on the beds!
just my .02
 

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i will agree with mini on this one. i am not sure how i feel about bed fishing. i hae pulled fish off beds many times in the past. and even went a few years where i would not even look at a bedding fish. i hav read articles that claim bed fishing is very harmful to a fishery and read others that claim thaT bed fishing has little effect on fish populations. i am not sre what to think. but how can be comptitive in a tournament when everyone else is plucking the nests. ther are a few opens on kent lake during the spawn. everyone out there is bed fishing. my partner and i decided to target some pre-spwn fish and managed a 5th place. but we werent even close to the top 4. these guys had 4lb averages. i will say that if i am prefishing or just fishing for fun, i will not pull bass of beds. but in a tournament situation i almost feel that i have to in order t compete. bt like i said, i am stil undecided. i think i will still target prespawn fish this year.
i know this much tho, if it is harmful, i dont want any part of it.


madman himself


ps: two days of shore fishing open water on kent lake and no success. it is good just to be able to cast again tho!
 

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Here's something interesting I'd like to see some expert discussion on.

If a fish is pulled off a bed, will another fish guard that bed???

If so....cull your smallest fish immediately after you pull one off it's bed.....

Any thoughts???
 

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Ken,
I've never seen or heard of a released bass 'taking over' another bass' bed. Nice thought, but I'm extremely confident that it will not work. There's plenty of evidence that not all adult smallmouths in particular even spawn each year. Some studies have shown about 1/3 do each year on average. I don't consider this a significant concern, just something to add to the knowledge-base. (I will have to go back and review this topic though to see where the studies have been to make sure it applies broadly.)

I would hope we can all agree on some things. An obvious one would be, shouldn't the question be "does pulling bass off beds harm the annual bass recruitment/population? Not, does pulling bass of beds harm individual beds."

Maybe the idea of 'harming' an individual bass bed is important to some of us, but the real issue is what is it doing to our overall fishing?
 

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ok, this is going to sound pretty strange, but bare with me.

LOL, do you guys think a decoy would have any effect on predator fish ( goby, bluegill, salamanders, etc. ) what if after you pull a fish off a bed, you put a decoy bass on the bed. kind of like a scare crow type deal. maybe have a wooden or plastic fish replica painted like the real thing. with a weight and a line to hold the fish over the bed. hey, it could work. what do you guys think.

madman himself
 

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..Madman,....if anyone tried that,...more than likely they would get "ticketed" for littering!!!..LOL....or atleast the "powers that be" on the water would figure out a way to get you for something!!!
.....sounds like a cartoon in there somewhere though!!.....LOL!!
Mac

(I'm thinkin' male bass and his "blow-up" date!!
)
 

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Female bass approaching spawn bed, in a sultry voice: "Room for more eggs in that bed, big fella?"

Realistic Decoy Bass (drawn by Mac, placed by Madman):

Female bass cooing: "Ohhh, the strong silent type. I like that!"

Realistic Decoy Bass:

Female bass: "What do you say, you big green (or brown) monster?"

Realistic Decoy Bass:

Female bass, now getting upset: "So! My eggs aren't good enough for you!?!"

Realistic Decoy Bass:

Female bass, really ticked off now: "FINE! I'll find some other bass to milt with. I don't need you either. HMMPPHHH!!" Swims off in a fowl (or is that fish?) mood.

Pretty soon, so many female bass have been ticked off by the male bass decoys being placed all over the lake by the followers of Madman (Madmanites) that the old girls refuse to be led to the spawning bed anymore by ANY male bass. (Things are tough enough already as any male will tell you.) The whole bass population collapses and we are all forced to sell our boats and take up euchre.
 

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Like most of my opinions, my thoughts on bed fishing center around a conservation minded approach. And one of education, fact-finding, and precaution for our future fisheries. Dan Kimmel has gone a long way in providing information along these lines. But like Mini, I have not settled on a definite opinion regarding the long-term impact of bed fishing on St. Clair (or other waters). I do not have moral issue for fishing for bedding bass. But over the years I have limited the amount of time I specifically target bedding bass. A time, I feel, they are most vulnerable and under the most stress. However, this does not mean I will not fish for bedding bass, only that I limit it (conservation). I don't find this hypocritical in the least. Although from my previous posts on this subject, I know others will. I have my own reasons for being "conservative" when it comes to targeting spawning bass. Some of it is to ensure breeding while another is to reduce the stress put on breeding pairs that are repeatedly caught. This is something that I don't think gets enough attention when discussing fishing for spawning bass. Bass can be easy targets in the spring. Often times they are caught repeatedly in the same day. While the instincts of reproduction may carry them through the ordeal, once this is over they will often times succumb to the stress. Ever taken a boat ride down the mile roads in May/June??

I do believe our current policy of a closed spring season but "turn the other cheek" to pre-season catch and release is ridiculous. We as fisherman and conservation officers either need to enforce the laws as written or open the season. Again this decision needs to be made based on current facts and potential effects on our fisheries in the future. Based on the evidence I've personally seen, researched, and posted by others I am actually in support of opening the season as a trial (and always have been), but will admit to be concerned about possible side effects. I'm just saying let's not do this for selfish reasons, but for scientific ones.

One last thought, each ecosystem will respond in different ways. What is good for some may not be good for all. I see comparisons made to Lake Erie, but Lake St. Clair and Erie are two totally different ecosystems. So we may be able to learn from research done on Erie, but it does not mean it will translate (good or bad).
 

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Very well said Alex. I could not agree more. I will have more to report on this in the near future.

Dan, I think you and I should start to get paid for "ghost writing" Mac's panels....lol That's a good one, but I dont really like euchre.

Madman, try the decoy if you like. (PSSST Let me know via email if it works
) lol

Mini
 

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I hope those won't be inflatable decoys, else hooksetting could be tragic...
 
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