Why would someone openly admit to going out on Lake St. Clair to fish illegally for smallmouth? Unless I am reading this wrong you are telling the rest of us that you are going out on Lake St. Clair today to go pull fish off of their beds a month and a half early! I have caught more than my share of smallies this time of the year while drifting for walleye across the bays but have never gone out targeting them. I know this forum does not condone these type of activities whether we feel it should be legal to fish for bass this time of year or not. The law is the law! I know in other postings it has been stated if you feel the need to fish for bass so badly we have Kent, Pontiac and Cass Lake that are all open for bass fishing.
The fish aren't on beds yet. I fish "Legit" for Pike in the early season, and if I run in to staging Smallmouth I'm not running away from them. I only throw Jerkbaits and spinner baits and if I'm in a Bass bedding situation, I leave. I personally feel it's not that sporting, but when in a tournament, it's not always that easy to catch off of the bed. I fished canals yesterday, and in four hours we caught 2 pike, 92 largemouth and snagged three carp. Even the large mouth in the north end of St. Clair aren't on beds yet. Most fish set up at the mouths of canals waiting. It'll be soon because these are the first big egg filled females we caught. As for smallies, a group of a hundred or so swam by us in the reeds off of deckers, caught seventeen, all on big Jerkbaits. Lots of 4 and 5 pounders, on their way back into the North channel, it was evening. We all break laws, especially the speed limit . There are people to uphold the laws. I look down only on people who KEEP out of season fish. I've made a set of my own personal and ethical rules that I feel I can live with. I don't fish the mile roads or muscamoot bay until the season opens, but pre spawn fishing is allright in my book. I would like thr DNR to set up sanctuary areas and buoy them off like Selfridge, but I doubt anything ever gets resolved. The seasons at least two weeks behind and those mile road fish will be on beds during the opener anyway. And people are gonna cook a lot of those fish. That really sucks.
I understand the desire to get the winter dust off the reels, but 92 largemouth in a 4 hour period. The season doesn't open up there for 6 weeks! Thats just plain wrong!
Your comfortable with it??? I'll guarntee you one thing, theres a hell of alot of us who aren't!!!!!!!! Its not "LEGIT".
Everybody has bent rules and broken laws, to some degree. To say that those fish were hurt more now than any other time they are caught is wrong. The reproductive cycle of the fish wasn't disturbed. To me, wrong is legally catching big egg filled Walleye in the river and taking them home. We know they're in their to spawn, but because it's legal it's OK. It all needs to be re-evaluated. You can't inforce a law thats has shaky as this one. As long has other game fish are fishable, bass will be caught. As, I said, I like the sport of Pike fishing, but the bass are everywhere. I'm not gonna run away from an area because I catch them.A quick release and away they go. i can't say the same for a lot of those big hen walleye. Nobody will ever agree on this subject, but most would like to see a catch and imediate release season.
When I do panfish, I use micro tubes. I'd catch way more Bass that way right now, so I'd be breaking the law again, even though I'd be targeting Crappie. I guess I'll just go on living life on the edge.
Fishinrob, I have to agree with you. Everyone will have his or her difference of opinion. This subject definitely stirs the blood. I would agree about an off limits area, This would be a great Idea,
A Sanctuary. It should be simple to buoy off areas known for spawning. It would make enforcement very simple and provide quality data for future evaluation.
I believe hypocrisy is running rampant here.
I don't believe for one minute, anyone out fishing for which ever species, is unhappy about catching a bass period. Out of season, on the bed or what ever. If their conscience really bothered them,
They wouldn't be out fishing in the first place. Or you are truly afraid you will be ticketed. And choose not to fish and want to hold everyone else to this standard. It sounds more like, if I can't get away with it neither should you.
There are people who jay walk every day, speed every day. These are laws meant to protect us as individuals. We don't compare them to murder as above. We all know this law is meant to protect the bass,
And we all have an opinion on catch and release. Expressed mostly as acceptable and unlikely to harm the resources, on this web site. By people with many years of fishing experience and study.
What ever your opinion is, catch and release or seasonal enforcement, witch until the last few years has never been an issue with the DNR.
If you really want to put a ripple in the water, make at least one genuine attempt to change or strengthen the laws this year. Contact the DNR or your Local State Representative. The more they hear it the more likely something will happen.
The laws are set for now. There will be discussion with the DNR about this issue in the coming months. I will post any info I have about the meetings and will try to provide a forum for anglers to have input.
For now, go crappie fishing, or walleye fishing, or catfishing, or pike fishing, etc.
If you happen to catch a bass or two so be it, just do not brag about it here. INSTEAD do a search on this page about early season bass fishing and read about how we, as anglers, feel about it and what you can do to help get things changed.
Spawning sanctuaries are a good idea but not very applicable in the case of St Clair. The fish literally spawn over areas that are larger than most lakes. I suppose it could be done, but it would take effort by anglers to see that is done correctly and enforced. Of course there are those that will still think they are above the law....
Hey, what does anyone think of a shoot-and-release deer season...?
Okay, seriously, Minnesota used to have bass spawning sanctuaries posted. They don't do it anymore for bass and rarely for anything else, although it's usually crappie when they do it.
Michigan has the option to create spawning sanctuaries written into the regulations. It's very rare here.
Of course, if bass don't need that protection, why do it? (That's if it is shown or accepted to be true.) If they were to do it and allowed any other kind of fishing in the area, we'd be right back where we are now.
We all catch a few bass early while (walleye, pike, panfish, etc.) fishing...but...
Who in their right mind advertises that they are fishing for bass out of season?? We have enough grief in our sporting world with PETA and scientists into acidic S&M with their pet fish.
Give your head a shake. Do what you must, just don't tell me about it.