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Did anyone fish St. Clair this weekend? I heard the DNR was out cracking down on anyone fishing with "bass type lures", any truth to that? How does a bass know that only a pike is suppossed to eat a spinnerbait or a husky jerk this time of the year?

I hope Dan Kimmel can get his early season proposal thru. I agree with him, Michigan has the most restrictive fishing regulations. I understand the bass are shallow and easy to catch this time of the year but who keeps them!!! Sorry, to rant just frustrated with our fishing regulations. The sad thing is I haven't even got my line wet yet this year.
 

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Me too. Three of them in a boat checking lures and license. We had a nice talk with them and saw one guy run from them but he lost the race. They told us someone up near Fair Haven had caught a Muskie well over 50 inches. We came close to that at 49 inches. Fun day first time out this year my 76th by the way on the lake. Nice way to start with a 30 pound fish. Bob Galloway caught it on a 3/4 ounce Rattle Trap. Let it Go Let it Grow. Bob
 

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I chew out every bass I catch in the spring, but good. Something like this: "YOU'RE NOT IN SEASON! DON'T YOU EVER STRIKE ANY LURE OF MINE AGAIN! ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME? DON'T ROLL YOUR EYES AT ME MISTER (OR MISS as appropriate)! NOW GET BACK IN THAT WATER AND DON'T HIT MY PIKE/WALLEYE/PERCH/CRAPPIE (pick one) LURE AGAIN UNTIL YOUR SEASON BEGINS!!!!

The bass always whine... something about not being fair since I use the same darn lures to catch every fish out there all year from catfish to walleye.

Rumor has it the MDNR may even be filming guys for evidence! I hope they get my good side... if you know what I mean.

If you aren't visibly targeting bedding bass repeatedly and you can show the MDNR other kinds of legal fish you caught on the same lure besides bass that day and they ticket you anyway - fight it in court. Many judges will throw the case out when they see you also caught legal fish in the same areas on the exact same lures. They CAN'T ticket you for fishing 'lures known to catch bass.' That's idiotic. All my lures are known to catch bass... and walleye and pike and carp and catfish and salmon and trout and musky and perch and crappie and bluegills and shellcrackers and suckers and and white bass and shad and dogfish and sheephead and rock bass and so on...

An option is we could all start throwing 1 oz Red Eyes all spring like MuskieBob does. I'd feel bad though it the MDNR eventually added 1 oz Red Eyes to their list of lures that are know to catch bass though.

Of course, my preference is to just change the regulations so this becomes a non-issue. Watch the Detroit Free Press outdoors this weekend for more on early bass. Temperature is rising (and I'm not just talking outdoors).
 

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Yes, it is true. I had a 20-30 minute “conversation” with them. After reflecting on it, a question comes to mind: Do the angler harassment laws apply to DNR personnel? Because I was clearly being harassed for attempting to legally catch trophy rock bass and pike.
 

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It would be hard to pull that one off Mike. But if you wanted to, it sounds like you got the best of them on the water anyway.

Mini
 

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Has anyone been fined and actually had to pay for bass fishing out of season? How do they prove such a thing?
I know from many hunting experiences that the DNR has a "Dirty Harry" attitude towards some of us sportsmen, and usually there are bigger fish to fry elsewhere.
 

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Careful Dan. I was read the riot act for making the same argument on this forum. But that being said I am with you on this 100%. Although I have not been bothered by these so called fish police, I welcome the opportunity to converse with them on the topic of so called bass lures.
My largest walleye last year was caught on a tube. I regularly use cranks in the spring for walleye. I enjoy casting for them in the rocky shallows as they filter into the lake from the river. Out of season fish are thrown back. Plain and simple. Please arrest and fine anyone who has illegal fish in their livewell but don't try to tell me what I am fishing for and what baits I can and can't use.
I would welcome the opportunity to make an a$$ out of any agent that has the balls to meet me in court with this rediculous charge.
Just my humble opinion.
 

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If they don't want any bass to be caught out of season then the entire lake needs to be closed to all fishing until bass season opens. How many times have you heard at the ramp the walleye guys fishing around the mile roads in May complaining about all the bass that keep messing up their crawler harnesses. Or the panfisherman out there that was bragging about the 4 lber.he caught using an ultra light and 4lb test line on a crappie jig.
Now I can see the DNR fustrations when any given weekend from now to the opener theres more bass boat trailers in the parking lot than on opening day. Now not everyone is just fishing for whatever bites and thats where the problem lies, we as responsable fishermen and fisherwomen need to follow the rules until they are changed.
As far as harrassment, the CO's are definetly targeting the bassboats, I was stopped three times last year, 2 of the times I did'nt even have any rods or takle in the boat because I was out breaking in a new motor and the 3rd time I was perch fishing (yes its true you can catch perch out of a bassboat) and it was'nt until I showed the CO the perch did he beleive me.
The best thing we can do is if you feel the need to catch some bass go to one of the catch and release lakes and reel some in or try to work with Dan Kimmel to get the laws changed.
 

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CAN'T KEEP THEM OFF CAMPAIGN.

h2o<-----says we just might get a answer or rule change, I would just like to know how to keep them off, beside's not fishing.

I'm still waiting for the DNR's reply to How to keep them off.
 

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It's time we make a change! Dan What's the time table on this proposal and what can we do right now?

Remember when the state raised the tax on truckers, they put so many trucks in the streets of the capital that The government slowed to a crawl.

Hmmmmm
 

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Dan I hardly used the red eye sunday but that is what I had on the line when the DNR checked Bob and I out. He had on a rattle trap and all three of them felt we where Pike fishing as we said. They is no way to straighten this mess out except with Mark M's idea close the whole lake until Bass season opens and then see the fallout. When I was a youngster there where 3 season openers. Trout the Last Saturday of April everything else but Bass the 15th of May and Bass the 20th of June. It was simple but also there where not as many fisher people as there is now. I use to have all of Anchor Bay to myself on the weekdays almost all summer. There are many more specialist for different spieces now and something has to give somewhere. I have to leave this problem with you younger fellows now as I went through the growing pains when I was younger and it is your turn. So good luck and as they say God be with you. Let it Go Let it Grow. Bob
 

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These people are the same individuals that closed Lake Erie for walleye, and let you fish in the river. Where do the walleye spawn? Answer: The river. Don't think that fish are stupid!!!! Take Lake Erie for example. Don't you know that all the walleye are swimming from Canada and Ohio waters into Michigan waters. Michigan waters don't open until June. Lets let others benefit!!!!! We all want to be friends!!!!!!
 

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Walleye Fisherman go out there this time of year and use night crawler harnesses, and live bait and catch tons of smallmouth and lot die due to swallowing hooks. Bass fisherman for the most part use artificial baits and practice catch and release. More fish are dieing from walleye fisherman than bass fisherman. I gues I'll have to start trolling for bass so I don't get in trouble. Michigan also loses out on tourism by having this screwed up season. Maybe not much, but enough to make local tackle stores and businesses effected. It also affects charter captain's trying to make a living by guiding smallmouth. There is maybe 5 months out of the year of smallmouth fishing instead of what could be 8 months. The south has great fisheries and they are open all year round for the most part and they have people beating up on there fish all year also, not just in the summer. Just my two cents. We have to get this law changed very soon!
 

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You would think after looking at what most states are doing to improve bass fishing and the economy it brings to their states that Michigan would drop the low forehead attitude. But I'm afraid we the anglers will have to drag the DNR kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Other states figured this out years ago and moved on to more improvements like Texas has the "Lunker program" or bass hatchery's. and don't get me started on all the lakes in this state we will never see a public boat launch on!

Even thou Ohio has changed the Bass regulations for Eire they are smart enough to allow catch n release during this closed season.

From Ohio fishing book;
"New smallmouth bass regulations will take effect for the 2004 season. A closed season will be in effect from May 1 through June 26 to enhance reproduction. Fishing during the closed season will not be unlawful, but all black bass (smallmouth and largemouth) must be immediately released. The daily bag limit after June 26 will remain at five fish with a 14-inch minimum."

I'll say this if they don't see the need for change with all the information Dan has provided them I'm afraid that it will take extreme "political" influence to make this happen. We need to start organizing ourselves so we can make this happen quickly and move on to other issues that need our attention.
 

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Samllie5 - Your statement that more bass die from walleye fisherman than from bass fisherman is curious to me. Is this statement based in sound scientific empirical fact or is it an assumption that you have made? Based on information that I have from an Ichthyologist that studies the Great Lakes and rivers of the eastern United States, I would have to say that I would personally disagree with your assessment. As a walleye fisherman that trolls for walleye with live bait during May and June I have certainly hooked a number of black bass (mostly smallmouth) but rarely do they swallow the hook and although I don't know without doubt, I think that most every bass I release has a great chance of survival.

It seems to me that you bass fisherman can go out and cast a bunch of bass lures and then try to convince yourselves and the DNR that you are fishing for crappie, bluegills, mooneyes, carp or whatever, but, you know in your heart what species you are targeting. If you are really trying to catch a carp with a spinner bait in May then so be it, but I would tend believe that most would be trying to catch bass and use the excuse that the particular lure that they are using is what they use for other species on a regular basis.

I know that I will catch grief for my opinion but that is my thought on this issue.
 

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First of all I want you guys to know that you are lucky to have such a great fishery. I am from Indiana, and I am a Conservation Officer here. I have people complain that whatever their interest is is always over enforced. But the same people always cry when you are not there to enforce whatever law they see violated. It's amazing to me how people want to complain about us doing our job. Whether you believe it or not, we don't work on a quota system. We look for violations, not bassboats or bass fishermen. If they check a boat and find someone keeping those smallmouths this time of year, then you guys would be happy. How can they find those guys without checking everyone? Be glad they are doing their job.
 

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Just wondering of all the people checked for lure's how many of you had the DNR actually look in your live wells. Or get in your boat and look around for anything that could hold fish.

h2o<---DNR will always have my respect for the fine job they do.
 

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We were checked by the DNR Sat also. They did not come aboard to look even after being invited. The CO Complained about our perch fishing with tubes so to make him happy we put on small twister tails and kept fishing. It was with the small panfish lures that we hooked a bass deep and had to carefully unhook it. Very ironic I thought. He didn't seem to believe that I had caught dozens of perch and hundreds of rock bass in the past on tubes.
 
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