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Why We Fish

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Tuesday
Jun032014

B.A.S.S. Valuable Partner for Fish Sampling

Photo by Robert Montgomery

As he released sampling results recently, Ohio biologist Travis Hartman praised B.A.S.S. for its assistance in a survey during the Bassmaster Pro Shops Northern Open on Lake Erie last fall.

“We get more smallmouth and largemouth biological samples from your tournaments than we get anywhere else,” said the fisheries expert for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Sandusky Fish Research Unit.

“We greatly appreciate your cooperation.”

Incredibly, competitors caught smallmouth bass from 16 year classes, with the oldest 17 years old.

“A lot of the trophy fish are 10 to 15 years old,” Hartman said. “Usually the older fish aren’t the largest, because they are slower growing.”

The most productive year classes for smallmouths were 2005 and 2007.

Anglers brought in largemouth bass from nine year classes, with the oldest being 12. Year classes 2007, 2008, and 2009 yielded the most fish.

The event provided more largemouths than biologists had seen in the past, Hartman pointed out, including some that measured 19 inches. He added that anglers have been catching more in recent years near shore and around islands, “getting good numbers and size.”

The mean length for the 758 smallmouth bass measured was 16.6 inches (the average of all lengths divided by the number of fish), while the mean length for 53 largemouths was 16 inches.

Biologists originally planned to measure all fish caught on the first two days and keep the deceased. Then with the field reduced to 12 competitors on the final day, all bass would be kept and taken to the lab to determine age and gender, as well as length and weight.

But with the second day of the tournament cancelled, they decided to keep 136 bass on Thursday.  Biologists measured and weighed these fish, as well as determined sex and age (from otoliths, or ear bones).

Monday
Jun022014

Bass to Angler: 'See You in Court'

Visualize a PETA lawyer taking you to court on behalf of a bass. That’s what is coming.

If you fish and/or hunt and are not paying attention to the growing animal rights movement, you are ignoring reality and the threat that zealots pose to these American traditions.

Here is what animal rights advocates want:

  • No fishing
  • No hunting
  • No use of animals in medical research
  • No livestock in agriculture
  • No consumption of beef, pork, and poultry
  • No zoos
  • No circuses
  • And, oh yes, the same legal rights that humans have 

Check out this recent commentary at Powerline

“I managed to provoke fury in a graduate student earlier this semester when I expressed skepticism about animal rights by observing that I’d take the idea more seriously when we entered into labor contracts with our horses and livestock, and asked our pets for informed consent statements before subjecting them to the ministrations of a veterinarian. 

“Expressing such distinctions between human beings and other animal species is nearly as politically incorrect as questioning gender theory, gay marriage, climate change orthodoxy, etc.”

It goes without saying that animal abuse in any form should not be tolerated, and, sadly, too much of it continues to occur. But the most radical--- and active--- of the animal rights advocates are campaigning for far more than that. They want to deny use of animals in any way, and they want them to have the same rights as you and me, with their lawyers representing them in courts.

And here’s more: Legislature worries more about animal misery than human misery. 

Monday
Jun022014

Free Family Fun at BASSfest

Thousands of fishing fans are expected to gather in Dayton, Tenn., to celebrate summer during the first BASSfest June 11-15.

In addition to cheering on their favorite professional anglers competing in the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Chickamauga Lake, BASSfest visitors will be able to enjoy an outdoors expo, in which the newest boats, motors, fishing tackle, lures and other sporting goods will be on display and for sale. On Friday, June 13, Bassmaster University presented by Nationwide will be in full swing, offering more than 20 must-attend seminars taught by Bassmaster Elite Series pros and B.A.S.S. staff.

Fishing fans and their families are invited to discover everything BASSfest — all free and open to the public. Following are 25 things to see and do at BASSfest in Dayton.

Go here for the 25 things.

“Other than the Bassmaster Classic, this could be the biggest tournament there has ever been,” said B.A.S.S. co-owner Jerry McKinnis in the Rhea Review. “It is truly a festival around our sport.”

Friday
May302014

Going Fishing Always Better Than Staying Home

“Creeps and idiots cannot conceal themselves for long on a fishing trip.” John Gierach

“There will be days when the fishing is better than one’s most optimistic forecast, others when it is far worse. Either is a gain over just staying home.” Roderick Haig-Brown

Why We Fish --- Reel Wisdom from Real Fishermen

“The trout do not rise in the cemetery, so you better do your fishing while you are still able.” Sparse Grey Hackle

“Those who think that we go fishing for the fish probably also think that teenage boys read Playboy for the articles.” Robert Montgomery 

Friday
May302014

Magnuson-Stevens Needs to Address Goals, Needs of Recreational Anglers

Photo by Robert Montgomery

As Congress considers changes in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), a coalition of angling advocate groups says that not enough consideration is being given to recreational fishing.

“Since its inception, the Magnuson-Stevens Act has focused primarily on commercial fisheries to the detriment of the nation’s 11 million recreational fishermen and the nearly half a million jobs they support,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Coastal Conservation.

“Revising the law in a way that incorporates the goals and needs of anglers is long overdue. Our community has put forward the policy changes that will set the foundation for an effective saltwater fisheries management system, but we need Congress’ help by enacting these common sense and non-partisan policies.”

The recommendations offered by the Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management, commonly known as the Morris-Deal Commission, include the following:

  • Establishing a national policy for recreational fishing
  • Adopting a revised approach to saltwater recreational fisheries management
  • Allocating marine fisheries for the greatest benefit to the nation
  • Creating reasonable latitude in stock rebuilding timelines
  • Codifying a process for cooperative management
  • Managing for the forage base

MSA is the primary law governing management of marine fisheries, and critics argue that On May 30, the House Natural Resources Committee approved a reauthorization bill, H.R. 4742, also entitled the “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act.”

 “While we appreciate Chairman Doc Hasting’s interest and efforts in Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization, we would like to have seen more done in this bill to address the needs of the recreational fishing community,” said Mike Nussman, president and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association.

“This bill includes several provisions that we support, such as easing the strict implementation of annual catch limits and improving stock assessments for data poor fisheries, but unfortunately our top priorities are not meaningfully addressed.”

“In addition to overlooking the priorities of the Morris-Deal Commission, we are also disappointed that the federal management failure with red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico is not resolved in H.R. 4742,” added Patrick Murray, president of the Coastal Conservation Association.

“A comprehensive overhaul of red snapper management is the only way to get us out of this mess. It’s vital that Magnuson-Stevens reauthorization addresses this management train-wreck by transferring Gulf red snapper management over to the states, which are much better equipped to successfully manage this important fishery.”

After passing out of committee, H.R. 4742 now awaits a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives. The Senate Commerce Committee is expected to unveil its Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization bill in the near future. With limited floor time before the November elections, many experts believe that full Magnuson-Stevens reauthorization may not occur until the next session of Congress.

“We understand that Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization likely has a long road ahead before a final bill gets signed into law, so we are hopeful that working with our friends in Congress, we can get the recreational fishing and boating community’s priorities addressed,” said Angers.

“We’ve been waiting a long time to bring focus toward improving saltwater recreational fisheries management, and there’s too much at stake to let this reauthorization pass without making the necessary changes that will establish a management system that works for – not against – recreational fishermen.”