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Tuesday
Feb192013

Ontario Considers 'Extremely Troubling' Regulations for Smallmouth Bass

Ontario is considering liberalizing regulations in some portions of the province, a move that could have catastrophic consequences for its smallmouth bass fisheries.

“I strongly believe that allowing a ‘catch and keep’ season during the critical winter period, pre-spawn, and spawn could have serious impacts on bass populations,” said Jason Barnucz, conservation director for the Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation.

“Even through the ice, bass can be targeted,” he continued. “It is easy to locate wintering schools of smallmouths in Canadian lakes.”

While many acknowledge smallmouth bass as valuable to recreational fishing in Ontario, a vocal minority are calling it “invasive” and harmful to species such as lake trout, and that’s the source of the controversy, Barnucz explained. In some of the areas where it is now targeted, such as Zone 10 bordering the Great Lakes, he added, the smallmouth actually is a native species.

Meanwhile, what is being proposed for Zone 5, which borders Minnesota, is “extremely troubling,” according to Gord Pyzer, one of Canada’s most notable anglers and a former senior manager with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR).

“A small group of folks, who are opposed to bass, have persuaded the MNR to include (for review) the option of killing four bass, less than 35 centimeters (14 inches) in size, every day of fishing during the critical winter and spring spawning periods. In other words, from Nov. 30 to July 1,” he explained.

Such a regulation, he continued, runs counter to the findings of scientists such as Dr. Mark Ridgway and Dr. David Philipp, which indicate that targeting bass in the winter and when they are spawning harms both the overall bass population and the age class structure. 

“Quite simply, the research is very clear that there are absolutely no redeeming qualities when anglers fish for bass in the winter and during the spawn,” Pyzer added.

Indeed, Dr. Philipps’ research in southeastern Ontario, where the bass season is closed during the winter and spring, shows that in some lakes 100 percent of the nesting males exhibit hook wounds and were the season to be open, it is conceivable that the entire population of spawning males could be killed and harvested.”

Echoing Barnucz’s observation, Pyzer said a “small pocket of anglers” have attempted to hijack fisheries management because “they do not like bass and wish to see bass eliminated from the lakes and rivers in the region, despite the fact that bass have been present in northwest Ontario for more than 100 years.”

(This article appeared originally in B.A.S.S. Times.)

Sunday
Feb172013

Joaquin Phoenix Joins Anti-Fishing Movement

Add Joaquin Phoenix to the list of embarrassingly ignorant know-nothings who want to use their positions as public figures to tell us how to live our lives.

In this case, the message is that fishing is terrible and we shouldn’t do it.

Here is what Phoenix says about his decision to do an anti-fishing commercial for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals:

"I was 3 years old. To this day it is a vivid memory. My family and I were on a boat, catching fish… The animal went from a living, vibrant creature fighting for life to a violent death. I recognized it, as did my brothers and sisters."

PETA wanted to air the commercial during the Oscars program on Sunday, Feb. 24.  Phoenix is a nominee for his role in “The Master.”

But ABC rejected the ad for being “too political and controversial.”  PETA says that the commercial will be shown during Jimmy Kimmel’s post-Oscars special.

You can see the commercial here.

  • Vapid anti-fishing rhetoric from Hollywood and PETA.
  • A proposed ban on soft plastic baits in Maine. (See post below.)
  • A proposed ban on lead jigs in New Hampshire. (See post below.)
  • A push to ban "assault rifles," even though more people are killed annually by hammers and clubs.
  • An upcoming ban on soft drinks of more than 16 ounces in New York City, as well as a proposal to ban foam-plastic food containers by Mayor ( AKA "Nanny") Bloomberg.

None of it has substance, but all of it has support from those who blindly follow emotions and ideology instead of practicing thought and common sense.

It’s all related, folks, to the overall mood in this country right now, courtesy of a corrupt media that enables our President to say anything, no matter how false, and get away with it. As a result, we are living during a time when more people prefer ignorance and dependence than knowledge and personal responsibility. And the Left is using this advantage to push, push, push into every aspect of our lives.

For the next four years, it’s only going to get worse.

Sunday
Feb172013

'Loon'-atic Fringe Pushes for Ban on Lead Jigs in New Hampshire

As environmentalist extremists and their political allies attempt to ban the use of soft plastic baits in Maine, their counterparts in New Hampshire want to ban lead jigs.

They claim that doing so will protect loons from ingesting them and dying of lead poisoning. But no evidence exists that the birds swallow jigs.

“The ban proposed by SB 89 is unjustified,” says Keep America Fishing.

“The impact on loons and other waterfowl is the most often cited reason for bans on lead fishing tackle, yet New Hampshire loon populations are currently increasing throughout the state.

“Waterfowl populations in New Hampshire are subject to more substantial threats such as habitat loss, water acidification and domestic and wild predators. Any lead restrictions need to be based on scientific data that supports the appropriate action for a particular water body or species.”

And Dick Smith, conservation director of the New Hampshire Bass Federation says this:

“In 2006 and then again in 2012 the loon people pushed for legislation to ban your bass fishing jigs. So far we have defeated their efforts, but now here they are back again this year with a very similar legislative bill in SB 89.

“We have to continue to fight for our freedom or risk losing it.

“The New Hampshire Lakes Association, the Audubon Society, and the Loon Preservation Committee all have lobbyists who have been working very hard for many months to try to get state senators to co-sponsor their bill to ban our traditional jigs, which would wipe out our tube lures as well since they have a leadhead jig inside.

“These lobbyists persuaded eight senators to sign on to the bill. That is 33 percent of the entire Senate. So the deck is stacked against us in the Senate. As was the case last year, our best shot to defeat this bill is in the House of Representatives.

“While we do not have lobbyists working for us and we are outnumbered by lakes people, we have the facts and rightness on our side. And we each have a VOICE that we ALL need to make sure our legislators hear. We have to make the effort.”

A public hearing on SB 89 is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, in the Legislative Office Building, Room101, in Concord, N.H.

To learn more go here.

Thursday
Feb142013

Big Bass Plentiful in Florida Waters According to Nosca List

Did you know that two largemouth bass weighing more than the current world record (22 pounds, 4 ounces) might have been caught in Florida years ago?

One of them reportedly weighed 24-12 and was taken in 1974 at Lake Toho, while the other reportedly weighed 23-2 and was captured “circa 1880” in Lake County “near Altoona.”

These are but two of the hefty bass included in Paul Nosca’s All-time Top-25 Biggest Florida Largemouth Bass. The list includes both bass that were certified and/or documented and those that were not. Those two potential record-breakers are among the latter.

To bass of 20 pounds or more are included on the list, with the smallest of the top 25 weighing 17-12.

With Florida just beginning its TrophyCatch program, this list provides a great reminder of the big bass swimming in the waters of the Sunshine State.

Tuesday
Feb122013

Tell Maine That You Oppose Ban on Plastic Baits

Even if you don’t live in Maine, voice your opposition to that state’s proposed bill to ban use of all soft plastic baits. (The bill actually refers to the baits as "rubber worms.")

Here’s what Keep America Fishing says:

“This legislation is now going to a working session of the Maine Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

“In order to show just how many anglers across the country are concerned by this bill, we ask that you sign our petition in a show of solidarity. This petition will be presented to the Committee so that they can see that banning soft baits not only affects their own residents and anglers but also anglers nationwide.

“By signing the petition, you are telling the Committee that you ‘do not approve of unfounded bans on soft baits. Arbitrarily banning widely used tackle such as this would have a tremendous impact on everyone from individual anglers to tackle manufacturers to state wildlife management agencies that protect our resources. Further study must be conducted and decisions must be based on sound science.’”

Go here to sign the petition.