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Follow the Shad for Bass Fishing Success in Fall

Mike Iaconelli and Pete Gluszek share insights into how and where to catch bass in fall at Keep America Fishing.

Here’s an excerpt:

“In order to understand the bass migration, you must first understand the bait migration. In most lakes across the country, shad are the main forage for the bass. After summer, the colder water brings the baitfish out in search of food of their own. The main source of food for the shad is plankton, and this brings them out of the main lake and into channels and creeks.

“The most important part of bass fishing in the fall is knowing where to find these schools of bait. If you can find the schools, you can also find the bass.”

Read the full story here.

But Don't Forget . . .

Secret: Many pros believe that most of our reservoirs have two distinct populations of bass. One population stays offshore except to spawn, relating more to deep-water structure and feeding primarily on shad. The other might migrate into deeper water during summer and winter, but prefers to feed in shallow water during spring and fall. What this means is that you almost always can find fish deep, and deep fish receive far less pressure from anglers than do those in the shallows.

--- From my book, Better Bass Fishing, available here or at Amazon.


More Criticism of Catch Shares

Writing in Florida Sportsman, Charles Mann presents an insightful condemnation of Catch Shares, the Obama Administration’s scheme to privatize a public resource in the name of conservation.

Here are a couple of excerpts:

“In the broad sense, Catch Shares allocate a specific portion of a fishery to specific fisherman. Supporters of Catch Shares cite increased efficiency that theoretically results in greater sustainability as the rationale for these programs. However, the practical result of catch shares really just appears to be consolidation of a resource into the hands of a few.”

“Further, to the extent that concerns about the eventual invasion of catch shares into the recreational arena prove to be true, these programs could keep the average person from going out and catching a dinner for the family from time to time. Unlike other agricultural practices where the farmer largely “produces” the eventual food product, commercial fishing is purely a harvest of a resource that is produced without the help of human beings.”

Read the full story here.


Action Alert! Urge Your Senators to Support Sportsmen's Act

Your help is needed now.

During the next few days, U.S. Senators are expected to vote on the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 (S. 3525). Designed to benefit sportfishing as well as recreational shooting and hunting, it’s the most comprehensive package of legislation related to the outdoors community in recent years.

The Hunting, Fishing, and Recreational Shooting Protection Act, the National Fish Habitat Conservation Act, and the Making Public Land Public Act are some its most important provisions.

“From improving habitat conservation to increasing public access to protecting the use of traditional fishing tackle, this bill would have monumental impacts on anglers and hunters and maintain our conservation heritage,” says Keep America Fishing.

Go here to learn more and to send a message to your senators, urging them to support the proposed legislation.


Oregon Bass Anglers Fight Back Against Illegal Introductions

For years, long-established bass populations have been blamed for the demise of salmon and trout populations in the Northwest. Little evidence exists to support the accusations. The truth is that these cold-water fish have declined mostly because of habitat destruction and dams blocking their migration routes, and bass, introduced during a less enlightened time, thrived in these altered habitats.

But bass and bass anglers are high profile --- and easy targets.

Bass anglers also are conservation-minded. They don’t want established bass fisheries destroyed because of a false argument. And they don’t want bass spread to waters still free from the non-native species. They know that illegal introductions present a huge challenge for fisheries managers in protecting native species and ecosystems.

Consequently, three Oregon bass organizations --- B.A.S.S. Federation Nation (BFN), The Bass Federation, and Black Bass Action Committee --- have teamed up to form Turn In Illegal Introductions (TI3). It’s a program designed to reward those who report illegal introductions. By calling 800 452-7888, anyone can anonymously report the violation and be eligible to receive up to a $3,300 reward.

“The collaboration of the three largest bass fishing organizations in Oregon to create and fund the beginnings of the program is seen as a positive step to regain the trust of the public that believes that such organizations are in favor of many introductions,” said Chuck Lang, BFN state conservation director.


Can We Stop Invasion Without Limiting Access?

In the West and Upper Midwest, many are understandably concerned about the spread of zebra and quagga mussels into new waters. These exotic species can do tremendous damage to native ecosystems and water-supply systems.

The dilemma is what to do about this threat that does not also impede public access to public waters. More and more, programs that provide for boat inspections and/or cleaning stations seem to be the answer. Some of those being implemented are optional; others are mandatory. The problem with this strategy is cost; states and most local communities simply do not have the money to sustain such projects long term.

Consequently, a growing number want to limit public access. Period. For example, a Realtor at Lake Tahoe is arguing for a regulation that will allow only locally owned and registered boats on that fishery.

Here’s an excerpt:

“We cannot allow a recreational pursuit to destroy property values all around the Lake simply because a few out of area boaters are careless or unconcerned about decontaminating their watercraft properly. There are now many lakes in Nevada and Northern California within a one-day drive of Lake Tahoe that are suffering the ill effects from the introduction of zebra and quagga mussels, meaning it is only a matter of time before a contaminated boat slips into Lake Tahoe.

“While out of area boaters may complain about a stringent new regulation, the fact of the matter is we all need to work together to protect this jewel which is the driver of the Lake Tahoe economy. There are actually a number of positive economic benefits to moving in the direction of a Tahoe Only Boats program. First of all, the local marinas and boat companies will immediately see an enormous increase in business for both watercraft sales and rentals. This will lead to the hiring of more staff for boat sales, service, deliveries and transportation.

“If the only boats permitted in Lake Tahoe are locally owned and registered, there will be a dramatic increase in the sale of watercraft, accessories, fuel and safety equipment. It would be very easy to implement a program where Tahoe Only Boats are licensed and registered and stored in approved facilities. Watercraft retailers and storage businesses in Reno and Carson City will also see a jump in sales and rentals if these new regulations are employed.”

Read the full story here.

If I lived at Lake Tahoe, I’m not so sure that I wouldn’t agree with the argument.

Regretably, unless someone comes up with an effective and low-cost way to prevent the spread of these shellfish, I'm afraid that limiting access will be the only answer.