(not that it matters now...)
So yesterday when I got to the reservoir, I saw a couple of dudes pointing at "something" into the water and doing occasional jerking motions. They were looking at a logjam at the dam where small crappies, bluegills, and dinky bass usually hang out. I though nothing of it (should have thought harder) and decided they were amusing themselves. Fine with me. There were half a dozen young guys and girls admiring the view from the dam (it's pretty picturesque) anyway, so I drove away and fished elsewhere.
After a couple of hours when I came back to the dam, I found the two dudes and the other guys and girls gone, but an elderly man was making repeated casts to the same logjam with what looked like a dead(?) minnow. Not my favorite way to fish, but whatever. I wanted to fish the dam, but well, I have other spots.
Come back after a while, and there's no one at the dam. Yay! So I start doing my thing; chucking my swimbaits, checking for follows, and looking around to see if I see anything interesting. Well, I did see something interesting. A couple of snagging hooks tied to a high lb test line which was tied to a post (snaggers probably wanted to come back today), and a couple of decent-sized bedding bass inside the logjam; in about three feet of water. Them larger bass should have been smarter and made a bed in deeper water. Anyone could see them, with or without polarized glasses.
Casted a glide bait towards them, and the bigger one spooked off and didn't come back to the bed. It did come back to the general location and hang around. Well, that one was smart, and would probably not get snagged by the bedfish snaggers.
The other one (looked to be a 5-6 lb class fish) was way more stubborn. It just would not leave the bed (except to chase away bluegills) or get spooked. I had a dilemma. This looked like a fish that could get snagged, if someone could get a hook near her (or maybe a him). The logjam saved them earlier.
Thought about it a bit, and decided to fish for it. Thought that maybe she'd be wiser after she got a hook in her (mouth). No matter what I read, legally catching a (decent sized) bass that doesn't want to eat and knows you're trying to catch her isn't easy. I did have my bedfishing gear in the car, but this wasn't a place for 8 lb line and a spinning rod. So I fished with an 8" weedless hudd (lol). Yes you can do it. I've bed-fished with a punch-rig before too.
After an hour and a half, I catch her (hook in mouth), weigh her (5 lb 15 ozs) and release her; hoping she would be a little wiser, and not get snagged/ caught and eaten. Didn't keep an eye on the bigger one all this while.
After the C&R job, I see the two fish hanging out near the bed, but not quite as near; they seemed to be a lot more spooky too. Good; hopefully they have learnt the lesson.
So over the next hour, I do my thing; which is hauling water with a hudd and a hardgill. Come back to the bed around sunset, and I still can catch a glimpse of the two bass once in a while; but, and this is why I'm feeling bad, bluegills are running all over the bed. The bed is gone, but the two big bass are still alive and well, and hopefully will find another bed to lay eggs in. I didn't leave until it was so dark that you couldn't see a thing underwater even with polarized glasses.
Went back early today before sunrise, and didn't see either of the two bass anywhere near the bed. Left a rather professional note too (the first version was not very "family-friendly") saying that the snaggers and their vehicle license plate number has been reported. (The latter is a bluff.) Hopefully the note will serve as a warning for other would-be snaggers too. We'll see.
Makes my blood boil every time I even hear about these scumbags. Probably a good thing I don't own a weapon. I don't like meat fishermen keeping big bass either, but I'm not gonna tell another grown man what to do as long as it's legal. (I still try though.)
The snagging hooks tied to the line are now residing in the trunk of my sedan. That's one snagging setup that'll never snag another fish. (The line tied to the hudd is 25# for reference.)