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Michigan Might Join The Majority

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Anglers in "The Mitten" may soon join the majority of other states with no closed season for bass! 

 

The Michigan Senate passed SB869 recently and the bill is headed to the House.  If it passes there and the Governor signs it, we could be looking at a year round bass fishing season.

 

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(bakrdpqxt4kdaf55cmmr1jnr))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=2014-SB-0869

 

Right now, bass season is closed from January 1st until the last Saturday in April when a catch and release season begins.  Full catch and keep season for the majority of the state doesn't start until the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.  This change could easily add more than a month of fishing for the C&R guys and the tournament anglers to boot.

 

Unless you live as far north as A-Jay who has to wait until about the middle of June for the ice to leave!  :laugh5:

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Wow, this is exciting. I contacted the DNR earlier this year on this very subject. They responded with a pdf of their proposals. None of which were an open season. This should be interesting. The DNR's stance is that they would have difficulty enforcing the closed Walleye, Pike and Musky seasons, at least that is what they told me. 

 

Just finished reading an article on another forum, it appears that MDNR has given it's complete blessing to this legislation. Not sure what has changed their mind as far as enforcement of the other closed seasons, however I will be happy when I can cast a line right after ice out. 

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Wow, this is exciting. I contacted the DNR earlier this year on this very subject. They responded with a pdf of their proposals. None of which were an open season. This should be interesting. The DNR's stance is that they would have difficulty enforcing the closed Walleye, Pike and Musky seasons, at least that is what they told me.

I could see that affecting those seasons or closed seasons that is especially Pike who you can't not catch this time of year.

I think I'm in the majority here and the closed season doesn't bother me. We normally have ice through about mod March or further, and its cold and windy, waiting until 4-26 isn't that long of a wait at least for me.

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Anglers in "The Mitten" may soon join the majority of other states with no closed season for bass! 

 

The Michigan Senate passed SB869 recently and the bill is headed to the House.  If it passes there and the Governor signs it, we could be looking at a year round bass fishing season.

 

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(bakrdpqxt4kdaf55cmmr1jnr))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=2014-SB-0869

 

Right now, bass season is closed from January 1st until the last Saturday in April when a catch and release season begins.  Full catch and keep season for the majority of the state doesn't start until the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.  This change could easily add more than a month of fishing for the C&R guys and the tournament anglers to boot.

 

Unless you live as far north as A-Jay who has to wait until about the middle of June for the ice to leave!  :laugh5:

 

We are all keeping our fingers crossed Big Time on this one.

 

Also hoping the ice melts soon - thanks a lot ~ Wise Guy    :laugh5:

 

A-Jay

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I could see that affecting those seasons or closed seasons that is especially Pike who you can't not catch this time of year.

I think I'm in the majority here and the closed season doesn't bother me. We normally have ice through about mod March or further, and its cold and windy, waiting until 4-26 isn't that long of a wait at least for me.

 You're not in any majority I'm a part of - You want to wait - go right a head.

 

The rest of us would at least like the option.

 

No closed season on Bass is long over due.

 

A-Jay

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Some of my earliest memories of fishing were tied to the excitement of the various Opening Days we had for different species.  The last Saturday of April always found us on a stream or creek chasing trout.  May 15th was the first day we could fish for pike or walleyes.  Memorial Day weekend gave us the chance to finally go after bass.  Of course that excitement was also tempered by the fact that there were going to be crowds.

 

Since the DNR shifted openers for pike and walleye, and created an early C&R bass fishing season, I don't see the crowding so much as I used to as we are allowed so many other options.  I also don't think that bass fishermen are going to start targeting pike or walleye out of season anymore than I saw those fishermen targeting bass before Memorial Day. 

 

Statistics have shown that the vast majority of bass fishermen practice catch and release regardless of the season, as the early C&R season didn't show any negative impacts on bass populations.  That's important in a state that doesn't provide a stocking program like many of the other states that don't have closed seasons during the spawn.  The jury is still out on whether we'll see a drop in the bass population or if supplemental stocking is going to be needed in the future.  Michigan already has a huge stocking program for walleye, trout, and salmon which are more popular in both numbers of fishermen and on the dinner table.

 

IMHO, the big winners in this are going to be the tournament crowd.  If clubs can spread out their schedules by an extra month, it could lead to less crowding on holiday weekends.  With such a short season, many of these clubs have started their year on Memorial Day weekend.  Having to squeeze onto a lake during one of the busiest weekends of the year was far from ideal, and I hope that most clubs will leave that weekend alone. It created a lot of hard feelings from non-tournament fishermen when they were faced with packed parking lots on opening day. 

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Glad this is working out for y'all. I couldn't imagine not being able to go catch a bass whenever I got ready.

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Maybe a year round bass season would keep me out of trouble.

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I wish Wisconsin would do this. There are a lot of anglers around here that hate bass (walleye guys) so a lot of folks would be in favor of it. Anti-bass guys would want them caught and eaten, bass guys would be in favor because bass.

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From a biological perspective, I don't think closed seasons make much difference. It doesn't take many successful spawning pairs to maintain a population. IMO. Some biologists in northern states don't agree, I know. Is it based on science or just a remnant of that's the way we always did it?

And that may be rooted in the old keep everything you catch mentality. Modern anglers are more likely to practice catch-and-release. I don't see any need for closed seasons.

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