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BASS fisherman

Do you say something?

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Last weekend I was beating the bank at a local lake and I catch a close, but not keepable Lm bass.  A guy is walking past and does the usual "nice fish you got there" line and asks if I am going to keep it.  Now I am stricktly a C&R guy,  even if I would catch a new state record I would release it.  So I tell the guy no I don't want it, and the guy about jumps out of his boots and holds out a bucket and says"then I'll take it"!  I immediatley throw the fish in the water and inform him that the legal length is 15 inches and that fish wasn't.  Plus they are too much fun to only catch once.  He does this fake laugh and walks away.

Yesterday I was fishing the same lake and this guy and his wife are fishing just down from me.   All of the sudden the guy runs towards his wife who is out of my line of sight.  I thought maybe something was wrong so I start walking over to help if needed.  Well she caught a 10"-11" LM bass and was obviosly afraid to touch it, let alone take the hook out.  Her husband walks over with a pair of pliers and a stringer, now I have an idea of this guys plans but didn't want to jump the gun.  He removes the hook, and then reaches for the stringer and starts to untangle it.  I inform him the minimum legal length on this lake is 15" and that fish doesn't come close.  He hesitates and askes if he should throw it back, to which I say "yes".  I promptly move to the other side of his wife explaining to them the reason for this requirment.  During which he continually glares at me with either an embarassed look or a P.O.'d look.  After explaining to them the reason for the length requirment I walk away to fish another area of the lake.

Now my question.......

Would you say something to folks who either don't know the law or are to ignorant to care?  I don't like confrontation too much, but these people are ruining the lake!!  The laws are there for a reason!

What do you think?

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Sure you should say something. Inform them of the law, and let them make their own decision from there. Gets rid of the "I didn't know" excuse, which isn't really a valid excuse anyway.

Reminds me of a situation I ran into on Wilson this spring. I cross paths with a boat fishing the same stretch of bank, and the guy on the TM says "we're trying to catch a cooler full, do you know what the limit is? Got a 5 pounder in there, but been throwing back anything under 15 inches to be safe." Now of course I know that there is no longer a size restriction on Wilson for LM, but I didn't want this guy emptying out my favorite cove. Plus, what's the point of telling me he's going to eat what he percieves to be a 5 pounder, besides ticking me off. So, I just reply "I don't know man, I just throw them all back."

What's so hard about figuring out the legal length / limit for a lake before you fish it? Don't even get me started on people who don't bother to buy fishing licenses either...

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No I wouldn't say anything.  It is up to the other guy to know the rules just like it is up to you to know them.

I don't know about your rules but in my state if you had given the guy the fish even if it had been of legal length your fishing day would be legally over because you can not give fish away until your day of fishing is complete.

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Well, two weeks ago I had some "illegals" throwing a net on my public pond. Confronted the three of them NICELY to inform them that netting game fish is illegal. They left the area I was fishing, but thirty minutes later were casting their net on the other side of the pond. Tennessee Game & Fish ain't available, but Germantown cops were! Men were arrestested "for cause," but not necessarily for illegal activities.  ::)

I say be nice up front, but if that doesn't work call in the calvery!

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If they ask i'll tell them.I'm starting to agree more and more about knowing the rules before you fish.Just like most hunters know the rules of hunting around here.Now i have given a few bass away of legal limit...when i do i let them know this is a legal size.

I run into them kinds of people everytime i fish.Alot of times i try to just stay away from the public,it's like everytime i catch something i get the "are you gonna keep it?'' It's got me itching for a boat now.

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Ran into a guy two years ago on one of my favorite C&R lakes. He asked if I was catching anything, I said a few. He then lifted this stringer off the side of his boat and said look at these. I'll bet there was at least a dozen fish on that stringer that was in the three - four pound mark. >:( >:( >:( I informed him that this lake was C&R but he acted like he didn't care and dropped them back in the water. He said he was from out of state and never heard of such a thing. I had my cell phone and called the local DNR official (which never showed up). People like this really get to me in a baaaaad way. IF YOU ARE GOING TO VISIT MY STATE, PLEASE OBEY THE LAWS. IGNORANCE IS NO EXCUSE!!!!!

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No I wouldn't say anything.  It is up to the other guy to know the rules just like it is up to you to know them.

I don't know about your rules but in my state if you had given the guy the fish even if it had been of legal length your fishing day would be legally over because you can not give fish away until your day of fishing is complete.

Do they still enforce that law that you know of? That sounds like one of those dumb old laws that would not apply in todays' world....We have one here in Alabama that states "Boogers may not be flicked into the wind."... The site is http://www.dumblaws.com/laws/united-states/alabama/ if anyone needs a good laugh....

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I'm glad you said something.  We need more people like that.  If I take a friend to anyone of my ponds, that's the first thing I tell them, C&R only.  If they don't like it, they don't fish it, easy as that.  I saw a kid take a 6# out of a small local pond.  I wanted to tar and feather him.   >:(  I better stop before I get all worked up over this matter.

Brandon

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All the D.E.M. (Dept. environmental management) trucks here in RI have big letters on the bed of the truck that say "REPORT ABUSE" and a big phone number next to it.  I mean BIG, the length of the truck bed. (they make it easy to remember 222-3070)

I've used it twice.  The second time, a truck showed up within 15 minutes of us calling and they bagged a guy who was filling a 5 gal bucket with 10-12" stripers.  The 1st time, I saw no responce but hadn't stuck around very long so don't know whether they showed up or not.

It's your right to call but more so,...it's your duty.

In this situation, I think you handled it properly.  If you see this guy yet again, blatantly breaking the law, I would discreetly call your state hotline, I'm sure they have one, throw the # in your cell now so it's readily available in the future.

You've done your part, and even educated them a bit.  Now they know.  Another "confrontation" could escalate seeing as how there is history there now.  Avoid him from now on, call "the man" if you need to.

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One of the reasons I got out of commercial fishing (and there were many) was because of catching more than the legal limit and keeping short fish.  Morally, I couldn't handle it, but I also really couldn't say anything about it, either, seeing as I was only a deck hand, and not the captain or the owner.  More often than not, after a fishing trip, we would keep a basket or 2 of short fluke (summer flounder) to sell for cash to the local market, what is commonly called "shak".  In the fisherman's defense, the regulations had gotten so strict that it was darned near impossible to make a decent day's pay without this part of the catch.  Like I said, I wasn't going to stop them from doing it, but I also couldn't continue to be a part of it.  If we were ever caught, the penalties for doing this are extreme, to say the least.  The NYS DEC would "chain" the boat to the dock for 6 months minimum and hand out a meaty fine to boot.

Now, when I go fishing in the salt, I am always over the legal size if I am going to keep a fish.  I won't let anyone with me keep illegal fish, and more often than not, I can convince anyone else to throw back even the borderline keepers knowing that chances are they'll catch another, better fish soon enough.  That saying "There's more than one fish in the sea," is absolutly true, and with a little patience you can find them.

I haven't had to "rat anyone out," (for lack of a better term), but I will most deffinately say something to an angler I see keeping shorts.

Luckily, I don't see too many other fishermen in my lake, so I can't say I've seen anyone keeping short fish, but I know the DEC is always near-by and wouldn't take too much to get them here.

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ive done the simular thing as r.w has done and seen simular activities. if its not legal limit i dont keep it even if the lake manager who is a good friend told me its ok just keep one which was almost legal. i replies nope if it isnt 14 or 15 inches its not a keeper. this way i retained my integerity, and im respected as an angler  ;)

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I'm strictly C&R so I don't pay *alot* of attn to the regs, and I wouldn't one to say anything to anyone; primarily because I'm not the biggest guy in the world, I usually fish alone, and most of my fishing is in remote areas so I don't wanna come up missing  :o. KDWP enforcement is a joke, I've never been asked for a license, and I don't see much of a presence from them so I just kind of let whatever go by. If it was an extreme encroachment I'd probably call local police but otherwise I let it go.

I guess it's tough to really know until I'm in that situation.

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I'm strictly C&R so I don't pay *alot* of attn to the regs, and I wouldn't one to say anything to anyone; primarily because I'm not the biggest guy in the world, I usually fish alone, and most of my fishing is in remote areas so I don't wanna come up missing :o. KDWP enforcement is a joke, I've never been asked for a license, and I don't see much of a presence from them so I just kind of let whatever go by. If it was an extreme encroachment I'd probably call local police but otherwise I let it go.

I guess it's tough to really know until I'm in that situation.

well im short but big had plenty of run ins growing up and what not its not a fight or coming up missing that bothers me if i come up missing just call the lake manager to find out where the bass are biting chances are thats where i'll be  ;D

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I usually fish alone, and most of my fishing is in remote areas so I don't wanna come up missing  

Ditto.

I'll add that if you hear banjo music, just quietly leave the area.

;D

Aint that the truth

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I usually fish alone, and most of my fishing is in remote areas so I don't wanna come up missing

Ditto.

I'll add that if you hear banjo music, just quietly leave the area.

;D

Aint that the truth

small problem deaf guy <-----------------------  ;) ;D ;D ;D

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Yes, I think saying something is appropriate.  I have "run people off" at a place I fish.  You need a permisson slip/wiaver to fish there.  It is free and application takes all of three minutes.  Yet people don't take the time to do it.  

It really hit home when I found a piece of plastic rigged up to be a stringer that was full of small fish that were left behind and tied to a tree.  The place is C/R only.  To top it off, it was in the area that the illegals sneak on to fish with their handline and bleach bottle.

I cut the "stringer" and freed the fish.  Hopefully they survived.  They seemed to swim away fine.

As for disapperaing all I can say is:  You got purty teeth.  

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Yes, I think saying something is appropriate. I have "run people off" at a place I fish. You need a permisson slip/wiaver to fish there. It is free and application takes all of three minutes. Yet people don't take the time to do it.

It really hit home when I found a piece of plastic rigged up to be a stringer that was full of small fish that were left behind and tied to a tree. The place is C/R only. To top it off, it was in the area that the illegals sneak on to fish with their handline and bleach bottle.

I cut the "stringer" and freed the fish. Hopefully they survived. They seemed to swim away fine.

As for disapperaing all I can say is: You got purty teeth.

i like badkarma's response here. Now thats redneck !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 8-)

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Guest avid

Bass Fisherman.

I think you handled the situation excellently.

Congratulations to you.

Education over confrontation.

It's good Karma.

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Bass Fisherman.

I think you handled the situation excellently.

Congratulations to you.

Education over confrontation.

It's good Karma.

avid what ever happened to opps he fell down?  ;) ;D ;D

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One of the reasons I got out of commercial fishing (and there were many) was because of catching more than the legal limit and keeping short fish.  Morally, I couldn't handle it, but I also really couldn't say anything about it, either, seeing as I was only a deck hand, and not the captain or the owner.  More often than not, after a fishing trip, we would keep a basket or 2 of short fluke (summer flounder) to sell for cash to the local market, what is commonly called "shak".  In the fisherman's defense, the regulations had gotten so strict that it was darned near impossible to make a decent day's pay without this part of the catch.  Like I said, I wasn't going to stop them from doing it, but I also couldn't continue to be a part of it.  If we were ever caught, the penalties for doing this are extreme, to say the least.  The NYS DEC would "chain" the boat to the dock for 6 months minimum and hand out a meaty fine to boot.

Now, when I go fishing in the salt, I am always over the legal size if I am going to keep a fish.  I won't let anyone with me keep illegal fish, and more often than not, I can convince anyone else to throw back even the borderline keepers knowing that chances are they'll catch another, better fish soon enough.  That saying "There's more than one fish in the sea," is absolutly true, and with a little patience you can find them.

I haven't had to "rat anyone out," (for lack of a better term), but I will most deffinately say something to an angler I see keeping shorts.

Luckily, I don't see too many other fishermen in my lake, so I can't say I've seen anyone keeping short fish, but I know the DEC is always near-by and wouldn't take too much to get them here.

Yes, the commercial side of things is a whole different world and your comments apply all the way down the ladder to the guy that digs clams for a living.  With regulations and limits decreasing, it's almost impossible to keep your head above water as a captain trying to do things the right way.  

As a deckhand, you work, keep your mouth shut , collect the check and go home.  Stray from the course and trouble will surely ensue, right or wrong.  Sucks, but that's the way it is.

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I appreciate the responses and kind words.

Last year I kept my mouth shut when I seen someone taking undersized fish.  This year I have educated myself so that when the situation arrises, I can handle it reasonably well.  

As an angler I believe that when the situation of people illegally taking undersized fish arrises, you need to remind the people what the laws are, as well as why the laws are in place.  It isn't just right, it's your duty as an angler.

I have had people go over my head trying to resolve something  rather than coming to me, and that bugs me tremendously.  I would rather go to the source and lay some education down and let them make the next move.  Like RW said, if that doesn't work the next step are the police or in PA the waterways conservation officers.  

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