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  • George Mrozinski of Sarver, PA writes:

    RE: Balog on bed-fishing In my area we have a reservoir of approximately 11,000 acres which has no closed season due to half the lake being in Ohio. It gets pounded with tournaments throughout prime spawning season for 2 months straight. A study was done on the lake proper and the 2,500-acre propagation area in which no fishing has ever been allowed.

    The findings were that the fish densities were the same. Twenty years ago it took 16 to 18 pounds to win a tournament. It now takes 21 to 22 pounds to win. I would say that's pretty compelling evidence.

  • Wil Wegman of Bradford, ON writes:

    RE: Schultz back in Classic Great article about Bernie and an interesting look back at his 1991 Classic on the Chesapeake. I was his press angler for one of those days, covering my first Classic, and can vouch that Bernie was on some winning fish. Traveling across that huge, shallow bay with Bernie to reach his fishing areas was half the adventure.I still root for Bernie all these years later and hope he hammers them at this this year's Classic!

  • Bryan Heaberlin of DeLand, FL writes:

    RE: Balog on bed-fishing Joe, I wouldn't spend too much time being horrified over the removal of some trophy-class fish, There are many giant bass down here. What you should do is make a difference rather than trying to divide this community even further. Now that you live here you should spend some time following around the spray boats, document what they do, what happens afterward and such, note the frequency and if it is really even needed.

    In my opinion, if you truly want to see a world-class fishery it is right here. The key is letting the vegetation alone and very selective application in our waters. Instead of talking to someone on the payroll of a governmental agency because you believe it to be scientific, spend time talking to the people that use it. If this area had its vegetation left alone and I mean left the heck alone the bass will get everywhere, they use it, they can be caught from it and yes, they get huge. There is nothing more frustrating to me than to constantly spend my time searching for the stuff they missed so I can go fishing.

    With your column you could do wonders to restore what once was. Sorry to ramble and rant, but you truly have an opportunity to get this out.

  • Johnny McLean of Little Rock, AR writes:

    RE: Balog on bed-fishing Good article, Joe. I have always been in the opposing camp, believing that it is just not ethically right to sight-fish.

  • George Foster of Pineville, LA writes:

    Yes, it is to hard to make it as a pro. But when you cannot make it with the big boys it is time to drop down to the FLW level.

  • Paul Wallace of Cambridge City, IN writes:

    RE: Watson on MLF Giant spoon-flipping in the docks! That might be the greatest episode ever. Well done, Mr. Watson.

  • Dave Krantz of Albany, GA writes:

    RE: Balog on bed-fishing I would be very leery of any study done by fishery biologists on the effect of bed-fishing on spawning bass. First off, almost every bass caught in the spring is in some stage of the spawning process. Most bass are caught either staging or guarding a bed you can't see. Secondly, bass caught off beds during tournaments are a tiny fraction of the fish caught in any tourney.

    What you've got is a situation where it's impossible to know the fish population and without that, there is no way to project your findings (sample) accurately enough to give you any useful information.

  • Bob Goodman of Phelps, NY writes:

    RE: Watson on MLF I watched him in the survival round 1 and couldn't believe this guy is a "pro." I guess to get sponsors you have to act like a jerk when you lack talent. Sad part is he fell into a bunch of fish and won the round.

  • Jason Houchins of Clarksville, VA writes:

    RE: Dove switches over Kurt is a great fisherman, a great product rep, a great friend and, most importantly, a great person. Looking forward to his FLW career. Good luck!

  • Barbara Long of Humble, TX writes:

    RE: Reyes' passion I truly enjoyed reading this article. I've known Jason Reyes since his tournament fishing career began. He is a straightforward young man who is a leader among his peers. His insights to fishing are true lessons to be learned. This article proves his love and dedication to the sport of bass fishing.

  • Andy Williamson of Lake Andes, SD writes:

    RE: Watson on MLF Most of the comments on Major League Fishing made by James Watson that are directed to his marshal or even to himself are simply joking around or "ribbing." This makes for more entertaining TV. Thanks, Don Rucks, and way to go, James, for crushing the field with the dock/spoon deal.

  • Richard Elliott Jr. of Teeswater, ON writes:

    RE: Johnstons' team approach Go get 'em boys. Tight lines from Canada.

  • Mark Melega of Rices Landing, PA writes:

    RE: Johnstons' team approach The "Rookie Brothers" are going to hit the FLW Tour with a full head of steam. Two skilled heads working together really helps for finding good water. I hope Andy Morgan doesn't bust their bubble too soon.

  • Dwain Mercer of Madisonville, TN writes:

    RE: Morgan's consistency Andy is a great representative for both fishing and hunting. Proud he is from east Tennessee. Do whatever it takes to keep our outdoor heritage alive.

  • Adam Ohms of Edwardsville, IL writes:

    RE: Balog on bed-fishing I personally see no difference in bed-fishing compared to forcing a reaction strike by a 15- to 20-foot cast to a visual target, triggering a feeding frenzy with multiple presentations to a school on a ledge that was found visually with modern electronics, or making 10 casts with a wacky worm to a cruising bass. If it's hooked in the mouth, it represents angling ... period.

    Bed-fishing has been done by anglers for decades and to provide a contrary opinion to that of decimation of lake population, a previous opinion of this column has been that bass fishing has never been better and continues to improve.

  • Skip Bennett of Texico, IL writes:

    RE: Balog on bed-fishing I think your comment on the "two out-of-towners" (which you are one also) using shiners, catching fish and you saying it shows no demonstration of any knowledge or skill and nothing to be proud of" is very disrespectful. Anyone who catches a trophy fish should be proud of the fact, especially a weekend warrior or vacationer. Then you say you have brought many spawners back to the scales yourself. So it's okay for you to collect tournament money and hold a trophy high for doing the same thing? Enough on you.

    How about closing off certain bays or areas of the lakes to ensure non-harassed fish can spawn and replenish the stock.

  • James Watson of Nixa, MO writes:

    What Dennis Pentecost said! Love it!

  • Jason Law of Pembroke Pines, FL writes:

    RE: Balog on bed-fishing Joe, Joe, Joe ... Please do not move down to this state and bring the northern notion of it's bad to fish for spawning bass. This subject has been beat to death and if it truly had a harmful impact on fisheries, then the state of Florida would have been decimated from the thrones of the bass fishing world many, many years before you decided to move here. Not only is the best time of year to fish down here from November to May, it's also the coolest time of the year to get out and enjoy the waters. Try it in July and August and you may want to move back up north and continue preaching to those who restrict fishing during the spawn. Otherwise, move on to your next topic.

    The only true impact to fishing during the spawn is the 20,000 northerners who come down here every year and fill cooler after cooler of bass (and crappie for that matter). Now trust me, I know not all visitors are keeping their fish, but I've seen enough to know that is the only true impact of harming a fishery when these 6-, 7- and 8-pound fish are being harvested from our waters and it's happening every day at places like the Big O, Lake Kissimmee, Toho and the rest of the Florida lakes. A 200-boat tournament where catch and release is the common practice is not impacting the state of the spawn at any alarming levels that have been going on since catch and release has become a staple in the bass fishing world.

    If the state of Florida chose to operate the way northern waters are run by eliminating fishing for bass during the spawn (which is roughly half the year long here), it would cripple the freshwater fishing industry in this state. Please keep the opinions and thoughts about how this state should run its programs and how the anglers in it should choose to fish to maybe just the thoughts in your head. It's really quite simple if you don't want to catch spawning fish down here, don't fish from about the beginning of November until about the third week of May, Also, pack plenty of water and sunscreen for those dog days of summer, because if you fish at all during those times, I can promise you one thing ... you're going to catch a spawning fish.

    Welcome to Florida.

  • Mike Tams of Geneva, OH writes:

    RE: Balog on bed-fishing Science does prove that gobies will eradicate a bass nest in seconds once the bass is removed. This does not stop guys like Mark Zona and Kim Stricker from giving tutorials on how to catch nesting bass on their shows. Stressing the importance of "releasing the bass immediately" is pretty hypocritical since the damage is already done to the nest.

    Furthermore, most bass shows filmed in the spring are plucking bass off nests the entire time, then trying to sell the consumer the "magical" bait. I appreciate Joe Balog's opinion and fully agree with it, but if he wants to really make an impact on protecting the future of fisheries he should work with his colleagues (Zona, Stricker, Bucher and more) and get these hypocritical shows removed from production. Of course, this is not likely to happen since they all have to push product and there is no easier time to catch a bass than when it is in defense mode protecting its young. The guys who promote this should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Rob Dixon of Lewistown, PA writes:

    RE: Balog on bed-fishing I really cringe when I see people fishing for spawners ... sure it's fun to catch a big bass, but plucking one off its bed is easy, especially a spawning river smallie. Some of the so-called "guides" on the Susquehanna take clients out to pluck 4- and 5-pounders off their beds every year, even now while the river is being killed by fracking that the EPA and fish commission ignore and pretend to not know the cause of the fish kills.

    People who target bed fish in the North, where the entire population spawns in a 2- to 3-week period, need to start being fined or it's never going to stop.

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