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  • Matt Belletini of Birmingham, MI writes:

    RE: Balog on Michigan catch-and-release – Joe, does a nice job explaining the process we just went through here in Michigan. One piece I would like to clarify is that the two proposals presented to the Natural Resources Commission were not among the four options generated by the Warm water Resources Steering Committee and presented at the public meetings. I would like to see science prevail in our state. Keeping the status quo or limiting the harvest season does not ensure a healthy fishery going forward. As Bass anglers, we’ve been lucky so far with exotics and habitat change, but our luck won’t last forever.

  • Dave Reault of Livonia, MI writes:

    RE: Balog on Michigan catch-and-release – Great piece, Joe. I've been involved in this process for the last two years, participating on DNR committees and also attending and testifying at the NRC meetings. It's great now having catch-and-release fishing for bass legal year-round! My takeaway from all of this is that it is more important than ever for bass anglers to support and participate in organizations like The Bass Federation and B.A.S.S. Nation. Your article is right on about participation and becoming more informed as to the science behind the issues. Thanks!

  • Rob Dixon of Lewistown, PA writes:

    RE: Balog on Michigan catch-and-release – Joe is right on the money talking about small club tournaments and their treatment of bass. I've been to several tournaments from Rayovacs to BFLs to small local club tourneys. Let me be clear though first, it's not every club, but in my experience, it is most. I cringe when I see the way the bass are treated – laying out on boat decks, being walked across parking lots in bags that have no water in them, weighed in a clothes basket and walked 100 yards down to the lake to be dumped in after they have been out of the water for over 4 or 5 minutes, sometimes longer. How this is legal is beyond crazy.

    The DCNR, Fish Commission, or whoever is responsible for fisheries management in the state should be present for all tournaments and make sure this 1980s way of running an event is no longer happening. It's not OK to lay a bass on your carpet, it's not OK to put 5 fish in your weigh-in bag and walk across a parking lot with no water in the bag, it's not OK to let some guy stand there holding his 3-pounder horizontally to show his buddies how awesome he is after the fish has already spent multiple minutes out of the water. Man I could go on and on, but to sum it up, this is 2015, not 1995, and we should be knowledgeable enough by now to know how to treat the fish we all love to catch.

  • Terry Bone of Wixom, MI writes:

    RE: Balog on Michigan catch-and-release – Joe, this is a great explanation and I think a very accurate view of the activities. Thanks for putting this together and providing the truth!

  • Charles Bowman of Kernersville, NC writes:

    RE: Lightning at Rayovac – I am not surprised by this thunderstorm experience. I've written an opinion piece that ran here on BassFan regarding this very issue. Since then, tournament organizations continue to start tournaments knowing the weather that is coming. Tournament anglers have been killed by lightning and others will be.

    I do not know the solution, but I do know that it is foolish to run miles from the nearest shelter, knowing that a dangerous storm is only an hour or so away. We're going to have to solve this issue somehow.

  • Tommy Cauley of Bee Branch,Ark. writes:

    RE: Balog on Michigan catch-and-release – Well said. No one wants to look back, just do what's in front of them. Then when something's wrong they want to blame someone and just complain and never be involved in it.

  • John Gaulke of Ithaca, NY writes:

    Congrats go out to Dustin Connell for his great win at the Alabama River Southern Open. I noticed he was wearing a pro-style shirt with the names of various sponsors on it. I wonder how many of the "true pros" have an issue with a non-pro wearing a shirt like that. Dustin clearly fished like a pro.

    I don't care what kind of shirt an angler wears, I like it when they "talk" with their angling prowess.

  • Mark Melega of Rices Landing, PA writes:

    I'm calling (for lack of a better term) B.S. on the lures sticking out of the bass and catching in the nets. This sounds like a "plug" for the netters to blame the fate of the bass on the anglers.

  • Jim Liner of Pintlala, AL writes:

    We have been using the Millennium Marine boat seats for a year and a half at our Ray Scott Outdoors resort. We have had a large number of people come in and some large people, as well. The Millennium seat is the only one I have seen that is rated for 400 pounds. We have yet to break one. Plus, you have the advantage of the mesh that is cooler and fast-drying.

    I do not normally say this about products we test, but these seats are perfect. My favorites are the B100 and the B200.

  • Harold Sharp of Hixson, TN writes:

    RE: Velvick's vegetable oil – B.A.S.S. Rule C13 states: "Competitors wishing to change fish habitat by placing any object in the tournament waters may do so if such action does not violate state or federal laws." Was the vegy oil trick checked out to be sure it's legal?

  • Steven C. Rockweiler of Luling, LA writes:

    I fish inland waters on the Louisiana Delta, so we not only pursue bass, but reds, speckled trout and flounder also. During the '60s, '70s and 80's, a fisherman could hardly catch a 4-pound speckled trout. This was due to monofilament gillnets. I would watch them put out a couple miles of nets strung together at an inlet and when they ran them, the results were astounding. Fish of every species, and the larger ones were toast.

    It took an almighty effort to ban those monofilament gill nets. Those guys got rich off of the public's resources. There are literally thousands of seafood restaurants in south Louisiana and New Orleans, and when tourists come here, they head to those places. The restaurant industry formed an association and it was a multi-year fight in the state legislature with all the money floating around trying to ban these nets ... which finally happened just over 20 years ago.

    Nylon string gill nets are still allowed with a license. These fishermen are supposed to stay with those nets at all times and run them frequently. The Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries used to keep tabs on them fairly well, but with budget cuts and other financial stains, they do not now. They will make a check if called – this happened this winter in the Lake Verret region here.

    I don't really care for the nets, but we have to do something. We had miles of good grass – hydrilla, coontail and milfoil – but we have very few places with it now. When Hurricane Isaac hit my area in 2012, we had devastating fish kills. I went out to survey the extent just a few days after and was shocked at the thousands of Asian carp dead on the water. These were large carp in the 20-plus-pound range. These fish have spread in record time throughout the South and somehow we will need to deal with them. They are destructive.

  • Skip Bennett of Texico, Il writes:

    RE: Tennessee River gill-netting – I personally talked to one of the owners at a fish processing plant that's harvesting Asian carp. When I asked about how often he catches bass, his response was "very little, and 90 percent of the time it's from bass that have lures sticking out of their mouths that catch the net." I personally want the carp taken out and us bass fishermen need to check our lines and knots so we can let the gill-netters get their job done without our interference of poor execution.

  • Joe Zellmer of Mitchell, SD writes:

    RE: Velvick's vegetable oil – Give Byron credit for using natural vegetable oil. No respect for the anglers using dish soap and adding phosphates to the water. The dish soap dopes remind me of walleye fishermen using WD-40 as an attractant years ago.

  • J. David Speakman of Mesquite, TX writes:

    RE: Velvick's vegetable oil – First, I am a very serious bass fisherman and tournament angler. I believe our waters have enough oil and chemicals in them without the aid of fishermen deliberately and intentionally spaying oil from a water-blaster of any kind into our lakes. I would be ashamed to have my name associated with this kind of abuse to our lakes, rivers and streams.

  • George Mrozinski of Sarver, PA writes:

    The FLW website is a cluster. Hope they didn't pay much to have it built. Seen better stuff from do-it yourself sites.

  • Warren Wolk of Richboro, PA writes:

    RE: Velvick's vegetable oil – Not meaning to be "that guy", but does all that oil going into the water have any kind of negative effect on the environment? I know critters and oil don't exactly get along too well. I know the cooking oil/oil spill analogy is a bit far-fetched, but if there is a negative impact on any plant or animal the practice shouldn't be allowed in tournaments, IMHO. As a dock owner (and avid bass fisherman), I know I wouldn't be happy having a film of any kind of oil being intentionally put on the water around my dock/boat by someone. Just my thoughts.

  • Martin D. Lamb of Albia, IA writes:

    In response to the article concerning Velvick and his sight-fishing tactic to slick the surface of the water, I am fairly certain that cooking oil and dishwashing liquid would be considered pollutants. I would be curious as to what most state DNR offices would think of anglers running around dispersing these liquids into the watersheds.

  • Maynard L. Logan of Fort Wayne, IN writes:

    Anyone else disappointed with FLW's new (very) cluttered website? It's very viewer unfriendly to have to search all over to find anything. Along with that, the quality of their photography is pretty pathetic.

  • Johnny McLean of Little Rock, AR writes:

    RE: Balog on La Perla Ranch – Joe, I watched the show and did not enjoy it. My 97-year-old grandma could have caught the same fish as Zona. I am sure it's fun for clients and good advertisement for the place, but it takes no skill, so should not count as anything but a fun day on the lake for those who can afford it.

  • Jim Liner of Pintlala, AL writes:

    RE: Sonar's status – Another well-written piece, Miles. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Come see us.

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