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  • Mark Melega of Rices Landing, PA writes:

    RE: Classic Bracket event – I read the response by B.A.S.S.: When KVD caught the fish in question he was informed of the violation, stopped fishing, TALKED to the tournament director (who was in the boat with him), and was given the punishment before he MADE ANOTHER CAST. When Hack was informed by the other fisherman that he was in violation he NEEDED to CALL the tournament director. He probably would have had to go meet at the starting dock and throw out all of his fish and start over. When you don't report a violation, you get a stiffer punishment. I've fished a few B.A.S.S. events and know that not all violations are handled the same depending on when YOU notify the TD.

  • Chuck Burge of Louisville, KY writes:

    RE: Classic Bracket event – Congrats to KVD, great effort and glad to see him back on top.

    Is it just me or is there some kind of imbalance that the winner of three Elite tournaments is not automatically qualified, until now, vs. the winner of one Open tournament is an automatic qualifier.

    Just doesn't seem logical to me.

  • Dennis Pentecost of Milford, IL writes:

    People make the comment all the time about making bass fishing as popular as NASCAR. Well, did you watch the Brickyard 400? I bet there were not over 20,000 fans there!

  • John Smith of Jefferson City, MO writes:

    RE: Classic Bracket event – So why does Hack have an entire day thrown out and VanDam only one fish?

  • Eddie Morales of Vail, AZ writes:

    RE: Classic Bracket event – As a Greg Hackney fan, I can't help but feel like this is wrong. Hackney lost AOY over an out of bounds issue and now because it's KVD it's okay? Seems like a double standard here. I think Hite should've been given the win for a rules violation by KVD, just the same as Swindle was given AOY for a rules violation by Hackney.

  • Hal McCullough of Pell City, AL writes:

    RE: Classic Bracket event – Funny funny ... Hackney had his day's catch DQd on one fish, yet the fair-haired boy won. You guys are a joke!

  • David Flippo of Amory, MS writes:

    RE: Classic Bracket event – I guess when you are VanDam you can fish out of bounds and still win.

  • Jeff Hodges of Apex, NC writes:

    RE: Classic Bracket event – I have no gripes with any of the anglers, but I do not understand how Greg hackney can be disqualified for fishing in an off-limits area one week and the next only not allow a single fish not to count. I would assume that all B.A.S.S. rules would be in place with the exception of any new ones written for this event. Not sure if B.A.S.S. announced any off-limits area rules before the protest.

  • Scott Visker of Lakeland, FL writes:

    Re: Balog and Steve Boyd on new Florida bass regs – After reading both gentlemen's' point of view, all I have to say is a line from Hillary Clinton: "At this point, what difference does it make?"

    Without enforcement, it doesn't make any difference what rules are put in place. That is especially relevant in Florida. I've been fishing the waters of Florida since 1984. I was a weekly tournament angler for many of those years, and now that I'm retired and own a home on the Kissimmee River close to Lake Kissimmee, I figure that I have spent an average of over 100 days a year on Florida's prime bass waters each year. In over 3,000 days on the water here in Florida over 32 years, I've been stopped for a creel check a total of two times.

    The lack of enforcement is a well-known fact among people who have fished in Florida for any length of time. I (and a small group of local anglers) know of a group of anglers who come to Lake Kissimmee from another state every spring during prime spawn time for a 2-week period and absolutely rape the lake. They fish with shiners, fish all day (usually having to come in multiple times per day to offload their catch), keep everything they catch regardless of regulations, and then fillet everything they catch. They have become very proficient at catching big bass, and it's not unusual to see several 10-pound plus bass carcasses in the garbage every night they are here (with many more in the 5- to 10-pound range). They are obviously not concerned about getting caught.

    Ironically, they've been reported to FWC officials for the past 2 years and nothing happens. This is the most egregious example of abuse I've seen, but I've seen many, many other occurrences of anglers who keep fish that do not conform to the regulations. There's just no fear of getting caught.

    What dismays me most about this is that I very frequently get stopped for creel surveys – sometimes multiple times a day. If the FWC would spend a fraction of their budget for creel surveys on actual enforcement activities, the rules they put in place might do some good. The way things are, it won't make any difference what they try to do.

  • Bill Barlow of West Grove, PA writes:

    RE: Phil Hunt's baits – I enjoyed the story about keeping balsa baits alive. When I started bass fishing back in the 1970s, the Bagley balsa baits were what I used with great success. Glad to see this type of craftsmanship continuing. I definitely bookmarked the website.

  • Frank Tennity of Honey, NY writes:

    RE: Balog on new Florida regs – I have to agree with Balog. I have spent the past 12 winters in Florida both guiding and fishing with mixed results. Florida waters are very pressured due to the year-round fishing. Although I have experienced some great fishing in Florida, it pales in comparison to New York, for several reasons.

    New York has a shorter season, 12-inch, 5-fish-limit and strict enforcement. The major reason is catch and release during the spawn period, which helps protect the reproduction cycle.

    I have read the graphs from Florida showing bass numbers and growth rates and it is obvious that spawns are generally good, growth is good, but when the bass reached 14 inches there was a huge drop in the population. That is why so many 13- to 13 7/8-inch fish are caught and why the drop in numbers due to harvesting.

    Protect the bass during the spawn, issue waivers for tournaments and establish a possession limit of no more than 2 days' catch.

    A possession limit for crappie and other species should also be considered. I have seen out of state fishermen take home huge coolers of fillets.

  • Steve Henderson of The Villages, FL writes:

    RE: Hibdon undergoing chemo – This is always upsetting when I see that someone has colon cancer when it's one of the most preventable diseases and can often be stopped by having a colonoscopy. Whether Guido did or didn't isn't the issue - the man has cancer and needs our prayers. And let's not forget Stella, his wife. God bless them both and I wish them all the best.

  • Bill, Billy, Bill III Schroeder of Paducah, KY writes:

    RE: Hibdon undergoing chemo – Guido, Stella, Dion – our prayers are with you.

  • Gary Stiles of Spokane, WA writes:

    RE: New Florida regulations – The flip side of Florida's move can be found in the states of Oregon and Washington, where DFG has removed all bass and walleye catch requirements on the Columbia River. You are now allowed to catch and keep as many spiny-rays as you can/want, regardless of size. It's truly a shame. While the general public will never eradicate these populations, they can and eventually will destroy a trophy fishery. To these states it's all about the salmon, but even more, it's all about the money they receive from the feds relative to the salmon restoration mandates.

  • Jim Ogstad of Caldwell, ID writes:

    RE: Hibdon undergoing chemo – Guido, we wish you the very best. I have loved watching your whole family fish for a living. Godspeed, my friend.

  • Lonnie Johnson of Grants Pass, OR writes:

    RE: New Florida regs – I live in a state where low limits are essential. We do not have bass hatcheries, nor can you find bass just anywhere. With increasing populations of humans, we need to allow everyone access, and that requires strict limits.

  • Xavier Heard of Little Rock, AR writes:

    RE: Classic Bracket event – Why do this one particular tournament's Top 8 participants qualify for a bracket tournament for a Classic berth? What about previous 2016 tournaments and remaining tournaments? Weird!

  • Mark Trego of Viola, IL writes:

    RE: New Florida regs – Bass are not a sacred creature. Selective harvest of smaller fish and releasing the larger prolific spawners on most bodies of water will sustain a renewable resource.

  • Jeff Holland of Winter Springs, FL writes:

    RE: Boyd opinion – To clarify, the new regulations allow licensed anglers to keep one bass over 16 inches, so your statement about "zero trophy bass" is incorrect. More 4- to 6-pound bass are inadvertently killed by our state guests in "photo-mortality".e.g. in keeping fish out of water for 10-plus minutes for photographs. Those were our trophy bass, and now Texas and California surpass Florida with our own species! Glad to see the new regs.

  • Randy Verran of Colorado Springs, CO writes:

    To answer the questions posed by Balog, "What makes it right for managers to move in this direction? How is it acceptable for regulations that group all users into one category." This happens all the time in real-world scenarios. City, state, and government leaders/officials/groups make decisions every day to regulate all kinds of things in the best interest of certain resources and its usage. Some decisions won't always be popular with the people who live under this regulation. However, in most cases, these decisions are well thought out, typically work well, and only in rare cases turn out to be disasters.

    In regard to fisheries, every fishery no matter how large or small has various factors in play. However, for me, a general rule of thumb can be applied, if it's a small fishery like a specific small river or small lake that churns out very large bass and these bass happen to be northern largemouths living in a geographic location that has short warm seasons, then regulate the heck out of it. It takes this type of species years to reach trophy-size status. For larger fisheries, the same parameters apply and the driving factor, for obvious reasons, would be how quickly can these trophy caliber fish be replenished throughout the system.

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