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BoneAmie

Spring fishing for legal species

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Hi all,

I could use some advice. I am primarily an artificial lure bass fisher in zone 18. I would like to fish in the spring and bass season doesn't start until the third week of June. The regulations state that not only do you have to release any bass that you might catch before bass season opens, but you also cannot TARGET bass.  I would like to know what lures I can use for other species (crappie, pike) so that I can 1) catch them and 2) not appear to be bass fishing if I am challenged by authorities or, as is more often the case, cottagers who don't want anyone to fish and use the bass off-season argument to demand that you stop.  

Bass might be caught on just about any lure, but how do I lower the odds and still catch quality fish?

Thanks for any advice.

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40 minutes ago, BoneAmie said:

2) not appear to be bass fishing

That sounds like subliminal cheating to me Mr. 1 post. I don't think anyone here will be helping you "not appear to be bass fishing". I will suggest though that you do not fish where Bass are known to spawn i.e. spawning beds or structure where Bass tend to spawn before the 3rd Saturday in June, not the 3rd week. If the regs. say 3rd week you could start fishing on the Sunday of the 3rd week. Sorry I won't be of anymore help to you. 

edit: I can't help myself. Those cottagers that you think they don't want you to fish where you are and appear to be using the "off season" argument are doing exactly that. They most likely know the structure where they live and you are fishing where Bass are spawning. That's deemed to be targeting spawning fish before the season opener to me. If one has zero idea where Bass spawn that is not an argument to get out of a fine. Especially when you have been warned by some mean cottager. 

Edited by Old Ironmaker

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Hi Old Ironmaker,

I apologize for not being clear, and I see that I may have implied something that was not my intent. I absolutely do not want to fish for bass out of season. I want to fish for other species in the spring when the weather is nice. By "appear"  I mean, if i am using, for example, a curly-tail grub for crappie, that's also a decent smallmouth bait. Would an official challenge that? Your point about beds is well taken, and I do stay off spawning areas pre-bass season. I'm asking because the term "target" in the regs is unclear. If I use a large senko it's pretty likely I'm targeting largemouth, so I don't use them at all then. But, it's not that definitive for some lures.  I'm trying to enjoy legal fishing in the spring and stay well within the rules, and catch some stuff. I release everything anyway, including in-season bass.

Thanks.

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Fact is if you are using crappie bait , light line and have some crappie in your live well. If people or a CO sees you catching bass and not moving to get away from out of season fish they can still charge you 

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5 minutes ago, Terry said:

Fact is if you are using crappie bait , light line and have some crappie in your live well. If people or a CO sees you catching bass and not moving to get away from out of season fish they can still charge you 

What Terry wrote BoneAmie. No CO is going to hammer you when you are loaded with Crappie bait and tackle. If you are indeed fishing crappie it most likely be almost on shore in fallen bush or trees. Close to docks with a float and micro lures. I wouldn't worry about hooking into a Smallie there, they shouldn't be anywhere near there. Even Largemouth I would think unless they are pre or post spawn. Don't bring a half dozen flippin' sticks and baitcasters all pre rigged or a med action spinning outfits pre rigged and trays of traditional Bass hardware and you will be just fine. I can only go on what you wrote and what I read. 

Welcome aboard OFC, the best fishing and everything else that is useful and non political or religious site anywhere. Give us the W-5 about yourself if you wish, optional of course. But if you are intending to partake here please read the site rules. 

Johnny D

 

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Hi Old Ironmaker, Thank you for straightening me out in your edited post but again you misunderstand me. I don't think cottage owners are mean, although some don't understand fishing. I am a cottage owner myself, and I know the lake well. And many owners on our lake do not approve of fishing in any way, including catch-and-release.  For example, I am always very respectful of boundaries and personal space. If people are out on their dock, I go around. Yet I have been yelled at from the shore more thank a few times. My favorites include "there aren't any fish in this bay" or "you're not supposed to be fishing now". One guy threatened to throw a rock at me. I politely explain the regs, but it falls on deaf ears. It's usually an environmental argument that even though you have paid for a license, you are harming nature, or being cruel. Negative comments have gotten bad on our local Facebook page every time someone posts a legal fish pic. And, there was recently a lengthy discussion about how fishermen shouldn't fish around docks because they have a whole big lake to use!

Some folks recently started a new Facebook group where you are permitted to post pictures of legally taken fish and game, which is not tolerated on the original page. 

I was sincerely looking for fishing advice, yet being challenged like I'm a scofflaw and certainly not getting the benefit of the doubt. I thought this would be a place to get help from more experienced fishermen.

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Terry and Old Ironmaker

I did want to thank you for the good advice on light tackle. I did only use my ultralight rod last spring. Wish we could get a response from a provincial rep to say what they look for specifically.

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12 hours ago, Terry said:

Fact is if you are using crappie bait , light line and have some crappie in your live well. If people or a CO sees you catching bass and not moving to get away from out of season fish they can still charge you 

I am probably going to side with Terry on this, some of our best spring time fishing was in places that a bunch of different species spawned in, and sometimes their spawning seasons overlapped. Depending on the spring weather you might catch crappie, bluegill, large and smallmouth bass or an occasional northern pike from the same marina in shallow water.

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The rules read "Fish accidentally caught during closed season must be immediatly released" So pick any lure that is not used by you for bass in your tackle box and if you do catch a bass release it. Bass are going to hit anything that invades their area it happens. Up our way there is no closed season for bass , and it doesn't matter what you use they will take it if it passes near their beds.

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https://www.cabelas.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=1307335&type=product&WT.z_btnclk=YMAL-1307335&WT.z_pg_ref=prd702344

That price is for 9 of them so they won't break you, a trailer is your choice:

https://www.cabelas.com/product/Mister-Twister-Sassy-Shad/702807.uts?slotId=0

2  or 2 1/2 inch 2 inch for 1/16th ounce.

https://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Keitech_Swing_Impact_FAT_Swimbait/descpage-KSIF.html

2.8 for crappie

http://www.southernpro.com/store/store_sub.cfm?Category_ID=1

Just tossing ideas out there for you, keep in mind that pike, walleye, bass, and other species will eat that small stuff too though.

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Thanks OhioFisherman!

This is very helpful.  Other than a straight classic jig, I wasn't sure what gear would be best. Much appreciated, going to have some fun with these.

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Pretty straight forward, consider your tackle ie don’t be throwing a senko or flippin a jig for “crappies”

if you catch, the expectation is that you release the fish immediately (NO PICTURES) and then move away. I fish pike in the early spring using swimbaits and obviously end up running into angry smallmouth, it’s unavoidable, the point is that if you find one you return it as quickly as possible and move on.

Edited by AKRISONER

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No pictures? Is that in the regs? Nice fish is gonna hit the ruler at the very least. A really nice fish will be released immediately after the shutter click . 

Edited by moxie
Clarification
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12 hours ago, moxie said:

No pictures? Is that in the regs? Nice fish is gonna hit the ruler at the very least. A really nice fish will be released immediately after the shutter click . 

Immediate release is in the regs or is there an exception to include taking pics beforehand?  Lol taking pics of OSS fish is hilarious

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26 minutes ago, BillM said:

Immediate release is in the regs or is there an exception to include taking pics beforehand?  Lol taking pics of OSS fish is hilarious

Depends on who you ask. 

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You can not be charged for taking  a photo

how ever if you delay releasing it. You sure can be charged.  So if you hold the fish. Turn the camera on and  hold the fish for a selfie. You can be charged 

but as you are unhooking it and your buddy snaps a photo. No charge 

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6 hours ago, moxie said:

Depends on who you ask. 

Probably the same guys claiming them as PBs...

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18 hours ago, BillM said:

Probably the same guys claiming them as PBs...

I'm always gonna take a measurement regardless

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22 hours ago, BillM said:

Not me.  OOS back it goes.  

That's honourable and respectable.

Ever skirted taxes by paying cash or lied on a income tax form, taken more than one when it says please take one, Jay walked , parked illegally? 

I'd like to see the whole Tournament fishing industry BANNED. That what I truly have a problem with. Simply because it follows regulations doesn't make it right. 

I'll take my measurements and pictures thank you. 

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It's a real mess fishing for spring pike. All the baits I use are bass baits jerkbaits ,spinnerbaits,fluke style , senkos.

The location is exactly the same. 

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7 hours ago, moxie said:

That's honourable and respectable.

Ever skirted taxes by paying cash or lied on a income tax form, taken more than one when it says please take one, Jay walked , parked illegally? 

I'd like to see the whole Tournament fishing industry BANNED. That what I truly have a problem with. Simply because it follows regulations doesn't make it right. 

I'll take my measurements and pictures thank you. 

I'd like to see tournaments go live release, no moving fish 10 of miles from where they were caught.   

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I find this argument amusing at the very least with the PC people always citing laws that are so trivial in reality it's again FUNNY. However, at this rate fishing all together will be illegal thanks to the PC crowd among us and that's not funny but SAD.

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8 minutes ago, Walltrout said:

I find this argument amusing at the very least with the PC people always citing laws that are so trivial in reality it's again FUNNY. However, at this rate fishing all together will be illegal thanks to the PC crowd among us and that's not funny but SAD.

???????

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No I get what he is saying. A large group of tree huggers, politically correct morons  that also want tournies to end ,also want catch and release to end if they get momentum in their  movement  they will end fishing as we know it. Just like a lot of Europe’s countries that do not allow catch and release and in some cases you need a license of each type of fish and for each body of water and in some countries a lottery to see if you can fish.   We as anglers need to stick together and support all the different ways we enjoy the outdoors or the P.3TA  /PC crowd will piece by piece  end  all types of fishing and hunting 

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