Spring is officially here and that means big fish in the shallows in most of our lakes. Many don’t get out until tourney season gets nearer but this is the best possible time to catch the fattest fish of the year. With catch and release open year round, it’s legal to target bass now and many are doing so and the lunkers are biting. Two weeks ago were a prime example as three club members caught bass that all exceeded 5 pounds and one went 6.1
The moral of the story is get the boat out, the fishing is good. Fish will be on beds soon and the smallmouth actually are on Jackson lakes that contain the brown species. Water temps were approaching 60 before the latest cold spell but should be back up by next weekend. The largmouth should be soon but don’t be surprised if there’s still a few spawning when the “Spring Open” rolls around about a month from now.
The weeds aren’t too thick yet and many baits are effective in the shallows right now. Jigs, crankbaits and swimbaits are all big fish baits and can be used to cover lots of water looking for pre-spawn females. It’s also jerkbait weather and the suspending versions are good choices now. Flukes can also be awesome, especially when worked over bedding fish.
As always, catch and release should be used, especially when catching big females. We’ve got a big warm-up coming so the fishing should be improving by next weekend. Good luck to everyone.
The fund raiser for 2016 will be in the form of a “fishing only” garage sale which will be run by Jerry Smith and Jim Vanaken. This will take place in May so all club members are urged to bring any extra or unwanted tackle/rods/reels/etc., to the monthly meeting held on Thursday, May 5th. Anything that you think might sell, please donate because it’s going to a good cause and would probably never be used sitting in our basements.
Anyone with items to donate that cannot attend the meeting should contact Jim or Jerry and a pick-up can be arranged. The fund-raiser and Spring Open will both be discussed at the meeting and most questions can be answered there, not to mention it’s the last gathering before the season is underway. So please check the attics and boat bins for those old jitterbugs and we hope to see everyone next Thursday.
The last meeting before the season starts will take place Thursday, May 5th at the Legion Hall on Lansing Ave. We will discuss the Spring Open and any other details pertaining to the start of the regular season. We will also be collecting any “fishing” items that can be used in the club garage sale which will serve as the fundraiser for the year. Any baits, rods, reels or anything related to fishing or boating can be donated. More details on the exact date and location will be posted soon.
Make sure to purchase a fishing license for the 2016 season as the 2015 versions expired April 1st. The cost for a regular license has increased to $26 for the year.
Entry forms are coming in for the “Open” and can also be turned in at the meeting. Starting position is based on the order in which entry forms are received so get them in ASAP. We had 32 boats last season and should be close to that number once again. Forms can be printed off by clicking on the “Opens” tab at the top of the webpage.
Just a reminder to everyone that tomorrow night is the club meeting for April at the Legion Hall at 7pm. The Spring Open event will be discussed as will several other topics concerning our regular season. There will be usual fishing talk as well as a great prize raffle afterwards so try to make it if possible.
There have been several entries already returned for our Open and a printable version is available through the link on the website. Take-off position is determined by payment receipt so get those forms filled out and turned in ASAP.
One of our favorite members, Matt Zelenka, has recently accepted a promotion with Meijers and will be moving out of state. This probably means Matt will not be competing in club events this year but we wish him the best of luck.
Here is the flyer for this years spring open tournament.
Saturday May 26th Michigan Center DNR launch
6am-2pm check in starts at 445am
2 person team
Early Entry 60.00 Entry Day of 70.00
Submission of entry determines take off position
Optional 10$ big bass per boat
Mail entries to Mark Deraedt
806 Napoleon rd Michigan Center Mi, 49254
The club recently named it’s newest “Life time member” award winner at the last meeting and Mike Pritchard happily accepted the honor. The award is given to those outstanding club members who have been long time members and have shown extreme dedication in promoting and growing the club. Mike is probably the longest tenured member, joining back in the late 70’s and has gone over and above in trying to make the BassCasters the great club it is.
The award has been given out several times over the years and entitles the recipient to fish each year without having to pay dues. Roy Albert is the only other “Lifetime Member” who currently fishes and both should be recognized for their outstanding efforts that have not stopped to this day. Congrats Mike, and thanks for everything!
Just wanted to let everyone know what sort of rule changes will be in effect this coming season. Nothing major but lately the club has allowed non-tourney participants to ride along with club members during our tourneys and the new change applies to those “riders”. Since the non-participant isn’t actually in the event, they can not in any way help the actual tournament participant during tourney hours. This is common practice anyway but just to be safe we spelled it out in the updated rules for the upcoming season.
We don’t have a problem with anyone riding along during our events even though they aren’t fishing, it promotes the club and tournament fishing as a whole. We’ve had folks bring their spouses, kids, pets, etc…, which is a good thing and we hope to keep that tradition alive but the tournament fisherman is on their own when it comes to netting fish, boat control and anything involving the actual event.
Nothing else really to report and we will have a meeting in February which hopefully will be when our weather starts to warm up again. This is supposed to be an “El Nino” year which usually means a mild winter. Fifteen years ago we had the same scenario and I was fishing from a boat in late February so hopefully that’ll be the case.
The new fishing shows are currently airing on cable and many boat/fishing shows will be going on soon so hopefully we won’t get too depressed this winter. Hope to see everyone at the next club meeting and hope to talk some fishing with everyone!!
Tonight (Thursday the 7th) will be the January club meeting at 7pm, at the Legion Hall on Lansing Ave. We will discuss any new rules for the upcoming tournament season as well as any proposed changes to the constitution. This is the business season which isn’t all that glamorous but details need to be hashed out before the open water season arrives. We will hopefully mix in a little fishing talk too, as well raffle off some pretty good fishing gear. Hope to see everyone there.