Just a quick reminder that the club will have it’s monthly meeting for April on the 2nd at the Legion Hall on Lansing Ave in Jackson. We are close to having open water and it looks like the DNR will allow catch and release year round. There should be plenty to talk about on that subject which Jim Vanaken has been keeping close tabs on. We are also close to the tournament season starting so hopefully the fishing talk will dominate the meeting. Hope to see everyone there.
The fisheries division of the MDNR is backing a proposed bass season change that the Natural Resource Commission (NRC) will vote on very shortly. I have been keeping the club updated throughout this process and hopefully a conclusion will come shortly. It seems that a complete overhaul may not happen, rather a slightly modified bass season is starting to look like it may happen. This is referred to as a catch and “delayed” release (CDR) season and it would take effect starting this April until the normal opener.
Delayed release as you might think would probably only apply to tournament anglers. Why would anyone keep a fish in their livewell if they did not intend to keep it or “weigh-it in” anyway? My guess is this is the DNR’s way to transition to a new season without going full blown, just to see how it goes. But only a few events will be eligible to host this type of tournament. They will need to register with the DNR on the new Tournament Information System website, have the event at a DNR access site and report all catches to the fisheries division. Nothing major but all must be met in order to have a CDR tournament.
Only one tournament can be held per day at each launch site so we have already registered our club on May 2nd (Wamplers Lake) and May 3rd (Devils Lake). Since it’s first come, first served, I didn’t think it would hurt to jump the gun a little and get locked in. We’ll move those dates if the legislation doesn’t pass but that won’t become official until the first week of April. This is a hot topic around the state as you might guess but we could conceivably have one of the first documented CDR tournaments ever in the state! I’ll keep you posted.
All the baitcasters cleaned? Then time to start on the spinning reels. This is for Shimano’s but should work on any reel. Good luck.
A little video that will help when cabin fever sets in. Part one, two and three go into great detail on how to clean and lube a baitcaster. Most other brands use similar components so it will work on just about any brand of reel. They also have a video on spinning reel maintenance which is also helpful. A good Saturday night project!
As many of our club members know, the Michigan Bass Season may change in 2015 but that debate is still raging on in public offices. The Michigan Natural Resource Commission will make the final decision but that probably won’t happen until they meet early in April. Some folks in the Michigan DNR are still deep rooted in their opinions that fishing for bass during the spawn will hurt the population but science has proven that theory wrong time after time. Hopefully the research and scientific data will be ultimate criteria used in making the decision but unfortunately we’ll have to wait a few more weeks for the final decision. I will keep everyone posted on any twists and turns as the debate goes on.
Our Devils / Wamplers tournament is slated to take place the last weekend of May but it will be moved to early May if the season is extended. My feeling as tournament director is that the truest test of an anglers skill is versatility and having an early season event will be something new and challenging. Both those lakes will fish quite differently that time of year than we are accustomed to and I can’t think of a better way to kick off the new season. Of course a late May event will great too so we’ll just have to wait a little longer to start making our tournament game plans! Hope to have some good news soon.
Discussing the club tournament rules may not sound sexy but it is vital in any bass clubs’ offseason. We had such a discussion last Thursday at our monthly meeting and did actually make a few improvements as well as cleaning up some long winded language. Other than eliminating the Federation Team section, we “tweaked” the Classic payout procedures and made it more lucrative for club members to qualify. The constitution was also discussed but no changes were made.
The club also added three new members to our 2015 roster which is steadily growing. Dave Smith and Mike Getter were two newbies in attendance and will make great additions to our club and will also add a few more quality fishermen to our already competitive roster. Both Dave and Mike have fished in our “Open” tournaments and stated they may also have a few other anglers who might join soon. The club is only as good as it’s members and it can only help adding a few more quality guys.
We will not meet until April and hopefully have open water by then. The Bass Pro Shops “Spring Classic” sale is happening now and the Bassmaster Classic will be next weekend so the juices should start flowing soon. Any club updates or schedule changes will be posted on the website as we move toward tourney season. The first event at Wamplers/Devils will have a date as soon as the DNR outlines the 2015 bass season which should be in early March.
We just released the 2015 schedule for the club and it looks to be a very diverse and challenging season. Like always, I try and put lakes on the calendar when they’re going to be fishing fairly good. Scheduling michigan center for an august tournament just wouldn’t be smart but then again we can’t fish them all at peak times.
I’ve been to club tourneys when it only took 3 fish to win and they aren’t very fun. Hopefully we won’t run into that problem this year.
I’d have to say the Grand River event was the most difficult to project. Having never been there myself, I had to take recommendations from club members who had and trust that the fishing will be OK. We’ve had problems in the past going to new lakes (and launches) where our info was misleading but I hope we’ ll be OK in Lansing. It’s a river and those usually fish decent during the summer months and I hope to put this lake on our schedule for years to come.
Sanford is is the other new venue but Wixom tends to fish well in august so it should as well. Many will camp and the weather is a factor so that’s kind of where we needed to schedule it.
One event that may draw some conversation is the Wamplers/Devils tourney. If the DNR allows, we will fish that in early May and bed fishing may come into play. Having a diverse schedule means fishing different lakes with different techniques and that makes things more challenging and more rewarding when you figure them out.
If you look at the BASS Elite Series schedule, they fish rivers, tidal systems, spawning events as well as going to California for a few tourneys. That’s about as diverse as it comes and I think our club schedule should have the same concept. It should truly be a good measuring stick to our angling skills as a club and a great test in determining an ANGLER of the YEAR.
-Spring Open (Michigan Center Chain) - Saturday, May 23rd
-Wamplers / Devils – TBA
-Kent Lake - Saturday, June 20th
-Lake St. Clair - Sunday, July 12th
-Lake Ovid – Sunday, July 26th
-Grand River – Sunday, August 9th
-Wixom – Saturday, August 22
-Sanford – Sunday, August 23rd
-Bawbeese – Sunday, September 13th
-Fall Open (Wamplers) - Saturday, September 20th
-Club Classic (TBD) - Sunday, September 27th
One of the best parts of being tournament director is setting the schedule each season. With a couple of new lakes on the schedule in 2015 it is even more interesting trying to tie everything together and make it feasible for everyone to be able to compete and do well and I think we’ve done that for this season. One thing that you’ll notice is the Devils/Wamplers combined weight tournament does not have a date associated with it as of yet. This will be our first regular club event and will take place in May but we are awaiting the DNR’s decision on the upcoming bass season. Word is they may extend the catch and keep season starting in late April so if that happens our first tourney will be in early May. Otherwise look for it to take place the weekend after the Spring Open which would be May 30/31th. This should be resolved by early March.
Some lakes fish good no matter when we schedule them like St. Clair and Wixom so those were placed in traditionally slower times of the year. The Grand River is in August as well but since it is a river system, it may fish a little better than our normal natural lakes. One other thing that is a little different is the Kent Lake event. Due to club feedback, many like fishing tourneys on Fathers Day but felt this interfered with family gatherings. Scheduling our event on Saturday still leaves the actual “Fathers Day” holiday open so I hope this will work out for all of our fathers.
As tourney director I try and put us on lakes where our fish catches will be maximized and I feel we’ve achieved that. The majority of our schedule takes place within an hours drive of Jackson and with gas prices low, we hope to have great participation in 2015. Remember the tourney rules and club constitution will be discussed at the February meeting and all are urged to attend. We will resume our normal meeting rotation on the first Thursday of the month at the Legion Hall on Lansing Ave in Jackson.