The annual “Spring Open” is rapidly approaching and will be here before we know it. I am currently working on the flyers and hope to get them in the mail by the end of the week. Once they are mailed, a printable version will be available on our website and that can be mailed to me as well. We will once again give discounts to those who pre-register but you can still enter at the launch on tourney day. We will cap the event at 49 teams and your starting position will be based on the order we receive team payment.
As of April 10th, it is now legal to target and catch bass year round in any Michigan lake without special provisions. That includes St. Clair, Erie and the Upper Peninsula lakes as well. The Michigan Natural Resource Commission approved the new rule and it went into effect immediately so we can be on the water, legally targeting bass right now! The club schedule has been adjusted to accommodate the new regulations which means the Wamplers / Devils tournament will be held May 30 and 31st.
Unfortunately, we did not get the harvest season (catch and keep) extended and that remains the same as do the Great Lakes and connecting waterways regulations. Hopefully that will come within the next few years but as bass fishermen this is a nice start to expanding our fishing opportunities.
We will post local reports as club members start to dust the cobwebs off the boats and gear. Several have been out already and with the warming trend hitting the area, more reports will become available.
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.