There were 35 teams who fished this year with only 21 of those weighing in fish. Seven limits came to the scales and only Mikey Getters’ big bass exceeded the 4 pound mark. There were only 4 other fish in the 3 pound category and many anglers commented on how tough the fishing was this year. Thanks again to all the participants, everything ran smoothly and it was a great day to be on the water.
Just a quick update on the 2015 Spring Open this weekend on Center Lake. As of Monday the 18th, we have 22 pre-paid teams that have already registered which is well ahead of previous years. We welcome anyone Saturday morning that wants to fish but insist on a limit of 49 boats. That number probably won’t be reached but it may come close and we’d hate to turn anyone away. Launch order as always is determined by registration order so the top 22 slots have already been assigned. The weather is looking good so it looks to be a great fishing weekend.
Also, the entry fee is $60 for pre-registered teams and $70 for Saturday walk-ups and $10 per team for big bass which is optional. We will also have a 50/50 raffle drawing right before launch. We also urge everyone to check-in whether they are registered or not and the drivers meeting will begin at 5:15 in order to get everyone launched by 6am. Hope to see everyone there!
The official registration forms for the 2015 Spring Open on Michigan Center have been mailed and should be arriving within the next day or so. There is now a printable form on the website which can be returned to the tournament director, same as the mailed flyers. Access the form by clicking on the “Opens” tab and then printing the PDF file. Launch order is determined by registration order so don’t delay in mailing them in. Club members will also have a chance to pay entry fees at the club meeting, Thursday May 7th at the Legion Hall on Lansing Ave in Jackson.
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.