Post your comments here regarding the tournaments. There's been a lot of discussion lately in the Lake Mendota fishing reports. Should the DNR regulate those smaller tournaments or keep them the way they are right now? Does small bass tournaments really affect the lakes as much as we think they do?
Bass Tournaments - Should the DNR Regulate Them?
Have been fishing tournaments for about 20 years and the increase in number of tournaments over the last 5-10 years has been very detrimental to many lakes. The DNR needs to cut down the number of permitted tournaments on lakes. As for the smaller club events, right now all that can be hoped for is the clubs communicating with each other and coordinating their schedules so the same lakes aren't getting overwhelmed with the resulting fishing pressure.
Tournaments with any form of monetary or product exchange for winning should be regulated and have to buy a permit. They should be required to have a permit for every event. The user fee should be $250 per permit. 1/2 of the funds should go to habitat/stocking and the other 1/2 to landing/access improvements. Tournaments are exploiting the resource for profit and should be made pay a fee to help circumvent resources lost due to there happening.
The answer is YES. Tournaments should be regulated, in the southern part of the state they are often scheduled every weekend. That's too much. I do like some of the new formats though where the fish are caught, registered and released immediately. I think the MLF was ground breaking in that area. I see no need for any lake to host more than 1 tournament a month.
Just my two cents and years of observation and competing in tournaments.
I appears we now know enough about catch and release mortality that we need to make a few changes. The rigors of being confined to a live well, 60 mph ride to launch and subsequent weigh - in creates significant mortality the lake would not otherwise experience. I believe all fishing tournaments should have virtual weigh in. Bump the fish, photograph and submit. Your best 5 count to your bag. The BASS group will never buy into this this since the weigh in is now a rock star extravaganza that supports endorsements and sells boats - tackle
At least its not a walleye tourney with 100% mortality
Only group doing this right are the Musky guys
How many is too many? That is the question.
Our lake has had a Thursday night one for years and those folks work hand in hand with the lake district to make the lake even better. Great guys and they do great work.
Now there is a new tournament on Wednesdays too. I know very little about them but I've seen them on the lake and they look like good, responsible anglers as well.
One thing that happens however, is that the parking situation at the lake gets pretty tight. You can never count on getting a space on the weekend so many folks fish weekdays to avoid the mess out there on weekends. As long as they don't take up all the parking spots, or have people hog 2 spots in the lot (because their rig is huge) they don't bother me at all, and I fully support the guys on Thursday for sure. They contribute way more than they take from the lake. I will try to get to know the Wednesday guys as well. Hopefully they are the same way.
I would much prefer tournament fishermen out there than wakeboats. Some of those make the lake unsafe for anyone who can't afford a huge boat.
I believe in should be a state by state decision. I don’t have anything against tournaments. They should be regulated the same as normal fisherman get regulated. It’s a free country.
So many tourneys. Never lost one that I know of. (Update I meant a fish)But who really knows. Last 15 yrs been pondering if we should shut them down. Immediate release weigh take the pic and place back I say. I fish all the time anyway so is much of a diff if I am in a tourney? I did see a lot of crap in my early days in Missouri. Big names not caring about the fish. I think a lot of that has changed now.
I used to live near Kentucky and Barkley lakes when I lived in Kentucky . These lakes are hit hard almost year 'round by large national and local tournaments . You can't believe the effect it has on the fisheries even with the C&R . Fishing is open all year there .
Tournaments should be all catch and release. Not sure how that gets managed though