Fishing Wire Ranger Boats
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2020

CONSERVATION
Temperatures are on the rise in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and wildlife and plants throughout the region are already experiencing the impacts—mirroring what is happening across the rest of the country.
Two events are scheduled for this year: one in the Baratrairia Basin on February 8 and one in the Calcasieu Basin on February 15.
COOKING

For everyone out there fed up with getting creative about making dinner during a long and hectic work week, school week or just life week, Hi Mountain Seasonings has a solution for you. 
 

ENFORCEMENT
Filleting fish offshore and importing queen conch are among the violations that brought termination of the recreational fishing trip.
The 18 boxes of shark fins were valued between $700,000 and $1 million, CBS News reported, citing officials.
EVENTS
The women dialed in camping on the ice without having to rely on a wheel-house to do it, all while showcasing sponsor products from camp chairs to sleeping bags to portable fire pits to all the ice fishing gear: augers, electronics, shelters, tackle, clothing and more.

FISHERIES
NOAA Fisheries announces implementation of a program to allow the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) states (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Texas) some management authority for recreational fishing of red snapper by private anglers in federal waters of the Gulf.
INDUSTRY
In general, NMMA supports Alternative Plan 2 because it balances recreation access while providing much-needed protections to critical natural resources.
T-H Marine Supplies, LLC of Huntsville, Alabama, announces that it has acquired First Source, which was the marine accessory division of Maurice Sporting Goods

Show attendance netted out 10 percent down from 2019 (23,199), with lighter traffic on Sunday, which was impacted by unseasonably warm weather and the big football game.
JOBS
If you love Michigan’s great outdoors and are looking for a seasonal position with flexible hours, come out and work where you play.
PRO TEAMS
Not only is Lane a Bassmaster Elite Series winner, he has also won an MLF World Championship—making him one of only two anglers to have accomplished that feat.
STATES
Pick up your hard copy of the 2020-2021 Indiana Fishing Regulation Guide this month from one of our properties or retailers, or see it online.
Indiana welcomes applications for new state records as well as for the Fish of the Year program, which can earn winners a certificate and jacket patch.
This free program at Springfield Nature Center offers tips for finding and hooking this popular fish.
More than 40 mature trees that fell victim to a freak January windstorm now have a second life providing cover for crappie, bass and other fish, thanks to the efforts of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a volunteer student from Calico Rock High School.
Fish free statewide on both inland and Great Lakes waters for all species on this special weekend.
This year’s sturgeon season on Black Lake (Cheboygan County, Michigan) ended at 1:40 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1 – not quite six hours after the day’s 8 a.m. start as anglers reached the quota.
The Commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will meet Feb. 6-8 in room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. SE, Olympia.
TELEVISION
Soak up the beach life and spear monster fish in the unscripted documentary, Spear Life, featuring Jon Brunson and friends.
TOURNAMENTS
Just as the U.S. signs USMCA (United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement) into law, Daiwa was busy working on its own form of diplomacy in the bass fishing world. California’s Jared Lintner joins Canada’s Cory and Chris Johnston as Daiwa’s newest members to their professional bass fishing squad.
WORKSHOPS
People can learn more about this distinctive style of fishing at the free program: “Fishing Skills: Fly Casting and Fly Tying” Feb. 15 at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery.
The DNR Outdoor Skills Academy will offer the Advanced Hard Water School ice fishing clinic at Mitchell State Park in Cadillac Feb. 21-23.

By Chris Horton, Senior Director of Midwestern States and Fisheries Program, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation

Accountability is a word that often gets thrown around in the ongoing feud between recreational and commercial anglers. For me, watching and participating in the Gulf of Mexico red snapper war for almost a decade, one of the most frustrating aspects has been how some commercial fishing and environmental organizations like to paint recreational red snapper anglers as “unaccountable.” 

Unaccountable? We abide by the regulations to use circle hooks, only keep two fish per day that are at least 16-inches long, and fish within the seasons that are set, yet we were deemed “unaccountable” when we caught more fish more quickly because there were more fish than a theoretical computer model predicted there would be. It was not the collection of individual anglers that was unaccountable, but rather the federal system of management that was unaccountable to anglers. Fortunately, the states’ recreational harvest data collection programs are much more accurate and accountable to anglers, and with the states assuming responsibility for managing us for the last two years, things have gotten much better for Gulf red snapper anglers.

However, just because things are better doesn’t mean that they can’t be improve beyond that. Thanks to Congressmen Garret Graves and Jared Huffman’s introduction of H.R. 5126, the “Direct Enhancement of Snapper Conservation and the Economy through Novel Devices (DESCEND) Act of 2019,” anglers have another chance to “step up” on behalf of our fisheries resources. The DESCEND Act of 2019 would require commercial and recreational fishermen to possess a descending device rigged and ready for use or venting tool when fishing for reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Why are descending devices or venting tools important? Most fish have swim bladders, and when a fish swims up or down, the amount of gas in the swim bladder decreases or increases to maintain neutral buoyancy. Reef fish like red snapper, gray trigger fish, vermilion snapper, gag grouper, etc., are often caught near the bottom. Typically, when that bottom is more than 100-feet deep, a condition called barotrauma can occur when the fish is rapidly brought to the surface. At sea level, the air that surrounds us presses down on our bodies at 14.5 pounds per square inch (psi). For every 33 feet in depth of water, that pressure increases by another 14.5 psi, or one additional “atmosphere”. At 100-feet, the pressure is three times greater than at the surface. 

When a fish is brought up to the surface rapidly, the decreasing external pressure of the water as they get shallower allows the gases in their body to expand more rapidly than the swim bladder can compensate, putting pressure on internal organs and increasing their buoyancy. When released, the increased internal pressure of the gases makes it difficult, if not impossible, to swim back down to their originating depth where their internal gases would return to equilibrium with the pressure of the surrounding water.

Descending devices are non-invasive mechanisms that can quickly return fish to a depth using a weight and some sort of release. Venting tools actually puncture the abdomen wall (and swim bladder if not already ruptured) and allow gases to escape. While descending devices are preferred, especially for anglers not experienced with venting techniques, research has shown that using a venting tool does increase a fish’s chance of survival when caught from depth, especially for larger fish. 

Rightfully so, an estimate of post-release mortality, whether it’s from releasing undersized fish or fish that we catch during a closed season, figures into stock assessments and counts against our quota-based fisheries. By decreasing the number of fish that die after release, we can increase population abundance and convert some of the fish that would have died after release to legally harvested fish.

I’ve heard some Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council members say that we must reduce our numbers because “there are too many anglers and not enough fish.” While I disagree, as the popularity of saltwater fishing continues to grow, and modern technologies increase our effectiveness of catching fish, we need to do all we can to ensure the long-term health of our marine fisheries resources. If that means I have to spend a few extra minutes to ensure my released reef fish survive, I’m happy to do it.

From www.congressionalsportsmen.org.

Why would we support a bill that requires additional restrictions on Gulf reef fish anglers? Because we are accountable, it’s the right thing to do for the future of our fisheries resources, and the use of these devices will lead to more fish to catch and healthier fisheries down the road. 

FISHING CALENDAR
February 1-9
Great American Outdoors Show

Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex, Harrisburg, PA; https://www.greatamericanoutdoorshow.org
 

February 5-9
Pacific Sportsmen’s Show

Portland, OR; www.thesportshows.com

February 6
Big Trout Seminar at South Shore

Big Trout Seminar at South Shore Anglers meeting at T.A. Mahoney’s Marine Supply in Tampa, features Captains Lori Deaton and Jeremy Heims, 7 p.m., free food and drink; www.southshoreanglers.com.

February 15-16
Fly Fishing Show

Lynnwood Convention Center, 3711 196 th St. S.W., Lynnwood, Wash.; www.flyfishingshow.com

February 21-23
Fly Fishing Show

Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton, Calif.; www.flyfishingshow.com

February 22
Texas Team Trail

Lake Sam Rayburn, www.texasteamtrail.com

February 23
Texas Lunker Challenge presented by Mossy Oak

February 27 - March 1
World Fishing & Outdoor Expo

Suffern, NY

March 4-8
Fred Hall Show

Long Beach, CA; www.fredhall.com

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Show

Wisconsin State Fair Park & Expo Center, West Allis, WI https://jssportsshow.com/

March 6-8
50th Annual Bassmaster Classic

Lake Guntersville, AL, with weigh-ins at BJCC in Birmingham; www.bassmaster.com.

March 7-8
Fly Fishing Show

Lancaster County Convention Center, 3 East Vine St., Lancaster, Penn.; www.flyfishingshow.com

March 10
Inshore seminar with Captain Scott Moore

Inshore seminar with Captain Scott Moore, the Dean of Florida’s West Coast guides, and Captain Mike Anderson of Reel Animals TV and radio, 7 p.m. at T.A. Mahoney’s Marine Supply in Tampa, free food and drink; www.southshoreanglers.com.

March 12-14
Casa de Campo Open

La Romana, D.R.; flyzonefishing.com

March 13-15
Saltwater Fishing Expo

Edison, NJ

March 14-15
Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley

March 21
Texas Team Trail

Lake Toledo Bend, www.texasteamtrail.com

March 26-29
Fred Hall Show

Del Mar Fairgrounds, Del Mar, CA; https://www.fredhall.com/san-diego

March 27-29
New England Saltwater Fishing Show

Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, R.I.; http://www.nesaltwatershow.com

April 2-4
Chub Cay Invitational

Chub Cay Resort, Bahamas; chubcayfishingtournament.com

April 4
Western Walleye Expo

Adams County Regional Park, Brighton, Colorado; cowalleye@gmail.com, 970-699-5264.

April 18
Texas Team Trail

Lake Amistad,  www.texasteamtrail.com

 
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