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Dodger

Attention ProAm Fisherman!

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Last weekend fishing the Orlean's ProAm we boated a fish that was "foul hooked". It was hooked in the stomach. I figured it was illegally hooked and threw it back in. Later at the weigh in I found out it would have counted as a good catch. The reasoning is that the fish was going for the lure but missed and got caught by the hook. By throwing the fish back in I cost the team 2 places on the board, we finished 5th and would have been 3rd. Not sure everyone fishing the proAm's is aware of this rule.

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Dodger is correct. We had two foul hooked fish in '07 one in Orleans which if kept would have given us the win and then again the next week in Niagara. The next year they removed the rule that foul hooked fish had to be thrown back.

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I heard the rule change mentioned by Paul C. at last years Orleans Capt. meeting, but have not heard it mentioned at any other west end captain's meeting since.

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The reason the "rule" is not written anywhere is because "technically" it is illegal to keep a foul hooked fish. Taking the DEC regs strictly "by the book" the fish Dodger mentioned would have to be released. However, since foul hooked fish caught while trolling were clearly going for the lure the DEC has "looked the other way" when it came to the ProAms. We simply made the Rule easier to follow by eliminating the foul hooked rule and saying that if you got it to the boat the fish was legal. The DEC has, so far, allowed us to do this. We couldn't "print" that rule because, as I said, it is "illegal". Hope you can understand the way I've drifted around this sensitive, politically incorrect topic..... :$

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Paul,

With all due respect, I'm somewhat surprised and concerned that the DEC would "look the other way" on a foul-hooked fish just because it is caught in a ProAm tournament. You are correct in assuming that a fish foul hooked while trolling was most likely attempting to eat the lure, but a law is a law and something that a non-tournament fisherman would have to abide. It's funny how you didn't "print" the rule, but now you "printed" the rule......

Dodger - I commend you for doing what is right both morally and ethically.

Respectfully submitted,

- Chris

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And that's exactly WHY stuff like this should not be posted! Thanks for reminding me Chris! :$ The ONLY reason I responded was because Dodger asked me the very same question at the tournament on Saturday and since he posted it and it was going to become a "topic" I thought I should weigh in on the "rule".

The DEC has "looked the other way" when it comes to foul hooked fish caught while trolling. Any decent Conservation Officer knows that the Rule was implemented to stop snagging and lifting in the streams---not normal trolling practices. Releasing a fish that hit a Spin Doctor/fly combo with a tandem hook rig on a 450 copper and was dragged backwards through the water violates another DEC rule----that of "Wanton Waste". Keep the fish---violate the law. Release the now dead fish and violate the law. Interesting situation, huh?

There ya go.......I'm sure the "pot stirrers" will have fun with this one! :@

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Chris,

Is it "ethical" to throw back a fish that is dead because it was brought in sideways? At some point we have to use some good 'ole commen sense! This law was created for people who "snag" or "lift" fish. I'm NOT going to throw back a dead fish because it was not hooked in the mouth! At the same time, I'm NOT going to try & hook a fish anywhere but the mouth. Laws are not perfect and therefore cannot be relied upon for morality or ethics.

Respectfully disagreeing,

Jason

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Paul,

I was not trying to be disrespectful to the committee or your efforts as volunteers - my concern was only to be projected at the DEC for being selective simply b/c it's a tournament. I completely agree with your philosophy and the "catch 22" that you mention above.

I have been stopped quite a few times in I-Bay by the DEC and they have inspected our fish quite closely in the past and on occasion they have asked if any were snagged or foul hooked. That being said - I'm not sure how they would react if I ever answered yes.....

I appreciate your response and I appreciate your efforts with the ProAm's (yes I have fished them in the past with a Pro-team) and have found them to be very enjoyable.

Take care,

- Chris

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Jason,

With all due respect - I am not commenting on the ethical or moral nature of the law itself (I actually agree that it's a poor law to enforce while trolling). My comment on Dodger acting morally/ethically was simply based on how he reacted to what he thought was the "tournament" rule.............i.e. he wanted to make sure every fish caught was perfectly legal..........

- Chris

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I didn't say they "looked the other way" BECAUSE it was a tournament Chris. They "look the other way" because as I said, any reasonable officer knows that one cannot intentionally foul hook a fish while trolling---at least not reliably... ;) Their looking the other way concerns trolling in general and has nothing to do with tournaments.

Didn't see your post as disrespectful but quit stirring the pot and making more work for me! :P Besides...I'm sure NO ONE wants us to revisit the foul hooked rule! Right Capt. Vince? :@

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That rule was great. Treble below the gill plate, snell in it. Treble in the mouth, freeslider in the tail.

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Very well explained, Paul. The explanation I got was officers are not looking to write tickets for "collisions" between a trolled lure and a pursuing gamefish. This became much more common with the average troller using dodgers, and rotating flashers more often. On top of this, it is very common for a Salmon to "size up" a trolled bait (line up in its crosshairs) by darting alongside the presentation with its lateral line prior to circling back and inhaling it. Salmon, like other pelagic species often "crash" through a bait school, and come back and eat the wounded ones. All of this adds up to sometimes hooking them outside the mouth. The bottom line is, they take the lure, not the lure takes them like with intentional snagging. The relaxation of that rule here, made us in line with Tournys in Lake Michigan, where they never cared about that in the lake trolling fishery. It is widely accepted that body hooking a Salmon is a bad stroke of luck, which will most definitely result in lost time, and possibly lost tackle. It stands to reason that after enduring such misfortune that the mortally wounded fish be harvested.

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I havent heard the unwritten rule mentioned this year ,but it was brought up at the osweago meeting last year.. I suppose the "grey rules" not printed are the ones that need to be refreshed at each Captians meeting..

Its too bad that so many choose to disrespect the speakers at the Captians meetings,with their talking , I was tought at a young age when someone is speaking to listen , now with the cameras rolling and the great attempts to get newer teams onboard its all the more important to zip the lips for the breaf talks and rule coverage...

Im shure the teams that were DQ'd in Niagra Event got some pretty Negative Vibes Towards the whole thing ,by not hearing or following a rule We clearly heard EMPHASIZED at least 4 times during the meeting ..We were sitting front and center with our ears open despite this not being our first event..

I know the board should not have to take on the roll of" spoon feeding" at the Captian /Observer meetings .............but you might have lost 3 or 4 teams at NO fault of the board ,because the teams choose to sit in the back or with teams full of experiance and a little hot air..(talking)

Another "long distance suggestion" ,Might be to save some seats up front ask at the begining of the meeting if their are new teams attending ,Invite them to the front ,as they are walking up ask for a round of applause for the new guys ask em their team names,where their from and how they came to be at the event.

Sorta a twofold or threefold benifit .1-They are up front to hear the rules "new to them"

2- Those of us who remember those first meetings and the outsider feeling could WELCOME the new guys after seeing them (maybe we could start a new tradition we all have a few spoons,flys or something we could drop in a "new team bucket" (buckets) set at the regestration table onthe way in ) ..(maybe a few gag gifts barf bags,ect.

Also not to dismiss the winners but Ill bet a little welcome bag with some sponcered items would have a bigger impact to a """" 1st time team"""" returning to a event,

Than to watch a team win 10,000.00 and a bushelfull of stuff that will go into storage

I know to speedup the captians meetings is a goal of some but in reality it is the only time we all are required to get togeather as a group ,,see the new teams,,and say hello to old friends in a group setting........... get down to buisness first (rules) then pass out the orderbs and have a round to pass out to everyone and have a new pro am tradition of a group "cheers" to a safe and succesfull event"

Dispite the need for sleep and gettin the boat in final order WE ALL would benifit from a team social event ....how about captians meeting immediately after big fish friday weighin at same building or area ,youll have a good camera crowd for the video,,,,guys will get psyched for the derby and maybe the next "Big fish friday event"

you wont have to tear down and assemble camera stuff,,,,,, and it would give 'THE TEAMS"" a couple hours to socialize befor heading off to dinner and setteling down for the night ..

(comon arm stay down ,,stay down) ill bet some one with the ability to bash and talk could be a good asset on the mic. (ill need 4 days to get reaDY))

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I've learned 2 things from this post. (1) I shouldn't have posted it. Instead I should have brought it up at the next Captians meeting in Oswego. I apologize to Paul for putting him in a situation where he had to explain this rule. (2) When out on the lake and a situation like this arises, call someone knowledgeable. Their are a number of folks who would have given me the correct ruling. Soooo, lets let this post die.

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I've learned 2 things from this post. (1) I shouldn't have posted it. Instead I should have brought it up at the next Captians meeting in Oswego. I apologize to Paul for putting him in a situation where he had to explain this rule.

Don't feel the need to apologize for one poster who took this in the wrong direction, as so often happens. This is all new news to me, and had I caught a foul hooked fish I would have released it! We did land one fish last week that took the main spoon by mouth, but got foul hooked in the side by the slider. I made the observer look at the fish before we netted to show it had a hook in the mouth AND the side. I was unaware that we could box a fish reguardless of hook placement, and I fully agree with the harvesting of these fish.

With only 8 posts Dodger, you should be talking more....not less ;) Thanks for the heads up :yes::yes:

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