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Holland 7/15 AM - got what I came for


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Fished the morning putting lines down just outside of 100FOW before 6:00AM north of the channel and away from the boat traffic.  The lake was flat, bug free and gorgeous.  Glow baits did not deliver early morning which has been the typical out come for me as of late.  Switched out the high dipsey to a dark spoon (Evil Alewife) and the SB rigger to a Proctologist fly.  I was ready to pull SWR (7:15am) to switch out the glow Wonder Bread J-Plug when it popped and ripped line.  After a really good king fight, boated a 13lb king @ 108FOW, 73' at the lure on a NW troll.  Set the boat to a North troll, reset SWR and within 15 min the high diver (53' down) with Evil Alewife banged hard twice and exploded.  After getting the rod out of the holder, I saw a king leaping out of the water, 2-3 times on a run, not like a Steel Head but on a run, on multiple times, off to the side of the corner of the boat.  Once I gained enough line, I knew it was on the business end of the rod I was working.  I could not move the fish, line continued to pull out and getting spooled was a possibility.  So with neutral drops I pulled the other two lines and continued the neutral drop strategy to gain on the fish.  After 40 min of battle with the fish near the transom, I could see it was coming in tail hooked.  Netted the fish and got it in the boat and the hook fell out - fish Gods smiled down on me this time.  Weighed in at just over 18lbs and provided a good number of steaks for the grill.  I kick my self for not putting dark baits up high at the get go.  I do that dusk fishing with great success but have been trying to get the glow bait program working in the morning to no avail.  The winds picked up from the South after that and I could not get anything to bite for the next 2-3 hours  Ended the day 2 for 2.  In the end, I got what I came for :) 

The 13lb king was a natural, the 18lb king was a plant.

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There is language in the 2022 Michigan Fishing Guide regarding returning a fish to the water if not hooked in the mouth and possession of a snagged fish.  However, as I understand it, enforcement provisions defer back to Section 324.48739 Act 451 which states "multipointed hook with weight permanently attached".

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Page 10, second column, second paragraph:

"Hook-and-Line Fishing: Fish not hooked in the mouth must be returned to the water immediately."

Of course about three lines later in the same paragraph it says you can't fish with a bare hook, and a bare gold size 14 hook has landed many an alewife for me jigged in the channel when they are in.

 

Not trying to bust balls here and I like you reports but the DNR has been known to mine social media for contacts.

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It was really bugging me that I could not vector back to law or regulation so I spoke with the Plainwell DNR office.  They forwarded two Fisheries Orders, 218.19 and 248.22.  How I would have found these FO's on my own I don't know. 

FO 248.22 Possession Limits states "It shall be unlawful to snag a fish, attempt to snag a fish, or possess a fish that was snagged."  However, in my opinion this would not apply to a foul caught fish because earlier in the Order, snagged is defined as "taking or attempting to take a fish in a manner or methods where the fish does not take, or have a chance to take, the hook voluntarily in its mouth."  The key word in this language is 'voluntarily'.  To prosecute under this FO, it would have to be successfully argued that a trolling spoon on a line does not present a voluntary opportunity for a fish to take the lure in its mount and/or the trolling spoon is a device that is intended to take a fish involuntarily.

FO 218.19 Gear Restrictions contains the language "In all waters of the state, it shall be unlawful to: 1.c retain any fish not hooked in the mouth, or 1.d fail to immediately return to the water any fish not hooked in the mouth."  Although preceding provisions 1.a & 1.b address gear restrictions used for snagging and 1.c & 1.d is a continuation of the provision, in my opinion and based on personal experience of law successfully applied beyond its intent when it was written, there is enough bandwidth under 1.c and 1.d to prosecute retention of a foul hooked fished caught while trolling.

Attached are both orders.  I can now rest that I have solved this.

 

 

 

FO_218.19 Gear Restrictions.pdf FO_248.22 Possession limits for fish.pdf

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I've seen them bust people for "jigging" whitefish where the fish was hooked in the mouth or so, but from the outside in.  And the same when people floss fish at Sixth Street - hook is in the jaw hinge but clearly pointed inward.

Remember the guide book is just a summary and you're obligated to know all the rules that aren't in it.  Not sure how...

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I highly doubt the DNR is gonna go after anyone for keeping a foul hooked salmon way out on lake Michigan. If you were out there trolling the fish clearly went after it and you just got a really unfortunate hookup. The DNR is more interested in people intentionally snagging in channels and rivers where fish stack up and you can basically shoot fish in a barrel.

Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Great Lakes Fisherman Mobile App

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  • 2 weeks later...

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