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When I first heard the news friday i was so upset i also wanted to just throw random blame around. and the Guides who run this site are an easy target. I am 44, have had a summer house on this lake since the day i worn born and have been trolling for salmon since i was about 2 years old. I had been lucky enough to stumble onto this site the same year it started, cant recall exactly when, but I am pretty sure it was 1999 or year 2000. so I have been reading about 20-30 fish catches by these kids for a decade now. I can only seem to catch 5-6 on a good day.?? So last May, i bit the bullet and chartered Cool Water. Funny thing was we only caught 5 or 6 that day as well. However what stands out at me is how he does give a hoot about it all, we released all our fish, he handles them with care, zero hook wounds! If the other guides can handle the fish like he does, then these folks catching huge numbers is not the problem. and this site is not the problem. I read the derby averages 2000 people every year and that seems right. well this site does not have 2000 individual followers, at least i dont think it does? maybe the problem is not with the salmon fisherman who use this site, maybe the problem lies with the hundreds that have not found this site yet and are out there carelessly destroying the fishes mouth's.
2 Quick changes that can happen and not "shut" anyone down would be Mandate Rubber Nets, and all lures can only be single barbless hook (like a streamer fly hook). This would severly cut wounds down!
Lastly, withing my group, we all spoke alot this weekend. we will miss the derby (we believe it is gone for ever) but ultimately we enjoy our "guys salmon fishing weekend" and we see no reason to cancel that special tradition. Our competitive nature along with the derby prizes sure helped us get up at 330 am for 3 days in a row, but now maybe we sleep till 5 and head out at 6! The $30 entry fee per 10 guys, well we will dump that into the local economy anyhow, probably at the wolves tavern!
Dont quit fishing over the derby being cancelled!
I liked your post Sculpin. And yes don't quit fishing because the derby has been canceled. I'll start off by saying, like most everyone else has stated, that I am not a biologist nor a fishing expert (if there is such a thing)however I will start by saying that each hole that I have looked in this winter has been full of smelt. I hear reports from others I know in the Wolfeboro area tht they are marking lots of bait with depthfinders and viewing them on their underwater cameras. In the open water huge bait schools appeared to be evident. Not sure if the number of bait is an issue. I've heard and read about the fact that rainbow trout are very opportunisitic feeders and that most of mine are caught on plastic crappie tubes. In fact last year during the derby I fished equal numbers of smelt, shiners and worms in the same area and had 0 flags with the smelt, 6 with a shiner and 2 with a worm. I don't perceive rainbow trout as smelt seekers but rather as buffet feeders.
I would hate it if the law stated we could only use 1 line per person since I ordinarily fish alone.
I do like all the dialogue that is occurring but certainly the name calling and mud slinging is really unnecessary.
The lake is only so big and as fishing pressure increases and with that the number of fishing trips calculated per day, it's inevitable that our fishery will take a hit. Perhaps a shorter season to give the fish time recover and not endure the onslaught of boats with lines coming out of their ears would do this fishery a world of good. My 2 cents at this time but certainly all of your conservation suggestions are spot on. I use a rubber net and am in the process of changing my trebles over to single, barbless hooks. Take care everyone and keep the dialogue going!
Somehow I guess that I am glad I was out of state when this story broke! This has been probably the one yearly activity I have ever taken part of, so the loss is huge for me.
As to name calling, mud slinging and blame. It is the American way to find someone to blame, someone's head to roll when a problem occurs. Painful but true. From my perspective, as long as you are busy blaming and finding fault, you aren't being busy being part of the solution. What a shame. Such a beautiful, fun and life rejuvenating and life affirming activity to sink to this level.
For my part, I believe that NH F&G are responsible for having provided us with the very best fishing conditions in our region over many years, bringing back a fishery that was clearly declining. Our guides have been responsible and ethical role models and leaders. Not destroying their own livelihood seems to make some kind of sense.... I was there when John V answered affirmatively that F&G see's the website as positive only, not negative.
I can only thank this website for information. Not sharing information seems to remind me far too much of the controlling, dictatorships of the past, like the third Reich, some churchs (that I am not going to name or blame) and general ignorance.
Lets all be part of the solution. Tight lines all!