Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

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Ignorance about AIS – and dealing with a summer slump

By Steve Carney

Contributing Writer


I recently was coming off the water after a morning of guiding anglers when I was met at the access by a couple from Illinois. They asked me to assist them in launching their 16-foot boat because the husband had an injured knee. So I agreed to help them. 


I trailered my boat and walked over to their rig and noticed their drain plug was still in. I informed them that this was unacceptable, and they just shrugged their shoulders in bewilderment. 


I also asked about the status of their livewell, and they said the livewell plug and boat plug has been in for over five years. 


I told them they needed to get with the program and learn the rules about aquatic invasive species. 


It’s hard to believe that with all the press on this subject there still are anglers who are clueless. 


The Illinois couple pulled their plug and drained their livewell before we dropped the boat in the water, and I’m hoping they got the message.  


I often visit with AIS inspectors at most lake accesses, and one inspector said she has been sworn at and insulted while just trying to do her job. 


She said she often has to call the sheriff’s office to intervene because some anglers get testy and uncooperative. 


It’s hard to believe that some anglers just don’t get it. Play by the rules and we can try and stop the spread of AIS.

A summer slump

I’ve been scratching my head this month because the lakes that were great for fishing in July and August of last year are totally dead on the fishing front this year. It’s hard to explain. 


I’ve been struggling the past month on lakes that I know intimately. Yes, we have had storm after storm come through the state, but it’s hard to believe the fish have disappeared.  


My fishing trips have been forays on new lakes – just to improve the odds. This inconsistency seems to be widespread, because I have heard the same thing from numerous anglers. There is really no logical explanation. 


It’s a fish here and there with no good numbers. 

I hope an August cool-down will increase the activity. The inactivity makes me want to start hanging treestands!

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