2nd Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Bass Fishing Outing Win-Win

| August 6, 2016
TBF of Michigan President David Reault shows off a big Lake St. Clair smallmouth bass caught while fishing with Michigan State Representative Tim Kelly.

TBF of Michigan President David Reault shows off a big Lake St. Clair smallmouth bass caught while fishing with Michigan State Representative Tim Kelly.

Monday, July 11, 2016 TBF of Michigan hosted Michigan Legislators, Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and Michigan United Conservation Clubs representatives fishing in our 2nd annual Lake St. Clair bass fishing outing.

The purpose of the event was showing the Legislators and others the great fishing available on Lake St. Clair giving them a chance to experience the Lake St. Clair ecosystem while letting bass tournament anglers get to know their state representatives, the MDNR and MUCC better.

MDNR bass tournament liaison Tom Goniea presents information about the Michigan Fishing Tournament Information System to the MLSC bass fishing outing participants.

MDNR bass tournament liaison Tom Goniea presents information about the Michigan Fishing Tournament Information System to the MLSC bass fishing outing participants.

MDNR Fisheries Division biologist and bass tournament liaison Tom Goniea gave a short presentation to all participants first thing in the morning at the meet up at the Lake St. Clair Fisheries Research Station. Tom reported that almost 2,000 bass tournaments have registered for 2016 on the Michigan Fishing Tournament Information System so far! Results from several hundred events have already also been entered to give the MDNR a better look at our most popular and best bass fisheries with reports from the system. We hope this leads to more fishing opportunities in the future.

Participants enjoy lunch on TBF of Michigan after the morning fishing on Lake St. Clair.

Participants enjoy lunch on TBF of Michigan after the morning fishing on Lake St. Clair.

After the presentation, boater volunteers and our guests were matched up and sent out fishing on the fabulous Lake St. Clair for some bass or whatever was biting. On Lake St. Clair that could be almost any kind of fish! Anglers fished the big lake in near perfect boating and fishing weather for about 3 hours before coming in at noon for a luncheon provided by event host TBF of Michigan.

Most participants reported catching some smallmouth or largemouth bass, or at least other fish such as the numerous this year white bass! Everyone agree the bass fishing outing went very well, and plans for next year’s event are already being discussed with a possible switch to a May event to experience prespawn bass fishing at its best!

The Legislators were members of the Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus (MLSC), the largest bipartisan caucus in Michigan state government. Participating were Sen. Geoff Hansen (District 34), Sen. Ken Horn (District 32), Rep. Ben Glardon (District 85), Rep. Ken Goike (District 33), Rep. Bradford Jacobsen (District 46), Rep. Andrea LaFontaine (District 32), Rep. Jim Runestad (District 44) and Rep. Tim Kelly (District 94). Also fishing with us was Nick Buggia and Emily Carney (for Sen. Mike Green District 31), Blane Wetzel (for Rep. Bill LaVoy District 17) and Steve Peruski (for Rep. Pam Faris District 48).

In addition, Tom Goniea (MDNR Fisheries Div), Nick Popoff (MDNR Fisheries Div) and Amy Trotter (MUCC) joined in on the fishing. Everyone stayed for the luncheon afterwards and a great deal of interesting and productive discussions were enjoyed by all.

Angler volunteer Bill Wood fishes with Michigan State Senator Geoff Hansen who shows off a white bass he caught.

Angler volunteer Bill Wood fishes with Michigan State Senator Geoff Hansen who shows off a white bass he caught.

The Bass Federation (TBF) of Michigan Conservation Director Dan Kimmel said, “Some of the participants landed their first ever Great Lakes smallmouth bass while a number of other species were landed by the participants and anglers! The presentation by the MDNR was helpful in telling the Legislators how great an impact bass tournaments have on the Michigan natural resource economy. Senator Geoff Hansen, who I had the pleasure to fish with made the comment that we Legislators made the others care more about bass tournaments, and he is right about that. He sponsored the bill that removed the old bass season limits from state law so we can hopefully have a longer bass tournament season somewhere down the road. The event was productive, educational and entertaining with some fun fishing on Lake St. Clair!”

We’d like to thank all the volunteer boaters for coming out to Lake St. Clair. Boater volunteers from included Matt Belletini, Larry Leonardi, Dave Reault (President of TBF of Michigan), Tommy Robinson, Steve Smith, Paul Wagner, Mitch Swoboda, Bill Wood, Mark Modrak, Bryan Doyle and Steve Hatala. All boaters’ expenses and the luncheon were donated by the volunteers and the two bass fishing groups involving no tax payer cost. Thanks also to the MDNR for the use of the Lake St. Clair Fisheries Research Station and the presentation on the MFTIS!

About the Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
The Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus is dedicated to promoting the traditional and historical rights of Michigan citizens to hunt, fish, and engage in other outdoor activities.

About the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (www.michigan.gov/dnr)
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations.

About The Bass Federation of Michigan (www.michigantbf.com)
The primary purpose of the TBF of MI, Inc., shall be to promote conservation of our natural resources, be involved with youth incentives, and preserve and promote the sport of recreational and competitive bass fishing.

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