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By Louie Stout

Hey guys, we need to take better care of tournament fish we catch and that means doing more than tossing them off the end of a boat dock after a weigh-in.

I was contacted by a DNR official recently who told me he visited a northern Indiana public access the day after a tournament was held there. He counted 11 dead adult bass within 50 feet of the ramp. He said that was the second time in two years that he’s seen dead bass near the ramp after a tournament was held there.

The fish were released in a shallow channel where water quality was suspect.

“The fish now are stressed from the rapid water warmup and the spawning season,” the official said. “Please inform your readers to take extra precautions at all times, especially right now, when releasing fish.”

By Louie Stout

The Indiana DNR isn’t buying up much land to create new public access sites, but they are trying to improve the ones they have.

In fact, northern Indiana waters of Webster, Otter, Bear and Pretty lakes will be getting facelifts this summer.

Weston Zurbrugg, the DNR’s north maintenance supervisor, said he hopes to get on these sites sometimes in July or August, depending upon availability of the excavator that the DNR uses. The access site will be closed for 2 to 3 weeks during construction.

By Louie Stout

Dennis Lossee Coming Home

There’s no question that bass tournament anglers love to compete. They may smile and joke with you at take-off, but the bottom line is they want to beat your butt by the end of the day.

Construction is underwayYet, off the water, Michiana anglers remain a strong brotherhood. That point was driven home recently when a veteran angler suffered a serious health issue and fellow competitors stepped up to help out.

Anglers working on the rampDennis Losee, a longtime competitor in bass tournaments in northern Indiana and southern Michigan, suffered a stroke during a heart procedure in early February.

By Louie Stout

Indiana Lake Michigan Biologist Ben Dickinson with coho catch

Steelhead have been pouring into the river, coho were biting on Lake Michigan, crappies were moving toward the bank and even a few bluegills were showing up shallow.

But that was last weekend. The forecast calling for calling for more cold temperatures, rain, wind and possible snow will put all of that on hold for a while.

But hey, it’s still March, right?

The good news is that fish in Michiana waters want to push the spring as badly as you do. Look for activity to pick up again with the next warming trend.

The cooler weather is good news for Indiana river trout anglers. If the water warms too fast, the steelhead spawning migration slows.

That wasn’t the case from March 8 through March 17, when 1,755 trout went through the South Bend ladder.