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What Could Maine's "Rubber Lure" Ban Mean for the Future of Fishing?

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February 06, 2013

What Could Maine's "Rubber Lure" Ban Mean for the Future of Fishing?

By Joe Cermele

In case you haven't heard, Maine is trying to pass a bill that would ban the use of "rubber lures" throughout the state. At this time, however, what constitutes a "rubber lure" has not yet been defined. The fishing world assumes this refers to soft-plastic lures, and I can't imagine that it wouldn't. If you read this article from 2009 on Examiner.com, you'll learn that Maine is claiming discarded soft-plastic lures are potentially harming the environment because it can take "more than 200 years" for them to break down, and they have not-so-good effects on fish that ingest them. What worries me is not the ban of these lures in just one state, but the ideas the passing of this bill could put in the heads of the powers that be in other states.

As I write this, I keep checking the Net for the outcome of a public hearing that was supposedly held in Maine yesterday regarding this issue. Right now there is nothing new to report. You can read more about this hearing on the website of Bassmasters.

I (along with countless other anglers) am hoping it gets knocked down. I'm certainly not saying that discarded plastics don't have an ill effect on fish or the environment, but I don't believe they cause so many problems that they need to be banned. These lures have been around since the 1950s. In approximately 63 years, this has yet to become a big issue. I'm a firm believer that once an inch is given in one state, it opens the floor for other states to take miles and miles. We've already seen that snowball effect with lead bans. I happen to not disagree with lead bans, especially on smaller bodies of water, but it's much easier to substitute a lead jighead than the jig body. You don't need me to tell you how limited our arsenals would be if you took soft-plastics out.

Discarded mono isn't good, either, but it happens all the time. Should that be banned? And what about discarded hooks? Surely there is a scientist out there that will find some harmful effect of the metal degrading in the water. Next it'll be dry-fly floatant because that pollutes the rivers. Soft-plastic lures are far from the only chemically made, synthetic tackle elements that can end up in the water that a fish could potentially eat. So where does it stop?

Comments (36)

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from Dcast wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

This is good and bad.

1st the good. This will show the people of Maine that government is not your friend, and show them that the only reason most people serve today is to gain power and make your life a living h3ll while enriching themselves!

The bad! The whole d@mned thing is idiocy at its finest.

So sometimes bad ideas need to be seen through that way it educates you for the future. It will not pass.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

They need to ban plastic grocery bags and plastic water bottles before they get to this....far more of those are a problem than fishing plastics.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Perhaps the State O' Maine could require background checks in order to buy rubber lures. Anyone with a record from littering would be denied the right to possess rubber lures.
If this idea ever gets to New York State, there will be no public hearing. It will just get rammed thru right past the shrinking violet legislature.
Better start hoarding rubber now.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from MattM37 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

It's another example of completely ignoring the fact that anglers and hunters are stewards of the environment rather than enemies of the environment. When the pressure comes from the supposedly green-minded activists, the politicians (often with help from the activists)immediately think of the people who are out there in the woods and on the water most often and then write legislation that affects their activities. Nobody bothers to find out whether the legislation amounts to a spit in the ocean; the legislators have done something at least, and the activists are off their backs for a while. Meanwhile, who among them even bothers to notice that truly effective changes -- industrial regulations, money for cleanups, overall habitat improvement -- comes from, or is at least strongly supported by -- those of us who are out there in the woods and on the water most often.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from TAM9492 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

There will be a lot of unplanned pregnancies..........wait, wrong rubbers....

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

The original article from Maine Fish and Wildlife states that 20 million pounds of plastic are lost annually in freshwater lakes and streams with a life span of 200 years. This amount of plastic has begun to compete with natural food sources and is making fish ill. The original link to the university study is no longer working so we cannot see how the study was conducted or most importantly, who conducted the study.

All things considered, I would hope Maine would have bigger fish to fry considering the ever decreasing water quality world wide.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from HelloStrega wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Weather or not soft plastics left in waterways are harmful, it is probably best not to intentionally toss broken and used hunks of the stuff into the water.

This is clearly one of those knee-jerk responses that just has gotten out of control.

I think a more appropriate response would be an education program for anglers and kids on the effects of soft plastics left in water systems.

If there isn't enough material to make an education program then clearly there hasn't been enough research done on this topic to warrant any action at all. If there is, then I feel the best way to get anglers to change their habits is to get their kids passionate about the change.

The final piece is: "what do you do with these plastic pieces when you're done with them?" I don't know of any, but if there were recycling programs (like the mono recycling programs out there) I would definitely participate.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from haverodwilltravel wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Does anyone here believe that someone from Maine really found 20 Million pounds of rubber baits every year? Give me a break. The last 4 years have been a living Hell of bureaucratic regulatory nuts fabricating figures on EVERYTHING from lures to guns to the environment.
It's true of just about everything these days and what they can't prove they make up and just shout down anyone employing logic.
Then again things could be worse....it could have been 32 oz. sodas or a gun with a handle on it. UGGGGGGGGH!

Wake up folks and just vote these nuts out of office and fire regulators who can't make a solid factual case without a hidden agenda.
If it was really legit and harming the fishery, Sportsmen would lead the way....Frankly, if it does pass I hope the loss in revenue from plastic baits kills their Dingel/Johnson funds and they have to fire the culprit.
Oh wait...it's a government job, that will never happen.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from haverodwilltravel wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

FYI....the Political Hack that introduced this bill Maine Representative Paul Davis once tried to get the Famous Maine Whoopie Pie tossed out as Maine's State Desert by proposing a VEGAN alternative as a way of keeping everyone happy.
Anyone want to guess which team this guy pitches for? God help us, we are being run into the ground as a nation by madmen and fools.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jesusfan wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

No surprise to me. Remember, the Bible says that "evil men AND SEDUCERS shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." (2 Timothy 3:13) Politicians/activists will keep feeding us lies and the general uninformed public will buy into it. Their motto is "Save the trees, kill the children (which they have managed to slaughter 55 million of them since Roe v. Wade)."

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WVOtter wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

As anglers (and all outdoorsmen), we just all need to be aware of our actions. No, a ban isn't the answer. But we also need to be sure to take our litter, worm/corn cans, and the like with us as much as possible. Things getting lost in the water is unavoidable, but people tossing unwanted soft baits or cut line in is inexcusable.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Matt, I would love to agree with you but sportsmen are not the most enviromentally friendly. Go to any river, lake, pond, etc... USA and look around and your bound to find copious amounts of trash with most of it being leftover bait containers, bait wrappers, mountaindew bottles and cigarettes in a plastic walmart bag, and so on.

I'm with Koldkut, ban plastic grocery bags, bottles, food containers. The only problem there is then we have the enviromentalists screaming bloody murder because we are cutting down vast swaths of forest land.(That was planted for this exact reason by some smart men along time ago seeing into the future)

Havearod, they can easily estimate how much soft plastics are bought instate by sales. However the rest is merely an assumption which science for the most part is.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hexfly wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Just a little note on math. If the lures have been around since the 1950s, they have been around about 63 years, not 73 years. For a second I thought I was 63, not 53 years old!

But I agree with the general idea this really is a non-issue. As I look across the bottom of lakes, I do not see large numbers of discarded plastic worms. I think this is really being pushed by PETA and their cohorts to eliminate fishing one step at a time.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe_Cermele wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Hex...you are, in fact, 63 my friend. I did OK in English class...math class not so much.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ENO wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Someone once told me that eating fish has an ill effect on fish.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Average Outdoorsman wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

To 'Buckhunter'... about your post... very interesting. I haven't read the article that you quoted but, according to the article, if there is truly 20 million pounds of soft plastic baits left in Maine waters each year, let's assume an average soft plastic bait weighs 3/16 ounce - and that's a big one. After some quick math, that's 6 BILLION individual lures left in the water each year. That's hard for me to believe. No surprise the link is broken referring the reader to data and sources.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from TAM9492 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Dcast, I wouldn't call those people "sportsman" but that's just my opinion.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jan J. Mudder wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I haven't been able to do much bass fishing for a number of years ... yet I still find myself picking up containers of cool looking plastic crawdads, salamanders, etc., whenever I see them on clearance. In my heart, I buy them because I hope to go bass fishing again sometime soon, but in my mind I know that the "bargain" I just bought is more likely to dry out and crack and/or be a melted, gooey mess before I ever actually get to use them ... and that made me wonder how many plastic baits ever actually end up in the water?

If you had to give a reasonable estimate of the number of plastic baits that you buy that end up left in the lake, what would your guess be? I know that I'm not typical, but even if I use a whole package of 20 bass worms, I doubt that I ever lose more than one, if that. Before I lose it, I notice that it's not staying on the hook very well, so I change it out, and I take the old ones home. Sometimes a tail gets ripped off, and sometimes a fish does manage to pull the whole thing off, but it has been an incredibly rare thing (for me) when that actually happens. (Maybe I should point out that I usually fish mine Texas-rigged, so I don't have many snags, either.)

This forum is NOT the most representational group because we obviously care enough about fishing to spend time here, sign up to post comments, etc., but I'm curious if others have a similar experience. People who don't fish (and have an ax to grind) might assume that all plastic baits that are purchased eventually end up in the lakes and streams.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 1ojolsen wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Maine is a very active outdoors state. I live here. I do not have much fear that this will pass.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from haverodwilltravel wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

The morons are guessing/assuming that if you buy 5 bags of rubber worms every year, the fish swallow them or you toss them in the water.
No one I know does that.

Dcast, the people you are refering to are not Sportsmen. Most are hacks, drunks and pigs who don't even buy a license.

We see them getting caught here all the time.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from NinjaGecko wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Just as some hook manufacturers have developed hooks which rust out faster when left in the water (the big one that got away or that nasty snag) I'm sure that someone will design a soft "rubber" lure that will breakdown faster than it does currently. It just takes some recommendations and pressure from the consumers. I would like to have faith that something will be done that is sensible though few have ever done differently.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Average, My source is the link above "this article" then at the end of that article you click again for the actual study.

I believe the 20 million pounds is across the US and not just Maine.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from adkrover wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I fish a lake in the Adirondacks of NY that is one of the last natural fisheries for native brook trout that has never been stocked. About 10 years ago some idiots decided to introduce large mouth bass and since that time, the brook trout population has gotten hit hard. It has become a great place to catch bass and one of the favorite bass rigs is a large rubber worm. In the last 2 years I have caught 3 brook trout with large rubber worms stuck in their stomach and they would surely have died from it. I agree with the ban on the rubber worms if people are going to be so careless to just discard their used bait overboard or not properly rig their worms. Not only have the bass had a major impact on what is essentially an endangered species (native brook trout vary from lake to lake and each lake has it's own strain) but the "sportsmen" who now come to catch bass with no regard for the rest of the lake are killing the trout without even realizing it. What was once one of the best native brook trout lakes in upstate NY is now in danger of being just another lake.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mickey Finn wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Paul Davis has already introduced a bill to ban nondegradable hooks.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jason Hale wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I've actually stopped using rubber lures for bass in waters that contain trout. I've caught quite a few trout with their stomachs twisted on discarded senko-style baits. I don't want to add to that problem, so I personally choose not to use them in those waterbodies. I think some more education on the issue would be better than an outright ban. The only think you see on this topic is a business card sized ad in the fishing abstracts.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jason Hale wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

adkrover, I see your point, but sometimes it's not poor rigging, but the bass simply tearing the soft bait off the hook. That happens all the time.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hutter wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I can honestly say plastic lures have NO harmfull effects. I ate one once and the only side effect was that I felt like swimming upstream to spawn.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nehunter92 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

This is not quite so surprising to me. I consider Maine to be one of the saddest examples of what should be a sportsman’s dream state wrecked by completely insane management laws and practices. I mentioned in an earlier post about how dwindling numbers of non-resident hunters coming to the state was not all that surprising, considering the comparatively hyper-restrictive laws. From effectively banning deer drives to a relatively high minimum age (10, as well as having to have a “junior license” until age 16) to the granddaddy of them all, a Sunday hunting ban. With such a rich diversity of wild game, Maine sure seems to be squandering its opportunities.

Maine’s “unusual” stances toward fisheries management are also well known. They “strongly discourage” the release of Muskies and Northern Pike alive, and have some wild stances on Smallmouth. Maine claims that Smallmouth and Largemouth will extirpate and destroy native Brook Trout. While they do compete for similar resources, my experience in NH demonstrates that it is possible to have thriving fisheries for both species. The lake nearby our camp has had Smallmouth and Brook Trout as well as Largemouth in decent numbers for about 25 years now. According to Maine, these species are “the largest threat to Maine’s fish populations and fishing heritage.” Considering this new law and a few others, sounds like Maine’s biggest threat is its own bat**** laws.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Tam & Havearod, They may not be the ideal definition of "Sportsmen" but they are none the less. Not to mention there is alot more of those people than there are of people like us who actually pick up after ourselves and others.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Togue23 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

As a Mainer who enjoys using soft plastics while Bass fishing, I can honestly say that I have seen the negative effect of improperly discarded soft plastics. A few years back I caught a 18" Brookie that was rather pale, and very skinny. Upon cleaning him I found a massive piece of a soft plastic lure in his belly that was really preventing him from eating. This was no pristine Northern pond but it does hold some trophy class fish. I think there should be a ban on soft plastics on certain lakes, specifically the lakes that are either already closed to ice fishing, or where there is a live bait ban in place.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from haverodwilltravel wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Dcast...I have fished all but a dozen states. In Fly Fishing only areas, one hardly sees any trash. The same goes for catch and release areas, sanctioned Bass Tournaments, in the Surf and on the Flats.
At the risk of sounding elitest...the problem is the Stock Truck Following Once a Season putz who drinks a 6-pack, brings a lawn chair and drops his empty chip bag on the shore along side his worm cup....THOSE SLUGS ARE NOT SPORTSMEN...SPORTSMAN IS AN EARNED TERM.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from wisc14 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

ninjagecko: i believe that berkely gulp baits are biodegradable

nehunter: usually largemouth bass and brook trout do not do well together. largemouth bass pretty much take over. i'm sure you can find exceptions but that is the case most times. i always keep legal sized bass when fishing trout streams/lakes

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from santa wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I can not say good or bad but I have made a lot of soft plastic lures myself. The plastisols which I used were petro chemicals and pricing was determined by the price of oil. Thus I had to stop making my own purely because of the cost. I decided to try natural pork rind lures which act in water just as good or better that the soft plastics. Just one jar of natural pork rind worms lasted me two years. I caught several hundred bass on just one worm. I would fish with the worm and after the trip. put it back into the jar and save it for the next trip. I know that I would have used several five pound bags of soft plastic worms to do the same fishing. I am against any new laws that would encroach upon our freedoms. Just a good education on alternatives such as natural pork rind could help the environment and maybe pacify both sides of the argument.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from coosabass2012 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I don't like this at all, when things like this are forced by legislation it's never a good thing. If, however, the bait companies came out with affordable "bio-degradable" lure compounds that really work, I'm in. Yes, I know there are some out there already with claims but I haven't seen studies discussing their actual performance. Maybe F & S can do something on these soon?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from coosabass2012 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I don't like this at all, when things like this are forced by legislation it's never a good thing. If, however, the bait companies came out with affordable "bio-degradable" lure compounds that really work, I'm in. Yes, I know there are some out there already with claims but I haven't seen studies discussing their actual performance. Maybe F & S can do something on these soon?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from VAHunter540 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Anyone know what came of this? I tried looking on Bassmasters website but found nothing new.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Koldkut wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

They need to ban plastic grocery bags and plastic water bottles before they get to this....far more of those are a problem than fishing plastics.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

This is good and bad.

1st the good. This will show the people of Maine that government is not your friend, and show them that the only reason most people serve today is to gain power and make your life a living h3ll while enriching themselves!

The bad! The whole d@mned thing is idiocy at its finest.

So sometimes bad ideas need to be seen through that way it educates you for the future. It will not pass.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Perhaps the State O' Maine could require background checks in order to buy rubber lures. Anyone with a record from littering would be denied the right to possess rubber lures.
If this idea ever gets to New York State, there will be no public hearing. It will just get rammed thru right past the shrinking violet legislature.
Better start hoarding rubber now.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from TAM9492 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

There will be a lot of unplanned pregnancies..........wait, wrong rubbers....

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from HelloStrega wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Weather or not soft plastics left in waterways are harmful, it is probably best not to intentionally toss broken and used hunks of the stuff into the water.

This is clearly one of those knee-jerk responses that just has gotten out of control.

I think a more appropriate response would be an education program for anglers and kids on the effects of soft plastics left in water systems.

If there isn't enough material to make an education program then clearly there hasn't been enough research done on this topic to warrant any action at all. If there is, then I feel the best way to get anglers to change their habits is to get their kids passionate about the change.

The final piece is: "what do you do with these plastic pieces when you're done with them?" I don't know of any, but if there were recycling programs (like the mono recycling programs out there) I would definitely participate.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from haverodwilltravel wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Does anyone here believe that someone from Maine really found 20 Million pounds of rubber baits every year? Give me a break. The last 4 years have been a living Hell of bureaucratic regulatory nuts fabricating figures on EVERYTHING from lures to guns to the environment.
It's true of just about everything these days and what they can't prove they make up and just shout down anyone employing logic.
Then again things could be worse....it could have been 32 oz. sodas or a gun with a handle on it. UGGGGGGGGH!

Wake up folks and just vote these nuts out of office and fire regulators who can't make a solid factual case without a hidden agenda.
If it was really legit and harming the fishery, Sportsmen would lead the way....Frankly, if it does pass I hope the loss in revenue from plastic baits kills their Dingel/Johnson funds and they have to fire the culprit.
Oh wait...it's a government job, that will never happen.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from haverodwilltravel wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

FYI....the Political Hack that introduced this bill Maine Representative Paul Davis once tried to get the Famous Maine Whoopie Pie tossed out as Maine's State Desert by proposing a VEGAN alternative as a way of keeping everyone happy.
Anyone want to guess which team this guy pitches for? God help us, we are being run into the ground as a nation by madmen and fools.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hexfly wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Just a little note on math. If the lures have been around since the 1950s, they have been around about 63 years, not 73 years. For a second I thought I was 63, not 53 years old!

But I agree with the general idea this really is a non-issue. As I look across the bottom of lakes, I do not see large numbers of discarded plastic worms. I think this is really being pushed by PETA and their cohorts to eliminate fishing one step at a time.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ENO wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Someone once told me that eating fish has an ill effect on fish.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from haverodwilltravel wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Dcast...I have fished all but a dozen states. In Fly Fishing only areas, one hardly sees any trash. The same goes for catch and release areas, sanctioned Bass Tournaments, in the Surf and on the Flats.
At the risk of sounding elitest...the problem is the Stock Truck Following Once a Season putz who drinks a 6-pack, brings a lawn chair and drops his empty chip bag on the shore along side his worm cup....THOSE SLUGS ARE NOT SPORTSMEN...SPORTSMAN IS AN EARNED TERM.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

The original article from Maine Fish and Wildlife states that 20 million pounds of plastic are lost annually in freshwater lakes and streams with a life span of 200 years. This amount of plastic has begun to compete with natural food sources and is making fish ill. The original link to the university study is no longer working so we cannot see how the study was conducted or most importantly, who conducted the study.

All things considered, I would hope Maine would have bigger fish to fry considering the ever decreasing water quality world wide.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WVOtter wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

As anglers (and all outdoorsmen), we just all need to be aware of our actions. No, a ban isn't the answer. But we also need to be sure to take our litter, worm/corn cans, and the like with us as much as possible. Things getting lost in the water is unavoidable, but people tossing unwanted soft baits or cut line in is inexcusable.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from haverodwilltravel wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

The morons are guessing/assuming that if you buy 5 bags of rubber worms every year, the fish swallow them or you toss them in the water.
No one I know does that.

Dcast, the people you are refering to are not Sportsmen. Most are hacks, drunks and pigs who don't even buy a license.

We see them getting caught here all the time.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nehunter92 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

This is not quite so surprising to me. I consider Maine to be one of the saddest examples of what should be a sportsman’s dream state wrecked by completely insane management laws and practices. I mentioned in an earlier post about how dwindling numbers of non-resident hunters coming to the state was not all that surprising, considering the comparatively hyper-restrictive laws. From effectively banning deer drives to a relatively high minimum age (10, as well as having to have a “junior license” until age 16) to the granddaddy of them all, a Sunday hunting ban. With such a rich diversity of wild game, Maine sure seems to be squandering its opportunities.

Maine’s “unusual” stances toward fisheries management are also well known. They “strongly discourage” the release of Muskies and Northern Pike alive, and have some wild stances on Smallmouth. Maine claims that Smallmouth and Largemouth will extirpate and destroy native Brook Trout. While they do compete for similar resources, my experience in NH demonstrates that it is possible to have thriving fisheries for both species. The lake nearby our camp has had Smallmouth and Brook Trout as well as Largemouth in decent numbers for about 25 years now. According to Maine, these species are “the largest threat to Maine’s fish populations and fishing heritage.” Considering this new law and a few others, sounds like Maine’s biggest threat is its own bat**** laws.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MattM37 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

It's another example of completely ignoring the fact that anglers and hunters are stewards of the environment rather than enemies of the environment. When the pressure comes from the supposedly green-minded activists, the politicians (often with help from the activists)immediately think of the people who are out there in the woods and on the water most often and then write legislation that affects their activities. Nobody bothers to find out whether the legislation amounts to a spit in the ocean; the legislators have done something at least, and the activists are off their backs for a while. Meanwhile, who among them even bothers to notice that truly effective changes -- industrial regulations, money for cleanups, overall habitat improvement -- comes from, or is at least strongly supported by -- those of us who are out there in the woods and on the water most often.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jesusfan wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

No surprise to me. Remember, the Bible says that "evil men AND SEDUCERS shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." (2 Timothy 3:13) Politicians/activists will keep feeding us lies and the general uninformed public will buy into it. Their motto is "Save the trees, kill the children (which they have managed to slaughter 55 million of them since Roe v. Wade)."

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Matt, I would love to agree with you but sportsmen are not the most enviromentally friendly. Go to any river, lake, pond, etc... USA and look around and your bound to find copious amounts of trash with most of it being leftover bait containers, bait wrappers, mountaindew bottles and cigarettes in a plastic walmart bag, and so on.

I'm with Koldkut, ban plastic grocery bags, bottles, food containers. The only problem there is then we have the enviromentalists screaming bloody murder because we are cutting down vast swaths of forest land.(That was planted for this exact reason by some smart men along time ago seeing into the future)

Havearod, they can easily estimate how much soft plastics are bought instate by sales. However the rest is merely an assumption which science for the most part is.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe_Cermele wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Hex...you are, in fact, 63 my friend. I did OK in English class...math class not so much.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Average Outdoorsman wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

To 'Buckhunter'... about your post... very interesting. I haven't read the article that you quoted but, according to the article, if there is truly 20 million pounds of soft plastic baits left in Maine waters each year, let's assume an average soft plastic bait weighs 3/16 ounce - and that's a big one. After some quick math, that's 6 BILLION individual lures left in the water each year. That's hard for me to believe. No surprise the link is broken referring the reader to data and sources.

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from TAM9492 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Dcast, I wouldn't call those people "sportsman" but that's just my opinion.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jan J. Mudder wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I haven't been able to do much bass fishing for a number of years ... yet I still find myself picking up containers of cool looking plastic crawdads, salamanders, etc., whenever I see them on clearance. In my heart, I buy them because I hope to go bass fishing again sometime soon, but in my mind I know that the "bargain" I just bought is more likely to dry out and crack and/or be a melted, gooey mess before I ever actually get to use them ... and that made me wonder how many plastic baits ever actually end up in the water?

If you had to give a reasonable estimate of the number of plastic baits that you buy that end up left in the lake, what would your guess be? I know that I'm not typical, but even if I use a whole package of 20 bass worms, I doubt that I ever lose more than one, if that. Before I lose it, I notice that it's not staying on the hook very well, so I change it out, and I take the old ones home. Sometimes a tail gets ripped off, and sometimes a fish does manage to pull the whole thing off, but it has been an incredibly rare thing (for me) when that actually happens. (Maybe I should point out that I usually fish mine Texas-rigged, so I don't have many snags, either.)

This forum is NOT the most representational group because we obviously care enough about fishing to spend time here, sign up to post comments, etc., but I'm curious if others have a similar experience. People who don't fish (and have an ax to grind) might assume that all plastic baits that are purchased eventually end up in the lakes and streams.

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from 1ojolsen wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Maine is a very active outdoors state. I live here. I do not have much fear that this will pass.

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from NinjaGecko wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Just as some hook manufacturers have developed hooks which rust out faster when left in the water (the big one that got away or that nasty snag) I'm sure that someone will design a soft "rubber" lure that will breakdown faster than it does currently. It just takes some recommendations and pressure from the consumers. I would like to have faith that something will be done that is sensible though few have ever done differently.

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Average, My source is the link above "this article" then at the end of that article you click again for the actual study.

I believe the 20 million pounds is across the US and not just Maine.

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from adkrover wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I fish a lake in the Adirondacks of NY that is one of the last natural fisheries for native brook trout that has never been stocked. About 10 years ago some idiots decided to introduce large mouth bass and since that time, the brook trout population has gotten hit hard. It has become a great place to catch bass and one of the favorite bass rigs is a large rubber worm. In the last 2 years I have caught 3 brook trout with large rubber worms stuck in their stomach and they would surely have died from it. I agree with the ban on the rubber worms if people are going to be so careless to just discard their used bait overboard or not properly rig their worms. Not only have the bass had a major impact on what is essentially an endangered species (native brook trout vary from lake to lake and each lake has it's own strain) but the "sportsmen" who now come to catch bass with no regard for the rest of the lake are killing the trout without even realizing it. What was once one of the best native brook trout lakes in upstate NY is now in danger of being just another lake.

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from Mickey Finn wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Paul Davis has already introduced a bill to ban nondegradable hooks.

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from Jason Hale wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I've actually stopped using rubber lures for bass in waters that contain trout. I've caught quite a few trout with their stomachs twisted on discarded senko-style baits. I don't want to add to that problem, so I personally choose not to use them in those waterbodies. I think some more education on the issue would be better than an outright ban. The only think you see on this topic is a business card sized ad in the fishing abstracts.

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from Jason Hale wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

adkrover, I see your point, but sometimes it's not poor rigging, but the bass simply tearing the soft bait off the hook. That happens all the time.

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from hutter wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I can honestly say plastic lures have NO harmfull effects. I ate one once and the only side effect was that I felt like swimming upstream to spawn.

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from Dcast wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Tam & Havearod, They may not be the ideal definition of "Sportsmen" but they are none the less. Not to mention there is alot more of those people than there are of people like us who actually pick up after ourselves and others.

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from Togue23 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

As a Mainer who enjoys using soft plastics while Bass fishing, I can honestly say that I have seen the negative effect of improperly discarded soft plastics. A few years back I caught a 18" Brookie that was rather pale, and very skinny. Upon cleaning him I found a massive piece of a soft plastic lure in his belly that was really preventing him from eating. This was no pristine Northern pond but it does hold some trophy class fish. I think there should be a ban on soft plastics on certain lakes, specifically the lakes that are either already closed to ice fishing, or where there is a live bait ban in place.

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from wisc14 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

ninjagecko: i believe that berkely gulp baits are biodegradable

nehunter: usually largemouth bass and brook trout do not do well together. largemouth bass pretty much take over. i'm sure you can find exceptions but that is the case most times. i always keep legal sized bass when fishing trout streams/lakes

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from santa wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I can not say good or bad but I have made a lot of soft plastic lures myself. The plastisols which I used were petro chemicals and pricing was determined by the price of oil. Thus I had to stop making my own purely because of the cost. I decided to try natural pork rind lures which act in water just as good or better that the soft plastics. Just one jar of natural pork rind worms lasted me two years. I caught several hundred bass on just one worm. I would fish with the worm and after the trip. put it back into the jar and save it for the next trip. I know that I would have used several five pound bags of soft plastic worms to do the same fishing. I am against any new laws that would encroach upon our freedoms. Just a good education on alternatives such as natural pork rind could help the environment and maybe pacify both sides of the argument.

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from coosabass2012 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I don't like this at all, when things like this are forced by legislation it's never a good thing. If, however, the bait companies came out with affordable "bio-degradable" lure compounds that really work, I'm in. Yes, I know there are some out there already with claims but I haven't seen studies discussing their actual performance. Maybe F & S can do something on these soon?

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from coosabass2012 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I don't like this at all, when things like this are forced by legislation it's never a good thing. If, however, the bait companies came out with affordable "bio-degradable" lure compounds that really work, I'm in. Yes, I know there are some out there already with claims but I haven't seen studies discussing their actual performance. Maybe F & S can do something on these soon?

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from VAHunter540 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Anyone know what came of this? I tried looking on Bassmasters website but found nothing new.

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