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The arsenal was once a great place to catch trophy pike and largemouths. Although I'm only 25 years old I'm an arsenal veteran. I remeber when you did have to draw to get a pass to fish in the arsenal and being able to fish all week long. Back then it seemed like the fisherman cared and respected not only the fish but the whole refuge a lot more. The fishing has been on a steady decline for the past few years with more idiots fishing there and I've noticed the class gets shorter and shorter every year. I think we should all make a phone call to the wildlife managers at the arsenal and let them know there is a huge problem. Here are a few things I think need to be changed immediatly

1. Anglers fishing Ladora must always have jaw spreaders within their reach. If your fishing for Big pike without jaw spreaders you might as well toss them on the bank after you struggle for 10 minutes to get the hook out. (I know some of us that have been pike fishing for years usually don't need them, but if your like me you always have them just in case)

2. The class needs to been more in depth and not only cover proper fish handling and gentle release practice's, but have a deminstration(spelling bee champ) of some kind so you can help people learn visually as well.

3. Have tackle checks more often!!! I've seen guys on the boardwalk mess with a deeply hooked largemouth for 5 minutes....WHY? you ask they didn't even have a pair of needle nose pliers in there tackle box. COME ON!!!!

4. I honestly think a test at the end of the class and a tackle inspection should be put in place for the 2006 season. No pliers No fishing!!! No jaw spreaders No ladora fishing!!!

Lets face it guys the class for the past two years has been a joke. There needs to be respect for the fish in these lakes and fellow fisherman enjoying this once great fishery. Every year I visit the arsenal a little less than the year before, and every year I get depressed thinking about how great it once was. I think if all the local groups get together and approach the fish and game at the arsenal maybe we can gets some changes put into place. Be prepared this year for more people fishing the arsenal than ever with Bass Pro being close. Lets make sure the people that are new to fishing the arsenal know how to be respectful to other fisherman and how to properly land and release a northern pike.

Sorry for the long post guys the Arsenal is near and dear to my heart like and I don't want to watch it go down the tubes anymore.

Thanks,
Eric Allee
 

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I too fished it years ago when you had to wait in line over night to get passes. Even then you had the idoits that would through the Bass back in the water end over end and cranck there heads back, rip the hooks out of the Pikes mouth w/o a needle nose, hook bluegill with a fly and have a 5/0 hook next to it. That was pretty bad then but now w/ the amount of people they allow to have passes it could have only got worse. :-[
 
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Ladora hasn't had bluegill in it for a few years. They planted 8000 bluegill late last summer to help restore some balance at ladora...Thats amazing people would have to do that will bluegill to catch northerns or pike. A chartruse spinner bait catches both just fine...or a red and white zara spook
 

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eric: i couldn't agree more. me and my girl have been going out there for 3 years and it has gotten worse every year. we have talked to the people in the front office numerous times(very nice people)when we see people breaking the rules but not much ever seems to get done. as far as the testing and on the catch and release tactics that would cut the number of people out there in half. i'm all for it... get rid of the idiots, let em go to cherry creek or chatfield.
 

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I've never fished the arsenal but I want to. I want it to be good in a year and a half when I am at school of mines.
I am seeing the same decline at jerry creek reservoirs, although it is for a different reason. The gills are getting slightly smaller year in and year out. In 2001/02 you could catch all sorts of gills over 13" if you fished hard. Once again if you haven't fished jerry, you have no idea of the size of the gills there. Last season, my dad and I hit it harder than ever before for the gills. The size has gone down. We still got some over 13" but the numbers of them have dropped dramatically, and I am seeing more "dinks" in the 8-10" range. Are the arsenal's pike/bass/gills shrinking in size each year it seems?
 

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sounds like jerry creek needs to have a few of them gills thinned out before it turns into another brush hollow
 

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There are alot of people who don't know any better or don't care about the resource. If anything, I think there are more guys out there with poor ethics than 20 years ago.

Thats why I don't post about specific locations on a lake and why there are some smaller lakes I don't post about at all.

All you have to do is look at all the trash at alot of places to know people don't always have the best of intentions.
 
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