Late Season Tactics

Six Wisconsin Counties Move to Restrict Set Lining On April 10, 2000 the Conservation Congress held meetings throughout Wisconsin. This year a proposal to restrict the practice of set lining was submitted for consideration. For those of you not familiar with the problem, the following will provide you some perspective: Statement of the Problem: Since the early 1990's, the practice of fishing from shore with live bait has become a method that has steadily grown in popularity. The method of fishing from shore is practiced by anglers for virtually all game fish species, including, but not limited to: musky, catfish, northern pike, salmon, trout, bass, etc. Fishing from shore is an effective and lawful means of angling; however, increasing numbers of individuals have been abusing this practice and going well beyond the obvious intent of the current unattended line regulation. It is the practice of fishing from shore for musky that has become so troublesome throughout Wisconsin, especially in the northern half of the State. Some anglers, with the goal of catching more and bigger fish and, often, for purposes of self- promotion, have been placing - without regard for the fishery or the rights of other anglers - rod sets along shorelines that are, arguably, not physically attended. These rods, in some cases, are set as much as one mile from the "attending" angler. Furthermore, the rods are strategically placed along shore in prime fish producing locations on a given body of water in such a manner that they impede the utilization of the resource by other anglers who choose to use ethical and clearly legal means of angling. Anglers who engage in this practice, typically observe their rod sets - on occasion - from these great distances with high powered binoculars and spotting scopes. Most anglers consider this practice to be unethical and, likely, illegal in terms of the spirit and intention of the existing law. Unfortunately, the existing unattended line laws that are contained within Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) fish and game rules and regulations are ambiguous and cannot be consistently enforced by WDNR Wardens and Prosecutors. It is clear that a new regulation, which more clearly