Our ponds and lakes produce good bass fishing for several reasons. They in comparison to public waters receive far less fishing pressure. Our Association is for all hunting and fishing as opposed to game species specific membership. Allowing a fishing only membership option would simply allow a few members to pressure the best fishing spots. In our system of allowing all members to hunt and fish a multitude of year long opportunities to pursue a variety of game allows only so much free time available in the hunter’s schedule. The challenge becomes how to best take advantage of what is available. For fishing it is largely a filler between other seasons.
The bass in our small ponds become very opportunistic on their food choices meaning they are not picky. It is frequent we hear from experienced fishermen that the bass were hitting everything.
Hot summer days and cool water strata makes for a lazy bass that once discovered around cover will typically remain there on each return to the fishing spot. Cover in a small pond is easily identified along its banks or rising above the surface.
The skilled bass fisherman will also rise up to the changing water temperature and sunlight conditions as winter turns to spring, spring to summer and summer to fall. Ponds lead the change with watershed lakes following shortly thereafter. Warmer waters mean lower oxygen and a higher sun provides deeper light penetration. What rig that worked yesterday on a watershed lake may not work today on a farm pond. For those that can react to these changes there are fish to catch. For those that do not understand that what worked last time is not catching fish now there will be far fewer fish to catch.
Linas getting in on the action at an early age like we’ve seen from so many members over the years!
Some days you never know what you may catch. From three ponds over three fishing days. The comments from this fisherman was simply that you just need to get out there and see what happens.
via email: Thought I’d send a photo of a 23 inch bass I caught recently from a farm pond that has baffled me for the last couple of years.
I knew it had big bass, but they eluded me on several occasions, so I decided to change my tactics. I always fished from a small boat and noticed the further I threw my lures from the boat the better luck I had catching fish, since the water was so clear.
This time I decided to switch from a white to black spinner bait and quietly work the shallow water from the shore. I caught 4 bass within a short period of time and one felt like a really nice one, so I continued and caught and released this beautiful bass for someone else to have the opportunity to catch in the future.
Fishing is MAHA’s best kept secret! Allen G.
While Floyd has earlier deer and turkey pictures on his Association web site he mostly just fishes now and is one of the strongest supporters of MAHA by actively transplanting fish around the MAHA ponds and watershed lakes.
Lets put this picture into perspective. The man that caught this fish is 6 foot 2 inches tall. Now compare Andrew’s height to that bass.
He wrote via email:
As you know, I have been a member in the Club since 1994. When I first moved to Kansas City, I had no place to hunt or fish. I didn’t have any hunting buddies or fisherman buddies. Since then, I probably have more tAssociationhan I can handle.
My experiences with bird hunting, waterfowl and fishing have been exceptional. (I don’t even mention deer and turkey because its given). Last year, in what was known by everyone to be a “down” year for bird hunting. Quality habitat and the variety of locations in MO, KS, and IA helped my season be as enjoyable and successful as many from the past.
As far as waterfowl goes, my duck hunting has been great. I really appreciate the quality of the blinds that are built and the variety of good flyway locations. I have met many hunting buddies from sharing a blind over the years. In fact, I have been even able to convince some of these guys that there is “other” types of hunting besides waterfowl!
As you know, I along with some of my MAHA buddies have been avid fisherman on the property for years. The biggest problem is that I have too many quality places to fish and not enough time to hit them all. Whether it be a NC MO farm lake or a SE KS strip mine, I have had consistent success with fishing. It is not uncommon for me and a buddy to pull in 100 bass on a good spring day. I have put 10 lb fish back and I regularly catch fish in the 3 to 7 lb range. And Crappie, well I can’t tell you about that. All I can say is that there are a number of farm lakes that seem to have an endless supply of slab size crappie.
Anyway, I want to say thanks for your diligence in making sure that members have quality places to hunt and fish. I don’t think people realize how fortunate they are to have such a great gift of land. All you have to do is talk to someone from another part of the country or even someone locally about their access to hunting and fishing, and you will know how blessed we are to have a club like MAHA.
Mid-America Hunting Association fishing is catch and release for bass and retention fishing for crappie and catfish.
Our Association stocks a hybrid bass that is hardy and grows well. The Association overall is for the enjoyment of the tranquility of a good day a field and that is enhanced with many a good catch on fighting bass. It is the memory of the catch, not the meat in the freezer that is important. These hybrid bass provide this opportunity.
Successful catch and release requires treating the fish gentle, nothing new in this idea. Bass themselves can withstand some handling, but less is always better. Again this is not news. What maybe news is the information below that provides a framework to all that bass caught today to make more memories the next time those waters are fished.
Getting the fish back into the water as soon as possible gives several key survival advantages. The first is re-suspension of the gills. In the water the fish’s gills float suspended in the water with little to no affect from gravity. Once out of the water the gills collapse under the their own weight and the force of gravity. This gills collapse increases the chances of damaging them when a fish struggles out of the water. Once damaged the opportunity for infection and faster recovery may be lost. Fishermen will significantly increase the chance of the fish’s survival if as soon as possible after removing the hook the fish is held just under the water surface for the picture.
Barbless hooks should be used. Two reasons support this idea. The first is to get the fish back to water as soon as possible. A hook without a barb is certainly easier to remove and will get the fish back to water faster. Second, fish have very little blood in their bodies. Even what may appear to be a small loss of blood may be fatal to a fish. Again a barbed hook increase the chances of damaging the fish and causing blood loss.
Peak summer fishing stresses the fish two fold. Warm water increase heat stress on the fish, remember their body temperatures are on the low side in nature. And, warm waters contain less oxygen. This of course is a doubling affect. Not only will warm water fishing greatly fatigue a fish it will take longer to recover as well.
While many fishermen feel they have successfully returned a fish to the water for long term survival confident with how strong it swam away. The fish may still die. All that is required to kill a fish days after catch and release is to penetrate their skin, remove scales or degrade their slime cover. If anyone of these three fish body protections is lost the chances for infection have been greatly increased. This infection will result in a long death process.
Association fishermen practicing fast harmless catch and release on bass will always have more bass fishing.
Enclosed are a couple of pictures from the recent Youth Weekend prior to the regular Kansas turkey opener.
My fourteen year old Daniel and I went to [location deleted] where we were greeted by lots of pre-dawn gobbling from the moment we entered the property. We set up, and within a half hour after legal shooting time Daniel bagged his first tom Later, he had a great time catching and releasing a number of fine bass. It was just a fantastic day in the field to share with my son.
Daniel also got his first deer this past season also in [location delted]. Unfortunately, the photographs did not come out or I would sent one of those along as well.
When we first moved to the area, I took my oldest son hunting on public land. We had several less than pleasant experiences, both with the quality of the land and because of the inconsideration of other hunters. What a contrast to our experiences on Mid-America properties. Thank you very much for providing the opportunity for my sons and I to put together such great times and to create such great memories.
The original letter:
I wanted to let you know how the youth hunt went for my two sons, Steven and Daniel, this weekend,in search of that “first buck”.
Saturday morning found me in the stand with 13 year old Steven just moments before day light. It wasn’t five minutes before a young six point buck appeared on the other side of the field. Steven had his buck when my watch said 1 minute after sunrise! He was so excited, and is already talking about the big one he is going to hold out for next year.
Sunday was Daniel’s turn. Daniel has harvested some nice does, but never a buck. This weekend he passed on eight different does, wanting a buck. From nearly the same place a buck emerge to come into the same field. This one was an eight pointer that was content to stay on the other side of the field and eat. When it looked like his grazing my take him further away from us he went broadside and Daniel too had his buck!
What a weekend. While neither of these deer will make the record books, they are true trophies indeed to these young hunters and never will be forgotten. Now that the first one is under their belts they know only older, mature bucks will be harvested in the future, and I hope many will follow. But few will be so special. Two boys…two days…two bucks….one great club! Thanks for everything.
Joe, an admitted non-fisherman does well just going out and having a good time. Joe has done what many before and after him have. He tried all other options for finding good hunting settling on the Association as his last choice. He found it should have been his first choice. A common occurrence for most long time Association hunters and fishermen.
The brothers Falco sent in a bunch of photos and we selected two for the web page. Had we posted all of them it probably would look like a mass kill. What may be interesting to know is that neither of them ever fished this pond before and went there just because they saw water. Every fish they caught was returned to the water.
Then from some others.
We have the farm ponds and watershed lakes ranging from 1 acre to 30. All may be fished any time.
I thought I’d share a couple pictures of a nice bass that I caught (and released) this past weekend on MAHA waters. The weather was great, it was nice and peaceful and the fish were biting good! Couldn’t ask for much more than that! Again, thanks for all that you, Jon and the girls in the office do!
Wanted to send a couple photos from a recent fishing trip. With all of the rain, We’ve only been able to get out a couple of times. Hit several spots and caught a lot of bass between 2 and 3 pounds. Ended the day with 11 crappies, 4 -14″ plus. The largest was just under 16″.
While we have fishing members out on our waters probably half the weekends during the summer, fishermen are much like waterfowl hunters in they both rarely take cameras. The ones that do appear to have an overabundance of time both fishing and duck hunting. The reality is those that take pictures always take pictures and have for years. That volume of pictures from a few may make it look like only a few actually have as much fun as they do but there are more that have the same breakup to their daily work grind.
Same fishing trip for all three pictures.