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Are We Doing Good Things? - - - 94 messages. Showing 1 through 10. Go to page: 1   2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 
WebDude
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Daily Subscription Msg 1 Posted: 09:14 PM 04/05/07 (CST)
First off... I know this post is going to tick some people off. Believe me when I say, that is not my intention. I have just been struggling with this site and what I was hoping this site could become and the current state of affairs compels this post. I know I've said it was/is a democracy, but when things get beyond my control and these things start affecting other things that I cherish and love, a time comes when I have to put my foot down, so to speak, and really (and I mean REALLY) speak what's on my mind.

Second, it is going to seem like I am singling certain users out. In a way, I am, but my intention is not to point fingers or to hurt anyone's feelings nor to make a war here. My intention is to try to knock some sense into these users and have them step back and take a few breaths and take a look at what they are doing. And hopefully, after a good hard look, they can see what I am talking about. Maybe at some point, they might even agree.

I am going to start by telling you an actual story. This happened to me and a pal of mine about 20 years ago. I bet by the mid-point of this story, you'll get the gist of what I am trying to say. You might have read this in an earlier post, but I think it got trashed in the "Big Database Crash of 2004."

__________________________________________________________

My pal just bought a new house. Wasn't much of a house. It was a 4 room cabin that was ancient and had been on a tiny lake for many years. He had lived there a few years and had watched as housing sprang up around him. He got a very good deal on this house and some of the houses around him were more like miniature mansions.

Now the lake was not much to speak of. It was located in the western burbs and was small, but it had a 25 foot hole in the middle. It looked more like a swamp and you had to drag a canoe through a half block of cattails and bulrushes just to get onto it. Across the lake were a few other old cabins that actually had small docks sticking out from shore. There was no access and motorized boats were not allowed, not that you would want to put a boat on that lake. It wasn't even big enough to get a skier out of the water. Around the lake, property became premium real estate and my pal just lived in that tiny house and lived his life pretty much to himself.

One day he got a new Kevlar canoe and wanted to put it on the lake and see how it handled. He was a canoe enthusiast and was known to race in some of the contests held around the state. I swear, the thing weighed all of 60 pounds, but it sure was pretty and had seating for two. Well, we got the canoe out on the lake and started paddling around. Didn't take very much to get to the other side.

Now, my pal knew there were sunnies in this lake. He had seen kids out in rowboats catching them. On the other side on one of the docks was a kid about 12 years old sitting in a lawn chair with a pole in his hand. As we paddled by, my pal asked, "So how's it going?" "Well, I got ten so far," he replied. "Cool beans!" my pal shot back. He always used to say that.

As we turned the canoe and started paddling away, behind us a great commotion started. The kid had jumped up and was horsing in something. By the bend in his rod, I knew that was no sunny. He fought it and got that fish to the end of the dock, leaned over and pulled out what looked to be a 8 pound bucketmouth from the water. "Well," he said, "There's number eleven." And he dumped the fish back in the lake. My pal and I were kind of shell-shocked at first. We just stared at him a few moments with our mouths open, then our heads turned to each other and suddenly it hit us!

We had the canoe at top speed as we headed back to his house to grab some gear. Got a couple of rods and reels, some grape Culprits with bullet nosed sinkers and headed back out on the water. I have to tell you, we had a blast. By the end of the day, my arms were sore from setting the hook so many times. Not sure how many we caught, but these were beautiful fish. I wish digital cameras were around back then because I would have loved to have shown them to you. And the size of these fish were amazing... like the ones you see all the pros hold up in the magazines. You know the kind... the kind that make you think, "Man... I would love to catch something like that!"

That was a fantastic summer. My pal and I spent a lot of time out in that tiny hole. We caught a lot of fish folks, and things were good. We had our own honey-hole right in the back yard that produced many hours of good times.

The problem was we were afraid that the word would get out. We often talked about how we wouldn't tell anyone; we would just fish it and have fun. Every fish we caught we put back. We kind of thought of it as a delicate ecosystem out there. There was almost a reverence out on that pond. The same feeling you might get when you go to church. It was us and those fish and we both respected the heck out of each other. And all this time, houses were springing up around the lake and the worth of my pal’s property pretty much quadrupled.

Well, the sad part is the word did get out. We had two summers of some fantastic fishing and then all hell broke loose. The winter following those two summers, I counted 33 ice houses crammed on that little pond. My pal and I watched through a pair of his binoculars as people out on the ice caught these trophy fish and threw them into buckets. We were devastated. This great and almost reverent pastime was done. The third summer, we saw many rowboats and canoes out there with people pulling surface cranks or using leeches. The fish were going fast. And the sad part about all of this is that we couldn't do anything about it. It actually made me feel sick to see all those beautiful fish being strung up and hauled out of that pond. I wouldn't keep a bass and eat it, but I guess some folks don't feel the same way I do.

Now, the fourth summer, there was a noticeable drop off on the boats out on the pond. My pal and I decided we would give it a try. And folks, there was a reason there were no boats or canoes out there. There were no fish. The bass were gone. All those trophy fish had been taken out of the pond and now the only thing you could catch were the sunnies. It's really too bad how some can destroy a good thing. I still think of that little pond with a slight heartache and the feelings I get thinking about what was done on that body of water still angers and saddens me today. We tried for a couple of summers after that, but still could not catch a bass. The good thing was gone and to tell you the truth, I kind of feel like the taking of all those fish was our fault, even though we didn't keep a thing. We had a respect for those fish and now there was nothing to respect anymore. Just the memory of a couple of excellent summers fishing with a good friend of mine.

Now some of you may be thinking... why I am telling you this? Others may see the point clearly. I always thought of My Fishing Pals as place people could go to swap a good story, post a few pics and maybe give a pointer or two. I didn't mean this site to degrade into hundreds or thousands of posts pin-pointing a particular GPS point on a lake so hundreds of people can slam as much as they can and then move on. This is what I am struggling with, folks. I have a deep respect for nature and what nature can provide us. If you think any fishery cannot be hurt, I beg to differ. I saw it first hand. And when I get called or heckled and lose users because of what this site has degraded to, I cannot help to think that a lot of this is my fault. I called a couple of old users and guides and asked them straight up why they quit posting here. And all of them, right on down the line said the same thing - you got a few people pushing their own agenda. It seems in my quest to make this a non-commercial site with no sponsors; we seem to have run full circle. This site has become nothing but commercial and the thought of that is killing me. And unfortunately, it may be harming particular fisheries, too. I can't live with that.

It wouldn't be so bad if we were posting about a hundred different lakes. It wouldn't be that bad if it was fifty. We could then sit back and choose the information we wanted and go fish wherever. The problem is that the users are concentrating on a couple of spots out of the millions of spots to fish in this great state. And the way I see it, that is not good. In fact, that is bad. I am probably going to lose some users over this, but you want to know something? I really don't care. I'm tired of it and when I see something that I don't think is a good thing, I have to do something about it. I used to get posts from guides up on Superior, LOTW, Gull and the Brainerd area, Leech, Kab, Rainy, area lakes, etc., etc. It's all gone folks. Those posts just don't exist anymore. What we have left is people concentrating on a couple of very specific spots and that's got me worried. And what has really got me worried is the fact that the reason these posts are concentrated on these spots has nothing to do with good times or the reverent communal one can have with nature. It seems we have really gone commercial and since this is a non-profit and I don't make a dime, it is time for a change and I don't care if I step on a few toes. In fact, I have been considering just chucking the whole deal. I thought I was starting something that would be good and it has all backfired on me.

So now, what to do... I am thinking of a couple of rules (yeah, you heard me... rules). I am going to ask the Moderators to go along with me on this too. If you are currently a Moderator and want to bow out, I'll understand, but I think a lot of you will stick around. I picked you guys for a reason and it has a lot more to do with you as a person then how many posts you have. Like always, we can vote on this. I still feel I shouldn't be the only voice here, even though I very well could be and no one could say boo about it.

Here is what I am proposing. And I am going to give explanations on each point as I go along so you understand fully why I am adding these rules...

1. If you are selling a fishing product, all your posts will go on the products page. This does not mean things like your car or boat you are trying to get rid of - those types of things can go in the want ads. But if you are selling something, and it is a product that you produce and profit from, or resell for profit, that post goes on the products page. Giving a report then pushing your product? It goes on the product page. Pushing your product then giving a report? It goes on the products page. Giving a report? It goes in the Report forum. Get it?

2. If you are selling a product, you are only allowed 1 post per week related to that product. I am really getting sick of a hundred threads to spark interest in any product. Folks... we heard you the first time. No need to keep repeating, repeating and repeating the same stuff over and over and over again. We get it! What you are selling is the best thing since the wheel.

3. No more then 5 pictures per post. Better make them good ones. I don't need to see 25 pictures of you holding up 25 different fish all from the same species. I get the point. You caught some fish. If I were you, I would put most of them back and keep just enough to eat that night, but hey, to each his own. If you have a bunch of pictures of your pals that you want to add, have your pals post them in a reply.

4. No more then one thread (topic) opened for any type of report. If you went fishing for a weekend and had some luck and want to share the news, that's great. If you have others who fished with you that post here, they can respond. First one to start the thread is the one who starts the thread, the rest can please respond in that thread. We don't need 20 threads from 20 people who all fished together. As far as I am concerned, that is one report compiled by a bunch of users. It's hard enough to find anything useful, especially when you have to weed through a bunch of related topics.

5. No bumping of threads just for the sake of bumping. I know we get new users all the time, but if you have nothing new to add, then it's not new... get it?

6. I want you users to come up with your own rule here. Moderators too. I don't want to feel like a heel or a dictator here. I need feedback folks. I cannot do this alone. Try to think of something that would actually help us out... okay?



I think that's about it. I know this got way too long, but it had to be said. I take full responsibility for lost users or any other fallout that may happen. But, that's the way it is. If any of you have any suggestions or if you would like to discuss clarifying any of these rules, that's okay with me. I am going to post this in the general forum and periodically bump it to the top. Everyone can have their say. If you are on board, I will hope you tell me so. If you want to argue points, that's okay too. Anyway... thanks for taking the time to read this.




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WebDude
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Joined 02/26/2004
Posts:8490

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Daily Subscription Msg 2 Posted: 06:31 AM 04/06/07 (CST)
As you have noticed, we are missing a few posts here. I had trouble with the db and by mistake, I deleted all the posts. At first, I was really bummed, but then I thought about it... and though I got many reponses and support for the new rules, quite frankly, the topic was degrading into a mess anyway. To all who posted, I am sorry. To the others who just wanted some of the posts to go away... smile smiley

As a result of this topic, we have rewritten some of the rules here. Following is of importance to those who like to "read the fine print."
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    Ted
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    Joined 07/18/2004
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    Daily Subscription Msg 3 Posted: 09:11 PM 04/08/07 (CST)
    Woa... That's a lot to read smile smiley
    Woa... That's a lot to read smile smiley


    Ted

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    WebDude
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    Daily Subscription Msg 4 Posted: 09:15 PM 04/08/07 (CST)
    You can say that again.



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    Iceman
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    Daily Subscription Msg 5 Posted: 06:40 AM 04/09/07 (CST)
    Woa... That's a lot to read smile smiley


    LacsGuy
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    Daily Subscription Msg 6 Posted: 09:05 AM 06/19/07 (CST)
    WebDude,

    I was wandering through your site and just read your whole post here and I couldn't agree more. You seem to have a way with words and after some exploration, I am finding that I like this site more and more.

    Keep up the good work and I will pass through from time to time. It's nice to hear someone echo my thoughts.

    Thanks for the site!
    Black_Magic
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    Joined 06/13/2007
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    Daily Subscription Msg 7 Posted: 11:03 AM 06/19/07 (CST)
    Well I always thought a forum was for as much information as possible to be posted by its members. I guess in my years of being a MOD / Global Mod / and a website owner that it is the members choice to read what they choose while surfing through postings.If a thread is running and active then if they choose to read it that is up to them. A thread that is made whether its about a product, lake, or anything else is made to inform others of something that either is working for them or a lake that is producing fish. Products and misc. postings are made to get the word out I thought. This is how people learn...by other members making posts. I have learned so much just by reading what people have typed in so many forums and if I have something that I feel will benefit just 1 person then I will make a reply to that thread. If a reply is made to mine then its shows interest by someone who is willing to learn more about the topic at hand. If not then the thread just sinks at which I know nobody is interested. I guess my opinion varies than others on issues but you wanted input so I am stating mine. I am not posting this to start a war or complain about the way this site is being ran. Every site is different from the next which makes the many fishing forums different from each other. That is what draws members into joining. If all sites were the same then we would only need 1 site. Just my $.02 worth though.





    Black_Magic

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    nofishfisherman
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    Daily Subscription Msg 8 Posted: 11:21 AM 06/19/07 (CST)
    I'll fight the temptaion to get into my full blown opinion since its has already been said and it surely won't change anyones mind.

    But I will say that giving out exact lake names can be dangerous and is not needed. Of course large lakes can handle more pressure, I am talking about smaller lakes here and lakes in major metro areas.

    In my humble opinion all that is needed is depth, bait, time of day, structure and general area of the state. Usually the info can relate to most of the lakes in an area so the same info could help people on 3-4 lakes of the same variety in the area so giving exact lake name and all related info is just not needed.

    if a guy isn't willing to do a little work then they don't deserve the fish in the first place.

    With that said share any and all other info you want, just be mindful of the lake names. I am really not sure why this issue has been so hottly debated on this site and every other site I have come across. Its not a hard concept to understand.

    Sorry, I guess I got a little more into my opinion then I intended to. If you don't like it then just disregard it.


    Black_Magic
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    Daily Subscription Msg 9 Posted: 11:37 AM 06/19/07 (CST)
    Nofish...i agree with you about keeping the name of smaller lakes to yourself to protect the fishery there. Depth and other info should be posted though. I although will keep a full detailed report no matter where i am fishing on lakes bigger than 80 acres.


    Black_Magic

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    PierBridge
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    Daily Subscription Msg 10 Posted: 11:55 AM 06/19/07 (CST)
    Whats your point with this.


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