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Correspondent Jerry Gibbs reports that the state of Vermont has made it legal to catch (and immediately release) bass in Vermont waters before the normal season opener the second Saturday in June. Gibbs writes: "Some locals were underwhelmed to hear it because they’ve been doing just that for a long time. The new ruling slipped in quietly, never even making the new compendium of fish and game laws (though it was hinted at). Besides the obvious reprieve for anglers who once fished and released bass before season and felt guilty, it will do something more important. It will make visiting anglers especially fly fishers aware of a fine new season.

During May and June before the traditional opener, there is wonderful shallow water fishing for both largemouths and smallmouths throughout Vermont. Fishing occurs from the southern reservoirs, small lakes and the Connecticut River, to the north end of Lake Champlain on the Quebec border. To sample it, contact the Fish & Wildlife Department’s I&E office (*). Ask for a copy of "Vermont Guide to Fishing," and a copy of the official state map and touring guide. As for guides, I recommend contacting Bill and Mark Waslick (*). The father and son team run a well regarded fishing camp for boys, and they can put you onto good people in Vermont." Jerry Gibbs.

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