Minnesota has a closed season for largemouth and smallmouth bass and according to MN fishing regulations "You may not intentionally fish for any species during it's closed season." As you may know I hold this law in contempt.
Anyway I had a thought the other day, that touches on this issue.
I wonder just how many bass are caught in Minnesota by accident before the bass season opens? I think the number is probably is probably well over 100,000 and could conceivably be more than a million bass getting caught accidentally in the closed season.
The question then occurred to me, when something becomes a frequent occurrence at what point does it stop becoming an "accident" and instead enter the realm of being an expectation?
I think it is not so much an accident but instead is more of an expectation that out of season bass will be caught while fishing for panfish in the Spring. For instance when I fish at the GOMH for crappies I would be shocked if some bass were not mixed in with the crappies; It is the nature of the location both species are there schooled together. Growing up fishing for crappies on Sylvia/Twin lake in Wright County it was the exact same thing. You never knew if the next bite was a bass, crappie, or sunfish. I am sure there probably are places where you do not have such intense intermingling of species such as these examples. For instance the North end of West Rush Lake in Chisago County comes to mind. For some reason the panfish load in thick on that North end, but bass not so much.
If it can be established that it is an expectation that closed season bass will be caught by people after panfish than it is an awfully thin line that separates legal fishing from the illegal fishing of intentionally fishing for a species during it's closed season. If there is an expectation of something happening, than I would say there IS an intention to see that thing happen if you are engaging in the activity that brings the expectation. When you intentionally go fishing for bass there is always the expectation that you will catch them, whether you do or not.
Is it really possible to have an expectation about catching fish, without the intent too?