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waska

walleyes hooked deep

15 posts in this topic

I've caught a few walleyes on tip-ups using lazer sharp kale hooks. A few were hooked too deep so cut the line as close to the hook as possible. Some of them on Red, many not. They ranged from 18" to 26". My question is Honostly, what percentage of walleyes survive the deep hook if the angler did not stress the fish by attempting to remove the hook?

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There was a recent article in In Fisherman regarding deep hooked muskies {using live bait} vs other hook ups. The mortality rate on deep hooked muskies was staggering.

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I've read reports that fish that were 'gut hooked' have a less than 1 in 4 chance of surviving more than 1 month.

All the more reason to not fish walleye with tip-ups! Sorry tip up guys! or at least go to quick strike rigs... When I first started ice fishing 30 years ago it was with a group of guys in Sconnie... with tip-ups... 3 Arctic Fisherman tip ups went out for every guy that was there. We ran lines of 12-15 tip-ups each night... It's a good thing that they had no intentions of releasing fish, cuz half of them were deep hooked or gill hooked.

I think if you were setting the hook asap, or using a quick strike rig the tip-up may be a viable option for walleye, but to use a #6 hook and let a walleye run with the bait for 30 seconds to a minute is a recipe for disaster. My opinioon only... and I may be way off base, but I seen it for 3 years and have never fished walleye with a tip-up since!

Good Luck!

Ken

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For deep hooked fish, sometimes it is best to go underneath through the gills with a needle nose pliers and turn the hook out instead of yanking the hook out through the mouth. When doing this, you have to be careful of the gills though. In my experiences the harm to the fish seems much less going underneath than from up top. Ideally the hook would be set before the fish "swallows" it, but i know that is sometime a difficult thing to do especially on rattle wheel or tip-up. If a hook is really deep cutting the line is probably the best option.

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There are all kinds of studies, stories, and rumors regarding release mortality rates. No matter how a fish is caught there is some risk of post release mortality. The only thing certain is that released fish always have a higher chance of survival than kept fish.

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This past week, half of the walleyes caught on our rattle reels were throat/gut hooked. We were right on top of the rattle reels and didn't let them take the bobber under the ice. They were just plain hungry and trying to gulp the minnow down right away. All caught like that were plain hooks, so on the non-legals and smaller fish, we cut the line and let them keep the hook. Will they live? I have no idea, but we did what any other moral fisherperson would do.

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When I was on URL about a month ago I had a couple of gut hooked eyes that were 21-22 inch range, so no keeping them. As soon as I saw they were gut hooked I didn't even try to remove the hook, I just cut the line right away and set the fish back down the hole.

Will they live? I don't know. Fast handling and a quick cut helps, but it's no guarantee.

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Does anyone have any ideas on who we could contact for a legit educated answer? possibly someone from in-fisherman?

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From what I have been told, hooks will eventually soften and your odds of that fish surviving are much better, leaving the hook and cutting the line than attempting to remove the hook.

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There was a study conducted in '05 assessing hooking mortality of pike. The hooking mortality rate was 2.4% +-1.5%. Hooking mortality was significantly realated to level of bleeding and fish were less like to be hooked in critical areas with artificial lures than with live bait. Its an interesting read. I will cite the reference below if anyone is interested in reading it.

Size Selectivity, Injury, Handling Time, and Determinants of Initial Hooking Mortality in Recreational Angling for Northern Pike: the Influence of Type and Size of Bait

Robert Arlinghaus, Thomas Klefoth, Alexander Kobler, and Steven J. Cooke

North American Journal of Fisheries Management

Volume 28, Issue 1 (February 2008) pp. 123–134

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Oh well, why not...

There have been several threads on this subject on Red Lake and Mille Lacs and other Forums.

Government studies of mouth hooked, and throat hooked and gut hooked, with fast release, mouth hooked unhooked,throat hooked unhooked or line cut, and gut hooked, line cut, mortality over short and long periods of time, etc...

In short the more Severe the Injury including, the longer kept out of water, rough handling, and the warmer the weather and water, the higher the Mortality.

The Gut hooked, line cut Muskies had up to 90% Mortality over long time periods after release.

Throat hooked bass also had up to 45% Motality over time after fast release.

Even short term, days/weeks, Mortality was high with throat or gut hooking.

Even simple mouth hook and release, with no rough handling, including extended picture taking sessions, and cool conditions,

is figured at around 12% within a few days.

Warm weather, rough handling, extended time out of water, can easily double Mortality.

The initial severity of injury, is compounded, by the above factors.

Also having a severe influence, is infection, caused by the hooking.

Most people have no idea that fish can get infections caused by angling, or that they can lead to death of the fish.

In short everything we do to hook a fish, and there-after, contributes to its injury, and possible demise.

Some fish die immediately, and we usually see that. But many die in the course of the following days, weeks, and months, and we rarely even think about that possibility, as we watch them swim away, apparently unharmed...

Of course as mentioned above, the nonrelease alternative, results in 100% Mortality... \:o

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Using circle hooks would result in very few gut- or gill-hooked fish. They are usually in the corner of the mouth. I didn't believe it until I tried them.

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Hookmaster, what size circle hook do you use for walters? I have tried them before and kept losing the fish.

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With the circle hooks if you "set" the hook it won't catch and will slip out of their mouth. A slow pull will draw the hook up and as it turns in the corner of the mouth it catches. In the summer we just start to reel in slowly. Even with good technique you get misses.

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I like the Eagle Claw circle hooks in size 6. It veries between manufacturers. The size 8 which I use in octopus style hooks seems kind of small in a circle so I've never tried that small. Sometimes I'll us a size 4 circle but usually size 6. Don't use Daiichi or other circle hooks that have are offset. This defeats the purpose of a circle hook. You want the hook shaft and the point of the hook all in line. If you set the hook you'll have a higher tendency to gut hook a fish if they have swallowed the hook. Just reel slowly and steadily. If they have swallowed the hook, it comes out of their gullet and when it tries to come out of their mouth hooks them in the corner of the mouth. It will take you a few fish to get used to them.

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