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BringAnExtension

Cpr fishing for Walleye again this summer

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Stick in Mud

Very disappointing for the resorts as well as anyone else with a financial interest in the lake.  Me?  I release 99% of what I catch anyways, so the rule doesn't affect me much at all....well, I suppose it means I'll have my favorite flats all to myself for at least one more year.  I just really, really wish they'd let us troll after dark in the fall. 

 

Why walleye fishermen aren't more amenable to catch and release, especially on a lake like Mille Lacs that's been on fire for, what, three years now, is beyond me.  Who wouldn't want to go and catch dozens of fish a day even if you have to let them go? :)  

 

 

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AlwaysFishing23

I think some people are obligated to keep what they catch. Me I'll keep fish but not very often at least in the winter. (Not on Mille lacs) Mille lacs you have the chance at catching a trophy sure maybe it would be cool to keep it but for a lot of us letting a trophy go is as good as keeping it at least IMHO.

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ANYFISH2

Sorry, i havent done the research yet.

However, does anyone know if we have multiple ok to good year classes coming up behind this one?

 

If not, we may be growing this year class to a point that they will effect the survival of future year classes again.  Our surplus of "large " walleye is now going down a little, we may have had a chance, to shift size structure to more moderate size fish thus reducing cannibalism.

 

If there are some more ok year classes coming up then i am More than ok rolling with this.

 

I could careless if i keep fish from the lake, I just want the lake to recover.the best it can, and be in balance.

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live4chrome

If its going to be C&R might as well make it no bait too...There are lots of swallowed hooks rigging and bobber fishing.

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BringAnExtension
15 hours ago, ANYFISH2 said:

 

However, does anyone know if we have multiple ok to good year classes coming up behind this one?

 

 

This is just my opinion based on a handful of outings, but I would say yes.  Everyone mentions the 2013 class which should represent those fish in the 13-15 inch range, but I have caught many smaller fish too.

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Bass Thumb
On 2/28/2017 at 10:30 AM, Stick in Mud said:

Very disappointing for the resorts as well as anyone else with a financial interest in the lake.  Me?  I release 99% of what I catch anyways, so the rule doesn't affect me much at all....well, I suppose it means I'll have my favorite flats all to myself for at least one more year.  I just really, really wish they'd let us troll after dark in the fall. 

 

Why walleye fishermen aren't more amenable to catch and release, especially on a lake like Mille Lacs that's been on fire for, what, three years now, is beyond me.  Who wouldn't want to go and catch dozens of fish a day even if you have to let them go? :)  

 

 

People are selfish and greedy. They look at walleye with a $20/lb mindset, as if releasing a 27" walleye is basically tossing $60-80 in the water and watching it swim away.

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AlwaysFishing23
8 minutes ago, BassThumb. said:

People are selfish and greedy. They look at walleye with a $20/lb mindset, as if releasing a 27" walleye is basically tossing $60-80 in the water and watching it swim away.

 

Exactly!

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Stick in Mud

I have absolutely no problem with people keeping fish, so long as they follow the law.  And I don't know if it's necessarily selfish and greedy to hope for a meal of fish after a day on the lake.  

 

I just genuinely don't understand why people avoid a lake simply because they have to let everything go -- *when* the bite is as good as it has been. I wouldn't  grind it out on Mille Lacs all day long to catch a few fish...but that's not been necessary for quite a few years now.  I have many friends who will spend all day fishing a different lake, catching a few fish and maybe keeping some of those...while everyone's whackin' 'em on the Pond. Oh well...More empty water for me. :)

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BringAnExtension
On ‎3‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 1:01 PM, BassThumb. said:

People are selfish and greedy.

 

I don't know that I would label everyone as selfish and greedy.

 

I would say that it all depends on how you view fishing.  Myself, I head out to enjoy and relax.  The bonus for me comes if the fish are biting.  I really don't care if I get to keep any fish.  In fact, I rarely keep fish.  So, I will be making a couple of trips out there fighting Stick in Mind for space this summer.

 

5 hours ago, Stick in Mud said:

I have absolutely no problem with people keeping fish, so long as they follow the law.

 

Exactly.  As long as they are within the rules, then go ahead and keep them.

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Net_Man

We really need some new leadership handling regulations and a change on who they are obtaining input from. Find me one person that does not believe that Mille Lacs Lake is one of Minnesota's top 5 walleye destinations and yet it has the most screwed up regulations year after year for last 10 years or so.

 

Catch and release for walleyes? No problem. I can deal with catch and release but these closures I am sick and tired of. Give us back night fishing and surely give us back fall night fishing!

 

If you want to reduce hooking mortality then it should be done with some common sense regulations and not through closures.  I can't think of another lake that this type of logic of closures is being used to reduce hooking mortality.  Barbless hooks seems to be the most common attempt at other locations. No live bait is another common but more extreme method. Find me 1 person that would disagree with the effectiveness of reducing hooking mortality of these 2 methods. No, surely not is effective as every one sitting at home on their couch or out fishing on another lake.

 

I almost gave the DNR some credit last spring with the announcement of no live bait. Quite a ballsy move I thought but surely effective but then they caved................

 

I would like a honest conversation with the state of the walleye population in the lake. It surely has some holes in size structure which we can argue on what is to blame this on but it surely is loaded with walleyes.

 

 

 

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Stick in Mud

I am with you, net_man.  I *hate* that I can't C&R walleyes in the fall.  I mean, what's hooking mortality at 6-12 ft deep with artificial lures in October and November?  I've never had a fish not swim away, and I can't remember one that didn't do it in a hurry.  Drives me crazy, as fall trolling on Mille Lacs is one of my favorite ways to catch fish.  This year, thanks to the weather, we did get out in December...and the fishing was nuts.  If only we had been able to be out all fall...

 

I wonder if the night ban in the fall (even if we haven't hit our quote) has more to do with enforcement than anything else.  I have no idea what's said at meeting I ain't invited to. 

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Net_Man

I read that they are going to close the walleye season on 9-5-17 regardless of whether the state's quota is met. Fall fishing gone again........

 

 With these highly restrictive regulations that favor ones desire over another's desire will start to pit fisherman against each other.

 

If we need to have less fishing pressure on the lake then maybe we should close down all of the public launches. Then some would fish other lakes but the balance would be forced to pay to launch at a resort since we are worried about them. Then that extra business could cover their losses if we eliminate live bait which would hurt their fishing launch business. Maybe we should just ban all paid launch fishing and ban all paid guide service on the lake which just brings additional undesired fishing pressure. Maybe restrict the number of hours any one person is allowed to fish the lake throughout the year.

 

Heck, I would even favor closing walleye fishing for 3 or 4 years straight if that would get us back to some normal regulations.

 

Yes, these outbursts are why I do not text any more after 10:00 at night. Time to give up the keyboard also.......

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maxpower117

I'll keep it short and simple. The causes of boom and bust on Mille Lacs. 

 

1. Improperly managed slot limits. Too many large fish are allowed in the lake. 

2. Netting during spawn. Poor spawning success. 

 

The recent years of high catch rates rates indicate a good 2013 year class but most importantly it is a red flashing light for anyone paying attention. High catch rates are a result of good population AND low or decreasing forage. I put AND in caps because fish won't bite like they have  when they're not hungry. 

 

Cut down that year class class before it's too late. I give it 2 more summers before another crash is inevitable. 

 

Round and round we go, where it stops, nobody knows. 

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Stick in Mud

I have also worried about the quality of the bite...and the absence of perch. At least on the northwest side, anyways, where we almost never mark small perch anymore.  In years past, the best indicator of a soon-to-be big red mark on the Vex was that the small perch vacated the area.  I did see TONS of perch down on the south side this year, but I don't know how the numbers there compared to years past, either.

 

But yeah, the bite has been excellent for, what, three years now?  We're also catching a decent mix of fish (though of course most are from the 2013 year class).  The only good thing to mention, at least in my experience, is that the fish do look very healthy and fat, very unlike the fish during the "boom years" in the mid-2000's when everything you'd catch would be a skinny 26 incher. 

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Bass Thumb
8 hours ago, Stick in Mud said:

I have also worried about the quality of the bite...and the absence of perch. At least on the northwest side, anyways, where we almost never mark small perch anymore.  In years past, the best indicator of a soon-to-be big red mark on the Vex was that the small perch vacated the area.  I did see TONS of perch down on the south side this year, but I don't know how the numbers there compared to years past, either.

 

But yeah, the bite has been excellent for, what, three years now?  We're also catching a decent mix of fish (though of course most are from the 2013 year class).  The only good thing to mention, at least in my experience, is that the fish do look very healthy and fat, very unlike the fish during the "boom years" in the mid-2000's when everything you'd catch would be a skinny 26 incher. 

 

We were fishing tip-ups for pike and jigging spoons for perch over by Terry's the last few weeks. There were quite a few perch in the 3-10" range. Sometimes we had ten marks on our screens at once. They were in shallow, 6-8', and the big pike were chasing them.

 

Also, Rocky Reef had some pockets where the perch were thick this winter. Those tended to be in 11-16'. 

 

I still think the perch are in there, but they're difficult to find under the ice.

 

Get the boat out there and idle around side-scanning for baitfish pods, kand you'll see a lot of what look like perch schools.

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Stick in Mud

Interesting point, BT.  I think our houses caught one perch this year, and I can't say that I knowingly marked one small one (except for when I was down in the bays on the south side).  I have no doubt that they are still in the lake, but I just ain't seeing any. :)

 

 

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tfin

Is there a reason why they don't just allow people to keep fish over a certain size like 22" and put a limit on it?  Aren't those the ones that die off most in late summer anyways?  People could eat meals and all fish under that would stay in the lake breeding until they reached that size.  I know those are the best breeding fish but not if they're fished out by the time they get that big.  I've gotta think that a lake full of walleye under 22 inches would sustain just fine.

 

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Stick in Mud

If the DNR let "us" keep big walleyes, we'd hit our allowable harvest limit in about a week, maybe two.  :) 

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