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BRULEDRIFTER

Found 2 dead muskies floating in Head of the Lakes Bay this weekend. An approx. 45” and a measured 54”. 

Wondering if they we killed on purpose or poorly handled? 🤔

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Wanderer

I take it you didn’t see any particular injuries if you’re wondering what happened.  

Bummer.

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BRULEDRIFTER
Posted (edited)

The smaller one was stuck under the dock and completely rotten. I fished it out to dispose of it but too far gone. It looked like the isthmus (below gill plates) was severed, but hard to say if it was cut or separated because of rot. The bigger one my F.I.L saw out cruising this evening, he said he didn’t notice anything, but doubt he investigated much. 

Edited by BRULEDRIFTER
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delcecchi

The most likely explanation was hooking mortality.   For every 100 muskies caught a few will die even if handled using best practices.  For the average dude doing the handling, an extra few will die.   

My experience is more with Northerns.  I have released a few of those myself that looked a little iffy.   Add on the extra few minutes being held up for the photos, and even more stress on the fish.   It is actually surprising we don't see more floaters, or maybe they mostly sink and stay down if they last awhile after being released.    

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guideman

Handling Muskies in warm surface temps like we have now can be very deadly, even if you know what you are doing. Early morning and late evening or fishing at night can lower mortality rates however it is better to just avoid handling them during the warmest time of the summer. 

"Ace" ;) 

"It's just fishing man" ;) 

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roony

I am a firm believer that all fish that are going to be released should be unhooked at the side of the boat and not handled. You might not have a picture but you still have the memory and you know the fish has a much greater chance of surviving. Just my opinion FWIW.

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DLD24

What are your guys favorite presentations this time of year? When I come up I've mostly rigged.

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Wanderer
On 7/13/2018 at 11:45 AM, guideman said:

Handling Muskies in warm surface temps like we have now can be very deadly, even if you know what you are doing. Early morning and late evening or fishing at night can lower mortality rates however it is better to just avoid handling them during the warmest time of the summer. 

"Ace" ;) 

"It's just fishing man" ;) 

Ace, honest question here with no intent to debate, just learning more about muskies.

What surface temps do you consider to be too warm for handling muskies?

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james_walleye

DLD I'll keep rigging as long is I can keep catching good fish but entering into August I'll start to pull leadcore more.

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FishinCT
5 hours ago, Wanderer said:

Ace, honest question here with no intent to debate, just learning more about muskies.

What surface temps do you consider to be too warm for handling muskies?

I looked up the Mille lacs hooking mortality study on walleyes and it started to dramatically increase around 65 degrees. About 5% mortality at 65 degrees but about 25% at 75 degrees.

I have to imagine the numbers are higher for muskies given an extended fight with a large fish, having to take more care to not get cut up or hooked yourself while unhooking the fish, temptation to take lots of pictures, etc. 

Here's the study if you're interested http://mnmuskie.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Reeves-and-Bruesewitz-2007_factors-influencing-hooking-mortality-of-walleyes-Mille-Lacs.pdf

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guideman

Typically temps over 70 degrees are considered dangerous for handling Muskies. The length of the fight and the time you take handling the fish will make a difference. That is one of the reasons we use heavy line and big rods, you don't want to battle the fish to the death. Skip photos on smaller fish and remove the hooks with the fish in the net, in the water, not on the bottom of the boat.

"Ace" ;) 

"It's just fishing man" ;) 

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delcecchi

What do you think of the "cut the hooks" method of dealing with Muskies?   Small bolt cutters to make the process fast.   Just wondering.  

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Wanderer

Thanks for the feedback.  

We have the time from hookset to release pretty short I think.  I read earlier this spring the average fight these days lasts 90 seconds or less.  I’ll admit I was amazed to hear that but after a half dozen muskies that have come to net this year, that’s no bull.  We usually have em netted on the first pass by the boat.  My 48 inch net allows one to do all the handling in the water while the other gets the bump board laid out and phone ready for a pic.

A quick measure and quick pics and back in the water they go.

Thats about as much as we can do. 

70 degrees is lower than I expected to hear.  We were seeing those temps on opening weekend in Ontario.  We didn’t like seeing 80 last Friday on Leech.

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Wanderer
8 minutes ago, delcecchi said:

What do you think of the "cut the hooks" method of dealing with Muskies?   Small bolt cutters to make the process fast.   Just wondering.  

We had to cut the hooks on one of my fish this year.  Caught on a Cisco Kid, 2 of 3 sets of trebles in the fish.  Just by how they were twisted, the leverage made removal by pulling very difficult and the fish would thrash when I attempted to work them out.  Made the decision pretty easy to cut the hooks.

I’m honestly considering going barbless on everything.  Half the time the lure shakes free in the net anyway so the pressure is what keeps them buttoned until netted.  The plus is if one of us gets one in the hand when working on a netted fish, it won’t hurt so bad getting it out!

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PSU

Coming up tomorrow for the rest of the week, and changes in the fishing patterns for walleye? I assume still leeches and crawlers? 17-25 feet

Thanks

 

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Cliff Wagenbach

PSU,

Lindys, bobbers with leeches and crawlers.

Trolling with cranks and spinners are now good also.

Cliff

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BartmanMN
21 hours ago, Cliff Wagenbach said:

PSU,

Lindys, bobbers with leeches and crawlers.

Trolling with cranks and spinners are now good also.

Cliff

Thanks Cliff. I am coming up for my week of paradise tomorrow as well.

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delcecchi
On 7/15/2018 at 10:15 PM, Wanderer said:

We had to cut the hooks on one of my fish this year.  Caught on a Cisco Kid, 2 of 3 sets of trebles in the fish.  Just by how they were twisted, the leverage made removal by pulling very difficult and the fish would thrash when I attempted to work them out.  Made the decision pretty easy to cut the hooks.

I’m honestly considering going barbless on everything.  Half the time the lure shakes free in the net anyway so the pressure is what keeps them buttoned until netted.  The plus is if one of us gets one in the hand when working on a netted fish, it won’t hurt so bad getting it out!

When we go to Quetico, barbless or mashed down barbs is mandatory.   To tell the truth I haven't noticed that we lose more fish with barbless than barbed.   Not catching muskies though.  Pike, walleye, bass, lake trout. 

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LBerquist

I wish barb less hooks were more available. I'd switch, heard they come out easier....

20180707_150927.jpg

20140613_200015.jpg

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Wanderer
15 hours ago, delcecchi said:

When we go to Quetico, barbless or mashed down barbs is mandatory.   To tell the truth I haven't noticed that we lose more fish with barbless than barbed.   Not catching muskies though.  Pike, walleye, bass, lake trout. 

Manitoba requires the same, and I agree, we didn’t notice a difference either except for keeping bait on the hook.  It’s just a hard mental block to get around.

@LBerquist, ouch!  Unfortunately I know what those are like.  Both getting them out of myself and helping others!  You can pinch the barbs down on any hook though.  Some lay down nice and others will break off, leaving just a little bit of a rough bump which I kind of like better.  There’s a little bit of grip left that way.

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delcecchi
3 hours ago, Wanderer said:

It’s just a hard mental block to get around.

I haven't done it on all my stuff, but I don't avoid using a bait because I mashed the barbs.   It would probably be a good idea to mash more of them, even if just to make it easier to get them out when they get hooked on something like clothing or a rag.  

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redlabguy

Okay, I’m not into gore. I’ve only had to do surgery on one hook and that’s enough.

PSU, I’m wondering how you’re doing. Cliff offered good advice. In the Frazer Bay Area, bobbers are my only means of catching fish of size. I t seems like the dinks are dominating the reefs. Spinners can pick up fish near structure. I was looking back at my logs recently and late July has always been tough. 

Dick

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PSU

We did okay in Frazer over the weekend. Some nice 15's and 16's and tons of the smaller walleyes. For some reason I usually catch the smaller ones clean, but I throat hooked a ton this weekend. Just couldn't feel their bites, so I'm guessing they had plenty of time to try to swallow the bait. 17-22 worked best for us with Lindy's and seemed leeches outperformed crawlers about 2-1

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Wanderer
      @chaffmj   Good luck out there!
    • guideman
      Tuesday will be post frontal with wind out of the northwest, not a great day for Muskies. Work the weeds and the deep edges of main lake points and rock structures.  Glttertails, and large hair can be effective along with medium sized gliders or minnow style shallow running crankbait. Don't forget to throw a topwater on occasion. "Ace" "It's just fishing man".  
    • PRO-V
      She might have a bad alternator too.
    • monstermoose78
      Agreed it’s always to get em on top water. I have even got some walleyes on top water.
    • Chill62
      Fished Saturday central Becker County lake for panfish.  5 mm Panfish Pirate jigs with Push Up (Orange Cream) Kraken plastics were the ticket.  Got out there after eating breakfast in Frazee and the fish were biting instantly.  We landed a ton of big gills and upgraded the girlfriend from who had 5 sunfish 8.5"-8.75" up to 9.0" then as we kept fishing we upgraded 9.0 up again to 9.25".  She was excited to say the least.  She probably landed 20 gills 9.0" or greater on saturday alone.  She landed a few 9.5" and they were denied via the photo because the nose wasn't touching the front of the board which is hog wash but it is what it is.  Saturday no wind water temps were 81.0 and fish were up in the weeds tight!  Didn't keep anything and fished till about 2 ish.
      Sunday I took my father and his friend out from Texas.  His friend doesn't fish much so when he had my top of the line UL rod in his hands he didn't know what to think.  Didn't take long though and he was on fire.  We each took a different color and I put dad on Push Up but they wanted Bubble Gum (Pink Cream).  I did get a few on Moby (White) but Push Up was the key color again.  We ended up only fishing from 9 till 11 and kept 8 bigger gills from 8.5-9" all the big boys were thrown back but enough for a few meals of fish is all we were going for and we accomplished that goal.     We will be hopefully fishing Friday evening if I can get off of work early enough and Saturday.  Tournament ends on Saturday so trying to upgrade a 9.25 to a 9.5" to hopefully secure 1st place in the tournament.     A more detailed report is in the Members Only page and I encourage people to please become a member and a lot of people are putting some really great reports on there for the members.
      Have a great week!
    • yoppdk
      Done that ... new Interstate just last winter. That was the perplexing part about it. I thought maybe it was a bad battery, but it tested out okay. I guess it's possible she doesn't always shut her door all the way and the dome light stays on for days, but she would never admit to that. So I give her the benefit of the doubt and blame her driving habits instead.
    • ozzie
      I hit the chain a few times during vacation 3rd-8th.  We didn't hit the crappies like they did earlier in the week but we caught a few along with a few nice sunnies to have a meal.  We went out once for eyes on lower WF and caught a nice 18" on a jigging rap but that is all we caught that day.  We did try to troll Gull one night and left after an hour an a half because the floating weeds were so bad.
    • leech~~
      I'm with yeah on the boat usage deal. But the wife's car usage deal sounds, well a little fishy! 😂  May be time for her to get a new battery before winter at least. 
    • Rick
      Anyone interested in deer can talk with area wildlife managers from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources at meetings scheduled across the state meant to encourage discussions about deer and deer management, enhance local relationships and foster two-way communication.  These area-level engagement meetings organized by the DNR are one of the first steps identified for implementing the state’s new White-tailed Deer Management Plan. ”The format of the meetings will be similar to the ones held in April, when our draft plan was released,” said Erik Thorson, DNR acting big game program leader. “The focus this time will be on the upcoming deer season, progress in meeting population goals, local DNR management efforts and listening to citizen suggestions on improving deer management.” These local open-house style meetings will provide hunters and others interested in deer a forum for sharing their observations, talking to DNR wildlife managers, reviewing new deer-related information – including the final deer plan – and discussing options for the future. No formal presentations have been planned, so people can arrive any time during the scheduled meeting times. The DNR encourages anyone who can’t attend a scheduled meeting to contact a local wildlife manager for additional information or to address any questions about deer management. A list of area wildlife offices is available online at mndnr.gov/areas/wildlife. More information about the state’s deer management plan is available at mndnr.gov/deerplan. Meeting details Aitkin: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21, Aitkin Area Office, 1200 Minnesota Ave. Altura: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, Whitewater Wildlife Management Area Headquarters, 15035 Highway 74. Baudette: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, Baudette High School AV Room, 236 15th Ave. SW. Bemidji: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21, Bemidji City Hall, 317 4th St. NW. Brainerd: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, Brainerd area DNR Office, 1601 Minnesota Drive. Cambridge: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, Cambridge area DNR Office, 800 Oak Savanna Lane SW. Cloquet: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, Cloquet Area DNR Office, 1604 Highway 33 S. Detroit Lakes: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, Detroit Lakes Area DNR Office Conference Room, 14583 County Highway 19. Fergus Falls: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, Fergus Falls Office DNR Conference Room, 1509 1st Ave. N. Forest Lake: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, Carlos Avery WMA Headquarters, 5463 W. Broadway Ave. Glenwood: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, Glenwood DNR Office Conference Room, 23070 N. Lakeshore Drive. Grand Rapids: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, Grand Rapids Regional DNR Office, 1201 East Highway 2. International Falls: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, International Falls Area DNR Office, 392 East Highway 11. Lake Bronson: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4, Lake Bronson State Park Visitor’s Center, 3793 230th St. Little Falls: 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, Little Falls Area DNR Office, 16543 Haven Road. McIntosh: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, McIntosh Community Center, 240 Cleveland Ave. SW. Middle River: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, Thief Lake Area DNR Office, 42280 240th Ave. NE. Minneota: 7-9 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27, Southwest Sportsmen’s Club, 3467 State Highway 68. New London: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, DNR Wildlife Office (Sibley State Park), 398 Sibley Park Road. Onamia: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, Mille Lacs WMA Headquarters, 29172 100th Ave. Park Rapids: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, Park Rapids Area Library, 210 W. 1st St. Rochester: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21, Willow Creek Middle School Cafeteria, 615 7th St. SW. Roseau: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, Roseau County Courthouse, 606 5th Ave. SW. Rosemount: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, Vermillion WMA Office, 15325 Babcock Ave. Sauk Rapids: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, Sauk Rapids Area DNR Office, 1035 S. Benton Drive. Shakopee: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, Shakopee Area DNR Office, 7050 East Highway 101. Slayton: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, Slayton Pizza Ranch, 2306 Broadway Ave. St. Paul: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, DNR Central Office, 500 Lafayette Road. Thief River Falls: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, TRF Joint Operations Conference Room, 246 125th Ave. NE. Tower: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, Tower Area DNR Office, 650 Highway 169. Two Harbors: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, Two Harbors Area DNR Office, 1568 Highway 2. Warroad: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, Warroad DNR Forestry meeting room, 804 Cherne Drive NE. Waterville: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, Waterville Fish Hatchery, 50317 Fish Hatchery Road. Watson: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21, Appleton/Lac qui Parle DNR Headquarters, 14047 20th St. NW. Windom: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, Windom Community Center, 1750 Cottonwood Lake Drive. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • yoppdk
      I have had this same issue and came to the conclusion that I don't run the outboard enough to recharge the battery back to full capacity. I fish medium to smaller lakes and thus don't spend a whole lot of time at high speeds going across the lake ... just a short move here and there searching for fish. So I end up starting the engine  20-30 times per outing, but not running the outboard enough to get it back up to full voltage. And my Hummer shuts down when I crank the engine. So I now know that I need to put the charger on my starting battery at the end of the day. FYI, my wife has a similar issue with her SUV ... new Interstate battery keeps going down because she starts it, drives a couple miles ... stops, then starts it again and comes home. She rarely goes more than a couple miles per trip amd never over 30 mph. The alternator doesn't keep up with her use of the starter and thus gets low after a few weeks.