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What is your personal slot limit?


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After reading the long topic on C&R, Iam wondering what you personal slot limit is for all species.

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In general this is what I try to do, but it flexes depending on the lake and what is available:

Walleye - 14 to 18
Sunfish - 7.5 to 9
Crappie - 9.5 to 11

No bass, pike, or muskie.
Perch are open for decision if/when I get some decent ones, but that is extremely rare.

Of course, if there is a fish that is hooked deep or isn't in good shape I will keep it outside my slot.
Nothing scientific at all about what I choose to do. It is just a "feel good" measure I guess.

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Welcome to Fishingminnesota.com! It is good to have you on deck. The question you ask is pretty broad. I'll attempt to start things off with my preferences.

I generally look at what the water has to offer size-wise. In panfish, especially crappies, I try to fish water that will give up fish with a wide size spectrum. I then try to keep fish from within the middle of the road range, others being returned. Sunfish and bluegills are, or can be, a tender issue. The largest of the fish in a given body of water are the oldest and perhaps the strongest to leave for spawning. It is this size of fish, regardless of specie, that puts the genetic power in the water and if that particular water is to sustain a population of large fish, it is imperrative that they be returned. Again, if I can find some fish in the middle, say 8-8 1/2 inches in a water that will yeild 10 inch fish I'll take a couple to add to the crappies. I do not target sunfish for eating nor do I target them for fishing. If they are found where I fish crappies, fine.

Where I fish waldos, sauger are also found. I keep the sauger of all but the largest size and the cigars. Waldos are kept if they are deep hooked and going to die or if they are under 16 inches. The other walleyes are doing more good in the water than on the table in my book. I think the sauger offer up better eating anyway.

Since fishing within a personal slot is the issue here, lets look at something that has been overlooked entirely and a way to almost eliminate the problem....live bait. If people are going to be returning "out-of-the-slot" fish to fight another day, the fish itself has to be a viable "returnee"....meaning it has to be alive, healthy, and not deeply hooked. Using live bait has one down-fall to fishing of this nature. The fish are most likely to be deep-hooked using it. This problem can be just about eliminated by using artificial baits, especially hair and plastic.

Fishing a self-imposed slot is , in my opinion, a far better solution to fish management that any state mandated regulations and it shows responsibility on behalf of that fisherman. It also shows that that individual is seriously looking at all waters he does fish. Blanket slots staewide would benefit few waters and fewer fishermen.

Having to buy a fishing license makes fishing a "privilege", not a right. Like driving, everyone with a license is "assumed" to be minding his/her p's and q's. I believe that everyone who is licensed to fish has the right to take some out of the middle for the table...maybe even one for the wall IF it is indeed a mega-trophy. I don't knock that. I don't get in the face of those who want to do the c/r thing....it is what they believe in and ,indeed, some species just are not table fodder: ie muskies and basses. Taking a picture is a good way to capture those trophies as well. Taking pictures of huge stringers of big fish simply shows greed and a radical lack of respect for the resources being tapped. Catch a big one? Snap the pic and return it...it is still yours forever!

Self imposed slots are great if used diligently. They do however go way beyond just keeping certain sizes of certain fish. To do this right, you have to look at many things that come into play at one time or another. The self-imposed slot will make you a better fisherman too.

Plastics...making better fishermen without bait! Good Fishing Guys! CrappieTom

muckbootsonline.com Pro Staff
Culprit Tackle Crappie Pro Staff
Catch-n Tackle
[email protected]

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Well said Tom

eyes=16-18 top end 13.5lbs C and R Replica

pike=C and R top end state record Replica

Muskie=C and R top end state record Replica

Slabs=10-11 Red Lake= 12-13 cant find any smaller
give or take a inch depends on lake ..perch
sunny= ....depends on lake but i dont fish for them..
bass S - L = C and R

Carp= all go to fertilize trees
Bully= i call my relatives in Iowa

[This message has been edited by eyesontonka (edited 06-28-2004).]

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Great topic!

Eyes - 14-18"
Perch - 8" minimum
Gills - 7-9" Bigger fish go back!!!!!
Crappies - 9-13" Bigger fish go back!!!!
Bass - uck, who eats bass???
Northern - I'll keep a couple during ice fishing, 21" minimum
Musky - don't fish for

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Bass- All C&R
Pike- 90% C&R, except at our cabin for the night's dinner, then 18"-23"
Sunnies- 6.5"-8.75"
Crappies- 9"-13"
Perch- 10"-14"
Muskie- All C&R

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WOW!!! It's amazing how most all of the true "sportsman" think alike.

My slots:
Eyes: 14-18"
Crappie: 10-14"
Don't keep anything else.

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catch & release only. i fish only for the sport. i don't like the taste of fish!



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Great topic and the slot varies by lake, number of days fishing, and who is fishing with me. If any of the old timers are with me, they normally don't let me throw back an 18" fish unless there is a lake slot involved and keep a 14" for walleyes. The old timers still feel bigger is better and you may only need a couple 18" for a meal vs 4 of the 14" fish. We throw back all crappies and keep the sunfish. We don't keep any bass or northerns no matter what.

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Bluegill 7-9"
Crappie 9"+(never really caught any bigger than 13")
Walleye 14"-19"
Pike 20-24"

Also eat occasional eelpout, bullhead, etc from clean waters but dont have much of a slot limit here.

Most of the time I fish mostly catch and release, and those times we do eat fish its mostly gills, crappies, and small northerns.

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seems everyone is on about the same page with this one.

Walleye's - 14-18"
Sunnies - 6-8"
Craps - 8-11"
Pike - don't keep
Bass - don't keep

Chells: 9-12" sunnies?

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I don't set slots. I keep what is enough for a meal if I wanted a fish meal regardless of species.

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If I'm proud of it, it goes back. If I am real proud of it, she gets a quick ride in the livewell so I can fetch my camera and somebody to snap a shot. Then she goes back.

Enjoy eating medium sized panfish, small pike, and walleyes under 16 or so if I'm fishing a stocked lake.

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Not everything that comes up through the hole or into the boat gets measured, so here goes my illogical thinking.

Walleye- has to be big enough to be worth pulling the fillet knife out. My walleye fillets cannot resemble perch fillets. Once the fish hits 2-3 pounds, it goes back in the lake, they just don't taste as good.

Crappie & Sunny- pretty much the same thinking. If I ever get into a mess of really, really big ones- which hasn't happened in a long time, they'll go back into the lake.

Pike- C&R only until I hit a 25 pounder.

Bass- Well, if I accidentally hook one, its going back wink.gif

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Walleyes 15-20 I fish the mississippi that has a 15" min. So far this year I've released 20 fish over the 20" mark.
Gills 7"-10" anything smaller then 7" isn't worth cleaning in my book. 9"-10" fish have been in the system for quite some time and have had plenty of time to leave their mark on the gene pool. 3 spawning seasons leaves them with about 500,000 offspring to carry on the genes.
Crappie 9"-12" only in the winter or spring cold water. Warm water crappies seem to be softer texture and I like firm fillets
Perch I don't really catch enough but I'll keep them if over 9"
Bass C&R If caught, seldom targeted
Pike C&R If caught, seldom targeted
Catfish C&R I love the fight.

I don't believe live bait is a bad thing for C&R. It's not the bait that gut hooks a fish, it's the fishermans lack of attention to his lines that causes that almost every time. Plastics don't gut hook fish because they are always fished in a hands on presentation. How many fish would you catch on a ringworm or twister tail if you just hooked it up and tossed it out there on the bottom? Not many. Do that with a willow cat or nite crawler and then take a nap or walk away or whatever and you'll have a gut hooked fish. Ive caught alot of eye's on live bait and gut hooking is not a problem ever, but then I fish hands on with live bait.
As far as I know Wisconsin and Minnesota have passed laws insuring our RIGHTS to hunt and fish. The licences are required to finance the DNR's efforts. Regulations are in place to insure proper use of the resources most of the time, some are there solely out of polictical reasons.
Taking care of the resources we have should be the #1 priority in every sportsmans mind and open minds can solve most any problem.

Fishing is Life.

[This message has been edited by Bodyman (edited 06-30-2004).]

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Walleye 14"-18"
Crappie 8"-12"
Perch 9"-12"
Occationally Northern if nothing else available 20"-25"

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Mine are about hte same as everyone elses, except nobody seems to like bass. I don't mind eating bass bout a pound. I think the taste of fish depends on the lake as I know of one where people can't eat a walleye but the bass are excellent. Northern 18-20" frying up to 24 or25" if am goinng to be pickling.


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Pretty similar to most I guess,

walleye 14-18"
bluegill 7-9" none when on their beds, never more than 5 each (I end up filleting them all)
crappies 10-13"

I don't keep bass, but I let the kids keep them from 14-16"

Everything else gos back in the lake. If it looks like one outside this slot might die due to the way it was hooked I'll keep it, unless it's real big, then I'll give her a chance anyway.

My boys measure anything they catch, and they don't compain at all about tossing one back, even the big ones. My eight year old has caught and released two bass this year over 18" and couldn't be happier with the photos.

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Walleye 14-18 unless I want one for the grill then up to 22.
Northerns 24-30 for smoking purpose only.
Musky havn't caught any yet, but C&R
Sunfish 7.5 and up
Crappie 9 and up
Bass C&R
Perch 9 and up



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Crappies - nothing under 9
Perch - nothing under 9 - 10
Wallys - try to keep it between 14 - 20
Bass - if I'm hard up for a fish fry, under 14.
Sunnies - don't target enough so it's hard to say.
sounds like everyone is pretty much on the same page when it comes to CR and keepers.

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