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Keepers and Weepers


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While waiting to clean our catch from Saturday I couldn't help but notice how small some of the fish were that some fisherman were keeping. No kidding there were at least a dozen or more 5-6 inch perch and alot 7 & 8 inch perch being cleaned. Don't get me wrong at least they were cleaning them and they weren't going to waste but after cooking there can't be much left for eating. Also when you drive hundreds of miles to fish you want to bring something home with you. I realize all that but I can't help but wonder how many people fish like this and does this effect a lake like Winnibigoshish in a positive or negitive way as far as future years to come? I have kept a few 8 inch perch only if they are dead or won't go back down the hole but given enough time most smaller fish will swim back down if you real them up slow enough. A limit (20) 9-12 perch is a pretty good bunch of fish enough for a few hungry people. It would be nice to know how many other fisherman release the smaller perch and keep only the nicer ones. Limit amount 40 in possession is plenty unless your haveing a fish fry for the neighborhood. Any comments?

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Addict- I am with you on what size to keep. It really doesn't pay when they are smaller. I was just up to Winnie over the weekend of 3/24. I think between three of us we kept 6 perch over the weekend. The opportunity was there for more but we didn't keep anything under 9". So for us it was a pretty bad overall trip coming over from 3 1/2 hours away in WI. But with all the good trips that I have had I am still ahead. The perch are just trying even things out. That's why I was asking earlier about how things are going with the bite. My group is heading back up next weekend 3/17-19. Figured the warmer weather might be starting to trigger something. The march run should be right around the corner.

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If they lay on top of the hole at all they are dead anyway. If you look in their mouth and the bladder is blown they are as good as dead. People that sort thru everything they catch only to keep 10-12 inchers hurt the lake way more than people that keep some of the smaller perch.

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I carry a fizzer with me when I fish water deeper than 20 feet. I fizz the small ones I want to release if I bring them up too fast. To prevent this reel slower, alot slower if you realize it's a small one. To get a fizzer, stop by a veterinarian office and ask for a fizzing needle. They'll either look at you funny shocked.gifor they'll know that your a fishnutt crazy.gif. Anyway it's a needle like a basketball inflater and to work it all you have to do is pierce the skin about 3/4" in front of the anus, off to the side a little and slide towards their bladder. It doesn't work if the bladder is in their mouth. Hold the fish upside down under the water and you'll see bubbles come out. Thay should be good to go after a few seconds. Try fishing the edge of a hump (20-25') and down the dropoff. That's where you'll find the bigger ones, not in 5-15'

Good Luck all, save a few for me.

2 NUTTS

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Yeah I don't know if people keeping smaller perch will really be much of an impact on the population of a lake (especially one the size of winne). From what it sounds it was a little tougher of a weekend there so they probaly drove 4 hours and wanted some fish to take with. There are so many perch It wouldn't be on the top of my worry list.

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Lookin for info on Bowstring?? Anybody been there recently...thinkin about going up late march if the ice holds up. Are the perch biting there? Any info much appreciated

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Well I have been fishing Winnie or surrounding lakes for over 20 years. The fishery seems to be doing just fine catching and keeping 9-12" perch. I won't deny that we have an occassional small one we have to keep due to the pressure. But I travel to the great state of minnesota to catch jumbo's. If I wanted little perch I would stay home in WI and save myself the money.

If people want to keep smaller ones who am I to tell them they can't. I have just set myself a standard when it comes to the size of the perch. Like I said earlier I have been going up to that area for over 20 years and have been spoiled with the size of the perch over the years. If I have upset people with my statements I apologize. I thought this was a discussion board. Not a board for someone to try to paint a black X on someone else.

Thought of the Day......

Keep what makes you happy!

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Chadbeirl....I'm from Medford....been fishin the great lakes around Grand Rapids for 25+ years as well...lookin to go back this late March if the ice holds...Good luck to you

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I've kept some pretty small ones over the years also, mainly 'cause I didn't want to leave them for dead on the ice. You just need a good sharp fillet knife and a steady hand. I don't believe it hurts a fishery like Winnie to take some small ones, especially if they were going to die anyway. As for pulling 'em up slow.... I try but when fishing deep I still pull 'em too fast...just can't control my excitement.

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jacheesehead- I don't think that you can avoid killing a few of the small ones. I think it's the first 10 feet coming up that puts the crimp on them. We have the same problem fishing Lake Trout on Lake Superior. When the smaller ones are 180' down there isn't much fight to them after the first 20-25' coming up. The pressure is just to much for them to handle I guess.

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chadbeirl. Ive had pretty good luck in one spot for the past 5 weeks I won't be up that weekend but if you send me an email I'll give you a gps cord to try I haven't had a problem getting a limit of of at least 9 inch perch except last sunday lots of 8 inchers a friend of mine was out came back down from red lake so he took home 20 8 inchers on sunday.With a couple of 9 inchers mixed in. If your intrested my email address is [email protected]

Good Luck Fishing. grin.gif

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hey chadbeirl our group is going up the same weekend but a few of us are going up on wed to try to get an early jump,weve been up there 15 years,and done very well,but well move all over the lake looking for groups of bigger fish.9 inchers are okay but we will always be searching for those bigger 10-12 inchers and usually find them sooner or later,knock on wood.over the years weve found them anywhere from 10ft"hopefully" to over 30 ft.just depends on the weather,but like ive said before if your catching small fish move on,the bigger fish tend to hang with theyre own.there are so many places to look on this lake you never know when you're going to land on that hot hole but youll know as soon as you drop your lure.well be staying at nodaks if your around we usually stop at the lodge after a day of fishing to have a few or mabey quite a few cocktails,maybe we'll see you up there,if not good hunting and dont be afraid to go off the beaten path to find your own fish.my fishing name is louie in case your looking.heres to sun-n-fun at big winnie ST.pats weekend.good luck cool.gifcool.gif

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Yep, 4 of us will be up starting friday, I have crusher's # and will stay in touch.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • MarkB
      My cousin sent me a couple pictures from last week's trip. After the storm, the perch kind of took over the bite and those pictured were all caught on crawlers in 22' of water adjacent to a rock reef . We caught lots of walleyes in this same area. The other picture was take from the Pike River bridge as we were leaving Friday morning. Good Fishing. MarkB 2024 perch.jfif Pike River bridge June 2024.jfif
    • smurfy
      yeppers......nuttin more aggravating the boat motor issues!!!!!!!   what was the problem the first time???????
    • Hookmaster
      Nice fish Kettle. Hope it's really "fixed" next time.
    • Rivergroup
      Our group will be returning in September as well. Wish we were able to be there now to lend a hand.
    • smurfy
      dang...tough to hear..........hope the good people up there recover soon!!!!!!!!!
    • MarkB
      We just returned this afternoon from 6 days on Vermilion. We arrived Saturday and enjoyed 3 fantastic days of walleye fishing. My cousin, our friend Greg, and myself fished several of our spring spots and found fish on all of them. Water temperatures were pretty much 65-67 degrees everywhere we fished. The wind was variable and made boat control a challenge at times. Bait was not an issue and we had success on crawlers(Tim), leeches(Greg), and minnows(me). If I had to pick one of those as catching the most fish, it would be crawlers. Our best day totalled 48 walleyes, 4 smallmouth, and 2 big JUMBOS. We ended up with over a hundred walleyes, 12 jumbos 11"-13", and 10 smallmouth to 18". Our biggest walleye was 24.5" and the balance went from 13"-22". There are lots of 14"-16" walleyes this year which are perfect eaters. The mayfly hatch was in full bloom in some areas but we found very few mayflies in the water column over rock reefs. We caught our fish in depths ranging from 10' to 32'. I didn't fish in any area where I could see mayflies top to bottom in the water column. Slow trolling in the .3mph to .6mph worked and we caught nothing using slip bobbers. Terminal tackle was a 3'-4' 10# flurocarbon leader, 2 lime colored beads, and a plain #6 Gamakatsu walleye hook . Snags are always an issue when fishing in and around the rocks and when the fish are biting they are acceptable. NOW, for the bad news.......Tuesday was a day I won't soon forget. The area suffered devastating torrential rainfall. Lightning was non-stop for several hours and when things settled down, flood damage was everywhere. We checked our rain guage on the side of the cabin and we got 7 3/4 " in a little over 4 hours! Breezy Point road washed out, Mud Creek road washed out as did several others in the area. Cooke business area was completely covered with flood water. I would consider it a disaster area and should be declared as such. We couldn't find a dock anywhere that wasn't covered with water. People were stranded behind flood covered and washed out roads. Dock decking, limbs and such were floating everywhere in the big water. My group sends our prayers to the people of that beautiful country that lost their businesses, homes, and suffered damage to their lake properties. The people of that north country are resilient and we have confidence that they will recover. We stayed our final 3 days but didn't fish at all Tuesday. Our last 2 days showed the effects of the storm. Water temps dropped to 64 degrees and our premo fishing became 10 walleye days. We did manage to catch a dozen really nice jumbos. We plan on returning in September and we pray the area will have returned to normal by then. I haven't figured out how to transfer photos from my phone to my computer yet so no pictures at this time. Good Fishing and God be with you. MarkB
    • SkunkedAgain
      Word is that the river has peaked and therefore the town can start the process of recovering sooner.
    • smurfy
      Heard that too. Also heard 38 was closed for a but north of rapids due to flooding.    I know the water really came up when I was up last week compared to when I was there in April. 
    • Kettle
      Someone said 4 inches in the past week, more expected this weekend. A few roads, including county roads that are asphalt ended up with sink holes. Lakes are the highest I've ever seen in the 30+ years coming to the area and now living here. Several people lost trees Tues night
    • smurfy
      Dang Kettle  that bites. Great to hear fishing was good though.   How much rain you get up that way?
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