WalleyeRELEASE ALL WALLEYE OVER 18 INCHES
Female Walleyes can produce on average 26,000 EGGS PER POUND of body weight. (That means that one 24 inch - 5.1 lb. Female Walleye can have over 130,000 eggs each year for spawning)
1% or less of all Walleye eggs hatch to become an adult Walleye. (Doing the math: One 5lb Walleye hatches Approx. 130,000 eggs of which 1% or less survive. That means 1300 WALLEYES could survive. This is why all lodge owners encourage Catch & Release!
- Walleye, when young, live almost exclusively on insects. Most Walleye switch to a minnow type diet by the time they are in their second summer
- It is believed that Walleye can 'hear' a school of baitfish from quite a distance away using the hearing sense on the lateral line.
- Walleye have their 'taste buds' in their lips - thousands of them
- World record Walleye is 25 lbs. from Old Hickory Lake, Tennessee 1960.
|Walleye Weights||Walleye Age|
|14" fish is 1.0 lbs.||1 Year old is 10 inches|
|15" fish is 1.2 lbs.||2 Year old is 14 inches|
|16" fish is 1.5 lbs.||3 Year old is 17 inches|
|17" fish is 1.8 lbs.||4 Year old is 19 inches|
|18" fish is 2.2 lbs.||5 Year old is 21 inches|
|19" fish is 2.5 lbs.||6 Year old is 22 inches|
|20" fish is 3.0 lbs||7 Year old is 23 inches|
|21" fish is 3.4 lbs.||8 Year old is 25 inches|
|22" fish is 3.9 lbs.||9 Year old is 26 inches|
|23" fish is 4.5 lbs.||10 Year old is 28 inches|
|24" fish is 5.1 lbs.||11 Year old is 29 inches|
|25" fish is 5.7 lbs.||12 Year old is 30 inches|
|26" fish is 6.5 lbs.|
|27" fish is 7.2 lbs.|
|28" fish is 8.1 lbs.|
|29" fish is 9.0 lbs.|
|30" fish is 10.0 lbs.|
NORTHERN PIKERELEASE ALL NORTHERN PIKE OVER 27.6 INCHES
Female Northern Pike can average between 50,000 to 225,000 eggs for spawning.
- Northern Pike get its name from its resemblance to the pole-weapon known as the pike.
- Typical Canadian name for a Northern Pike is 'Jackfish'.
- Spawned eggs attach to vegetation, and then depending on temperature (40-45° F), can take up to 2 to 4 weeks to hatch.
|Age - Years||Avg Length||Avg Weight|
SMALLMOUTH BASSRELEASE ALL SMALLMOUTH BASS OVER 13.8 INCHES
Female Smallmouth Bass deposit 7,000 - 8,000 EGGS PER POUND of body weight.
- Smallmouth Bass is actually a member of the Sunfish family
- During spawning, the male Smallmouth Bass make nests with their tails in about 3-8 feet of water.
- Spawning temperatures of Smallmouth Bass is typically 50-55° F.
MUSKIERELEASE ALL MUSKIES
Female Muskies can release between 18,000-200,000 Eggs during spawning.
- Muskie spawning differs from Pike in that fry do not attach to vegetation for support. Instead they fall to the bottom of the spawning area.
- Muskies spawn in 1 to 3 feet of water when the temperature is between 49-59° F
- A Tiger Muskie is a cross between a Northern Pike and a Muskie.
Yellow PerchKEEP ONLY WHAT YOU PLAN TO EAT
- An adult Perch produces approx. 4,000-40,000 eggs during spawning.
- Perch spawn during evening hours when the temperature reaches between 44-55° F
- Perch are related to the Walleye & Sauger but are not related to the White Perch.
Learn how to hold a fish and remove your hooks. Most fish can be secured by placing your wetted hand firmly at the back of the head, just behind or on top of (not under) the gill covers. Wetted hands or wet gloves help to keep the natural protective mucous layer on fish. Never hold fish by the gills or eyes, this can result in serious damage and even death. Mechanical grabbers are also harmful to fish. When netting a trophy fish, try to keep the fish in water while removing the hook. Several techniques have been developed to hold and unhook large trophy fish. Fish cradles are an excellent way to minimize handling stress when you catch and release large fish. Many cradles come with measuring tapes sewn into the fabric for quick length measurements.
Some days, when the fish are really biting, you could literally fill the boat if you kept every one you caught. Of course, keeping a boat load of fish would surely exceed catch limits, and would thus clearly be illegal. Similarly, live release has some hidden mortality associated with it which can be as high as 10 percent, even when practiced properly. To estimate delayed mortality, use a minimum count of one fish killed for every ten fish caught and released. This mortality, combined with the number of fish kept will provide an estimate of total fish killed. When the total equals or exceeds the daily limit, fishing should stop or be diverted to another species. Remember, shore lunches are included the daily limit. An ethical fisherman, therefore, will catch a few fish, keep the ones he or she wants, practice good live release methods on the other, and then pursue another species. Know when to limit your catch.
Reckon with the Weather
During winter, fish eyes and gills can be damaged from freezing on extremely cold days (e.g. more than 20 degrees Celsius below zero, or zero Fahrenheit) if they’re taken out of the water, so remove the hooks while the fish is still in the hole. When it’s warmer, a fish can tolerate cold air for a minute or two before its gills and eyes begin to freeze. Fishing from a heated ice hut can let you take fish from the water and successfully release them, regardless of how cold it is outside.
Every Second Counts
Minimize the time fish are kept out of water. If possible, keep fish in the water when hooks are removed. If a fish must be taken out of the water, avoid letting it flop around in the boat or on shore. Just a couple of inches of water acts like a cushion and will help reduce injuries. A cooler makes a good temporary live well if you must take a fish from the water.
Deep Water Releases
Releasing fish caught in deep water is a special problem. Lake trout can equalize pressure changes rapidly even if brought to the surface from depths of 20 meters (60 feet) or deeper and can usually be live released successfully. Anglers who catch lake trout from great depths will often notice how the fish ‘burps’; this is how a trout gets rid of excess air which is expanding in the bladder as the fish is brought to the surface. But other fish don’t have this pressure equalizing ability. Fish like walleye and pike which are hooked in water deeper than 10 meters (30 feet) can only be successfully live released if they are brought to the surface slowly and released immediately (even with trout, moderation in the retrieve is suggested when the fish is hooked at great depths). If a fish can’t get back to the bottom, it’s probably going to die. When this happens, anglers who want to keep fishing and releasing, or have to release fish because of size limits, have no choice but to change location and start fishing shallow.
Never Hang Up!
Because water is much more dense than air, taking fish out of water puts a tremendous strain on their muscles, their internal organs and their skeletal system. The risk of injury increases with the size of the fish. When you take a fish from the water, either to remove the hooks or to take a picture, you can minimize damage by keeping the body of the fish in a horizontal position. Remember, keep large or trophy fish in the water or a cradle when removing hooks or taking pictures.
Ensure Against Disease
Using a net can help you catch your fish, but if it’s to be released, get the fish out of the net as quick as possible. A net can remove excessive amounts of protective slime from a fish. A net can also scratch eyes and split fins. Using a wet hand or wet glove to assist in hook removal will help to avoid excessive loss of slime.
Don’t Let It Swallow
Small hooks, used with bait, are often ingested deeply, so rather than remove them and risk serious injury to the fish, it’s better to cut the line and leave the hook imbedded. A small hook, even in the throat of a fish will dissolve in a few days and the fish will be fine. Quick strike rigs, used when fishing with large live or dead baits, will also help prevent deep ingestion and actually improve hooking percentages.
Most fish that become stressed from the trauma of being caught can be revived by administering first aid. Simply hold the fish upright in the water and move it gently back and forth, so fresh water flows over the gills. This may take a few minutes. When the fish is strong enough to struggle, release it.
Careful Gear Selection
Proper gear selection will reduce the time fish are played. The time it takes to land a fish is important because a fish exhausted by a long struggle may never recover. Probably the most important item in gear selection is line strength - it should be adequate for the species being fished. For example, where northern pike average 2-3 kg (4-7 lbs.), ultra light tackle with 0.9-1.8 kg test line (2-4 lbs.), is too light. Test line strengths of 3.6-4.5 kg (8-10 lbs.) would be more appropriate.
Hooks can often be easily removed by using the same long-nosed pliers you used to remove barbs from hooks. Pliers let you reach into the mouth of even toothy fish like pike, and they let you grip hooks much better than you can with your fingers.
Artificial lures, especially ones equipped with a single barbless hook or a single barbless treble hook, generally result in fish being hooked in the mouth or lips, and not the gills or throat, since the hook is set as soon as a strike is felt. This reduces handling time and injury due to deeply ingested hooks. Using artificials is also fun and challenging.
Using barbless hooks makes releasing fish quick and easy. Often, barbless hooks can be removed without even touching the fish. If your bait doesn’t come with barbless hooks and none can be found at the tackle shop, it’s not difficult to make a normal hook barbless. Simply pinch down the barb with a pair of pliers, or file the barb off.