Author Topic: How big is to big?  (Read 2534 times)

Offline WalleyeIceMaster

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How big is to big?
« on: Feb 24, 2018, 08:30 PM »
Generally when I post on this site I aim to provide a little bit of humor to a site that often lacks it. Today is a different story. How big is to big?  While spending the day on a lake that will remain unnamed I witnessed several groups around me keeping numerous pike in the 15+ lb range. Personally I only keep pike under about 6lbs. One they taste better than those big girls and two, those big females need to remain in the water for the future of our fisheries. So I ask you all; how big is to big?

The other thing I noticed was the amount of fileted fish that were left on the ice. Several places on the ice were littered with the carcasses of large pike. While I get that it is all natural I think it just looks terrible. Guess I just like to leave things better than I found them.  So what is everyone's thoughts on leaving carcasses on the ice?

I thank you all for your responses. Tight lines everyone. This is WIM signing out.

Offline ran7ger

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #1 on: Feb 24, 2018, 08:35 PM »
 around here fish guts left on the ice disappear quick, more than enough critters to take care of that.  pike bigger than 6-7 lbs go back.

Offline speckspotter

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #2 on: Feb 24, 2018, 09:29 PM »
Today on Last Mountain Lake, I watched a group ice a pike that weighed around 20 lbs. It looked like a three generation outing. The senior member deftly removed the hooks and handed the big fish to the boy who supported it properly for a quick photo. In about a minute the fish was back in the water.

Later I saw a guy carrying a 24 inch pike to his truck, I suspect to go home for dinner.

Both observations made me feel pretty good about my neighbours' ice ethics.

As for carcasses on the ice, I'm all for it. That helps me know where to bring my fifty friends next time I come out.

Offline canada

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #3 on: Feb 24, 2018, 09:30 PM »
very interesting

I tend to do the same. 5-7 lbs biggest we keep. unless one happens to take a hoo k deep and can't revive but that has been very few in the last number of years.
set of jaw spreaders and some needle nose pliers and usually get the deep hooks out with some patience

I personally do not leave any out or with a group will pick them up and bag them.  Usually give them to a local trapper
I really don't care if they are on the ice as ranger stated, but I would rather not have any one else see sign that we caught there thats all

Offline jackslayer

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #4 on: Feb 26, 2018, 10:58 AM »
I don't know what it's going to take to change the mentality of keeping such big fish.  I have fished with many people who wouldn't even consider throwing something back.  Once they have their limit they keep throwing them on the ice for the next guy's limit.  They turn their head sideways when you tell them you want to throw a 12lber back.  My dad is an old timer and likes to keep his limit during the 1 summer trip we go on every year but we never keep anything over 4 lbs.  In winter we don't usually keep any but would never even consider keeping something over 5 lbs.  I know lots of old timers that back in the day, they kept everything. It seems that the younger generation is still doing this.  A limit every time they go out.  It's frustrating that I always seem to be the oddball that doesn't need to keep any to have a good day fishing.  For me its hard to believe that someone would want to keep a 15lb fish.  Yes they may taste better in the cold water but its not about the taste.  It's about conservation for the next generation.

Offline ben-lucky

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #5 on: Feb 26, 2018, 02:03 PM »
A lot of groups think about the meat.  They could keep their 5 4lb fish and have 2 meals when they get home or they could bring 5 10lb fish home and have 10 meals.  I like to see the big ones go back as well but for those people who only go fishing once or twice a year, they want to take fish home with them.  I think the guys(me included) who fish often, hurt the population more.  Catching and releasing has a death rate especially if you fish out in the cold.
no right or wrong way, just everyone has a different opinion and as long as the fish doesn't get wasted then it should be ok.

Offline grobber

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #6 on: Feb 26, 2018, 08:08 PM »
 :o
geezez ...... i thought for sure you were talking about your mother-in-law again. hope she's doing ok. the ice is almost 3 feet thick so maybe its safe to take her out fishing.
i can't believe people eat big, old fish cause they must taste like mud. some people still think you should keep everything you catch. i've made mention to people in boats beside me that they shouldn't keep that big fish they just caught. some listen and some don't. the people who seldom get out are more likely to keep i would say.

Offline Timetofish

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #7 on: Feb 27, 2018, 08:38 AM »
Our group doesnt keep any fish over that 75 cm, unless their wrecked and will probably die. 4-6 lb make beautiful fillets and we just keep for fresh eating. I dont have a problem with a guy who bought a license and sits there on his day off work watching 2 hooks trying to finally hit it good and get some good eating for his family vs someone who puts his net in and goes home to watch tv!

Offline Snitch#8

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #8 on: Feb 27, 2018, 09:17 AM »
This thread is the same as "release or not".  And, the answer is the same.  Anyone who buys a license and legally catches a fish, has the right to keep the fish or release it!  Period.  We all have an opinion of what is ethical and we all do what "we" feel is right.  We cannot hold others to "our" standards.  The law is put in place to give us some kind of guidance and as long as we stay within those parameters, we can do what "we" want.  Personally, any walleye over 8lb, perch 12+ in., gill 10+ in., go back.  But, I don't begrudge anyone for keeping them.  I would much prefer someone take a big one home to eat then watch someone take four inch gills.  I know a guy who says, if they have eyes, I eat em.  He takes them home grinds them up and makes fish patties.  However, they are caught by him and are part of his limit, so I really can't say anything. 

As for the leaving fish scraps on the ice.  It is against the law in Michigan, some states its not, to leave fish or fish parts on the ice or enter them back into the water.  However, I really don't know why you can't.  Some say that they will contaminate the water.  But, personally, I don't believe that.  Any living creature left on the ice or thrown back into the water will be eaten by something else.  Be it a coyote, seagull, micro organism, other fish, etc. etc. etc.  Therefore, they will be nourishment for something else.  I would rather leave them in the water or on the ice, then throw them in a trash bag headed for a landfill!  But, that's just "my" feelings on the subject.  Like I said, we all have the right to how we feel and what we do.  As long as we stay within the boundaries of the law!  Therefore, I don't put anything back in the water, and I don't leave anything on the ice.  Well, except my tracks that is!

Offline maddogg

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #9 on: Feb 27, 2018, 09:28 AM »
The lake I fish the most we can't keep any northern pike under 26''.

Offline ToonFisher

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #10 on: Feb 27, 2018, 09:43 AM »
I've taken a small bite of a 20+# pike from the little lake connected to the north of Waterhen. You can catch them every 3 throws of whatever spoon. Some one brought that fish and its tale to a picnic. It's not that awful  in taste but the thought it being a huge fish.

Offline AndyJ

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #11 on: Feb 28, 2018, 07:48 AM »
I leave fish parts on the ice for the local ravens. Even cut or chop them into pieces small enough for them to carry them away to their hidden stashes.

Offline flag-man

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #12 on: Feb 28, 2018, 11:06 AM »
Anything over 6 lb goes back for pike and over 3 lb for walleye. 
Leaving carcasses on the ice is not only unsightly, they promote unhealthy benthic zones in the water body if they manage to get into the water, potentially making a lake toxic.
Another thing on the large pike. There is a limit of one oversized 75cm. pike per person, so if they are keeping more than one each, they are poachers.
JMO.
It's hard to shake hands with closed fists.

Offline Snitch#8

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #13 on: Feb 28, 2018, 11:59 AM »
I'm not a biologist and in no way shape or form am I a professional on the subject but I don't think a fish carcass, floating in the water, hurts a lake any more, than a deer carcass laying in the woods, would!  I guess what I'm saying is, isn't the ecosystem designed for it.  Don't minnows, fresh water shrimp, and other organisms benefit?  Not to mention the birds of prey, mink, otters etc. etc. etc.!  Its all in the evolution of life.

Offline shermanpup

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #14 on: Feb 28, 2018, 12:03 PM »
Pike 24 to 29" are what I keep .Don't keep gills over 8". Walleye 15" to 18" but I don't catch many

Offline 3rdgenrf

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #15 on: Feb 28, 2018, 03:16 PM »
I throw back any species over 5 lbs.

Offline missoulafish

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #16 on: Feb 28, 2018, 03:41 PM »
Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching- even when doing the wrong thing is legal.

― Aldo Leopold

Offline oleike

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #17 on: Feb 28, 2018, 05:17 PM »
Anything over 6 lb goes back for pike and over 3 lb for walleye. 
Leaving carcasses on the ice is not only unsightly, they promote unhealthy benthic zones in the water body if they manage to get into the water, potentially making a lake toxic.
Another thing on the large pike. There is a limit of one oversized 75cm. pike per person, so if they are keeping more than one each, they are poachers.
JMO.

i call bs on this comment. I highly doubt a few fish carcasses will cause any toxicity...they are gone the same night the fisherman leaves also. A lake looks after itself.

Offline Walleyewacker007

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #18 on: Feb 28, 2018, 06:24 PM »
These threads always make me smile, where do fish go when they die naturally in a water body? I don't advocate for leaving fish/parts on the ice, however, the idea that a lake will be polluted if we leave a dead fish vs it dieing on its own is ridiculous. As far as size of fish, who are we to push our preferences on others? What if a guy wants to mount a trophy? How about if its the only trip of the year for the family. It could be little Jessie's first catch, or maybe someone has a family to feed. Whatever the case I think its up to the angler what they want to do, and we should try to keep our opinions and virtue signalling to ourselves. My belief is God put the fish here for people to eat, and I enjoy the blessings of my creator and keep most all of the fish I catch. I love catching AND eating fish but only keep fish out of ice or right after ice out. Large fish of most any type taste great smoked with apple or cherry wood with brown sugar..YUM! If I don't eat them my dog always will. Haha. I will let Fish and Game do thier job and trust they will implement regulations to protect the fisheries for future generations...they don't seem to be too shy with those regulations around my neck of the woods.

Offline missoulafish

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #19 on: Mar 01, 2018, 07:33 AM »
🤦‍♂️

Offline 350 Mag

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #20 on: Mar 07, 2018, 11:07 PM »
We try to let all Walleye with fat bellys(females) and over 18".

16-18 inch are best eating and healthiest.

Larger older fish contain more mercury.

Pike.  Anything over 29 inches goes back.

Offline Churchill River

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #21 on: Mar 08, 2018, 11:40 AM »
I knew WIM started a war of words when he started this post.....lol.

As a outfitter in Saskatchewan for 35 years, I have seen and heard it all.

It's like trying to talk Religion/Politics/ were everyone thinks their beliefs are the right ones.

Here in Saskatchewan you are allowed one big fish of each species, along with a limit of each species.  Everyone is is allowed to do what they want with their big fish or their limit (throw them back, eat them, etc).  So please people, don't go off on people you see keeping a big fish, or taking their limit home.  As explain by the above posts, we don't know the reason why people do the things they do......first catch by someone (doesn't matter what age), person wants a wall hanger, need their limit for a family meal, etc.  Maybe instead of going off on people, you should be saying.....nice catch.

Regarding fish remains left on ice that might go back in the water.  It is hog wash that they will cause harm to the body of water.  I hope the following will clear up some people's thinking on the matter.

Saskatchewan is world wide known for it's over 100,000 lakes/rivers, with 90,000 of them holding fish.  Sask is also known for it's great fishing, be it trophy fishing with catch and release or fishing for fish to take home.  I am sure you U.S. posters will agree with this statement.

I am only going to use one area of the Churchill River were I was located.  At the end you can multiply the numbers by 300/500/1000/5000.

1) At the end of each day after the guides filleted the fish caught by customers, the remains were loaded in a boat and taken out and dumped into the water.  As the fish came from the water it doesn't hurt to return them to the water...this has been confirmed by Gov't know it alls.
So let's say a camp like myself have 250 customers a year X 10 fish, that's 2500 fish.  You can go back a number of years when the limit was 16 fish, that would be 4000 fish remains going back in the water.  So let's just use 3000 fish a year for a average.  Times the 35 years I was up there, that's 105,000.

2)  So you have 250 customers with 125 guides per season with a average of 4 days fishing, with let's say 5 fish a day for shore lunch.  This equals 262,500 fish remains going back into the water over the 35 years.

3) Then you have the guides that live in the area of the outfitters camps.  I had 10 families living in my area, and they would set their nets out for personal consumption.  Let's use 120 days with let's say 4 nets out a day between the 10 families, as all 10 don't have their nets out every day.  So 4 nets at let's say 40 fish (mostly Whitefish) equals 160 fish X 120 days, equals 7,200 fish X 35 years, equals 252,000 fish remains going back in the water.

3a)  Not only did the families net the above numbers, they would fish through out the summer for fish to eat also.  10 families X 6 members (many, many, many were larger families) equals 60 people say eating 6 fish a day X the 120 days I was up there, equal 43,000 remains going back into the water.

4) Then you have your recreational fishermen that have access to areas.  So let's just use the numbers in number 1 to make things easier.  So you are looking at another 105,000

5)  Not sure if people are aware that when the suckers spawn they try and get as close to the rocks along the shoreline (in shallow water), as they can.  The next wave of suckers come in and will push the first ones up on shore basically.  I had a spawning area within walking distance of the camp.  You could go down there and find 1,000's of dead suckers.  When the water would raise during the spring, they would end up back in the water (minus the ones the ravens/eagles/critters would get).  In my area I would say there was 5 major spawning areas for the suckers, so let's just say over the 35 years that would be another 175,000 dead fish (not remains, the whole fish), going back in the water.

6)  A lot of people don't take into account the mortality rate with fish that are released.  Were do they think those fish go that die after been released.  I couldn't count the fish that died after been released, so we won't use a number.  And if people knew the number of salmon that die after they spawn, they would be amazed at that number.......again were does the whole fish go when they die.  We don't have salmon in Sask, but just wanted to point this out.

So just using the above 6, you have a total of close to 770,000.  Know I am just using the 120 days that I was up there per year.  Remember the guides live up there year round and recreational fisherman fish year round.  So the number would be well over 1 million fish remains going back in the water.  Then if you multiply this 1 million by 500 other areas of the province (you could easily multiply this by 1000 or more if you wanted to), you would have 500 million fish remains going back into the water in the past 35 years.  Imagine what was thrown back into the waters over 150 to 200 years. 

There has not been one lake/river in Saskatchewan that has been harmed with any kind of toxic, etc that you can think of.

So when you see a couple of fish remains on the ice, you are probably right about the eye sore, etc., but please.....don't worry about the remains ending up back in the water.

Man....sorry I made this post so loooooooooong. 




Offline Snitch#8

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #22 on: Mar 08, 2018, 01:07 PM »
Like I said earlier, I don't think a dead fish pollutes the water any more then a dead deer pollutes the woods.  They are merely being absorbed by the ecosystem and providing food for all the other critters!

Offline Churchill River

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #23 on: Mar 08, 2018, 01:53 PM »
Forgot to mention, that if anyone would like to plan a fishing trip to Saskatchewan for some great fishing, let me know.

Offline canada

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Re: How big is to big?
« Reply #24 on: Mar 09, 2018, 08:55 PM »
do you need any guides to hire that is

 



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