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Went pickerel fishing - Caught a 40" Musky

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So I hit Sparrow this morning to see if I could catch some pickerel.

 

No pickerel, but I did latch onto a ~40" ski.

 

I have some questions for you Musky pro's..

 

Here's the deal:

 

I was fishing for pickerel, so i didn't have a steel leader. I was using 10' braid, with a 4' fluoro leader (6.8lb test).

 

The fish rolled a lot during the fight, so by the time he was boat side, the line was wrapped around his snout and mouth several times, and the flouro leader was about to snap.

 

I didn't have a net, so I tried to get the lure out beside the boat. During my attempts to get the line untangled from the fish, the line snapped. I didn't want to lift him in the boat, because he was still full of energy, and I didn't want him trashing in the boat causing injury to him.

 

The musky ended up thrashing out of my hands, and getting free before I could get the lure out of his mouth.

 

What would you do if you had an energized 40" musky on, no leader, and no net? (and no musky catching skills, as this is my first Musky).

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Tackle him "Steve Irwin" style :P

 

Like its been said, there is not much you can do that you didn't attempt other then hand bombing him, but if your unsure of what your doing thats a daunting/dangerous task if there are exposed hooks...

 

If your not going to bring a landing device, perhaps in the future a pair of cutters would be a good idea.

Cheers

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Yup, can't do much there.

 

Cut the line and close to the hook as you can, and wave goodbye.

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Your best bet is to find an experienced musky angler willing to show you the ropes. You really are at the mercy of the musky in your situation. Without the proper net or cradle and the safe release tools you really had no chance. Got your adrenaline going though didn't it? Now you can see why musky fishermen get hooked on this fish. What lure did it hit?

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Cut the line and close to the hook as you can, and wave goodbye.

 

Just for the record By "cutters" I meant hook cutters/bolt cutters to cut the"hooks" not the line...

I wouldn't Advocate cutting the line on purpose in that situation.

Survival rates for any fish with a bulky lure in its yap are low I would guess.

A single, small bait hook...different story perhaps

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Good advice from all above.

Not much you can do except cut the hooks as close as possible to the lure and watch it swim away. As Forrest said CRAP HAPPENS.

Perhaps be a liitle better prepared the next time when fishing areas where large toothy critters swim.

 

Tom.

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When I hooked one on 8lb mono while fishin bass a couple weeks ago I tried to tire him out. Fight him for as long as possible so i would be able to pick him up out of the water, the fish spit the hook before i got the chance. Thats all i could think to try........

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I know it's fun to fight a big fish but purposely fighting a fish longer than you need to is one of the worst things you can do for a fish. Fish build of huge amounts of acid from exerting all the energy and although they swim off they will often die a short time later.

Edited by timmeh

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When I hooked one on 8lb mono while fishin bass a couple weeks ago I tried to tire him out. Fight him for as long as possible so i would be able to pick him up out of the water, the fish spit the hook before i got the chance. Thats all i could think to try........

 

That's a good way to kill a muskie.

 

You shouldn't for any reason keep him on the line any longer then necessary.. If he breaks you off, he breaks you off. I'd rather lose a lure because of a break off, then kill a fish because I fought it for 30 mins...

 

Lures are cheap, great muskie genetics aren't.

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40 inch...just what you did. 45 inches or bigger just tackle him so that you can get the photo! The doctor can always get the embedded hooks out later.

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Unfortunately fish dont do too well with a lure in their mouth ... but a 40" will probably manage as long as its not a 10" Jake ;)

 

Anyhow ... as a piece of advice .. I would NEVER fish in Musky/Pike waters without my Knipex cutters and 10" needle nose pliers OUT and on the bench right beside me... on the towel I use to wipe my hands after getting slimed ... ever... not just for the fish .. but for my own safety ... you'd be shocked how quickly bad things can happen .. and when they do you'll be very happy you were ready and prepared to deal with them ... hooks stuck in fish are only one of those bad things ...I also always carry a net ... a great big one where the netting stays well in the water even when the net is lying over the side (no hands) ... not to land the fish necessarily .. but to be able to manage the fish and calm it down without having to bring it into the boat ... and to allow me to have both hands free to work on the fish while it is in the net and in still in the water ...

 

100_1046.JPG

 

Waubaushene%20June%2029%202009%20002.jpg

 

anyhow ... not a preach (and dont sweat it - you did the right thing under the circumstances) ... just a couple ideas on how to be better prepared for next time.

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So putting all the ethics aside and to how long you fight the fish,its totally up to you but like others have said the longer the battle the less chance of reviving a tired muskie....Also most unexperienced muskie fisherman go into a excited state of mind that inadvertantly spells the end of a big fish due to poor handling so stay calm,breath ,breath,breath....

Ok,so you have a muskie at boat side with a smaller walleye bait hooked in his mouth with line everywhere. First thing to do is subdue the fish with a controling hold. Go for the tail..Its the farthest thing from the hooks and once you get a hold of his tail you have taking away his means of propulsion...Other words even if he thrash's he can't take off cause you got him by the tail....Now wait a moment until he calms down...This may take a couple of minutes but remember you got time now and he is in the water still so he's doing fine....Now that hes calm lay him over on the side the hooks are more exposed and get your side cutters and cut away the bait from the hooks. If the bait is swallowed this will be a little more tricky so if you have a experienced fisherman in the boat now is the time to switch and let him take over....

Ok,so the bait is in its mouth..This means your safe from a thrashing muskie emmbedding a treble hook in you cause its in his mouth opposed to outside of his mouth were he can really do some damage. So you got this calm muskie now at boat side. Establish how far in the bait is by taking a glance in his mouth when he gasps and they will in a attempt to ventilate water through his gills. If the hook is nowhere near his gills which is farther back then you now know you can grab him by the gill plate and lift him slightly so he opens his mouth. This is when you reach in with your needle nose/ cutter pliers and pop out or cut the trebles and remove the bait.

Remember,muskie will periodically thrash while your doing this hook removal so stay focused and if you feel the fish starting tense and ramp up for a good thrash make sure your in a safe place away from the hooks..Usually keeping a firm grip on the tail is good enough until he settles down again....

 

So thats the way I've been doing it over the years....

 

Good Luck !!

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once you get a hold of his tail you have taking away his means of propulsion...Other words even if he thrash's he can't take off cause you got him by the tail....

 

That works with smaller fish but not with larger ones.

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That works with smaller fish but not with larger ones.

 

I beg to differ.....I think it works better on the large ones than the small ones....Usually at boat side our fish are cradled but if no net or your by yourself,you got to do something....Even in the cradle or muskie net all heck can brake loose. Hooks getting caught in the mesh,in your flesh and anywhere else a big thrashing fish can drive them into so care must be taken.

I caught the fish in my avitar by myself and it was 50 inches. Tailed it, measured it,removed a large bait out of its mouth all at boat side in the water and then released it ..A good friend was passing by in his boat when he noticed I was battling the fish...He dropped in and took a few pics before she swam away...

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Thanks for the tips guys.

 

I used to bring a net with me all the time, but Murphy’s law, when you don't have the net, you get the big one.

 

Someone asked what lure I was using - it was a 3" multi-colored rattling crank bait (the loudest rattle i've ever heard, you could hear it rattling at least 20' from the boat).

 

One of the firsts posts that I read when I joined OFC was "You can call me capt'n Hook". If you remember, if was a little gory. I had that on my mind when I tried to slide my hand under his gill plate. Hence why I let go when he started thrashing real hard!

 

I was able to snap a picture if the Musky swimming away. I will upload it tonight if anyone cares to see it.

 

 

I do carry a good set of needle nose pliers, and clamps. But no cutters. As I was in the boat alone, I didn't have a chance to grab them. I will take your advice and go buy some good cutters.

 

Anyone know the best brand of cutters for cutting hooks???

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google and learn the 'leech lake lip lock', if you don't have a net, probably the best way to control a big fish. i'm not sure tailing a big fish like taht is even possible. pike & muskie usually settle down when you grab them like that. you can leave most of the fish in the water and even if they do decide to thrash a bit you've got good control of them. if you're dealing with a smaller fish just grab them behind the head behind the gills. careful with the small ones, they are the ones that usually get ya

 

http://globalflyfisher.com/fishbetter/pike_landing/

Edited by Raf

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I'll second the Knipex cutters as being the best. Otherwise, get a decent pair of cutters from Canadian Tire for $20. It will be the best $20 you spent the first time you need to use them.

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One of the firsts posts that I read when I joined OFC was "You can call me capt'n Hook". If you remember, if was a little gory. I had that on my mind when I tried to slide my hand under his gill plate. Hence why I let go when he started thrashing real hard!

 

I was able to snap a picture if the Musky swimming away. I will upload it tonight if anyone cares to see it.

:P:D

:lol:

 

I'd love to see the picture.

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The 2nd best $20 might be one of the Normark fillet gloves. I don't like carrying a net around either, but these metal mesh gloves are great at grabbing and holding on to fish. Never caught a musky but they work fine at tailing 40" pike.

 

Tail them with glove.

 

Turn them UPSIDE DOWN next to the boat, fish will immediately stop dead.

 

Pop hooks out, right fish, wave him side-side (NEVER back & forth) until they're almost thrashing out of your hand and give'em a good shove away.

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Well,

 

Here's the pic of him swimming away.

 

It's not very good quality picture. The pic made the fish coloring look blotchy or spotted. However, I examined this fish very good while it was boat side, and it was smooth colored, with some very faint patterning down his sides. Had a real funky smell to it which stayed on my hands all day. The tail looked much different than a pike as well. Not to mention the fight was WICKED.

 

I'll be better prepared next time, and be sure to get one in the boat, for a good picture and safe release.

 

I'm geared up to go after some more of these monsters now!

 

Thanks to everyone for the advice!

Musky_2.jpg

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