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Thread: Safest fish handling tips when water temps are high

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Morson, Ontario, Canada

    Exclamation Safest fish handling tips when water temps are high

    If you fish, please share this with your friends.

    We’ve heard multiple reports of big muskies (and a big walleye as well) being found belly up dead on the surface of the warm water during this period of extreme heat. Please consider the following when fishing while surface temps are high (high 70’s, 80’s):

    1. Land the fish as quickly as possible. Put away ultra-light rod combos when walleye fishing and use good heavy duty muskie rods for muskies and pike. Minimize the fight to limit the amount of lactic acid burn.

    2. KEEP THE FISH IN THE WATER. Use landing net, cradle or hand land and unhook fish while the fish is in the water, with extra caution used to keep the head in the water. You should never bring a fish into the boat to work on hook removal. This is not a good practice at any time of the year.

    3. Allow the fish to recover in the water before any photos are taken. Use a cradle or a large net with coated mesh that allow the fish to sit upright and recover from the trauma of the fight.

    4. Consider water releases & photos with fish just up out of the water for a moment before putting it back in.

    5. Have all camera gear ready and functioning properly before fish comes out of the water. Be prepared for 1-2 very quick photos and get the fish immediately back into the water.

    6. Support fish horizontally under its belly at all times. Vertical holds have been proven to damage a fish’s skeletal structure. Fish, especially larger fish, should always be supported with both hands in some way while holding for photos.

    7. Hold the fish still while releasing it. It’s no longer suggested to move the fish forward and back during a release. Allow the fish to sit upright and monitor it after release if it stays on the surface. Any fish that appears it will not make it should be harvested if it is of legal size. Any fish not of legal size must not be harvested regardless of whether or not it will die upon release.

    8. If you can, fish early morning periods and late evening periods to avoid the heat of the day. If you don't HAVE to fish, wait til the water temps cool down some.

    9. Go barbless. Unhooking time will be greatly reduced by pinching down barbs on your baits, especially in deeply hookd fish. This will also greatly reduce the potential damage done to an angler if/when the inevitable event of getting a hook through your person occurs.

    Thank you for taking extra caution with our precious natural resources. Safe handling techniques, particularly during warm water periods, will significantly improve the future of our fisheries.
    Last edited by Justin Gaudry; 08-17-2012 at 08:20 AM.
    Justin Gaudry
    Mylie's Place Resort

    Lake of the Woods
    Morson, Ontario, Canada
    Website: http://www.myliesplaceresort.com
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