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TM C&R Tips

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TM C&R Tips
Per earlier PMs here's my yearly post on Tiger Muskie C&R recommendations:

See the following DWR link

http://wildlife.utah.gov/...iger_muskie_tips.php

Here are some of my additional recommendations

Equipment:

As was indicated in the link release tools are very, very, very important.

Recommend a good quality knotless deep basket net or cradle to prevent injuring the fish eyes, fins, and protective coating. 10-12” jaw spreaders, hook cutters recommend Knipex especially for large treble hooks 3/0, 4/0, 5/0 sizes. Can’t go wrong cutting hooks. Hooks are cheap so cut them. Use needle nose pliers to remove any shanks of cut hooks still in fish.

EMPHASIS light tackle/equipment is not recommended when chasing TMs. I know some will post well I caught a TM on 6, 8, 10# test mono. Great but they don’t bother to tell you how long it took to get the fish in. So trust me when I say in WARM WATER conditions use the proper equipment/tackle. Medium heavy, heavy, extra heavy rated rod, quality reel, spooled with at least 50# plus test braid, steel leader if you desire. We make our own 80# fluorocarbon leaders. 18-20” casting and 32-36” trolling.

EMPHASIS be prepared when you fish waters stocked with these fish. Fighting a Tiger Muskie for an extended amount of time to keep the fish from breaking off is strongly discouraged especially in WARM WATER TEMPS. The largest fish we’ve boated last year pushing 50” took us approximately 3-5 minutes to get the fish into the net. Again having the proper rod/reel and most importantly line allows for this.

Get the fish to the boat quickly is a must to enhance the fish’s chances of survival upon release especially in warm water temps. Don't fight the fish to exhaustion.

Warm Water temps is anything 65* up. Taking 10-20 plus minutes to bring a fish in at 70* plus water temp pushing 80* will not be good odds for the fishes survival upon release. Oh how we’ve learned from way back in the day starting out. Get the fish to the boat/shore as quickly as possible can’t be stressed enough in warm water conditions
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You hook into a Tiger Muskie

Keep rod tip down and/or shoved into the water this will reduce the fish coming out of the water and tossing the lure right back at you. With any fishing when the rod tip is up…well fish that go tail walking will tail walk and potentially toss the offerings right back in your face Been there done that.

EMPHASIS YET AGAIN: in warmer water don’t fight the fish to exhaustion. Get the fish to the boat/shore as quickly as possible especially in the summer. Fighting the fish builds up lactic acid depleting oxygen and causes more of them to die when released in warm water conditions. So again having the right tackle if you’re going to specifically target these fish is a must. Yes there are those accidental hook-ups when fishing for other fish…it happens just be prepared and know what to do and again in warm water it can’t be stressed enough don’t fight the fish to exhaustion. If it breaks the line so be it. Again we have not break offs as we use the proper equipment.

Once the fish is netted keep the fish in the net in the water while removing the hook(s). USE EXTREME CAUTION removing the hooks as these fish will thrash around and any treble hook exposed will have the potential to find your hand, finger, forearm etc (yet another been there done that). Don’t grab the lure unless absolutely necessary. Use long needle nose pliers to remove hooks or Knipex hook cutters and cut the hooks. If you don’t have a net and fishing from shore leave the fish in the water while you remove the hooks exercising extreme caution. Don’t bring the fish into the boat or up on shore to remove the hooks as you’ll damage its protective coating and skin. Including the fish will be flopping around in the bottom of the boat and/or shore and will cause more injury to itself.

Never place the fish on the bottom of a hot metal boat in the summer. Another death sentence to the fish. We know what hot bottom metal boats feel like I hope. So need I say more.

Once the hooks are removed stow the pole and get all rods/gear out of the way.

Leave the fish in the net or in the water while prepping the boat meaning getting the camera out and turned on. Get your measuring device out and have it ready. Don’t take the fish out of the water or leave it on shore then fiddle getting the camera and then turning it on. Have the camera on and ready. I know kinda hard if by yourself but again leave the fish in the water as long as you can.

Keep the fish in the water (I’ve said that how many times now). So you have everything ready camera on, rods stowed, measuring device ready. Turn the fish on it's side in the water holding the tail then with the other hand place it in the forward most portion of the gill plate and not in the gills. Keeping the TM on it's side lift the fish for a quick measurement/picture. Make sure you have a 'firm' grip in the forward part of the gill plate and be mindful of the gill rakers. Lift the fish up and with your free hand support the fish by holding it under its belly.

Never pinch the fish's eye's that's an ole wise tail. If you do this it will damage eyes causing blindness.
Never hold the fish continually vertical for an extended period doing this has the great potential to cause injury to internal organs and skeletal bones of the fish. Hold the fish horizontally.

Fish should not be out of the water for more that say 25-30 seconds.

Release

Never just plop/toss the fish over the side of the boat or toss back into the water from shore…place the fish in the water holding it’s tail and use the other hand if necessary to support its underside. Ever so slightly move the fish from side to side until you feel the fish wanting to swim away on its own. For us we’ll hang around an area for up to 45 minutes especially for a larger Tiger to ensure it doesn’t resurface.

I strongly discourage the use Rapala grippers’. Had a guy at work a few years ago told me the story he didn't have the lanyard around his wrist and the TM made a violent shake and fell into the water with the gripper still engaged. Well without a doubt that fish will eventually die. If you have to use the grippers make sure to place the lanyard loop around your wrist.

Tiger Muskies are a “sterile” fish…once it’s gone that’s one less. The TM is a very hearty fish with proper tackle and properly handled than released increases tremendously the survival rate of Tiger Muskies.

So there you have it just some K2 recommendations on Tiger Muskies fishing... good luck and I hope the above helps you out someday if you happen to hook into one of these fish of 10,000 casts and especially a behemoth. WinkWink


Location: Lake Katchabigun

Once you know everything about anything its what you learn afterwards that counts.

Skunked, we never get skunked its the fish getting skunked as they just kept missing our lures.

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Re: [k2muskie] TM C&R Tips In reply to
bump to the top...great tips....thanks for sharing.
Moderation is overrated.

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Re: [k2muskie] TM C&R Tips In reply to
Couldnt have said it any better!!!!! This is very critical to the fisherys that hold these amazing fish, no matter what anyone does there WILL be unavoidable fatalitys but if more made an attempt to take the necessary precautions when handling that will be one more healthy tiger in the lake - in result is larger crappie , bass , and perch.. and i think everyone can appreciate that Angelic
whisker time.....

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Re: [k2muskie] TM C&R Tips In reply to
Well said, great advice. I always liked your suggestion to hold your OWN breath when you lift out a Musky. If you can't take it who says THEY can!!!

I'll confess - I've been caught off guard, and hooked musky on the "wrong rod". But I can attest that when you hook one on the RIGHT rod - you can surely haul and land that fish without a long drawn out fight. Yeah - they might still want to run, but you don't HAVE to let them.

Always a challenge if you're fishing bass waters for bass (or panfish) and one of these beasts decides it "want's it".
I've been off and on with steel leaders. If they swallow it - you need it. If they lip-hook, then it's really sixes. I know steel leaders will mess with top-water action, and I don't love that.


The heat cautions are well stated, especially as we head into those months. We've got some great trophy Musky fisheries. I am ALL for us (1) being prepared (2) using the correct tools (3) using the correct handling - and bottom line - treating these beasts with the appropriate respect.

Thanks for your post!

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Re: [k2muskie] TM C&R Tips In reply to
great info! Bump to the top
hopefully people read this and let it sink in
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____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________

A good fisherman takes trash and leaves fish!
A bad fisherman leaves trash and takes every fish he catches!

Any fish, Anywhere, Any time.... Just One more CAST!

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Re: [k2muskie] TM C&R Tips In reply to
Thanks for taking the time posting this info.
Good job and keep up the good work k2.
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If your practicing CNR keep your freaking hands out of the gills..

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Re: [k2muskie] TM C&R Tips In reply to
I understand the need to not prolong the fight. But 3-5 minutes for a 50" fish is just not worth it
Have some fun

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Re: [boulder] TM C&R Tips In reply to
imagine to the fight, skill and strength it would take to drag in that strong of a fish that fast. I'd rather catch a beast and really muscle it in than just wait till it gets tired than bring it in exhausted. I'd say it's a win win.



Greater Love Hath No Man, Than To Lay Down His Life For His Brothers

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Re: [boulder] TM C&R Tips In reply to
Lets put it this way... yes 80 lb braid and xxh rods get em to to the net quick- but have you ever caught a 50" tiger??? Probably not .... i have fished for these fish for yrs and neither have I .... because they are mistreated , and mis-handled allowing only a rare handfull to even reach that size. The shear strength of any tiger over 40 inches is heart dropping and intense , although short lived it is the most adrenaline pumping 60 second fight you can have in fresh water!!!!! These amazing fish exert extreme stress and WILL die when fought to long in warm water- it takes soooo much energy to move a mass that large . Ok so another issue with chasing these fiah without proper gear- the surroundings while fighting em - all it takes is one bush or log to shred 10 lb mono with a 20 lb fish running at the other end , now we have a tiger with a mouth full of trebles tthat will probably die shortly after from lack of food, or being stuck.into the cover that it ran into...not trying to puck a fight just my 2 cents Blush
whisker time.....

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Re: [Utcatman] TM C&R Tips In reply to
Utcatman wrote:
it is the most adrenaline pumping 60 second fight you can have in fresh water!!!!!

A 7-8 ft sturgeon jumping out of the water might compete with that Wink. I guess my 20 something inch muskie didn't get my heart racing as much, but I bet a 40 incher would Smile. Especially if you got the hookup on a figure 8.

All good info.

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Re: [boulder] TM C&R Tips In reply to
then stick to trout - fight a 14" finless freddy on a ultra light for 5-10 minutes.. no them some mean tuggggzzz
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____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________

A good fisherman takes trash and leaves fish!
A bad fisherman leaves trash and takes every fish he catches!

Any fish, Anywhere, Any time.... Just One more CAST!

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Re: [boulder] TM C&R Tips In reply to
oh ya while fishing tigers at pv yesterday saw a sad site of a monster tiger dead on the shore. well we got out of the boat and inspected the fish, measured her and got back to fishing. well she was 46" long and fat and healthy. prolly sitting on the bank for a day or two prolly shrunk a little so that fish could have been 47-49". was a fat healthy looking fish who probably died from being fought to long in warm water. That fish was probably between 5-6 maybe 7 years old and pv has lost another trophy fish.

so if "having" a little fun for a few minutes is worth killing a trophy once in a lifetime fish then you have no ethics and should find another hobby. as sportsman we should respect the natural resources especially a catch and release species.

go have some fun with a species that can handle the abuse and "fun" you wanna have
_---
____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________

A good fisherman takes trash and leaves fish!
A bad fisherman leaves trash and takes every fish he catches!

Any fish, Anywhere, Any time.... Just One more CAST!

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Re: [CoyoteSpinner] TM C&R Tips In reply to
CoyoteSpinner wrote:
I know steel leaders will mess with top-water action, and I don't love that.

We work lots of top-waters and our homemade FC leaders no problem at all with lure action. Matter-of-fact with FC leaders you don't see the leader to the lure in the water. Thats why we like them. I don't think that makes a difference with a Tiger being steel or FC leaders if they want to eat...they'll eat...leaders don't keep Tigers from taking your offerings. Another ole wise tail IMHO. So may want to switch to FC leaders if you find the steel leaders impacting your top-water action. SmileSmile


Location: Lake Katchabigun

Once you know everything about anything its what you learn afterwards that counts.

Skunked, we never get skunked its the fish getting skunked as they just kept missing our lures.

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Re: [Wildcat94] TM C&R Tips In reply to
Wildcat94 wrote:
oh ya while fishing tigers at pv yesterday saw a sad site of a monster tiger dead on the shore. well we got out of the boat and inspected the fish, measured her and got back to fishing. well she was 46" long and fat and healthy. prolly sitting on the bank for a day or two prolly shrunk a little so that fish could have been 47-49". was a fat healthy looking fish who probably died from being fought to long in warm water. That fish was probably between 5-6 maybe 7 years old and pv has lost another trophy fish.

so if "having" a little fun for a few minutes is worth killing a trophy once in a lifetime fish then you have no ethics and should find another hobby. as sportsman we should respect the natural resources especially a catch and release species. go have some fun with a species that can handle the abuse and "fun" you wanna have

...and for the rest of this story...if anyone believes fighting a TM for an extended period of time exhausting the fish to have 'FUN' is ethical angling think again.

Knowing and having the skills and proper equipment to properly fight the fish and get it to the boat quickly is FUN and considered responsible and ethical angling as I see it along with dedicated TM anglers.





Location: Lake Katchabigun

Once you know everything about anything its what you learn afterwards that counts.

Skunked, we never get skunked its the fish getting skunked as they just kept missing our lures.

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Re: [k2muskie] TM C&R Tips In reply to
Sick to my stomach now...

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Re: [TheScout] TM C&R Tips In reply to
we saw that same fish up there K2, definitely a sad sight to see. I've definitely passed along c&r tips to a few people, I love chasing those toothy beasts, wish they weren't too far and few between and seein one washed up on the beach gives ya a sick feeling. saw ya on the water yesterday, asked ya about your boat, i've been interested in getting a lund.