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jeffreyd

General Question

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I have asked several questions on techniques but forgot the most important. If one does not have a boat with a live well, what is the best stringer to hold various types of fish? Do you knock a hole in the lower lip or when i was a kid we use to go thru the gill and mouth but that seems as it would hurt the fish quicker. Any thoughts are appreciated.

Kind regards,

Jeff

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Either will work, but once a fish is placed on the stringer, release is not an option as the fish will most likely die, so "hurting" them doesn't really matter.

I used to bring with a cooler and fill it with lake water using a pail to keep fish alive, then on the ride home I would drain the water and buy a bag of ice, this keeps the fish much fresher. During the heat of summer I either don't keep fish or they go straight onto ice.

Even if you use a stringer I would still recommend packing them in ice for the drive home.

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We are staying on the lake so that wont be an issue, we will release all but what we want to eat that day, not going to ship any home except maybe crappie since the possession limit would make it worth it. Thanks for the reply. Jeff

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If you plan on catching panfish, I would look into a fish basket. You can get quite a few fish in a basket and it will keep them swimming and alive longer. It also allows you to unhook a fish, throw it in the basket and go after the next one.

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the best way...

bop them on the head and put them in a cooler with ice. works like a charm and leaves you with no mushy fillets that you might otherwise get with a fish from warm water.

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You really don't have to be as picky this time of year with the cool water temps. But as the season progresses it's nice to have a cooler with for the ones you are going to keep. You definitely get more palatable fish when doing so. I have been using stringers lately, I always pop it through the bottom lip to the top lip rather than through the gills, seems as though they keep better. Or use a panfish basket, they work great also.

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I'll agree with Leechbait, this time year a stringer is fine. Once a fish is put on a stringer, it is going to be filleted or cleaned for eating. Don't try to release a fish after it has been on a stringer, more often then we know, fish die. Why waste our resources?

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that is one nice thing about having a livewell tho, ill throw the fish in there and by the end of the day if i only have one small one or not enough to make a meal, back to the lake it goes.

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When I was growing up my dad's boat didn't have a live well either. We used a large styrofoam cooler that worked great for keeping crappies alive. I would image it would be the same for walleyes. As long as you add some fresh water every so often the fish were just as alive and fiesty as they are in a live well.

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We have always used a stringer in my dads boat (no live well) and always go through the bottom lip and then the top lip. This is mainly in the spring when water temps are cooler and we have never had any issues. Most of the time the fish are still flapping in the cleaning house.

As of this year I have a new boat with a couple live wells so that will make things much easier!

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I second the cooler with a couple bags of ice. No water to drain!

They will be fresh no matter how warm it gets especially on a long drive home!

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Fish basket while the water is cooler. We use them in the BWCA and it keeps the fish alive longer, works as a pseudo drift sock and they are easier to portage if you don't clean your fish on the lake you caught them on.

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Living in Phoenix AZ and fishing at Leech would make for a long commute home. We are staying on the SE side of the lake so should not have to keep them on ice too long. Thanks for the input. Jeff

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Basket worke great and you can use the stringer that just slides through the gill and out the mouth, instead of poking hole in mouth...

In addition to the ice topic, has anyone else heard that freezing your fish with water in the bag helps them taste fresher?

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