Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Duffman

Muskie Cradles?

7 posts in this topic

Just wondering why I don't see the cradles being used as much anymore? I understand that a large net is the way to go, but right now for me a muskie is somewhat of an accidental catch. The muskie I caught last week took a little longer than I wanted to get a handhold on, so I was wondering if it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a cradle stashed away? I don't want to deal with a big net in the boat all the time, especially if I'm rarely going to use it. Is there something wrong with using a cradle?

After reading all the hoopla on here about taking a long time to release some fish, I went back and checked my time/date stamps on the pics of last weeks muskie. During the excitment of the catch, it's hard to keep track of time, but I landed the fish, got three pics and an accurate measurement, plus got her back in the water all in under a minute. I guess I was being as quick about the task as I thought I was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hiya -

Nothing wring with cradles at all - but they're not practical for solo anglers, and there's definitely a learning curve with them. You also kind of accept that you're going to lose a fish now and then if hooks get caught in the cradle when the fish is half way in. But - I've lost netted fish when a hook catches on the rim too...

One of the main reasons cradles were very popular a few years back was because knotless, coated nets didn't exist. What nets were available that were 'muskie sized' were salmon nets with knotted bags that were extremely abrasive. They really shredded fish up. So most guys frowned on them to say the least. Cradles were a lot more fish friendly. Since most guys at the time were used to hand landing their fish anyhow, cradles just simplified a process they were already used to, so the learning curve was a lot shorter.

I don't use one much anymore (I hand land pretty much everything), but I still think a cradle is as fish-friendly a landing device as there is available.

BTW, if you're getting a fish back in the water in under a minute, you're doing pretty well.

Cheers,

Rob Kimm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, I want say thank you for thinking about that fish and getting her back in the water as quick as you did. It says a lot coming from a fisherman who isn't even targeting muskies. If you got it done in under a minute, you did a great job with what you had to work with considering you didn't have a big net and some of the tools that come along with muskie fishing.

My opinion on you getting a cradle is this. A cradle is a 2 man operation. Works if you have someone fishing with you and is pretty much useless when you are fishing by yourself. I will say this though, a cradle is better than having nothing. So, if it comes down to you getting a cradle or not having anything at all, I'd get the cradle. In the case you have a fishing partner to handle the cradle for you, you will be golden. I might also add carrying a mini-bolt cutters in the boat with you if you have one laying around the house. You don't want to accidentally get hooked to a fish in the unhooking process and you can cut hooks if needed. Thanks again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I started with a cradle too and 3 of the first 4 fish we tried landing, the hooks got caught with just the fishes head in and it managed to shake free. So we went to the net but still use the cradle when releasing the fish. After netting, unhooking, we lift the fish out and either take an optional picture or put the fish right into the cradle. I like using it because I can measure the fish in the water and the measuring is really easy. The method doesn't require lining up 0 on a tail or nose so it can be done quick and by yourself.

Zelmsdawg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main reason the release went so quick was 'cause I wasn't dealing with a rack of trebles, the 5/0 worm hook in the corner of the mouth popped out in a split second. I don't have much experience landing a fish that big, so I was taking my time making sure I was grabbing jawbone instead of gills, the next landing should be smoother now that I have gained some of that experience.

Thanks for the info on the cradle guys, I'll probably get one to stash in the boat for those "just in case" times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The craddle will work fine for your situation but I wouldn't recommend one for 'regular' musky fishing for the reasons above and also they are a little more unsafe. A craddle requires a guy to get down next the fish as its being led in with a 'loaded' rod. If the lure pops out while a person is bent over the fish/line then it could be really bad. We all know the amount of power that can build up in our rods and with those sharp hooks, no thanks.... I'll reach out with a handle and net.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I could never recommend a cradle due to the reason that Mike mentions. Although they will work fine when there's no mishaps, I would not be willing to take the risk of having a musky lure making a high speed visit to my face at close range. Personal preference for me goes to a big net with a treated bag. But if I was forced to go without a net I would simply choose to pop the hooks out in the water for a water release over a cradle.

Aaron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • 6 months later and he is home
    • Three favorites at the moment.  By the time they upload, I may change my mind.
    • A few from Maplewood State Park on April 16th.  Non-professional, but they stood still long enough for me to get 'em.
    • You might be able to figure things out this week.  How big is your sump basket?  Is the  pump kicking in now?  Sit there for 15 minutes and count the number of times it cycles.  That should give you a decent idea on how much water is coming in.  Then figure out about how high the water has to go before it flows by gravity.  The spec for the pump will say something like that it can pump 2,000 gph at 10 feet of lift.  (the gph drops dramatically the higher it has to pump the water).  The answer to your specifics will give you an idea of how big of a pump you need.  If you match the size of the pump as close as possible to the amount of water your will face you can maximize the amount of time the battery backup will last.   Faced with this problem I took a standard boat sump pump and modified it so I could hook up a garden hose.  The I took an old shop extension cord and wired the pump so I could hook it up to a car in the garage.  So just prior to having Noah float by I could hook things up in the garage and be good to go for as long as I had gas in the car to pump up the battery.   Now that I am adult I bought a generator and wired the house to take care of things.
    • Inevitably at least twice each season I will leave the house, drive 45 minutes and walk some of my favorite grouse spots for hours and hours, seeing nothing.  Admitting defeat on that day, I will drive 45 minutes back home, only to find a covey of birds in the driveway...
    • Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Maker's Maker's 46 Bulleit Glenmorangie Highland Single Malt   Copperwing Distillery in St. Louis Park has a nice smooth whiskey. Supposed to introduce a new bourbon in a couple weeks too.
    • Hey featherslayer, you gonna register that nice bird of yours pretty soon?
    • cool find!  sure looks like a Swainson's.  
  • Our Sponsors