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Learning2Fish

any of you eat your catch?

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Ok I was curious about have you ever ate musky? If so what does it taste like?

Before some get too mad right off. I only ask this cause for one I never ate it and two what if the fish does happen to go belly up for some reason?

I am for the catch and release of muskies in general. Rarely happen to fish lakes that have them in and only caught one small 36". I know every fish caught and potentially released always lives this is why i ask the question. Not wanting to start a flaming war either.

I have heard some keep them and i am for releasing them. But IF it would happen to go belly up what do you guys do?

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I believe many of the more popular bodies of water have a 48" minimum for keeping muskies. I would love to see this go statewide.

As far as eating muskie, I've never tried or talked to anyone who has but I'm sure it happens if guys keep 4+ lb. bass midsummer. sick

As far as a fish going belly up. If you practice proper release (the right tools, minimal handling of fish out of water, efficiency) you shouldn't have a problem having fish swim away unscathed.

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The minimum goes up to 48" state wide next season. It passed this season but after the cluster that came from the closed season a few years ago the DNR has chosen to start the new regs when the book is printed.

I guess they taste like pike only with BIG bones. I don't know that I'd want to eat a 10yr old fish so I guess I'll never know what they taste like.

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My father has back in the old days. He claims that it tasted great. Of course we are strictly catch and release these days.

As far as fish going belly up, if you muskie fish long enough you are going to get one that won't swim away, no matter how good your handling. The last one I had was about 10 years ago on LOTW water temp was nice and cool at 65. It was a 39" if I remember correctly, he was only out of the water for a few moments for a measurement, not even a picture. No matter what we could not get him to swim away. He would go a bit then belly up. In the end could find no reason why this fish was going belly up. The fight to the boat was a short one, minimal unhooking etc. Maybe he had a heart attack (too many fat ciscos causing high cholesterol) I don't know.

So it happens. The only way to guarantee that they all swim away is to not fish for them.

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If I have one go belly up and it's not a wall hanger, i'd probably try it. No sense in "letting it go to waste" so to speak...not that nature doesn't take care of things....

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I would never ever eat one!!!! I think the right thing to do if you find one "belly up" is let nature deal with it. Another fish or animal will take care of it.

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Buddy got a healthy 47" the other night that hit the net early, had the hooks cut, hit the bumpboard, up for a picture and went right back in the water. After a couple minutes she took off. I looked behind the boat and there is a large white belly coming to the surface. Ended up working with her for somewhere between 1/2 and 1 hour and we started having the what the f are we going to do conversation. The moment I would let go of her tail she immediately went belly up. The lake we were on is a 48" limit so we couldn't take her. Thought about trying to get a hold of a DNR agent, but it was after business hours. Luckily she started to kick and I gave her a little shove and she went straight down. We stayed in the area for quite awhile and she never came back up. Really put a damper on a nice 47". Hope she made it!

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Off topic twist-

FWIW, i've seen a lot of guys go through the whole catch/net/unhook/photo/bumpboard procedure in a big hurry. IMO, I think it's important to let the fish cool down in the net before hauling them out for a pic and measurement. We're all so worried about the well being of these fish post catch, slow down, let them regain their breath so to speak.

You can compare it to winning a 400m foot race only to have to immediately head for the awards stand at the bottom of a pool holding your breath. You'd want a break first too...

And in the end, some don't make it, that's the game we play.

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muskydeceiver- I had the same thing happen with a 44 this year it got the hooks real deep and it took a couple of tries to get the hooks out, but I kept letting her breath for a couple minutes between trying to remove hooks. The fish kicked a few times good went down maybe too fast? came back up sat on the surface right side up then rolled over, so we grabbed it revived it again till it would hold itself upright. We ended up watching it for 30-45 minutes finally it went down slow the second time and we never saw it again

The lake we were fishing is a cpr only lake, so if it did die there wasn't anything we could do besides let a eagle try to pick it up. glad to see it swim down when it did

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Great point on leaving them in the net to 'catch their breath'. Perfect time to get bump board and camera ready. The hurry part needs to be done when the fish is out of the water.

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We usually let them recoup for a couple minutes in the net while we get the bumpboard out and get the camera ready etc.....

She was more than lively in the net and that is what makes this so confusing. I guess it is part of it.....

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Nope, never ate 'ski. Heck I can barely stand the smell of them laugh.

On the subject of stressed out fish/or fish that are not reviving well ,we have good success putting them in the livewell and letting the aerator pump on them full bore while holding the fish upright with it's head near the valve.

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Nope, I'd imagine it would be like eating a large fish of any other species, really fishy/mushy taste. Only kept a pair of eyes last year and I can tell you the 19"er was noticeably poorer in taste than the 15"er.

Never really had a problem releasing fish. Some have taken upwards of 5 minutes to swim off, but I can't say they ever looked to be in rough shape, just lazy/tired after the ordeal. I tend to leave them in the net for a minute or 2 even if the camera and such is ready.

Never tried the livewell trick. I'll keep that in mind. Actually showing my uncle the boat last week I didn't realize our livewall was as long as it is if you remove the divider and bait bucket. Shows how often we've used it.

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Nick we had revived a couple last year in the livewell, the larger one of which was pretty much dead in the water,both of which were incidental catchs by bass fisherman. The larger fish we worked on for about 45 minutes before we put it in the livewell and about 20 minutes later she seemed good to go. I would like to think that they both lived.

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NTW    0

In line with the livewell thing, any of you ever tried livewell treatment? I've used it during bass tourneys and it makes a big difference.

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In line with the livewell thing, any of you ever tried livewell treatment? I've used it during bass tourneys and it makes a big difference.

What is it,a solution or powder of some sort?

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Thanks for all the replys and good to see the oppinions from others. Its like bass i don't fish for them and see some taken home. A pure catch and release fish to me same for big walleyes I like to see them let go healthy.

Maybe next season i can pickup some gear and actually try for musky. But as of right now I fish straightly for walleye and panfish and only a treat if a musky would happen to hit.

Thanks again and good luck. I can't wait for a 50-56" one to hit. What is the estimated weight when they reach that length? i know the girth plays a big part, but just a estimate you may go use.

also that livewell treatment stuff is a powder you toss in and some how creates more oxygen in the water.

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We had a 45 go belly up on us this year after the rear treble on a DCG got hooked in her gills.....nothing at all we could do. She was headshakin the whole way to the boat and came to the net with 2 or 3 gills hangin out of her jaw. Pretty deppressing at the time, but we were on a 48"min so all we could do is let her drift away. Would of TRIED to eat it if we could......

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I knew an old Finlander up here that claimed that they were delicious. His wife would cut the fish into sections and bake them similar to Northerns. They claimed that the meat was firm and flavorful.

That was 20 years ago and I haven't heard of anyone eating one since.

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