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ANYFISH

Whats a trophy walleye?

16 posts in this topic

Reading other posts I would like to make a discussion on this topic.

Personally at this point in my fishing, I would consider any fish over 28" a trophy, I would not keep a walleye for the wall however until it was over 30". No, I do not like replica's and could not feel the same looking at it on my wall, because it is not the fish I caught.

Secondly, I feel we shouldn't impose our idea's of what is a trophy on other's, as it is not our chioce. I happen to have mounted a 26 1/2 when I was a kid, because it was a trophy to me, it is still the first fish anyone will see when they walk in my house, I am proud of that fish. My dad at 55 years old is still trying to catch a 26" or better walleye that is his trophy size, I think that should be O.K..

Lastly, many of our lakes do not support reproducing populations of walleyes. I have read numerous time about requiring all 20-28" state-wide to be released because they are the spawning females. Well it won't work if they can't reproduce in those lakes. So other than trying to produce a "trophy" lake a protected slot like that is useless in my mind and just hurting opportunies for others.

What are your thoughts?

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I would agree with you that for a fish to go on my wall, it should be at least 30". I've seen people have fish 26"+ mounted as well. I'm pretty strict with myself on that....I've caught a couple a fraction of an inch shorter than 30" but didn't consider them "trophies". If the fish is legal and if they want to mount it, that's fine with me. To each his own, I guess. If one of my sons wanted a fish they caught mounted and it was under 30", I would probably do it for them.

I disagree with you on replicas, however. I've had some done and they look fantastic. My son had a replica done of a 21" smally he caught two years ago and most people can't tell the difference at first glance. Below the mount, I have a picture hanging of him holding the fish, the picture and the mount look almost identical. Plus, in 30 years the replica will still look good but a mounted fish will start to decay after a period of time.

I would never begrudge someone who keeps the trophies and mounts them. It's just not something I would do.

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I've heard a couple of gentlmen keep some smaller fish as trophies because of the circumstances surrounding the catch. Such as a 25" walleye on a broken snoopy pole. Or the last fish caught while fishing with a loved one. They were not necesarily "trophies" in the usual sense but these fish were memorable.

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See nothing wrong with it. Like you stated, if it's within the law then you can do what you want with it. It's too pricey to do very often. I would consider something 28" or over for me. I've never caught one over 21" myself. I would prefer to see a 30" on the wall though.

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For a walleye, I agree with the 30" mark. I would replica it though because of the price difference. And I would have to practice what I preached.

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For me a trophy that would go on the wall would have to be 30" or greater. Although I am extremely excited when I catch anything over 24" (my biggest to date is 27"), so I guess in a way anything over 24" is a trophy in my book (worthy of a picture). As for mounting the actual fish or getting a replica, I am very torn. It would be very hard for me personally to kill a fish that big, however I have not been that impressed with the walleye replicas I have seen.

As for keeping big walleyes, if someone catches a fish that is legal and they want to mount it, I have no problem with them keeping it. However, if the fish gets filleted, that bothers me. Keep the little ones to eat, and if you catch a big one and don't plan on putting it on the wall, let it go. I personally release everything over 20".

However, as previously stated, if the lake does not have natural reproduction, it is not as important to let the big ones go and in that case it doesn't bother me if people keep larger fish.

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Interesting topic.

I think a trophy would be 30". But I would really need a 32" (once in a lifetime fish) to consider mounting it.

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I guess I am going with 31" I have a 29" lots of 28" somethings. I saw a 31" come into my boat once and it was HUGE - I would call a 31" a trophy for me personally.

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Thanks for the responses. Keep them coming.

Metro, as far as replica's go, I have seen a few very well done. I base my opinion on that back in '97 I caught a 32" out of Basswood and released it because it was out of season. Looked and thought hard about a replica but decided against because there where to many special things about that fish that could not be "replicated". I woundn't have been as proud, so it wasn't worth the cost. Anyone can buy a replica and never of caught that fish, it a nicknack not a "shrine". But I will never say a ill word about someone whom likes or gets a replica there intentions and reasons are perfect for the fisheries.

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Thanks for the responses. Keep them coming.

Metro, as far as replica's go, I have seen a few very well done. I base my opinion on that back in '97 I caught a 32" out of Basswood and released it because it was out of season. Looked and thought hard about a replica but decided against because there where to many special things about that fish that could not be "replicated". I woundn't have been as proud, so it wasn't worth the cost. Anyone can buy a replica and never of caught that fish, it a nicknack not a "shrine". But I will never say a ill word about someone whom likes or gets a replica there intentions and reasons are perfect for the fisheries.

Yeah, I suppose there could some anglers who would get a replica done of a fish they didn't catch, but they are only cheating themselves when they do that. I could never feel good about myself doing that.

In my opinion, if you get a replica you should also have a picture of the fish to go along with it. I consider the replica a "trophy" in the sense of winning something. If a baseball team wins a championship they get a trophy to represent that moment. If I catch a big fish, I get a replica made to represent the moment I caught that big fish. Plus, almost as much fun as catching the fish is putting that big hog back in the water to fight another day and hopefully give someone else a chance to catch a fish of a lifetime. But that's only my opinion...I don't take any issue with people who keep those fish...as long as they don't put a filet knife to it.

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I'm not big on trophies myself. For me, a photo is more than enough and even that I rarely pull out for viewing. I guess I first would struggle with the cost and second I just couldn't bring myself to kill a fish like that just for boasting rights. The trophy is in my memory, not on the wall.

Bob

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I think the size is in the eye of the beholder, but also the lake they fish in. If you caught the fish in a lake that doesn't have tons of growth potential and it's 28 or 29", to me it's a trophy from that lake. Please consider putting it back, but that's up to each angler.

I recently caught a 29" out of the lake we own property on. I released it, but also got plenty of pictures if I ever decide to get a replica made. I think that lake's got potential for walleyes that are larger, so I would hope that I get one over 30" some day. I will probably do the same thing and measure/take pics/release if I ever get that chance. My favorite trophy's are replicas with an actual picture displayed nearby. To me it just shows a touch of class.

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It was 30 until this weekend when one in our group caught one.

After the photos it was released, and the bar was raised to 31.

051708_144700.jpg

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Nice fish.. Are there any posts out here explaining how best to preserve a fish if you plan to make it a trophy?

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I have always been told to wrap them carefully in a wet towel and freeze them.

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...... just my hmo.

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