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10,000 Casts

Ethical Question, what do you guys think?

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This time of year I like to throw spinnerbaits and Inlines for Pike. Sometimes we hook into a Muskie now and then (not intentional but it happens).

My question is this, although not fishing for Muskies, if you see one comming in and you figure 8 for it; does that mean that you are fishing for them and there for it is illegal??? Where does the line get crossed from fishing for Northerns and hooking a Muskie to fishing for them out of season?

Just wondering what you guys think?

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Here is my take on it......if you are fishing for Pike and happen to hook into the occasional Muskie, things happen. However, if you get a follow from a Muskie and do a figure eight, then you are deliberately targeting that fish, which is illegal. If you have a follow, I would just pull the bait out of the water, as hard as it may be.

If you catch a muskie when you are out away from the boat and don't know what it is when hooked, that is one thing, but beyond that, I believe the line is getting crossed.

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I think I agree. Some waters that I fish are too stained to easily distinguish them in the water and I will use the figure eight technique for northerns as well. I think it would be unethical to continue the effort the moment I realize it is a musky and not a northern.

Bob

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10k casts,

Two of the three closest lakes to my driveway are muskie lakes (lucky me!!), one tiger, one pure. As much as I want to hit 'em for an hour or two after work tomorrow for pike (good pike lakes, one was featured in MN Sportsman for pike) I'm inclined to steer clear of those lakes altogether to in turn steer clear of your question and dilemma.

The middle distance (1.5 miles) lake is a sweet bass lake, which further complicates the issue for me!

My $.02 for what it's worth, figure 8 equals intent to catch.

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I totally agree with the above stated info. But, not everyone is as lucky as cjac and we don't all have a ton of options really close. I think cjac's approach of steering clear of those waters is a wise one, but I personally don't believe it's totally necessary either (not disagreeing with him, just stating my personal opinion here). Don't intentionally target them on waters they live on and I think you're fine. If you can avoid those waters, great. If you can't, don't... just don't figure 8 for them. I'm very certain that if a warden saw you do that, you'd be zapped in a second.

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Everyone above absolutely correct. Definitely not ethical.

The question is what do you do if the following fish is clearly a PB...... Hmmmmmmm......

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Not knowing it is a musky and doing the "8" would be fine in my book but knowing it is a musky and doing the "8" is were the line in crossed. This is why this is a very "personal" ethical question.

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Actually I think the question is a would you rather have a 1 in a million chance at a fine from a warden + a PB muskie + a ~guilty conscience or nothing.

If it was a PB muskie I'd be f8ing my guilty arse off. Anything but a pb and I'd rip the lure out of the water.

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The problem with your statement MJBo is that most fishermen don't fish muskies, so even a 40 incher would be a personal best for most fishermen. So, they are casting their 1 dollar bass spinnerbait with 6lb test with no leader and figure 8ing, or casting towards that big musky they see sitting in shallow water with a crankbait, to have the muskie inhale their crankbait and break their line. How many crankbaits/lures do you suppose get broken off on all these high pressured muskie lakes every year? Think about all of those muskies that have lures stuck in their throat or mouth. It is sick to think about.

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Good point. If I wasn't geared for it properly I would never knowingly let a muskie get my bait.

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If it was a PB muskie I'd be f8ing my guilty arse off. Anything but a pb and I'd rip the lure out of the water.

totally ridiculous. shows what kind of sportsman you truly are.

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Does it. Does it show you more than the fact that I have never kept a fish that was not mortally hooked in my life? Does it show you more than the fact that I have never targeted an out of season fish in my life? What precisely does it show you that I would be willing to disobey a senseless law to catch a fish that could not possibly be involved in the spawn only to return it to the water within seconds harming no one and nothing? I guess you’ve got me all figured out.

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Whether a law is silly or not, it is a law. C&R does not give anyone a right to intentionally break a law.

It is hard to target one species and not the other at times when they are so alike. But, when you realize the fish coming for your lure is not legal to catch yet...time to pull out. Tough, but that is the way it is.

I was casting for northerns this last weekend and had a few bass chasing lures (some hogs). I reeled away from them. When I was catching to many bass (3 in a row), I quit fishing and decided to wait until this weekend.

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Thanks Chris -

We don't have the choice of what laws we want to obey based on whether we feel they are good laws. Its that simple. I'm not trying to get on high horse, but for me, I'm not comfortable with changing the rules because its a PB - I don't want to start down that slippery slope. If I start to change the rules would that mean I can fish two lines as long as its dark? I hate that law but I follow it. I was on a hunt years ago when the limit on Redheads was 1 per hunter. By accident we ended up with an extra one falling out of the last flock. The oldest wisest guy in our group brought the extra bird to the CO and said he'd take any punishment because it happened on his watch. He was only given a warning. But he taught us that you need to do the right thing no matter the cost OR reward, even when no one is looking.

Again I'm not trying to get on the high horse but we have a responsibility to do the right thing every time.

thanks - erik

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The laws aren't created to ruin your fun. There is science behind them. Even if you think they are silly, they still exist and it is your responsibility as a sportsman to follow them. Not doing so brings a bad name to all the anglers that do follow rules.

It's not right and not legal, plain and simple.

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Intentionally targeting muskies, both pure strain and hybrid, is illegal per State of Minnesota law.

The season opens at midnight June 7th, 2008.

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