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Adam Wolf

Keeping fish on the ice

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To me it seems more people keep fish in the winter than the summer. Just wondering why that is and if it's true. Is it because of the species of fish you target, or ability to keep them cold, or is it just what we do here in MN?

I'm generally a C+R guy but kept a few walleye last weekend and was thinking about why I did.

Two years ago in the winter I caught a 23 inch Bass and had another guy on the lake take a picture of it for me, he was surprised I was letting it go and asked "Aren't those things good eatin'?" It surprised me since the thought of eating it never crossed my mind.

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Fish from cold water taste better. The majority of people don't keep bass of any size to eat. A fish of that size is good to put back in the lake for reproduction purposes and to be caught another day.

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A 23" bass would most certainly be going back. After all the measurements and photo of course. Would have to get a replica.

But I would have to say that I do keep more fish in the winter. Well, any fish in the winter is more than I keep in the summer. The winter is when I target pannies so I would say it is a species thing. Summer is dedicated to Bass. All c/r.

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i follow the same "size rules" that I have established for myself if I am going to keep a fish regardless if its summer or winter,

At any time of the year if i have enough for a meal then they are all going back anyways.

For me the difference is I fish a lot more in the winter thus end up keeping more during the winter months.

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I'm pretty much 97% catch and release....I'll keep an eye' or two in Canada but that's about it. I can't believe some of these people eating huge, warm water bass.... sick As far as the winter...yeah, I suppose it's much more obvious too when someone decides to take there limit during the winter months. Many guys will just transport the fish in the livewell during the open water months.

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Ditto... im more of a C&R person but I will keep a meal of panfish or walleyes once a week. I think the reason people keep more in the winter is because they fish panfish and walleyes more. Ive noticed that in the summer people focus more on bass and muskies (at least on waconia they do, if you don't get plowed over by a [PoorWordUsage] skier).

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I fish for sport in the summer, and to eat in the winter. For one it is a lot easier to keep fish from spoiling in the winter, second I target panfish mostly in the winter.

I try to be a selective harvest guy, and be sure to keep those smaller fish.

Granted I only probably keep about 20 crappies all winter, but I am ~100% C&R in the summer.

I think this is pretty consistent with what I have seen. In general people are keeping more fish in the winter.

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Like others have stated, I also target panfish more in the winter than the summer. I keep enough each winter for a few meals as my family loves eating crappies. I mainly target bass in the summer and its all CPR. I do keep the occasional northern in the summer as well.

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Almost always C&R here ... fish mostly for sport and enjoying the outdoors.

Since watching a video of sunfish fry on the ice, I've been craving them .... I plan to keep more sunnys for the frying pan. Most lakes around here have way too many anyways.

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I keep every eater size legal walleye I catch...

which is equal to about 2 a year cryblush

99% of the walleye I catch are illegal to keep (pool 2) and I always CPR. Northern, bass, catfish, carp, and all those weird river fish get CPR'ed too.

I'll keep some crappies or sunnies during the ice season sometimes, but only enough for a few meals a year.

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I just don't fish in the summer as much as in the winter. When I do get out in the summer I take my 6 year old daughter along with, so I am usually chasing small panfish to keep her interested. In the winter I am usually targeting bigger fish, and keeping more to eat. Still do a lot of C and R in the winter too.

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I am not shy about keeping fish as long as they are legal to do so. The amount of research going into creating the limits and the lack of me fishing every day kind of eliminate the element of feeling guilty about keeping a few fish.

That being said, I mostly keep fish during the winter; crappies, sunnies and eyes, primarily. I rarely keep any in open water, just cause there usually is a cookout at the end of the day anyway. I heard that the smart fishermen makes sure to stock up on steaks and burgers instead of counting on eating fish anyway. I guess in the winter, I'm mostly cooking inside and its cold, so frying a few up warms the house up a bit. Plus, the meat seems to taste better coming out of a cold lake. I bet during the last year I got 900 walleyes and I think that maybe 25 of them ended up swimming in hot oil, the rest are still swimming in the lake, to be caught again.

When I was in school, I did eat a lot more fish. I was without funds, and the crappies were a easy catch so I ate more than I care to think of, but I bet it evens out over the years. There is something to be said for actually living off what you can catch too.

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I have my "own" set of slots that I keep for fish. If they fit the range, I keep what I want as long as it's legal. If I have fish at home that I haven't eaten yet, then I do C&R. When my parents come to the cities though I keep more fish. They love to eat fish and my Dad doesn't fish unless he's with me. So we keep some and have a couple of fish fries over the holidays while they are here.

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i kleep more in the winter ...but in the summer i dont ever keep any thing other then a cupple walleyes winter ill keep some panfish and once and a while a small pike or a small bass they really are good out of late ice

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I think I keep less in the winter cause I am living more by myself (live with my family in the summer). I never freeze fish in the winter so I try only to keep 1 or 2 that I am going to eat.

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