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Fellows Lake Muskies


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#21 pruett417

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 09:12 PM

Received word this evening that the MDC is listening, and positive things are happening and will be in place soon......education is the key, and MDC is on board with those ideals.


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#22 Kevin Vam Dan

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 05:53 PM

pruett417,

 

Thanks for the update.  As I stated in my previous post, a lot of the education needs to be directed at not just the casual fisherman, but the marina owners/workers.  If you look closely at your picture, the gentlemen holding the fish has a MDC hat on.  He works for the marina and the MDC...yet he is still posing by the bragging (killing) board.  I would be willing to wager money that fish did not survive...it might have swam off, but with water temps as high as they have been and then not only the catch/fight/unhooking process...that fish was transported all the way back to the marina for a "bragging" photo...highly doubt it made it.  The people at the marina often encourage people to bring back their muskies so they can get pictures in front of the trophy board.  These fish are dying after all the hoopla (think back to Larry Rafferty's giant).  I always make sure the camera is ready before that fish every comes out of the net/water.  A few quick photos and maybe a measurement and then the fish is back in the drink.

 

Fellows has proven it can grow the largest muskies this state has seen.  We need to be on the cutting edge of musky conservation.  Just look at the states up north and what has happened to their musky populations.  MN has gone to a 48" length limit, with talk of expanding it to 54"!  And look at the world class fish that state produces.  Same with MI, WI, and Canada.  All are moving forward and realizing how these fish need to be protected (Ontario already has a 54" length limit on most musky waters).

 

Hopefully the MDC will listen and help out (bump those lenght limits way the heck up!!!).  And I'm all for restrictions on musky fishing during the warm water period, but I highly doubt that will occur.  Keep preaching it pruett!  

 

KVD



#23 Hunter91

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 07:46 PM

I have caught a few musky here on Fellows, on Pomme and several in Canada. I believe in catch and release of musky as well as bass. I have been on Fellows a lot in the past two weeks due to some unexpected free time. I have yet to see one floating musky but have seen several live musky.
What water temp do you consider catching a musky in as ok? The water temp at Fellows this morn was 78.5. Would it be better just to keep a legal fish you catch in the summer after a long battle with them?

#24 Muskie Bob

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 08:59 PM

Someone came up with water surface temperature of 80 as the time to stop fishing for muskies during the summer. Why not 81 or 82 or ?? I guess it was just a number that someone experienced loosing muskies after a stressful fight. I feel there probably other factors involved too. How long a muskie is out of water and how it is handled may make a lot of difference regardless of the water temperature.

I believe someone previously listed some good tips on proper way to handle muskies for releasing.

I think the 80 is when the fish just aren't as active as they are when the water temperature is 75 or less. Of course, the air temperature and heat can be uncomfortable for the fishermen too.

Most of the other muskie fishermen I know will hold the muskie by the tail to release it. They hold onto it until they feel the muskie's strength of trying to swim away. Then, they release the muskie and watch to see how it swims away. If it starts to belly up, they grab the tail again and hold it for a couple of minutes before trying to release it. It use to be recommended to push and pull the muskie back and forth thinking to get its gills moving good. That is no longer recommended.

I've heard some will rub a muskie's belly gently. I'm not sure what that does, but it might be worth a try too. Some feel it is best to release one in shallow water of less than 10 feet. Of course, a lot of muskies are caught in less than 10 feet of water.

Some even keep the net in the water while unhooking the lure. A lot of muskie fishermen feel this really helps.

So, NO it would not be better to keep a legal fish after a long battle regardless of any temperature, with the exception of when it continues to belly up after a long battle. Proper handling and release should help muskies live to fight another day.

The only muskie I want to keep would be one that would exceed the current Missouri state record. The only reason is that I would like to see the record be from a lake where muskies are stocked on a regular bases.

Since muskies do not reproduce in Missouri, releasing a legal muskie gives someone else the opportunity to enjoy catching that muskie another day and it may have grown some by then. I promote and challenge others to make efforts to handle and release muskies. I hope I can catch one and release it for you to catch sometime in the future. Enjoy muskie fishing........

#25 Feathers and Fins

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 06:37 AM

Bob, Im not familiar with musky biology as I am with many fish but here is a suggestion I have used for Tarpon and other large gamefish when fishing by myself. I would keep a bilge pump on hand with a length of hose attached and when I would catch one I after pics and dehooking stick the hose at the fishes mouth and let it run until the fish decided to leave. Worked well on the Silver Kings might be an option for musky especially if you had a cradle for them. With a partner we just would put the boat in gear and drive till they revived good.  


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#26 pruett417

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 02:00 AM

I have caught a few musky here on Fellows, on Pomme and several in Canada. I believe in catch and release of musky as well as bass. I have been on Fellows a lot in the past two weeks due to some unexpected free time. I have yet to see one floating musky but have seen several live musky.
What water temp do you consider catching a musky in as ok? The water temp at Fellows this morn was 78.5. Would it be better just to keep a legal fish you catch in the summer after a long battle with them?

 

I personally think it's a great thing that you haven't seen any floating fish, and seeing live fish is always a great thing.  I think a lot of anglers are listening, if a few have then these threads are in fact deemed a success.  I completely agree with Bob, 80 degrees the Musky flies stay in the box, that seems to be the standard that most Musky fisherman use.  The water temperature at Fellows is a bit cooler, we have had some cooler weather as well as all of the rain has done a lot to lower temps.  It won't be long now before that magical time that Musky anglers live for "Fall", and if we are lucky we may experience a earlier start this season.  As far as keeping a legal fish in the summer, if you started out to harvest a legal fish then by all means you have the right to harvest the fish.......if you plan on practicing catch and release, don't boat the fish, and if you do, do your best to revive the fish.  A far better option is not fish for Musky during these warm periods.


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#27 Kevin Vam Dan

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 03:48 PM

Muskie Bob,

 

I often wondered where the magic number of 80 came from too.  And then a couple years ago I saw a piece by the musky guru, Rob Kimm.  He said his research showed that when the water reached 78 degrees, musky mortality really started to rise.  And it got worse with each degree higher.  I guess 80 was decided on because it was a nice round number.  Mr. Kimm says he quits fishing for muskies when the water hits that 78 mark. 

 

KVD



#28 West Fork Jason

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 09:05 AM

" - "Most" musky anglers stop fishing these giants when the water temps increase, even in our northern states......why?  To preserve their fisheries."

 

I totally agree with you Pruett.

 

We had a hot spell back in July where I saw some surface temps on the rivers as high as 87 degrees, all the way up here.  That's the time put the 10 weights and the big flies away, and do a little small mouth fishing or head up to lake superior.  

 

Things have cooled down nicely here, temps are right around 70 and the musky's are very happy!  (And so are my clients...!)


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#29 Bill Y.

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 09:20 AM

I stopped fishing for muskies in Missouri a few years ago because I don't like the way the conservation dept manages muskies, and because hardly anyone in Missouri knows how to handle a muskie after being caught.  I've personally witnessed this many times, especially at Fellows Lake.  Even trying to educate fishermen for many, many years has not worked and they don't get it or just don't care... Fellows Lake used to be a gem for muskies.  One October day back in 2004 I caught 5 muskies over 40 inches.  All were released immediately unharmed.  But now that the lake is more popular, you got more people fishing for muskie, killing them and taking up space making it more difficult to catch a muskie.  Plus, the new owners of the marina only care about making money and have allowed more recreational boating and pollution.   
I only fish Illinois these days because they seem to have a better handle on managing muskies and Illinois fishermen are more knowledgeable about muskies because they have a lot more muskie lakes in Illinois than Missouri. 


#30 Muskie Bob

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 12:44 PM

You should contact the Missouri conservation department with your concerns about how the muskie program is being managed.  Just because another state has more muskie lakes doesn't make all their fishermen more knowledgeable about muskies.......what a statement???? 



#31 hknfsh

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 09:50 AM

Ditto muskie bob !!! Missouri isn't known for it's muskie fishing.....bass and crappie are what people here fish for !! Use to be a gem for them here too ! No one ask the conservation department to stock and manage fellows lake with muskies anyway. Besides....I think it's ruining the fishery there too ! I suspect they are eating anything they can run down....seems you don't catch the bass and crappie like you used to. We had some whites last winter that had huge slash scars on their sides.....hummmm.....wonder what did that ?

#32 Lancer09

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 04:48 PM

There are PLENTY of lakes in the are that have bass and crappie but No musky..God forbid one if the few fisheries in the state be managed as such.

#33 Muskie Bob

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 04:24 AM

I seriously doubt muskies eat any thing they can run down.  Other than grass carp, I doubt if there isn't any fish that won't eat another fish from time to time.  If not, why would lures be made to look similar to other fish?  And, why would anyone ever want to use live bait?

 

Even action increases the chance for a fish to attack another fish.  Work a lure like it is wounded and see if it doesn't attract fish.

 

I mostly fish Pomme de Terre where muskies were stocked in Missouri.  Even when crappie fishing is really good, there are those who blame muskies for their poor luck or ability to catch crappie on one given day.  Funny, but I talked to a couple of guys running spring muskie nets one year and was told there were lots of crappie in the nets with the muskies.  No signs of the crappie being injured from a muskie.

 

Many, many years ago when the crappie limit was 30 per day, there were locals who were saying muskies were eating all the crappie.  Of course, some of them were taking 2 or 3 limits out each day as many days they could fish.  Then, they were saying the crappie is down.  Well, obviously the places they fish were more than likely a little low on crappie.

 

Actually, I've read muskies prefer shad over any game fish.  And, when they chase them, it can cause a splash here or there.

 

Oh yeah, I like to muskie fish and I release the ones I'm lucky enough to catch.  Each one is a thrill to me.  If I didn't fish for muskies, I'd fish for bass and crappie, as they probably are popular game fish in Missouri.  Oh, I do fish some for them.  But, if I fished for them all the time, I would keep my fair share.  Hum, I wonder if I would keep more fish than what a muskie ever takes on occasions?

 

As to Missouri's muskie program, Fellows Lake is one of the best.  Locals should be glad the Conservation Department chose the lake to stock muskies.



#34 Feathers and Fins

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 05:29 AM

I hear the same argument about Striped Bass all the time and yet every ounce of evidence shows they are not the " eat everything out of a lake machines " the claimers say they are.

 

I do not know as I have stated the Biology of a Musky but it would seem to me they are just another fish and probably are not killing all the fish in a lake, that would take an ungodly sized population of them to destroy a lakes biomass. I would tend to lean toward over harvest by fishermen of the more preferred eating species as the most likely suspect.

 

Handling Musky granted can be a issue by anglers but unless you continue to try to inform the novice angler it will not change, MDC and Marina officials should attempt to do more if possible even if its just in signage or a brochure to be handed out when entering the area. Florida has gone to great lengths to protect Tarpon and my suspicions based on what I do know about Musky is they are fragile just like Tarpon and it would seem prudent by MDC to possibly follow suit with Florida in how they care for hooked/landed Tarpon.

 

1. require a Musky Tag if you wish to keep one ( I base this off from my understanding few people keep them but some may want to so for those who wish to keep one require a tag ) this tag money could be directly used to help fund stocking programs in musky lakes for them or baitfish. If they did it in the form of a stamp many anglers may purchase it just as a nice keep sake and still be aiding in conservation. Think of it Much like the Federal Duck Stamp where many buy it simply as a conservation tool.

 

2. Require no Musky ( excluding those to be kept ) be raised out of the water. ( I know some will argue you have to because of their teeth ) I say horse manure to that I have caught and released countless sharks without ever taking them out of the water. There are tools designed to remove hooks from a safe distance.

 

Having so few lakes in the State with them is a true Unique Opportunity and special resource and should be managed and treated as such. From an outsiders perspective I just have to smile and wish AGFC would give us this unique opportunity, you are lucky to have them and they need special treatment as they are a special fish to have in these southern waters.


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#35 hknfsh

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 06:31 PM

Geeezzzz.....when it rains it pours huh?

#36 pruett417

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 03:52 PM

Ditto muskie bob !!! Missouri isn't known for it's muskie fishing.....bass and crappie are what people here fish for !! Use to be a gem for them here too ! No one ask the conservation department to stock and manage fellows lake with muskies anyway. Besides....I think it's ruining the fishery there too ! I suspect they are eating anything they can run down....seems you don't catch the bass and crappie like you used to. We had some whites last winter that had huge slash scars on their sides.....hummmm.....wonder what did that ?

 

Studies have proven over and over, that musky stocking programs have NO detrimental effect on populations of other species in the particular lake.  Educate yourself before, like many before you, start throwing around accusations that Musky have ruined a fishery.  Funny thing is, while flyrodding Musky at Fellows Lake we always end up with a proverbial ton of fly caught bass, not Musky!  These fish are stocked in such relatively low numbers that the impact on the fishery is very minimal.  If you want to talk about predatation lets talk about about your wonderful bass species, I would argue until we are both tired that bass have just as much impact if not more than the Musky at Fellows Lake.....all of your exclamation points tell me that you have an agenda.

 

I would like to add this, real science, from real researchers.......

 

“If muskie stocking resulted in a negative impact on other fish populations, we would have seen a pattern emerge,”  “But that didn’t happen. Instead, we found great variability. When looking at individual species in individual lakes, our nets caught significantly more fish in 16 cases and significantly fewer fish in nine cases. Our nets caught essentially the same number of fish in the other 194 cases.  “The lack of consistent negative changes suggests muskie and other species generally coexist quite well.”


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#37 pruett417

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 03:55 PM

I am going to contact Dave Woods with the MDC, and ask permission to share some excerpts from emails between him and I, that I think would do wonders to answer some of these questions


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#38 pruett417

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 03:58 PM

I apologize for being MIA on this thread since I was the one that started it....but it's Fall and I've been too busy out hunting these rampaging killers.....


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#39 hknfsh

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 08:43 PM

Gee Pruett.....appreciate the loyalty to have for the Musky program but lighten up already ! I've no "agenda" as you say...just an opinion like the rest of you. No offense intended.

#40 Kevin Vam Dan

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 07:36 PM

I love the topic of muskies decimating the lake.  I'm surprised there are ANY fish left in the lake!  One day at the dock there was a guy going off about the muskies eating all the crappie.  There was another guy at the dock that responded by telling him that he ate a lot more crappie than the muskies ever could.  How true that statement was.

 

Nearly every musky survey indicates that muskies primarily predate on non-gamefish species.  Up north the primary forage is ciscoes, tullibees, and whitefish.  I have never seen a study conducted in Missouri, but I would be willing to bet money that muskies are mainly predating on shad, carp, and suckers.  The one thing I know for sure...is that they have not been feeding on anything I have been throwing.






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