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@Phil Lilley there is no penalty for dead trout, correct? Having a weight reduction penalty of say 1/2# per fish would probably help deter some of that as well. It falls on the anglers to decide whether they want to run down that far and risk killing their fish. Then again, if it's catch and release, that means we can go up to the trophy area and fish during the tournament. You could still go by total inches for your best 8 fish. That's how the kayak guys do their bass tournaments.

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Shame it didn't make it, but after 45min I'm sure played a big factor in it dying.  Its going to happen, and that's the risk, but I'm sure you guys all tried your hardest to save it.

I carry a digital scale with a tape measure built in, and a mesh bag for weighing them.  Cost me maybe $20 off amazon.  Figure an on the spot measurement is as good as I'm going to get versus bringing them in.  Especially wade fishing at night, not like we carry around a horse trough and an aerator in our truck LOL.  We had a good discussion regarding what to do in that situation of if you caught a potential new state record at night.  Do you CPR and weigh it, or wait till morning likely killing the fish in the process.  I know my answer...

Agree though Phil hope some type of system can be worked out to keep more of these big ones alive.  I think you told me anything that size is likely in the top 3-5% in the lake.  Special fish for sure.  

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2 minutes ago, Seth said:

@Phil Lilley there is no penalty for dead trout, correct? Having a weight reduction penalty of say 1/2# per fish would probably help deter some of that as well. It falls on the anglers to decide whether they want to run down that far and risk killing their fish. Then again, if it's catch and release, that means we can go up to the trophy area and fish during the tournament. You could still go by total inches for your best 8 fish and be able to include sub 20" browns IF you wanted to.

I like the catch and release model.  Maybe have a big brown side pot where you need pics and video of it being measured and weighed and then a video of successful release to qualify for it.  Cellphone video has come along way...  

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12 minutes ago, JestersHK said:

Shame it didn't make it, but after 45min I'm sure played a big factor in it dying.  Its going to happen, and that's the risk, but I'm sure you guys all tried your hardest to save it.

I carry a digital scale with a tape measure built in, and a mesh bag for weighing them.  Cost me maybe $20 off amazon.  Figure an on the spot measurement is as good as I'm going to get versus bringing them in.  Especially wade fishing at night, not like we carry around a horse trough and an aerator in our truck LOL.  We had a good discussion regarding what to do in that situation of if you caught a potential new state record at night.  Do you CPR and weigh it, or wait till morning likely killing the fish in the process.  I know my answer...

Agree though Phil hope some type of system can be worked out to keep more of these big ones alive.  I think you told me anything that size is likely in the top 3-5% in the lake.  Special fish for sure.  

The fight may have killed the fish regardless of what care it received after it was landed, but the 10 minute ride back to the dock out of water darn sure didn't help. A lot of boats aren't equipped to handle something like that. Personally, if I had caught a fish like that without a livewell to support it, then I would be calling Lilley or flagging somebody down to try get another boat down there that can handle the fish while keeping it in water with a net. It such a freak thing though that it's hard to be prepared for it if it does happen to you. I'd bet a lot of the people fishing the tournament didn't even have a net capable of handling a fish like that either.

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14 minutes ago, Seth said:

The fight may have killed the fish regardless of what care it received after it was landed, but the 10 minute ride back to the dock out of water darn sure didn't help. A lot of boats aren't equipped to handle something like that. Personally, if I had caught a fish like that without a livewell to support it, then I would be calling Lilley or flagging somebody down to try get another boat down there that can handle the fish while keeping it in water with a net. It such a freak thing though that it's hard to be prepared for it if it does happen to you. I'd bet a lot of the people fishing the tournament didn't even have a net capable of handling a fish like that either.

Yeah agree on most not being prepared.  Been there before LOL.  You can never have enough net :)

Was not aware it was out of the water that long... I mean even if you can stick its head in the livewell, give it a chance, or like you said try to keep it in the water until you can get a boat with a bigger livewell down there.  It's fishing though and its gonna happen.  Still a fantastic catch by the angler.  Just another indicator that at some point I hope we see the world record come out of Taney.

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6 minutes ago, JestersHK said:

Yeah agree on most not being prepared.  Been there before LOL.  You can never have enough net :)

Was not aware it was out of the water that long... I mean even if you can stick its head in the livewell, give it a chance, or like you said try to keep it in the water until you can get a boat with a bigger livewell down there.  It's fishing though and its gonna happen.  Still a fantastic catch by the angler.  Just another indicator that at some point I hope we see the world record come out of Taney.

Ol chunky butt Frank is still in there and growing so he may be there in a few years barring he doesn't get caught and killed off. I was told that a fish bigger than Frank was supposedly shocked up at some point this past year, but I've only heard it from one source so who knows if that's even true. You know Frank, Frankie and Carl aren't the only three giant browns roaming that lake. Surely there are some mega diploids still around.

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Hardly anyone is prepared to land a big trout.  I'm not sure our G3 livewells are big enough and we're on the lake everyday.  Our pontoons don't.  Our jon boats have a long enough well but the opening isn't big enough, plus the water isn't deep enough.

But on a tournament day, there's a big group of very good trout fishermen targeting fish and it does seem like they are more likely to land one than most anyone else.  Both have been caught on jigs.  Guides fish crawlers every day and they do catch nice fish but not the big browns.  I mean big, big browns.  Not so far.

The idea behind the measure tournament is catch a lot of trout of all sizes and release them without harm.  I like the idea of scoring the length of the 8 longest trout... might be something to kick around.

Lilleys Landing logo 150.jpg

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It seems a catch and release tournament is a good compromise between sport and conservation. However, I really don't have an issue with doing a weigh in tournament or two per year. As for the big brown, I wonder if they tried to stop along the way back to give it time in the water? With such a large fish, the tourney would have been the last thing on my mind. I would have pulled into Scottys and made some calls to figure out what to do.

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The weigh in tournaments work best in the winter when surface water temps are cold everywhere and the oxygen levels are really good. The guys running way down the lake this past weekend were pulling fish out of deep water that was still pretty cool and then throwing the fish in a livewell filled with 73 degree water. Those boats brought in a lot of dead fish.

I keep my livewell pumping in fresh water off and on all day long and the trout are annoyingly frisky when I bring them to the weigh in. Phil usually has to wait a while before the fish coming from my boat calm down long enough to get an accurate weight.

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On 8/24/2019 at 6:46 PM, Phil Lilley said:

dwiggins brown.jpg

Have known this man and fished in countless tournaments against him over the past 25 years and I have no doubt whatsoever that he and his partner did everything they could to keep this TROPHY alive. He’s an unbelievable jig fisherman and definitely one of the best out there and I couldn’t be happier for him! Congrats Gerry on a BEAUTIFUL fish... and another win! Can’t wait to hear about it this winter.

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