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Displaying Posts 1 through 15 of 9,298
mendota
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3/21/15 8:05 PM CST
Things are a bit slow on this thread, so I thought I would post our 2015 Pike fishing summary:

We managed to get a line in the water on 7 of the 9 weekends of icefishing available to us this year, getting in 18 angler-trips and 160 angler-hours. We only managed 29 pike, averaging 27.7”, so it took about 5.5 hours per pike, not real good. On the bright side, pike were caught on 16 of the 18 angler trips, but not many good fish – our top 5 were 38.25, 34, 34, 33.5, 32.5.

It was an odd season. Our “first ice” trip was only about 7 or 8 days after first safe ice, and we found 10-12” of ice wherever we drilled. And once again, bad weather and unusually thick ice in the late season, pushing 24”, made life fun. No real pattern to the bite developed for us this year, although the pm fishing was generally slower than am.

Weeds were at a minimum I have never observed in over 20 years in the area we fish, which I think had something to do with our poor action this year. In areas where normally there would be 8-12’ of water, with weeds up to within a few feet of the surface, the bottom was barren. The thickest weeds we could find were rather pathetically sparse, and only 3’ high in 7-8’ of water.

Another oddity was the walleye action. In addition to the pike, we iced 8 walleye, all legal, with 24” and 26” that were released, the rest between 19” and 21.5”. These fish were caught in the first 2 hours of light, or the last hour of light / first hour of dark, all on 5”+ shiners. We only encountered action on a few occasions – it seemed that packs of fish were in the area one day, and then gone. Ironically, our best walleye day was the last day of the season – we put 4 on the ice, lost a couple others, and my brother caught and took home a limit of walleye.

I’ve seen a few others have posted, I’m always interested in comparing notes with other fishermen that target pike thru the ice.

scmuskies
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3/17/15 4:47 PM CST
LOST & FOUND: I did not find this, but if you lost an Otter case with equipment, please see the link below.

Again - I did not find it, just came across the link & figured it best to post here as well.

http://madison.craigslist.org/spo/4936722410.html

ultramicro
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3/16/15 10:22 PM CST
"To release any fish that has been hooked at any depth there is no guarantee it will survive because of the fight. I suggest that those who are concerned enough to bully strangers never fish again because they will be guilty of the same offense they condemn others for."

Yes, I also believe we should act upon the reality principle. At the same time, those of us who have fished these lakes for many years have had proven to ourselves (regretfully, too many times) that fish caught from great depth do not survive the journey to the surface. What I hope for is that each of us learns our own essential lessons and that we CONTINUE TO STEP UP! In practical terms, that could mean moving away from schools of undersized fish, or ending fishing for the day once 25 have been iced. Smile

Neisenhut2011
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3/16/15 7:56 PM CST
Ice Depth: 13"
Ice is definitely starting to do the honey comb. Went out about 6 am with a rough time getting on as the shorelines are depreciating rapidly. I've been out a couple times the past week trying to find the cats, I just wanted to fight one through the ice. My buddy and I had no such luck. Is there anyone that could tell me for future reference where the best place to start for them may be? Any information is appreciated. Thanks

therapy-by- fishin'
therapy-by- fishin'
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3/16/15 8:15 AM CST
To release any fish that has been hooked at any depth there is no guarantee it will survive because of the fight. I suggest that those who are concerned enough to bully strangers never fish again because they will be guilty of the same offense they condemn others for.

bigstorm
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FISHING REPORT
3/16/15 8:05 AM CST
Out on Saturday with another person, ended with enough perch for a meal but for the most part, it was pretty slow. Did manage a few big whitebass though - this were fun on a noodle rod

Back out yesterday on my own for the last trip of the season. Did much better. Brought home 20 decent perch and 2 whitebass. Also caught a 23" walleye (figures as the season is closed). Caught him in 60ft on a noodle rod with 3lb test so it took me a long time to bring him up as he made a few runs on me. The bladder was not showing in its mouth at all so it gives me hope that it might survive

rk_diver
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3/16/15 7:56 AM CST
Getting the fish back down to the bottom is only half of the equation. There's also the possible damage to it's internal organs caused by the expanding air bladder and any other areas of the body which hold air that expands. The practice of "fizzing" is hotly among experts. Some states require it, others forbid it. You might feel better watching the fish swim down the hole but you certainly have not guaranteed it's survival.

BIGBLUETRUCK
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3/16/15 7:05 AM CST
I live in Rock county,i know of 2 lakes that are a 20 minute drive from me where I can catch decent size perch in water that is 4-8 feet deep.On a good day I can get a limit in a matter of hours and not have to worry about releasing a fish that might die.All you people who think you have to fish deep to catch perch are full of it.I`m sure there are plenty of other lakes where perch can be found in shallower water and thus no need to fuss over whether or not a released fish will survive or not. Cool

therapy-by- fishin'
therapy-by- fishin'
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3/16/15 6:33 AM CST
Some people seem to have a need to bully folks who post reports. Too bad for them.

herbsuperb
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3/16/15 5:29 AM CST
"it clearly states that the process is reversed when the fish reach the depth they were caught at"

I'm sorry but I must protest. It says no such thing. It says quickly returning a fish to that depth with a device built to do so (dropping them in the hole does not count) MIGHT give them a chance at survival, but there is little hard data to back up survival rates. From a depth of 30 feet I could see such a method being largely effective, but not from 60 feet. If barotrauma is a lethal problem for Perch/Walleye at 30 feet, they are going to die if brought up quickly from twice that depth.

I posted the link again, but in case people missed it, it is a very interesting article.

http://www.rebeccaeberts.ca/barotrauma-in-fish-can-we-catch-and-release/

I encourage others to post literature on this issue if they can find it. The more you know, right? If anybody out there is using some kind of gadget, either home made our purchased, intended to give deep caught fish a chance at a successful release, please tell us about it. I fear too many are releasing fish through the hole in the ice and assuming they survive.

The consensus seems to be, if you are catching fish from over 30 feet deep, keep what you catch and hope for the best. It's the best way to conserve stocks and avoid waste.

snagger54
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FISHING REPORT
3/15/15 9:54 PM CST
I also keep what I catch anyone that fishes with me keeps what they catch they 're dead at 60 ft coming up that depth.No CPR will help ! Saturday was my last day of fishing on Lake Mendota this season .The ice is honeycombing and then I believe is unsafe ,there's too much of a risk factor for me.I had a good perch season this year, happy with what I caught.Well to next season tight lines be safe.Snagger! :-)!¿?

fish magnet
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3/15/15 8:42 PM CST
CDS, PM me the article that obviously got deleted.

Make sure to practice C@R when catching perch in deep water. HAHAHAHAHAHA

I guess someone couldn't handle the truth. But it is ok to admit to killing 45 fish intentionally, so you can keep 15 keepers, and your post isn't deleted?????? and mine is, because of criticizing them????? I practice what I preach. I keep what I catch, and there isn't anything wrong with perch tater chips. This practice that these people do year after year is totally unacceptable. If you can't catch fish big enough for your standards, GO TO ANOTHER LAKE, MOVE, or keep what you catch.

herbsuperb
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3/15/15 3:19 PM CST
Excellent article cds. Thanks so much for posting. Clearly we are all responsible for helping to maintain a healthy fishery and ensuring that our own actions and harvest methods don't adversely affect that system.

http://www.rebeccaeberts.ca/barotrauma-in-fish-can-we-catch-and-release/

The simple fact is that if you are catching perch/walleye from a depth of more than 25-30 feet, it is extremely traumatic for the fish, and will typically result in death at some point in the near future. Neither fish are known for fight, and usually come up very quickly. Always check for ANY signs of trauma in fish caught from such depths. It is irresponsible to release any that show such signs as a way of circumventing bag limits, which are for the benefit of all the anglers that use these waters.

Best advice for conservation is to harvest what you catch from such depths, or move to shallower water where you have the luxury of being more selective.

That being said I think it also safe to say that these lakes are all veritable panfish factories. There are plenty of fish out there, but waste is a poor policy. In Perch and Walleye the very large females are believed to be the most important elements of the breeding stock. Harvesting them should be avoided.

In Bluegills, Crappie, and Bass, the large males are most important because they are the ones who build nesting colonies, attract the females to spawn there where the young can be protected, and guard the eggs and fry from predation and other damage. Without those large males, the eggs and fry are far more vulnerable. So avoid taking such fish. Smaller fish are numerous and largely expendable by nature. Better to take a few of them than a large important breeding adult. Nature expects a large portion of young fish to be consumed, that's why they breed in such large numbers. Based on all I've read and discussions with others, the consensus with gills/crappie seems to be to harvest a good balance, leaning more towards females and smaller fish.

I'll stop preaching now, but please people. Read up on responsible ways to conserve the fish stocks we all enjoy, and do the right thing. Only release fish that are certain to survive in good order. If you kill one, and can't harvest it, count it towards your limit for the day. Bag limits are there for a reason. Don't kill fish for no reason. I'm not an expert, just a concerned angler. It's a good conversation to have, but don't be vicious until you need to. Give others the benefit of the doubt and educate, don't insult.

Looks like we might get an early start to the OW season for a change this year. Best of luck to everyone this year. I'll be hammering those big Mendota kitties again this year. Those brutes are tough.

Tight lines all.

Smile

[This post was last edited on 3/15/15 at 3:20 PM]
TJ
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FISHING REPORT
3/15/15 1:01 PM CST
Ice Depth: 18" Conditions: Sunny Air Temp: 51° - 55° F Water Temp: Below 40° F
Hit Mendota yesterday from Governor's Island. Scouted access on Friday night and the west access at GI looked best. Other access points were opening up along the shore.

Saturday, wolked out from the west lot with no problem. Saw one ATV go through the expansion crack about 100 yards off the east side of GI. Same track as a couple other ATV's, but the third one didn't make it. Took a while, but they got it out. My advice - if you go out - WALK. It's any easy pull with creepers.

Fishing - started in 45', tagged one right away, then nothing. Fish moving through, but no biters. Moved around and picked up one here, one there. No consistent pattern other than lots of schools with no biters. Ended up out with the group in ~60 feet near Dunn's. That was the most 'consistent' area, but still bites were few and far between. When you got bit, it was usually a nice fish (10"-12"). Kept enough for a meal.

That will be my last ice trip of the year. The main ice sheet on Mendota was still 16-18" thick, but the auger revealed the honeycombing process to be well underway. Auger cut up large 'crystals' of ice, not shaving like you get when it's solid.

With the temps forecest for today, tonight and tomorrow, I advise you get the boat ready rather than get stuck on an 'ice raft' out on Mendota.

therapy-by- fishin'
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FISHING REPORT
3/15/15 8:52 AM CST
Walked an estimated 6 miles total on Mendota . Wanted the exercise so the 4 wheeler was left at home.By the sounds of it , it was a good decision as the launches are shot. Very easy pulling sled with minimal gear. Tent colony was solid on at 6 a.m. and off at 5 p.m. Managed 15 perch (threw back 3 times as many dinks) and 6 huge white bass between 2 guys. plenty of ice and if I didn't have to work I would do the same thing into this week.

Displaying Posts 1 through 15 of 9,298


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