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Everything posted by justtracytrolling

  1. I hear a lot about filling a box for customers...that's garbage...TEACH just a touch of conservation. Don't care if I go broke I'll never sell out my moral compass to book extra trips. There is NO limiting out on any species on my boat anymore. I haven't had 1 person complain when I explain my conservation practices. My first brown trip the captain who I won't name insisted I take a limit so he could get his pics...I took the limit but refused to let him photograph it...now I go with captain Vince and he lets me put some back and actually encourages it. Also just because a customer wants a picture doesn't mean you have to let them handle a fish that is going back. I swear it's getting ridiculous with the pics...I think guys wouldn't leave the dock if they forgot their camera...can't we just fish? I realize in a put and take fishery releasing fish isn't such a big deal, but I still think captains should never miss an opportunity to teach ethics and conservation. I get it's a business as I'm in it, but it should be a love affair with the fishery not just pictures of fish hanging from hooks on a marina sign...
  2. Really had things dialed last year, but much tougher this year with all the mast. I'm still on the same buck...I've seen him twice this season...he is 6 1/2 now. I have a proper spot now where I have a heatable blind with tinted windows that is just light enough to set right over mark. I can drive my bad boy buggy in electric right to it. Need to put in a new camp hopefully this summer and I'll be set up. Believe me it's a goal of mine to get him on some deer! Tiger musky fishing this year was ridiculous especially numbers and walleye was great till July. Even got into some 6-8 lb browns...yeah I know half the size of the fish you put me on lol! Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!
  3. Please tell your brother Im thrilled for him, and congratulations to you as well! I know exactly how hard you to have to work for just 1 watch... hunting with him was very humbling and really put things in perspective. When hunting is tough I often think of how hard you 2 have to work. It can't tell you enough how happy I am he scored with his bow!
  4. I never got bored fighting smallies or muskies...I got bored mentally targeting them and frustrated with trying to fish around lots of people and not be seen catching good fish in my favorite spots so that when the water is right and you hike through the brush and get to your spot there isn't people already there. It's easy in a boat...you just go some where else. Walleye provided a brand new challenge and there isn't many people out at midnight shore fishing walleye. Catching even 4-5 pound walleye from shore on purpose without someone to show you how, and absolutely nobody was sharing even the tiniest bit of useful info back then, was a real challenge! I only go a handful of times a year because I'm too lazy now that I have a boat and figured I'd probably never get my shore 30 from the river. It's not just full moons guys...I like a new moon just about as much and it not a coincidence last night was the new moon...
  5. River fish are way skinnier and not nearly as impressive!
  6. Many years ago before I had a boat I got a little bored with smallies and musky in the river so I took up walleye. It didn't take long and I was addicted. The goal was always to catch a 30 inch plus walking along the river in the dark with only a few lures in my pocket and no net, no way to really drag one around anyway. I ended up getting a boat and fishing lakes without ever catching my 30. I came close many times and lost a few that might have made it. Since then I've guided many 10+ lbers at Otisco and even a few over 30 but none landed casting over 30. Last night I had to run to the lake anyway so I figured I'd fish from shore and then hit the river after. Otisco was a zero, but the river was on fire once we got it figured out. 3 of us caught 3 between 30 and 31 2 in the mid twenties and I think 23 smaller eyes. Here is the biggest, my first river 30 at 10 lbs and almost 31 inches. Certainly not my heaviest but what a surreal night. A strong deep current and a super long cast made for a great fight and then getting ahold of it proved to be an even bigger challenge. Fish was bleeding a bit so I kept it to mount. We released all the other big ones along with my other fish, and my buddies each kept a limit of eaters. The trigger tonight was a very slow smooth retrieve with long pauses every half turn to turn of the reel after cranking our huskies down as deep as possible...even putting the rod tip down in the water. About a 5 to 7 count on the pause and some even longer. My big one was by far the lightest tap of the night...hj14 in the lighter perch color, but any hj8 to 14 with a white belly worked, but the big ones all came off the 12s and 14s.
  7. Great work guys, but I think you might not want anglers measuring fish in the summer...most of the anglers catching these fish all summer when most musky guys don't target them aren't experienced esox anglers. Personally, I don't even handle them for photos much in summer let alone for a measurement. It would be easy enough to not accept angler measurements in July and August though...and it would set the example not to handle stressed out fish. I'll definitely be looking for the tags!
  8. The 36" has definitely made a difference. There without a doubt are plenty of fish kept for a variety of reasons. I see it all season long. We can't however control that, and attempting to dictate what a person does with his or her legal catch isnt right. We can control our own actions though and set the example for the next generation. For anyone that has any interest in catching a fish like this you have to realize that there is a mortality rate with fish that are released. Therefore any extra handling, or lack of good handling on fish that arent the fish you would love to catch is counterproductive to your own cause. There certainly are situations that are favorable to more handling but there are other situations I wouldn't consider handling the fish. We just have to consider our own practices and hope others do too eventually....and a fish like this is proof conservation efforts make a difference. I definitely think the signage the muskies Inc clubs had made have helped make people give handling some thought. The clubs efforts have to be helping and I'm thankful for their efforts and ask everyone just to think about handling just a little if you intend to release your catch.
  9. I had a pretty decent one swimming on top that bumped into me while I was floating/swimming this summer. Tracy saw it, thought it was a floater and hollered to me to turn around and when I did I was about face to face as it bumped my "raft". Didn't bother either of us and we both went on about our day, but I often think I have it coming! Ive certainly had them go after me big time in a net, and bobcat here on the forum had one lunge up at latch on his bicep I believe.
  10. That's a great catch! This is a tiger musky not a pure l.
  11. On Otisco work the outside edges of the weeds 14-16 fow with either jerk trolling or casting. Walleye and bass sized lures are perfect size. Usually a slow finesse style works great if the fish are actively feeding, and aggressive jerk trolling will produce reaction bites often times when they aren't feeding. Deep walleye style trolling also produces big fish, but it takes a lot of hours of fishing per fish. The lake has been fishing very well all season and 8-10 fish days have been a common occurrence all season if you put your time in. Jerkbaits (lucky craft pointers, husky jerks and smithwicks), a jig and a keitech, a mepps 5, and glide baits make up most my arsenal casting. A j13 or hj14 are pretty much the biggest stuff I use on tigers regularly. You can pm me if you have any other questions...
  12. I've seen hundreds of tigers out of Otisco and even caught a bunch close to that size, but that's a truly remarkable beast. Just look at the head! It's awesome to see a fish reach this level of maturity in a small lake! This is exactly why we need to do our best at minimizing stress and handling when releasing fish...they absolutely can reach amazing size if we give them the opportunity. Seeing a fish like this should make us realize how silly a bump board measurement really is on most of the fish we catch... obviously tournaments are a different matter, but for the most part let's just get em back in the water where we have the absolute best chance at a safe release if we really want fish of this caliber! By no means am I saying a person can't keep a legal fish for whatever reason they choose, but if we are releasing them let's release em the best we can and always try to get better!
  13. Nice work and nice fish! It's been as good a year as I can remember from day 1 till now.....and really not many boats considering how awesome the bite has been.
  14. If you are always fishing water deeper than 50 and less than 100 (Otisco), or want to see further than 100' out then the gen 3 is worth the money. Screen size is far more important than gen 3 over gen 2!
  15. With all the night walleye casting I do I'm always amazed by the amount of tigers active on top water at night. I've never really targeted them, and the ones I've hooked have been tough to land on light walleye tackle. Friday night the walleye fishing was slow and I was waiting for some fish to show and decided to try some top water for tigers and bass. I tied a Whopper plopper on my heavier spin setup (Denali noirwood med hvy with a stradic ci4+ 4500) and worked it slow in 2-3 fow. Second cast the water explodes and as soon as I set up on something heavy my drag is screaming and my Whopper plopper is heading for deeper water. I tighten down on my drag a bit and after a nice fight we get a decent tiger in the net. Fish wasn't handled or measured, but fairly thick and heavy. Next year I'm going to offer night trips for tigers for anyone interested. It's actually much easier to locate tigers and active tigers at night...landing em in the dark is bit tougher tho!
  16. Fishing has definitely picked up after a slow summer. Water level is down about a foot and clarity is good. Daytime walleye trolling offshore is productive in the 25-35 feet down range. Bite has been all spoons for me. At night there are active fish on shore, but you have to do some looking to find em. I've been casting f18s, but anywhere there is some water column over the weeds I'd go with hj14s.
  17. I liked my gen 2, and I love the gen 3. If you plan on getting the most out of the si you need at least a 9.
  18. Beauty John! Great to see you and have time to chat.
  19. I have 2 of the 12s and a friend of mine has the 10 and for what I do Im glad I have 12s, but honestly if you aren't making money with it the 10 is all you ever need. Not sure how many different views you intend to use but you definitely have to dedicate the full width to si to really get enough detail. So basically you can't put up 4 views and utilize the si to it's capability...and it's the same with a 12.
  20. Casting I'm using f18s.... trolling I'm running spoons still
  21. It definitely should pick up...it's picked up over here finally for both casting at night and trolling.
  22. Be safe and enjoy! The pole climbing spurs are shorter than the tree spurs I've tried, but that was almost 3 decades ago. I'll take a sealed up warm Maverick 6 with a comfy chair!
  23. Great fish! Don't beat yourself up too much...those of us who are honest about it will tell you we made mistakes in the beginning as well. Plan, prepare, research...all great, but when it comes down to it it takes practice. Doesn't matter how good you get at handling muskies there will always be some mortality though not handling and measuring fish is the BEST option. Bump boards and cameras are pretty tough on muskies too....Only way to protect them all is to take the hooks out and even then sometimes there eyes are bigger than their stomachs!
  24. Buy a remote steering trolling motor like a terrova and you will be all set. Forget spreads and techniques! It's first and foremost about boat control...always! I fish more wind with 9 lines and no mate than is possible on big water and I control the boat no problem. When you have 4 and 5 footers I'm fishing the same wind on 2 footers... Once you have boat control then worry about spreads...and you don't need core or sinkers or weights necessarily. A couple plain ole 10 lb mono rods and diving plugs is all you NEED to get started. I caught a ton of fish starting out there with 3 rods, 3 rod holders and a handful of plugs...oh and 2 yellow birds!
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