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Finders Keepers

Largest Pike this winter?

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The NYS Winter Classic kicks off this Thursday - who's going to claim first place in the pike division and where will it come from? with so many great pike waterways in NYS, it's GAME ON for all pike anglers!! Remember, event with the slow start to the ice season, you can always fish the open water!! Good luck!! Check out all the details and watch the leaderboard at: www.NYSwinterclassic.com

 

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The NYS Winter Classic kicks off this Thursday - who's going to claim first place in the pike division and where will it come from?

 

I'm putting my money on a private farm pond, just like some of the other tourney's..

Edited by devoknevo

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Really? I haven't fished a tournament in my 30+ years of tourney fishing that has been won by a pike out of a private pond - I'll be amazed if someone can produce a 25+ lb pike out of their pond! And I'll be super jealous too!! Can't wait to see how it all turns out though!!

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Too bad this event will result in some nice fish being killed.

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

I wish there were a way to prevent it, but it's the nature of the beast and human nature at play. We're entertaining ideas on how to make a C&R category for next year's event, but the logistics are looking nightmarish so far.

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I understand that if you catch a legal fish in a legal way you can feed it to your cat if you want. It's your right. I just hate to see new york sponsor what amounts to a kill 'em all tournament. Why not a photo on a bump board be allowed? Let the winner be inches and not pounds?

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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I understand that if you catch a legal fish in a legal way you can feed it to your cat if you want. It's your right. I just hate to see new york sponsor what amounts to a kill 'em all tournament. Why not a photo on a bump board be allowed? Let the winner be inches and not pounds?

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

If you want to buy the photo analysis software and do the work of analyzing all the top placements, maybe that could be an option. With the ease of photo editing these days, a tourney of this magnitude would open Pandora's box for cheating. I've seen what smaller photo tourneys go through and there's no way it can be done with this event. I wish we could, but that's the reality of it.

 

We have 55 anglers in at this point not counting in-person registrations at our weigh-ins. Now that the ice is forecast to set-up, we should see our numbers shoot up.

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I see your point. But i still say too many ice caught fish are whacked for the chance at a few bucks snd some glory. I saw a guy cut the head off a 20lb class pike at conesus once and dump the torso. He said he wanted a mount but didn't want to pay for the whole mount. Butthead,

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It amazes me all the flack we get for starting something that can become great and generate some much needed revenue for many things here in NYS (fish stocking programs to name one), even the Ice Pro-Am events which are C&R events!! While the huge tournaments out west go on without protest, with 1,000's of anglers crammed onto small waterways, and yet their fishery remains strong. I guess their fish reproduce much better than ours... 

 

This event is based on the LOC derbies held on Lake Ontario - events that take many trout and salmon from the lake every year and yet the fishery remains strong. This event will take fish out of the waterways too, no doubt. But I strongly believe this event will have little to no impact on the fishery, just like all other events of this nature. 

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I can feel old man's point. Good thing we live in a state (NY) that does appreciate the Esocidae family along with just about all others. Some states (trouty centric......I made that up :P,....... but you know what I mean. Esox are no channidae...snakeheads), require them to be killed if caught. And wontonly killing fish for fun is childish and just simply murderous. Not to mention wasteful.....pike taste great. Pike are plentiful around these parts and they do co-exist well in waters with other types. And since they are almost everywhere; from the fingers to bays of the Big O to the canal and it's tributaries, small lakes and ponds like the Mendons and in swampy lowlands, I really do not think their numbers will be adversely affected in any one water body. As long as the win is not determined by total overall poundage of fish, just biggest size, I think the pike population will be OK. That said....how much data actually is compiled on pike populations in waters statewide? How would we really know if populations would or could suffer? There are all kinds of moral and even environmental issues with a tourney based on any living thing's demise. But..... if done with a certain amount of reverence respect and appreciation for the quarry and rules on how fish must be handled and entered.....I think it could be fun as well as good for environments.

Edited by panfisher

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If the tournament is giving back to the NY State Stocking Program for what fish? Most likely not for northern pike stocking to replenish fish that were killed.That also means mostly bigger northern pike will be killed, the best spawnders of the species.The NY State Northern Pike regulations during Ice fishing are the reason now why the average size has declined in almost every water where there once were giants as it is, kill tournaments just help in that decline.

Edited by mostlymuskies

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Muskies Inc. runs a Catch & Release Tournament for the entire season for Muskies done with measurements in inches with a witness signing off on Tournament Release Form.So there is no reason why the Northern Pike part of this Tournament can't be a Catch & Release category as well!

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Muskies Inc. runs a Catch & Release Tournament for the entire season for Muskies done with measurements in inches with a witness signing off on Tournament Release Form.So there is no reason why the Northern Pike part of this Tournament can't be a Catch & Release category as well!

As a tournament director I have to wonder how many anglers are in this season event, and how many muskies are caught on a daily basis, and how many waterways does this cover? Does it require a photo and is there photo analysis used? I'm not going to run a STATEWIDE event on hundreds (if not thousands) of waterways (where pike are prevalent unlike musky), involving $100,000's in prize monies, that has the chance of losing its integrity so a few pike can be released. Not to mention it is likely impossible to do any sound photo analysis on all the entries. A similar argument can also be made on the flip side where releasing the larger pike and keeping them in the waterways could be stunting the growth of the overall population.

 

Please keep in mind, we are planning this event for future years, as it grows, where it will likely involve over 50,000 anglers, with first place prize checks of $25,000 or more and paying down 20 or more places. We've seen the temptation to cheat for prizes as little as $1,000, and it will only be that much greater when over a quarter of a million dollars is on the line! Nature of running large events! If it's not for you, that's fine, just don't enter.

Edited by Finders Keepers

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Trophy size back into the waterNorthern Pike will bring more tourism dollars to NY State then a tournament that cuts down the numbers of Trophy size Northern Pike! People travel on vacation to where they can catch not only the most of the species they target but also the largest of that species! If we do not take good conservation steps to protect the fisheries we have, they will not be here in the future.Even one Pro Walleye Circuit has gone to Catch & Release with on board measurement & weighing,Then quickly back into the water to swim away.Do not take me wrong I'm all for persons keeping fish to eat to supplement ones food source, but to just kill a fish for a prize when that fish could have been released to keep your fishery strong, that is where I draw a line!

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You leave me no choice but to take this issue to the NY State Conservation Council through Resolution!Asking that all Tournaments for Muskie, Tiger Muskie & Northern Pike in NY State to be Catch & Release Only and a NYSDEC Permit must be issued like the NYSDEC Tournament Permit required for individual lakes, rivers and state lands now!Again everyone has the right to keep any legal fish they catch,hopefully for consumption, but to just kill Trophy fish for a prize when those fish are not stocked on a put & take basis is just wrong!I will also check with the NYSDEC to see if they can issue a NYSDEC Tournament Permit for all waters in NY State or if you need a Permit for each Water the Tournament will take place, any Tournament with 20 or more participates for prizes requires Permits.Also if you payout any prize over $600 you must file a NY State Tax Return showing this!Could be easier for you to just do Catch & Release for the Northern Pike catagory!

Edited by mostlymuskies

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You act add though I am new to this game. Why stop at just pike? Make it for every species! :D The DEC is aware of our events as are the local agencies where run or events, and our corporation files all necessary taxes. But thanks for checking!

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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We are looking at the possibility of a C&R aspect for next year, but at this point, without fully looking at the logistics, didn't seem feasible. Again we are open to suggestions.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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They have small walleye tournaments all over lake Ontario and have been going for an easy 15 years without I'll effects. Why is it that the pike can't handle the tournament pressure of 1 or 2 tournaments?

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Agreed. Conesus lake has multiple pike tournaments every winter where all pike are kept, yet it remains one of the best pike lakes in the state.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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The other species of fish are stocked, Northern Pike are not stocked on a normal basis in NY State and the years for a Northern Pike to get to 48 to 50 inches could be as long as 30 years.Just like when you take all the big bucks out of one area you loose that gene pool of continued big bucks, same goes for Northern Pike, plus the bigger Northern Pike are the best spawnders to continue year classes.Why not just not have a category for Northern Pike this year until you can setup Catch & Release for next year?

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Don't get me wrong, I'm all for C&R, except when it comes to tournaments - the integrity of the event must be kept.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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Conesus use to be a fishery where one could catch multiple Northern Pike over 45" during open water season! Not anymore because of the liberal ice fishing limits allowed on those Northern Pike your lucky if you can now catch one overv40" in a season of fishing!

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