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BigMac

Keep vs release

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Try catching one where there is unlimited bait!!! They are elusive anywhere where they are well fed and bursting at the seams with fat!

 

I can't argue with that.  Seeing nice big marks on the screen and getting zero bites is always a kick in the tenders.

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RG9 agree 100 percent with your statements. For us to go out this time of the year and do 120 pounds live weight with 4 guys is not uncommon. And yes same here. We eat em all and share with others that can't catch them and they all say the same thing. Taste great. Its how you clean them.

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If I were able to fish more than the couple times/month that I have free, if do some C&R, but since I fish mostly for the meat, I keep my limit of legal fish when I actually am able to catch a limit (doesn't happen very often)

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Excellent points here.... I love walleye. Who doesnt?!!! I am a novice walleye fisherman and every fish is a thrill..... That said, 8lbs and up go back to reproduce another day. Simply try to respect the resources we all enjoy and hope it makes a difference.

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To all the Lake Erie eye fishermen/ladies you folks are certainly blessed to have such a great fishery in your back yard. I have been fortunate enough to fish the western basin in the spring using hair jigs in 8-10ft of water where you can't get the fish off fast enough to get back at it, and also been there during the transition from jigs to worm harnesses, a true blast. I also fished the central basin where we ran up to the Canadian line to catch nice 24-26" eyes. On my bucket list is to fish the Eastern basin, Dunkirk ect. That lake is loaded with eyes and I feel that natural reproduction is at it best as the locals call the size of the fish, the hatch of 2009, 2011 and some hogs the hatch of 2007 ect. There was talk of lowering the creel limit but that didn't happen do to a excellent hatch in the years that allowed the limit to stay as is. The locals respect their fishery and I witnessed many of the big girls put back in the lake, even the charter we took the first time out said "its not the law but to protect our jobs and the future fishermen we would appreciate if you guys release the big girls, you will get your limit of eyes I promis you that" Maybe if that was the practis of all of us there would be more natural reproduction through out the big LakeO. I by no means are preaching catch and release, and all of us that are serious eye fishermen know the cost of everything just to catch one of these elusive critters, so if it's a 10# eye that hits the deck I don't blame you one bit if she hits the frying pan, but if you are lucky enough to live close to your favorite eye spot and catch a limit every other day than maybe it would be good practice to release a few of the big girls for the next youth fisher folks to enjoy. Again I'm not against anything within the rules and regs. Tight lines to all and a freezer full of the other white meat!!!

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Just curious what people's habits are with regards to Lake Ontario walleye. Not trying to start a flame war or anything like that as we are all legally aloud to keep fish with the proper license.

Personally I keep probably 5-10 fish per year. One, because they are generally too large and not as tasty as little guys

Two, I believe in conservation, especially with larger fish.

I was out Saturday and we caught 5 walleye between 4-11lbs and all went back.

I know in Canada we are only legally allowed to possess one limit in our freezer, is this the same in New York?

It actually hurts me seeing 10lb + walleye being kept to eat. I have kids and want them to enjoy trophies also.

(Don't kill me for this post pls, just curious)

I knew that you are only allowed to travel with one day's catch in Canada. So if you are there several days, you can eat some while you are there but can only bring one day's catch home.

 

Are you saying that residents can only possess one days catch in your freezer at home? Do you have to eat some before you can keep more? Does this mean that you can't stock up on them during the season for the winter? Can you possess a total equal to the limits of all family members or residents added together?

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The way I understand the regs , u can only have in your freezer one limit per licensed angler in the home. That said they don't enforce it at all.

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I'm all for putting back bigger size walleye but it depends on how deep the walleye was caught from, some times because the air bladder may be hanging out the fishes mouth and most likely a dead fish if tossed back.Also if your guiding for walleye,customers sometimes never keep any fish,but most want their limit.On my boat they get only their limit and its the first 6 walleye of legal size they catch!

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The one thing about Erie is the lake protects those walleye about 250 days a year with the season change and wind. Also there is a definite decrease in fishing pressure in my opinion.

I think this conversation applies a little more to smaller lakes and or lakes with limited natural reproducing. I know it's backwards but we throw the ones under 20 inches back a lot.

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RD9,That is not backwards.I prefer eating smaller walleye,but want something on the fillet as well.I like 21" to 23" walleyes myself and I usually only keep what I plan to eat when fishing for pleasure instead of a charter,so I release smaller eyes as well.

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Those little ones don't have cheeks as big either. In the tournaments we throw a lot of little ones back under 5 lbs.

This is a little off topic but taking an 8lb eye's back strap and cutting it into one inch sections (like a deer back strap) frying pan with olive oil and garlic and pepper just so it's barely cooked and then dip in garlic butter.

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