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old man

Otisco tournament

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Is this still on for the 21st? It's not on the website or at least i don't see it. Also there was talk of rule changes for this event at last week's meeting. It doesn't affect me as I have never caught a fish in a tournament but the word needs to get out.

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What's the rule change?  Looking forward to fishing again with Mike this year.  Lucky for him I was able to find a babysitter for the day :)

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The discussion is to determine winners by length and requiring that all fish entered be the legal size of 36" or longer. Purpose being to reduce handling and possible delayed mortality of sub-legal fish. There will still be prizes for first through third place so we need to come up with a plan for awards in case there are no fish or less than 3 fish of legal size or larger.

 

Possible solutions:

1) Any prizes for which there is no legal fish will be awarded via blind drawing of all entrants.

2) Same as (1) except draw from entrants who released a sub-legal fish. They should be water released (with in water photo) except if it is close to the legal limit and a measurement is needed to determine eligibility. Limit one per person to discourage targeting small fish.

 

I am also leaning toward having a one prize per entrant limit.

 

We are also considering similar rules for the Chautauqua and Waneta tournaments. Since it is purebred muskies, the minimum size would be 40".

 

We want your opinions. Comments and suggestions are encouraged.

 

We need to finalize rules. I want to have rules finalized by Fri, May 6th.

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I like the second solution better, picture of the fish in the net, maybe with something handed out that morning proving it was from that day. Maybe assign 1 point to each sub-legal fish entered, that way if no legal fish are caught the winners are still determined by fish caught.

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I like the second solution better, picture of the fish in the net, maybe with something handed out that morning proving it was from that day. Maybe assign 1 point to each sub-legal fish entered, that way if no legal fish are caught the winners are still determined by fish caught.

I think that it should be only one chance for a drawing for any prizes that were not claimed by legal fish for anyone who caught one or more sub-legal size fish. That will help to not encourage targeting numbers of sub-legal size fish and more concentration on catching legal size fish. And for those who catch subsequent small fish may be inclined to do a quick release.

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I'll expand my thoughts using the possible scenarios (or at least the ones I can think of)...

 

Scenario A-  legal fish were caught to cover all 3 places.

  • Angler 1: 42" fish
  • Angler 2: 40" fish
  • Angler 3: 37" fish

No issues with Scenario A, use normal MI points system.

 

Scenario B-  legal fish do not cover all 3 places.

  • Angler 1: 42" fish
  • Angler 2: 40" fish
  • Angler 3: 32" fish

Say two anglers scored legal fish. Options could be:

                          -third place get split between the two with legal fish

                          -third place goes to the winner of a random drawing between all entered participants

                          -third place goes to whoever has the most sub-legal fish caught

                          -third place goes to the winner of a random drawing between those who have caught a sub-legal fish

 

Scenario C

  • Angler 1: 35" fish
  • Angler 2: 33" fish
  • Angler 3: 28" fish

Nobody scored a legal fish but many sub-legal fish were kept. Options could be:

                          -all places goes to the winner of a random drawing between all entered participants

                          -all places goes to whoever has the most sub-legal fish caught

                          -all places goes to the winner of a random drawing between those who have caught a sub-legal fish

 

Scenario D

  • No tigers caught.

Say nobody catches a fish. I would assume all would want to do a random drawing, probably splitting available prizes evenly (33.3% each)

 

I feel that only Scenario B and C need to be decided. I think the best way to score a place that needs to be filled using sub-legal fish would be to assign 1 point for each sub-legal fish (it would take 11 sub-legal fish to beat the minimum 36" fish worth 10 points). This way if somebody catches 3 35" fish, they do not get beat by somebody who caught a 25" fish or someone who did not catch any fish at all.

 

As far as people targeting sub-legal fish, I'm not sure I understand how one targets a 30" fish over a 36". Typically we are all trying to catch the biggest fish possible, otherwise we would be fishing for different species but I understand that sometimes tourneys/$$$ can affect peoples motives. Are you referring to location on the lake, water depth, lure size or lure choice?

 

I feel counting each sub-legal fish as one point would be the fairest to the anglers who catch fish.

 

I feel a random drawing of all participants would be the most conservation friendly (which is why we are having this discussion) since all sub-legal fish would be unhooked in the water and released immediately).

 

I am interested in hearing others' opinions...

Edited by Tigerhunter

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I feel that legal fish should score as they always have. And any award places that dont get filled should be a random drawing of all participants. This would encourage more less expirienced anglers to join the fun. I also feel that if there are any young adults or children, and there is an awards spot available due to lack of legal fish caught, a drawing of just the children should be done. Again to encourage the adults to include the kids.

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It's not so much the targeting of sub legals we want to avoid. It's the handling I think. Why play around with small tigers for a pic for a chance at a drawing. You bought that with your entry fee.

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As long as we only score legal fish Im open to anything. As far as incentives to include kids I think that will have to wait till summer as we don't have time to plan.

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I feel that legal fish should score as they always have. And any award places that dont get filled should be a random drawing of all participants. This would encourage more less expirienced anglers to join the fun. I also feel that if there are any young adults or children, and there is an awards spot available due to lack of legal fish caught, a drawing of just the children should be done. Again to encourage the adults to include the kids.

Are you saying to use the points system and not longest fish. So if an angler catches 2 legal fish they would add together. With the original point system 30" = 4 points and each additional inch adds another point. So a 36" = 10 point, 37" = 11 points and so on. So someone who catches two 36" fish would win over someone who catches one 45" fish. Some would argue that the 45" fish should win because most fishing contests are based on either longest or heaviest fish.

Edited by muskiedreams

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Im not in your club so dont count my vote, but I'll give my opinion anyway.

MI counts 30"+ fish for their release contest. I would want a club tournament to match that.

Total points per team/boat is the best format for deciding the winner. Anybody can luck into a big fish and too many potential issues with individual winners as opposed to teams.

Edited by Ivan

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Are you saying to use the points system and not longest fish. So if an angler catches 2 legal fish they would add together. With the original point system 30" = 4 points and each additional inch adds another point. So a 36" = 10 point, 37" = 11 points and so on. So someone who catches two 36" fish would win over someone who catches one 45" fish. Some would argue that the 45" fish should win because most fishing contests are based on either longest or heaviest fish.

Are we also deciding between measuring the longest single fish versus using the MI point system for multiple fish in addition to using the minimum length of 36"?

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Im not in your club so dont count my vote, but I'll give my opinion anyway.

MI counts 30"+ fish for their release contest. I would want a club tournament to match that.

Total points per team/boat is the best format for deciding the winner. Anybody can luck into a big fish and too many potential issues with individual winners as opposed to teams.

Ivan, I understand what you are saying but in many states, the minimum size is 30" so I think that was a major reason MI decided to count fish 30" and above. Since NY State has set the minimum size to 36" for tigers and 40" for purebred muskies, the reasoning is to respect those size limits with tournament rules to minimize unnecessary handling of sub-legal fish. Anglers can measure a fish if they want to since it is not illegal. I still am not 100% in favor of making this change. I am leaning toward the need for further discussion. Another way to reduce unnecessary handling of fish is to go with 1st, 2nd and 3rd longest fish and keep anglers informed throughout the day as to what size is needed to get on the board.

 

With the team method, wouldn't there have to be an equal number of anglers per boat (probably two)? I can see how it can help keep things honest.

 

You say that anybody can luck into a big fish which is true. But that is part of the attraction of a tournament for anglers who are new or haven't fished the body of water before. It helps to level the playing field a little even though the seasoned anglers will still have better odds of winning.

 

Often our tournaments using the points system also include an optional big fish pool with $5 per person who opt to enter and the entire amount goes to the biggest fish.

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Are we also deciding between measuring the longest single fish versus using the MI point system for multiple fish in addition to using the minimum length of 36"?

Tigerhunter, The answer to your question is yes but I am beginning to think it will be best to discuss this further and bring it to a vote of MI NY Chapter 69 members.

 

Since the tiger tournament is only a little more than 3 weeks away, it may be impractical to try to make a change to hastily. Also this is something that might have to be decided upon for each tournament.

 

The main objective in this discussion is to try to keep handling of fish to a minimum in order to minimize the possibility of delayed mortality.

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Keep the points system as its always been....just start at 9 pts for a 36 and up from there...total points per boat. The big fish pool takes care of the fish of the day.

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My suggestion was only to try and keep things simple and as close to "normal" and what everyone else is familiar with as we can. I am ok with largest fish or the scoring system. I would like to see the team scoring used but I think for this derby, we should keep it as similar as we can to what everyone is familiar with. But I would definatley like to see only legal fish counted for any chance to win. Which I think most of us can agree on.

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So wait are all of these changes going to apply to pure breed tournaments as well? I can't say that I really understand the need for these changes...people handle sub legal fish on a daily basis (we've all been doing it for years during every single other tournament) there really is no difference between handling a sub legal fish and a legal fish in regards to possible handling mortality.

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Thanks for your thoughts on this, Ivan.  I 100% agree with you.  I have always appreciated that we ran our tournaments with the National MI tourney rules (point system and min fish size of 30 inches to start the point system...same thing that we use when fishing many other tourneys) and hope that this is something we continue to do for the future.  I also really would love NY tournaments to become boat tournaments instead of individuals on the same boat competing with each other. 

 

Steve:  Per your question re: boats needing the same amount of anglers per boat -- I do not believe this is needed.  While fishing the PMTT, many boats are just a single fisherman while others have two anglers....and there are always single-angler boats cashing in the top 10.  If someone feels that they would have more of an advantage to fish 3, 4, or even more anglers in the their boat, that is there option.  I honestly feel that the more anglers in the boat can sometimes lead to less efficiencies, thus less fish in the boat.

 

--Joe

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I agree Mike, but actually, generally speaking, smaller muskies release easier than larger ones.

ThAnks Joe...you are wise (haha)

As far as the teams, you dont have to limit anything or you can make a max anglers per boat...2 or 3. Or limit the number of rods per boat to say 6.

What happens at waneta or chq tourney with a 40" minimum? You have 15 teams in one of those tourneys. 5 teams catch multiple fish between 36 and 39"s. You would randomly draw winners and potentially award 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place to people that didnt even catch a fish?

Edited by Ivan

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It's about the message we send. If everyone wants to target, catch, and score little fish thats fine....I'm out. I do not want a prize for catching dinks. I don't need a tournament in the first place. I care far more about the message and how we are perceived...that's why I brought this up at the meeting prior to joining and not 1 person said a thing.

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I think the responsible thing to do is have an open discussion about the pros and cons of all the possibilities and have a vote as Steve mentioned. By the sounds of it, it most likely won't be a unanimous decision but I think it would be ignorant of us as a group if we didn't fully assess any proposed change.

I agree that we need to send the right message and I am all for conservation. This is why I initially agreed with it at the meeting knowing we would still have to discuss the actual rule changes and logistics for when there aren't enough legal fish to fill the slots.

The 36" sounded appealing at the time but the more I think about it, my thoughts on it go back and forth.

As far as conservation, Ivan mentioned larger fish being more difficult to release than smaller fish. I have to agree with this as I think most everyone does. In this sense, I don't think the proposed rule change would make us any more "conservation-oriented" as we would still be handling fish that are fragile.

The water temperature should be considered as well. This will likely change year to year but a tournament in May in NY should always provide safe water temps for fishing. I would expect this years water temps to be around 60 degrees based on our weather so far. The fish should be very healthy at this point and I would have no concerns of delayed mortality for any sized fish assuming they were handled properly (from strike to release) and they were not hooked in a bad spot. If it were a tournament in mid summer, then the level of concern should increase with the size of the fish. When the water approaches 80 degrees I personally will either stop fishing for them or look for cooler bodies of water.

Another item that needs to be discussed is how places would be determined if a legal fish wasn't caught. What does it say it the official MI tourney regulations if say only one fish is caught or better yet, no fish are caught? I don't have a copy of the regulations so someone else will have to chime in on this.

I'm not saying I am against it but my concern with just drawing names out of a hat is that it takes away from the competitive nature of a tournament and would not be fair to someone who caught a few low 30's to be beat by someone that possibly didn't catch anything all day. My idea for 1 point per fish under 36" wouldn't really cause unnecessary handling if you define the procedure- ex. take a picture of a fish in the net in the water and then dip the net so the fish swims out. That would literally take 5 seconds and the fish is in the water the whole time.

I look forward to hearing from others that fish this lake and tourney and what their thoughts are on this....

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Tigerhunter, After some of the comments here and thinking about different viewpoints and options, I realized that this is something that should not be done in haste, should be discussed further and any significant proposed change should be voted on by members. Then if we decide to try any changes, it should be on a trial basis and not with all tournaments. If we were to do something like that at a tournament in the Upper Niagara river with the 48" state minimum there, it would be highly likely there would be no qualifying fish. The same thing could also happen at Chautauqua or Waneta with a 40" minimum.

 

The Mark Troy tournament on Waneta Lake is determined by length and judge boat(s) and everyone is kept informed on what it will take to get on the board. The judge boats have still measured many fish that were obviously too small to be in contention but some anglers have occasionally not bothered if they knew a fish was too small to matter. That way they can get back to fishing sooner rather than waiting for the judge boat that is not really needed. It could also give them a chance to catch another fish if they are in a feeding window. One thought is that documenting all fish caught helps give an idea of average size caught, etc. which might be useful to see yearly trends but for this purpose, a quick in water measurement or guesstimate is good enough. But with this type of format, anglers could be encouraged to just release fish that aren't in contention and not to call the judge boat unless a judgement call is needed. So it would help reduce unnecessary handling.

 

I know there are some people who prefer the points system and some who prefer winners are determined by longest fish. I can go either way except I do like a big fish pool with the points system. But since I have never even caught a musky in a tournament and only one small one was caught in my boat in 2 different tournaments, it hasn't mattered much to me. I have caught what would have been the longest fish, on the day after. A little to late. LOL.

 

Occasionally, I have seen a tournament where there were not enough fish to claim all the prizes. It happens sometimes and it does become somewhat of a letdown. But anglers might be very discouraged if it happens due to rules that disqualified some fish.

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It's about the message we send. If everyone wants to target, catch, and score little fish thats fine....I'm out. I do not want a prize for catching dinks. I don't need a tournament in the first place. I care far more about the message and how we are perceived...that's why I brought this up at the meeting prior to joining and not 1 person said a thing.

 

...what message are you even referring to? It sounds like you're claiming that people are intentionally targeting and intending to hook "dinks" with specific angling methods, is this correct?

Edited by Ronix 51

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I think what he might be talking about is working the shallow to very shallow water. From what I have heard, that is where the smaller fish tend to be in that lake and the big ones roam in open water chasing the alewives. But that doesn't mean you can't get a big one in shallow. I imagine it is more likely at night in the spring when the alewives move shallow.

Edited by muskiedreams

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