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Releasing Lake Trout


markdaniel

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What is the most effective way to release lake trout when catching them on Lake Ontario using downriggers? They are beautiful fish, and we have been catching plenty of them trolling for salmon. I hate to see them float on the surface when released.

Thanks,

Mark

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Burp them and I hold them by tail off the back of the boat till they kick ...takes a couple min sometimes but they go

minion trolling flies

Edited by minion
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I put them on the bogo with a 3ft rope with a loop, put them in the water, hook to the center cleat tow them for a minute or two, with the water flowing through their gills in the proper direction, most all take off like a rocket. Some of those who said they plant lakers in their garden, Hmmm,,,, how many charters did they save last year!!

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i  cannot understand why i keep reading on this forum that people feel that the lake trout is nothing more than a trash fish and that it should be killed and wasted just because its not silver . You guys that fish lake Ontario are so lucky to have such a great fishery that i think some might take it for granted all fish are a valuable resource unless they are a evasive species .enjoy the fight and please release unharmed if you are not going to eat it after all many a charter boat makes a living catching lakers and other none silver fish .

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gotta agree with the guys releasing lakers our first trip this spring browns were real scarce putting a few lakers in the boat then releasing made the trip. You guys are used to cathing 8-15lb + lakers but for our nh crew it was amazing and what changed our thinking about maing the 6 1/2 hr drive again. good fishing

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Let's not forget about the future fisherman/girl lakers make it exciting for them, they don't care what it is, but they do know at the end of the day they had a blast and it's the biggest fish they ever saw it was this --------------long. Dad your the best!!! Can we go again!!

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I put them on the bogo with a 3ft rope with a loop, put them in the water, hook to the center cleat tow them for a minute or two, with the water flowing through their gills in the proper direction, most all take off like a rocket. Some of those who said they plant lakers in their garden, Hmmm,,,, how many charters did they save last year!!

Well said! I hope you guys will take great care of that amazing fisheries.

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Gambler has it right. In the old days folks used to prick their air bladder with a bait threading needle thinking that letting the air bladder quickly and then sending them back down was all that was needed.  It was a bit shortsighted though because  it probably takes time for the bladders to "heal" and in the meantime who knows what actually happens to the fish when they sink. I know over the years I have seen a bunch of them either floating or laying on bottom dead where you can see bottom. The only thing I would add is a general consideration regardless of species and that is minimize any handling where possible and always avoid grasping or touching the gill area of the fish if you intend to release it. A lot of times you see folks holding up fish for pics with their hand in the gills and saying they released the fish and you wonder if in fact that fish ever survived regardless of swimming away. Even when handling correctly there may be things happening long term like the removal of the protective slime making them more vulnerable to fungal infections etc. If they are coming out of the shallower cold water (e.g. Spring) you usually don't have to do much and they can be pretty hardy so I use needle nose pliers  grasping the down turned hook and release them that way. Obviously it somewhat harder to do with the really big ones.

Edited by Sk8man
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The other thing I forgot to add is bring them up slowly.  When they come up slower, they are easier to burp.  Using cowbells will give some resistance and help bring them up slower.

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The other thing I forgot to add is bring them up slowly.  When they come up slower, they are easier to burp.  Using cowbells will give some resistance and help bring them up slower.

X

x2

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Below is a great article on mortality rates of catch and released salmon.

 

https://www.fishwithjd.com/2016/08/02/hook-placement-if-it-bleeds-it-dies-right-not-so-fast/

 

Here are a few tips i think help to catch and release trout and salmon from a boat. 

 

Don't keep the fish out of the water long, every second counts. 

Keep the fish from slamming their head off the bottom of the boat by keeping them lifted in the net while quickly removing the hook.

Be ready with a camera for a quick pic if a pic is desired.

Use a fish gripper with the strap around your wrist, the gripper on the fishes bottom lip and give them a few minute ride to catch their breath.

After you feel them kick a bit, grab there tail and give them a big push.

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I know holding pike vertically for any extended length of time (or holding them by the eyes)often kills them when they are released and I suspect it may be a factor with trout or salmon as well.

Edited by Sk8man
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i cannot understand why i keep reading on this forum that people feel that the lake trout is nothing more than a trash fish and that it should be killed and wasted just because its not silver . You guys that fish lake Ontario are so lucky to have such a great fishery that i think some might take it for granted all fish are a valuable resource unless they are a evasive species .enjoy the fight and please release unharmed if you are not going to eat it after all many a charter boat makes a living catching lakers and other none silver fish .

Salmon are an evasive species...Salmon is what made the sport fishery what is today, period. Not Lakers, yes Lake O is very diverse in as what can be caught.

There are less Charter Boats now than before, Lakers don't draw people to Lake O, it might have saved the Charter Captains money as it put fish on the deck past few years. That's not going to save them in the future because people aren't going to be repeat customers. They advertise Salmon for their big draw not Lakers.

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