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Otisco lake ice fishing secret!


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Thought I would share the secret to catching lots of good tiger muskies on Otisco!  This is very simple yet overlooked by all ice fishermen apparently though I thought it was obvious.  This secret will also work to catch really big tigers thru the ice though to date nobody has caught a really big one thru the ice even with a half dozen live baits a piece in the water. 

 

Some fish must be released safely in order to get big!  It's that simple!  The open water fishermen have this figured out and its the only reason the ice fishermen have decent fish to catch.  Now if the ice fishermen could be less selfish everyone could have even better fishing forever.  In order to have some chance of survival circle hooks and perhaps quick strike rigs should be used and gaffs simply aren't necessary.   Just make the right size hole and grab em by the jaw.  If you are too scared perhaps this isn't the activity for you!

 

Anyway that's the technique I use to catch plenty of mid forties tigers every year as they are not near a rare catch of a lifetime as they aren't mature yet really.

 

Apparently ice fishermen figure if they keep all the medium ones nobody else can catch one bigger than theirs, but this simply won't work because many already have! 

 

It's called conservation and while I believe everyone has the right to decide what to do with their own catch I thought I'd mention that it's legal to put fish back as it seems unheard of in winter.

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The amount of exposure and foot traffic the lake has received this winter is incredible.  Aside from the few "fish of a lifetime" we really don't know how many legal fish have been kept. I'm all in favor of increasing the minimum size limit to 40".  I am also puzzled by the fact the current through the ice norlunge world record chose to keep a 40" fish? Maybe it was bleeding and could not be safely returned. 

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Caught a decent northern on conesus that had it's gills hanging out , looked horrible. I bet the guy that caught it before me said this things not going to live........ Well it's fine as can be with all that damage. C and R works !!
There's enough smaller pike and pickerel to keep to eat for those that like them but it is what it is.




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Thought I would share the secret to catching lots of good tiger muskies on Otisco!  This is very simple yet overlooked by all ice fishermen apparently though I thought it was obvious.  This secret will also work to catch really big tigers thru the ice though to date nobody has caught a really big one thru the ice even with a half dozen live baits a piece in the water. 
 
Some fish must be released safely in order to get big!  It's that simple!  The open water fishermen have this figured out and its the only reason the ice fishermen have decent fish to catch.  Now if the ice fishermen could be less selfish everyone could have even better fishing forever.  In order to have some chance of survival circle hooks and perhaps quick strike rigs should be used and gaffs simply aren't necessary.   Just make the right size hole and grab em by the jaw.  If you are too scared perhaps this isn't the activity for you!
 
Anyway that's the technique I use to catch plenty of mid forties tigers every year as they are not near a rare catch of a lifetime as they aren't mature yet really.
 
Apparently ice fishermen figure if they keep all the medium ones nobody else can catch one bigger than theirs, but this simply won't work because many already have! 
 
It's called conservation and while I believe everyone has the right to decide what to do with their own catch I thought I'd mention that it's legal to put fish back as it seems unheard of in winter.

Well Said !!! The murder rate on Esox on Conesus Lake all winter is just as Ridiculous. I say close the season Jan 1. C&R only


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Another method to maintaining the incredible Tiger fishing on Otisco is to ask Dave Figura to stop posting pictures every few days of all the trophy fish killed by ice fishermen.

 

Dougs fish fry is only a few miles away from that lake, and the fish from Dougs taste much, much better.

 

One of the folks interviewed for today’s article describes the Tigers as “ not bad eating “. Sounds if he’s choking the fillet down.

 

His latest kill photo.

 

IMG_0304.JPG

 

Rusty

 

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 i keep some fish ice fishing, but  i love to catch and release. i see soo many people that keep every fish they catch ice fishing vs boat fishing. like catch and release is not a thing thru the ice it boggles my mind.  

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Rusty Dave figura is a hack of a journalist and is single handedly giving people motivation to kill trophies that aren't really even close to record size as the ice fishing tip up record is total BS.  most states don't allow it.  These are commonly caught sized fish and while keeping them isn't necessarily a problem advertising and begging people to come catch and kill them is a big problem.  I can't get figura to even return an email let alone cover the conservation side.  I heard chapter 70 is working to get our message out there.  Wanna chase a record...at least chase the state record and put back the rest.   Want a good mount and don't like replicas then keep one, but don't think you have close to a true record.  And if you do eat tigers I'm ok with that just stop the glorification of the commonly caught fish and know that conservation is everyone's responsibility.  I love walleye but I don't keep a limit every time they are biting!  I used to keep most every single one when I listened to the DEC, but I know better now and I just want to make sure others at least be aware of conservation and that  not every good fish has to killed.  Think about others and share your experience by allowing others the same experience.  If everyone kept every legal tiger these fish would be rare and that's not what most people want to happen to the fish they choose to target.  Im not a strictly c n r guy by any means, but I do not keep them nor do I allow it on my boat as these fish are to be shared and I catch way too many of them and if I let 1 person I'd have to let them all and I can't live with that.

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As a guide it's my responsibility to also be a steward of the fishery and outdoors in general.  If anyone thinks my opinion is self serving it's not at all.  I'll still do my best to put people on tigers either way and I'll catch plenty either way.  Actually the attention from the media helps me personally more than it hurts, but I doesn't change the fact that its not ethical and I would rather be broke than have everyone misled by Figura.

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It's absolutely irrelevant how fish taste or whether someone has a boat.... conservation is necessary.  As far as taste goes they make coolers for a reason and nobody said you can't keep any fish I keep fish regularly.  I don't however keep my limit every single time it's possible.  Mostly I'm referring to tigers and other fish that grow for 20+ years.  If you want a certain species wouldn't it be helpful if we didn't unilaterally kill them all just because we don't have a boat!  Furthermore nobody is holding anyone back from obtaining a boat and tigers are easily caught from shore in open water season too.  There's no excuse for not thinking a little about conservation and it doesn't cost anything extra  nor is it a painful experience putting an occasional fish back....its actually enjoyable.  Read about the adirondack guides and how many of them later in life when it was too late regretted their influence on nature.  I have personally overharvested and learned the hard way that fisheries are more fragile than most realize.  It's easy to criticize the management of the fisheries, when really it's us that are the problem!  Just make any effort to protect nature just a little and we will all reap the benefits and so will future generations.

 

 

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Lots of respect for Justin ( Justtracytrolling ) and his opinion! Overharvesting mature fish can be devastating, no matter what the species.

 

I believe that the past 12 months of pandemic has put a lot of people back on the waters, both open and frozen. That's great for the sport and for the businesses that support it. With that should also come a deliberate effort to become selective about what we keep.

 

Cheers

Prof T

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If tigers were not sterile and not stocked, I would agree.  They are put in the lake for population control of the lower parts of the food chain and for recreational fishing purposes.  That being said, I do agree with bumping up the size limit to make it more of a trophy fishery.  

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Seems to be a hot topic last few years.

 

When I was involved with Muskies Inc, I brought up closing the tiger ice season or making it strictly catch n release during winter bc of high harvest and got crucified from one end of the state to the other by fellow anglers.

 

DEC when contacted said they want the average angler to be able to take home what they consider a "trophy tiger".

 

Best we can do is OUR best n educate those who are willing to listen. Tight lines gentlemen.

 

 

 

 

 

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NYS Muskies Inc Chapter 69 attempted to raise the limit to your purposal a few years back and was shot down by the state so we met half way.

As of today, its perfectly legal to harvest any tiger above said size and every angler is entitled to use our resources just as we use them ourselves. My choices aren't always everyone else's choices and we have to live with that. All we can donis keep on keeping on.....

 

 

The amount of exposure and foot traffic the lake has received this winter is incredible.  Aside from the few "fish of a lifetime" we really don't know how many legal fish have been kept. I'm all in favor of increasing the minimum size limit to 40".  I am also puzzled by the fact the current through the ice norlunge world record chose to keep a 40" fish? Maybe it was bleeding and could not be safely returned. 

 Sent from my SM-G973U using Lake Ontario United mobile app

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I figure let the fisheries management people who actually know what they're doing manage it. 

 

If somebody pays for a license they are allowed to keep a legal fish. While I strongly encourage catch and release, after decades of seeing many people thrilled to catch their first bigger-than-a-bluegill fish we need to remember that your throw back fish may indeed be a trophy to the person that just caught it. And it may lead them to becoming a lifelong angler. 

 

Just because a few anglers are on a trophy hunt doesn't mean the vast majority of anglers should have to not play by the rules set down by the DEC. That seems a bit selfish to me. 

 

Edited by Chuck Smth
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4 hours ago, Chuck Smth said:

I figure let the fisheries management people who actually know what they're doing manage it. 

 

If somebody pays for a license they are allowed to keep a legal fish. While I strongly encourage catch and release, after decades of seeing many people thrilled to catch their first bigger-than-a-bluegill fish we need to remember that your throw back fish may indeed be a trophy to the person that just caught it. And it may lead them to becoming a lifelong angler. 

 

Just because a few anglers are on a trophy hunt doesn't mean the vast majority of anglers should have to not play by the rules set down by the DEC. That seems a bit selfish to me. 

 

Sounds a lot like Deer Hunting

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