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Ahh, cant sense sarcasm over the interwebs. Its Nick BTW lol
I was thinkin, I call you nick. Lol.

this thing is my fault, TVCJohn sent me that pic of that fish, obviously it’s colored like a perch but to me (yes I’ve seen lots of perch) the fish had a sculpin/goby looking head/fins areas, so much so, to me that I reccomended to John not to throw it back. Luckily, he had already made the proper decision & threw it back. I was wrong, i thought it was worth getting an opinion on as I knew nick would see it if it was posted here.

The end.

Ps . Everyone knows the Zander stay in west bay, not east.
 

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Another good day. Got 15 lakers....same as yesterday...a lot of small ones. These ones are deep. There were quite a few folks out fishing.

View attachment 770152

View attachment 770153


Ciscos from this past weekend.

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Thanks for the report!! I was out there jigging and marked a few fish in 135ft of water, but only got 3. I had to get off the water by 8:30, so maybe I could have picked away at them. Where’s the Cisco’s hanging out at? I normally do well on those and this year I seem to be struggling..
 

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FWIW, the last zander I saw was caught in a canal in downtown Amsterdam
Did you hear that, @someone11? If, by chance, he was referring to Amsterdam, Ohio they are definitely getting close to the GLs if not here already! :giggle:
 

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I skipped out on the Memorial Day weekend craziness, but got out a few times here over the last couple days. Fished out of Elk Rapids, jigging Elk Rapids jigs in about 80 FOW. Caught good numbers of trout, but mainly smaller fish. Also got a handful of cisco. Not stacked up in the same spots they were in for the last few weeks is seems, but the cisco that I caught were some of the biggest of my season so far. Bigger than the trout I was catching actually.

The smaller trout I was catching got me thinking about catch and release for lakers. Once I get my limit, I’ll usually switch to fishing for something else or just head in if I have work that day. So I’ve never given catch and release too much thought. These last couple days I started off my trip catching smaller trout that I didn’t necessarily want to put towards my limit, so I was throwing them back pretty frequently. Pulling these fish up from 70-150 feet is a massive pressure and temp change so my concern is that many of the smaller trout are swimming off and dying.

I’ve read a couple articles on the topic (linked below). The DNR study quotes some fairly high catch and release mortality rates, especially when surface temps are higher. Up to 50%+ mortality. That said, I know that Lake Trout are able to able to empty their swim bladders as they come up in order to equalize, which is why you see bubbles as your brining them in. So, they should be better than most deepwater fish for catch and release.

In practice, I noticed that a few of the smaller trout that I was releasing seemed to be struggling to swim away at first. As I kept fishing, when I would hook a trout I could tell was small and I didn’t want to keep I would bring it up very slowly. That seemed to give them more time to empty their swim bladders and get acclimated to the temp change. I also started to reach over the side of the boat with my pliers and unhook them while they were still in the water instead of netting them. I noticed a major difference in how these fish swam away versus the fish I pulled up quickly and netted. They seemed much healthier/energetic, swam down faster, and I assume are less likely to die. The Outdoor Canada article I just read actually recommends bringing lakers up slowly as well.

Not as much of an option for when we're trolling, but I thought it was worth brining up for guys out there doing mostly jigging as I've been doing lately. Could be a good way to help the fishery potentially when you’re on a pod of small fish like I seem to have been finding lately.

DNR STUDY: DNR - Study looks at what happens to lake trout when released in upper Great Lakes
OUTDOOR CANADA ARTICLE: Are Lake Trout Releasable?
 

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I had a good amount to watch yesterday. All but one, and the ones we kept, immediately went back down. On the morning fish, one stayed on the surface belly up. I was staying in the area over the pod and watched it for a couple of minutes. It took a couple of flips and then dove back down. What I was doing with these small ones was bring them to the boat, take a pair of needle-noses, pop the hook out and release them in the water. I didn't net them or bring them into the boat. I didn't see any floaters return the whole day and I was staying in the same area. I'm assuming they were ok otherwise I would have seen them float back up on the surface. I know in Florida and PR when I brought up snappers and groupers from the deep water, I would use a sharp hook and vent their bellies and send them back down. That is what the DNR bubbas recommend for those guys. Some folks use a medical needle to vent them. A good topic....
 

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Ya...they're in East Bay....well, they were under my fish finder where I've been hanging out. I'm wondering what West Bay is looking like. When I went to drop some laker heads in the freezer at Elmwood yesterday, there were a couple of real nice laker heads in the freezer. I'm guessing they came from WB?? I know some big ones have been taken on that side....haven't heard any reports of bigguns on East Bay yet.
 

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Ya...they're in East Bay....well, they were under my fish finder where I've been hanging out. I'm wondering what West Bay is looking like. When I went to drop some laker heads in the freezer at Elmwood yesterday, there were a couple of real nice laker heads in the freezer. I'm guessing they came from WB?? I know some big ones have been taken on that side....haven't heard any reports of bigguns on East Bay yet.
Could be guys from leland or Glen arbor too
 
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