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      When is keeping too many fish to eat too many?     
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bwcasolo
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06/25/2019 08:40AM
i know this may cause a stir, it is not my intention, i tend to focus on a more conservative approach these days, when i put fish on a stringer to eat.
i do remember years ago when we filled the stringer, ate till we were bloated then had more to eat.
do you look at the size of your group and then determine how many fish will go to the fillet knife and then start releasing fish?
curious, keep this civil, please, thanks.
 
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airmorse
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06/25/2019 08:52AM
Yes. We fish until we have enough to eat then after that its catch and release.
 
Gadfly
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06/25/2019 09:13AM
On Summer trips we don't even bother trying to bring any home so we just keep enough for a meal which is roughly a fish per person. On winter trips we will bring a meal home for family but we are pretty conservative with the number and size of the fish we keep.
 
06/25/2019 09:21AM
Every year I seem to keep less fish. In the BW, we like to have 1 fish meal each day. Typically, if we're fishing panfish, we will keep 2 panfish/person/meal. If we're fishing walleye, we will keep 1 or 2 walleye/person/meal.
Once we find our keepers, we typically leave the panfish or walleye alone and start casting for bass or pike.
 
AmarilloJim
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06/25/2019 09:34AM
airmorse: "Yes. We fish until we have enough to eat then after that its catch and release."
+1
I don't bring any home. Just keep enough for dinner each night.
 
bwcasolo
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06/25/2019 10:28AM
AmarilloJim: "airmorse: "Yes. We fish until we have enough to eat then after that its catch and release."
+1
I don't bring any home. Just keep enough for dinner each night."

yes, and i forgot i will not kill a trophy, adult sized fish anymore, haven't for decades.
 
thegildedgopher
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06/25/2019 11:17AM
I have zero issues with any angler keeping fish as long as all regulations are adhered to. Feel good having 40 perch in the freezer? Not my style but also not my concern.

But please do read, understand, and follow the possession limits. In Minnesota, the fish in your freezer are part of that number. If you have 6 walleyes in the deep freeze, you are not legal to go catch 6 more and eat them at shore lunch.



 
jwmiller39
member (28)member
 
06/25/2019 12:45PM
 
x2jmorris
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06/25/2019 12:55PM
Keep a little more than we can eat each day. Dogs get leftovers if any. Usually every other day is a fish dinner.
 
06/25/2019 01:10PM
Will only keep 2 fish per person . Only keep fish in the 15 inch size to eat. On a week long trip may have have fish a couple nights.
 
missmolly
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06/25/2019 01:36PM
bwcasolo: "i know this may cause a stir, it is not my intention, i tent to focus on a more conservative approach these days, when i put fish on a stringer to eat.
i do remember years ago when we filled the stringer, ate till we were bloated then had more to eat.
do you look at the size of your group and then determine how many fish will go to the fillet knife and then start releasing fish?
curious, keep this civil, please, thanks.
"


Like you, we used to eat until we ached.

Now, I don't even keep a fish because I don't like dragging them behind the canoe. I wait until I'm 50 yards from the campsite, troll for a pike, catch that pike, and clean it a couple minutes after unhooking it. Occasionally, we'll keep a walleye for a change of pace, but we catch and release 99% of them.
 
WhiteWolf
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06/25/2019 01:54PM
thegildedgopher: "I have zero issues with any angler keeping fish as long as all regulations are adhered to. Feel good having 40 perch in the freezer? Not my style but also not my concern.


But please do read, understand, and follow the possession limits. In Minnesota, the fish in your freezer are part of that number. If you have 6 walleyes in the deep freeze, you are not legal to go catch 6 more and eat them at shore lunch.





"


Very well said. Back in the day on Lake St Joeseph near Pickle Lake,ONT (one of the best walleye lakes in the world) we had Ontario DNR (MNR) actually go through our shore lunch entrails - and then our cabin fridges/freezers and livewells to make sure we weren't over the limit. The rule is not enforced (or known) enough. FTR- My group and myself we try and keep it around 1 to 1.5 fish per person . Avg size being 14-16"
 
06/25/2019 01:54PM
Depends on who I’m with... but usually is one or two fish each depending on size. A pike would be one per person, but if big enough it’ll feed the troops.
 
Bobaaa
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06/25/2019 02:55PM
Two of us just returned from a 6 day trip. We cleaned 7 fish to provide 3 meals. Everything else was released.
 
KarlBAndersen1
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06/25/2019 03:29PM
airmorse: "Yes. We fish until we have enough to eat then after that its catch and release."
Of course. Pretty simple.
 
Big Tent
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06/25/2019 05:45PM
jwmiller39: "I always aim for one fish dinner with the group and try to bring home a limit of walleyes. I have no problem bringing home my legal limit and harvesting fish within the legal limits. "

Same here. The only fishing I do all year so I don't keep more than a limit. Two if I'm lucky enough to go twice.
 
ozarkpaddler
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06/25/2019 06:03PM
We used to keep our "Limit" and eat until bloated. Now, only enough for a few fish meals. On the rivers here, I've already caught hundreds of "Limits" so it's always catch and release for bass and trout.
 
carmike
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06/25/2019 09:00PM
I think it is more important to worry about *which* fish you're keeping than to worry about how many. Keeping a 40'' northern, for example, is more harmful than a full stringer of little ones. Same goes with trout and walleyes.

For bass, I'm not sure any level of harvest could slow them down. :)
 
podgeo
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06/25/2019 09:37PM
Typ. 4-6 walleyes/ 2people 6 if few are on the smaller end. Size 14"-17" anything bigger C&R. We don't eat Bass or Northern
 
Jackfish
Moderator
 
06/25/2019 10:10PM
KarlBAndersen1: "airmorse: "Yes. We fish until we have enough to eat then after that its catch and release."
Of course. Pretty simple."

Yep... what ^^^they^^^ said.

We eat a walleye meal every day. All invitees are in the 15-16” range. Perfect.
 
Abbey
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06/25/2019 11:03PM
Depends on how much we feel like eating fish that day. Usually have “Fish Bake” (highly recommended old thread on this forum) once per trip. After that it’s if we catch walleyes not too long before a meal or have a badly hooked fish that probably wouldn’t make it anyway.

There has only been one time that we brought fish out of BW, and that was when we caught three nice eater size walleye a few hundred yards from the entry point at the end of a trip with far fewer walleyes than usual and decided to eat them that night.
 
06/26/2019 07:34AM
Me personally 2 16” walleyes feeds our family of 4. I’ve almost got a teenager so that might double soon :) So anything over that is too many fish for us and a waste.

Important walleye Regs to remember MN: can have 6 walleye/sauger in possession—-whatever you ate that day or have in your freezer counts as your possession limit. Only 1 walleye can be over 20” in length. All other walleye above 20” must be immediately released. You can buy a conservation license and cut that limit in half.

Ontario: 2 Conservation license to 4 in possession only one walleye can exceed 46cm/18.11 inches

As long as you follow the rules and don’t waste fish feeding them to turtles over night or throwing away fillets then in my opinion you aren’t wasting anything.

T
 
nofish
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06/26/2019 08:34AM
If we're only talking about the BWCA then I only keep what the group can eat that day. I also don't keep any to bring home.

If we're talking about fishing in general there are the occasional times that I catch and keep with the intent to freeze some for later. Of course I stay within the daily/possession limits. I also don't do it very often, maybe once every few years. Generally speaking I only keep enough for one meal.
 
The Great Outdoors
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06/26/2019 08:58AM
bwcasolo: "AmarilloJim: "airmorse: "Yes. We fish until we have enough to eat then after that its catch and release."
+1
I don't bring any home. Just keep enough for dinner each night."

yes, and i forgot i will not kill a trophy, adult sized fish anymore, haven't for decades."

Many trophy size fish will perish after being released if you take photos and keep them from the water for too long a time (especially true in warm weather) The fish may swim away, but return to the surface up to and beyond 1/4 mile away, still alive, but on their backs. At that time they may just die of oxygen deprivation from the fight and mishandling, or be the target of an Eagle or Sea Gull.
Not taking any pics of trophy fish that were lip hooked, and immediately returned to the water give them a very good chance of recovery.
Just food for thought based on many years of experience.
 
A1t2o
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06/26/2019 09:26AM
Only once have we brought a fish home. That was on the last trip I had 3 weeks ago. That was also the only fish that we caught that weekend and it was on the way back to the EP. Usually we go with 1 fish per person and maybe 1 more for the group to make sure people get enough to eat. Depends on the size of the fish though. Usually we struggle with not having enough fish more than too much. We do typically stop fishing after catching dinner though.
 
jwmiller39
member (28)member
 
06/26/2019 09:39AM
I have absolutely no issues with a group bringing home their legal limits of fish if they have the ability to do so. The time, money and work invested into getting up into the BWCA is significant. On top of that, you have to work to find and catch fish which isn't always that easy. If you are so lucky as to have the time, money and work invested in getting into the BWCA and catching fish, I think its a reward to bring home a limit of walleyes to eat at home. There's just something about eating BWCA walleyes that taste a little better than "normal" fish. This is also with the caveat that all rules/regs need to be followed along the way.

I usually go up with a group of four and we have one fish meal on the trip and try to bring home a limit for each guy. I will also note this is done on one of the largest lakes in the BWCA, so I'm not concerned with making a dent in the population.
 
4keys
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06/26/2019 09:53AM
WhiteWolf: "
"



Very well said. Back in the day on Lake St Joeseph near Pickle Lake,ONT (one of the best walleye lakes in the world) we had Ontario DNR (MNR) actually go through our shore lunch entrails - and then our cabin fridges/freezers and livewells to make sure we weren't over the limit. The rule is not enforced (or known) enough. FTR- My group and myself we try and keep it around 1 to 1.5

WhiteWolf,
My husband just got back from Lake St Joseph last Saturday . He's been going there for probably 10 years. This year they came in by boat and after a quick check went on their way. Last year the wardens dropped in from the sky (floatplane) and questioned them thoroughly and also went through their boats etc. After they asked the same question about numbers for the fourth time, my husband told them there were several fish...in the outhouse. Luckily they thought it was funny.
 
missmolly
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06/26/2019 11:15AM
The Great Outdoors: "bwcasolo: "AmarilloJim: "airmorse: "Yes. We fish until we have enough to eat then after that its catch and release."
+1
I don't bring any home. Just keep enough for dinner each night."

yes, and i forgot i will not kill a trophy, adult sized fish anymore, haven't for decades."

Many trophy size fish will perish after being released if you take photos and keep them from the water for too long a time (especially true in warm weather) The fish may swim away, but return to the surface up to and beyond 1/4 mile away, still alive, but on their backs. At that time they may just die of oxygen deprivation from the fight and mishandling, or be the target of an Eagle or Sea Gull.
Not taking any pics of trophy fish that were lip hooked, and immediately returned to the water give them a very good chance of recovery.
Just food for thought based on many years of experience.
"


^I believe all of this and thank Jim for sharing his wisdom.^
 
WhiteWolf
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06/26/2019 12:28PM
4keys: "WhiteWolf: "
"




Very well said. Back in the day on Lake St Joeseph near Pickle Lake,ONT (one of the best walleye lakes in the world) we had Ontario DNR (MNR) actually go through our shore lunch entrails - and then our cabin fridges/freezers and livewells to make sure we weren't over the limit. The rule is not enforced (or known) enough. FTR- My group and myself we try and keep it around 1 to 1.5


WhiteWolf,
My husband just got back from Lake St Joseph last Saturday . He's been going there for probably 10 years. This year they came in by boat and after a quick check went on their way. Last year the wardens dropped in from the sky (floatplane) and questioned them thoroughly and also went through their boats etc. After they asked the same question about numbers for the fourth time, my husband told them there were several fish...in the outhouse. Luckily they thought it was funny. "

m
Thanks for sharing!!! For as remote a lake as LSJ is- the level of enforcement is unreal!! And for good reason. I'am sure your husband as unreal fish stories-- one of mine is being able to sight fish walleyes in 7-9' jigging a large red-eye wiggler and non stop catching them on nothing but bare hooks. Never forget it and people think I'am crazy when I mention that. We used to stay a Camp Lake St Joesph- just N of the Old Post Lodge. do you know where your husbands' crew stays??
 
thegildedgopher
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06/27/2019 08:58AM
The Great Outdoors: "Many trophy size fish will perish after being released if you take photos and keep them from the water for too long a time (especially true in warm weather) The fish may swim away, but return to the surface up to and beyond 1/4 mile away, still alive, but on their backs. At that time they may just die of oxygen deprivation from the fight and mishandling, or be the target of an Eagle or Sea Gull.

Not taking any pics of trophy fish that were lip hooked, and immediately returned to the water give them a very good chance of recovery.
Just food for thought based on many years of experience.
"


We can also work against this further by not CPR fishing too deep. If you're pulling walleye from a 40-foot hole in July/August, you should probably plan on eating them. Once you have "enough" to eat, move on to shallower water or start fishing lake trout which are fully equipped to handle the change in pressure that comes along with being pulled out of deep water. We should still handle lakers with care but I don't see many floating around belly up.
 
missmolly
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06/28/2019 07:36AM
GG, your reasoning is why I only fish for shallow lakers.
 
thegildedgopher
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06/28/2019 09:24AM
missmolly: "GG, your reasoning is why I only fish for shallow lakers. "

Define "shallow?"

I personally think it's much less of a concern with trout. Lakers (and salmon) possess a different kind of swim bladder that is connected to their gut, which allows them to "burp" and release the air that has caused the swim bladder to balloon from the pressure change associated with coming up from deep water. Walleye (and I think most other fish in the BW) lack that feature. Further, a laker hooked at 10 or 20 feet may have shot up a long ways to attack that bait, so unless you mean you keep the canoe itself in shallow water, I'm not sure how much of a difference it would make?

Lake trout can still suffer barotrauma, but a gentle squeeze can usually help them burp it out naturally. If that doesn't work, a fish descender is a great tool to have and you can probably make one from junk laying around the house.

Don't even get me started on "fizzing" a walleye. Don't know many anglers who are qualified to perform that action.

Sorry, I really think this thread has gone off track from the OP's intentions.
 
Basspro69
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06/30/2019 11:37AM
bwcasolo: "AmarilloJim: "airmorse: "Yes. We fish until we have enough to eat then after that its catch and release."
+1
I don't bring any home. Just keep enough for dinner each night."

yes, and i forgot i will not kill a trophy, adult sized fish anymore, haven't for decades."
+1
 
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