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Minnesota 55" size limit for muskies

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by dougp, May 7, 2014.

  1. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    Factors within Muskie Inc. along with others are trying to pass a 55" size limit for muskies in Mn. So far it seems to be stalled in commitee but a lot of Muskie Inc guys are pushing pretty hard for this. What do you all think? I have a lot of thoughts on these higher size limits but would like to hear pro's and con's from any of you who would like to chime in........would you travel to Mn to fish for muskie if there was a 55" size limit?
  2. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    I live here and I don't like it. :mad: It doesn't make much sense, the folks that consistently catch big musky probably kill more fish, than the folks that catch a 48 1/2" and decide to mount it, ever will. They likely don't make good table fare, so it is not like most folks keep them anyway. What can raising the size limit actually do for the species as a whole? I don't think anything, but sure can restrict someone from keeping what could be a fish of a lifetime from having a trophy , without paying for a replica. This is just one of those things that some folks believe their way is the right and only way. If this is what they want give them a couple lakes with this limit and leave the rest alone. I still talk to a lot of people that are pissed that they were stocked in their favorite lakes.

  3. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

    York, SC
    I would not come up for that.
    If I caught one 45" , that's going on the wall!
    I'm supposed to go to minn this year for musky, if this rule is in place I'm headed somewhere else.
    We don't get fish like that in sc
    Question thou
    How many live over 40" after a a good battle then released?
    Was up in that area a few years ago on business and paddled around a lake, saw three floating ?
    Big suckers, by my interpretation 40" +

    What a waste
  4. Perca

    Perca Well-Known Member

    I'm sure you know how I feel about that Doug, but for the benefit of any others who don't know my opinion.....It's obviously meant to ensure that fewer muskies are kept. With a 55" limit Id guess that a very TINY percent of the muskie population would ever be legal to keep, and the C&R fanatics would STILL get riled up about someone keeping a 55"er. As you know, state natural resources comissions are very sensitive to public opinion and the biggest, squeekiest wheels usually get their way. We got antler point restrictions imposed on us by the trophy deer hunters in my state. Same deal. Raise the bar (length of fish or number of antler points) so we can "let them go so they can grow." No, I would not travel to MN to fish for muskies with a 55" limit, but then the only ones who care about non-residents coming to fish are those businesses that want tourist money. A 55" musky limit might be good for the economy.... and might not. It sounds to me like any musky taxidermy might be obsolete in MN if that size is adopted. Assembling and painting models? ...no comment. ;)
  5. wctaxidermy1

    wctaxidermy1 Member

    I fish for musky pretty hard in MN I wouldn't care if it was catch and release only I'm still going fishing. But I have no desire to ever keep one anyways I have cut loose 4 over 50. A replica would suffice for me most guys that are into muskie always cut then loose anyways. JMO
  6. den007

    den007 Active Member

    What is next? A 25 inch limit for bass? An 18 inch limit for crappie? I would not travel the hour it takes me to get to Minnesota for squat. 55 inches? How many in their lifetimes can match or exceed that? Ridiculous.

    Fishing for musky and releasing will always take its toll, and it is a heavy one. Not saying there should be a 6 fish catch and eat limit, but it seems most folks regulate this based on 36 inches and a conscience.

    I feel the same about deer hunting. ONce the DNR starts pandering to "trophy" hunters, they can say what they want to about how it helps hunting. I shoot the first and second and third legal deer I can stuff in the freezer and enjoy the back straps. Now, I don't do this with Musky. I don't even usually target them. I would love to catch a 55 incher, about as much as a thirty point buck. Most of us just usually do not.

    Bottom line…………55 inches is setting the bar way, way too high. A good saying from my builder about locks applies………

    "They only keep honest folks honest. Anybody can break in."

    Same with fishing and hunting. Rules only keep the honest folks honest…………the poachers and road hunters will always take their fill.
  7. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

    They moved to 54" in the waters I grew up Muskie fishing, (Lake Erie and Niagara River) and as a fisherman I personally think its BS! And I'm not a C&R "enforcer" but have never kept one, without regard to C&R, because of my own approach. The fact that a kid can catch a 53" muskie and cannot legally keep the fish, or a 15-20lb Muskie while SMB fishing.??? My Dad is a phenomenal Musky fisherman and we always get into fish and we know that breaking 54" in these waters is a lifetime achievement and with a lot of luck going into it, cause there aren't but a few to be caught. The fact that a kid could catch a 53" Muskie and not legally keep it is crazy, because its about rarer than a 150" whitetail in WNY.

    As a taxidermist, the only commercially available musky blank I've seen that I really like is Dave Campbell's, so I'm disappointed also that I can't take in some smaller specimens to mold and cast for the C&R crowd. (Actually, I can't even find a great replica of my personal best). Sorry to say, I'm also not a fan of the product of at least one of the major taxidermy studios targeting the Musky Associations; but my reviews of the Musky forums show that many of these die-hards don't seem to know the difference.

    Used to be you got a metal tag for your ski, I like that perhaps best.

  8. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    I agree with your thoughts 3bears.....but I don't think muskies stocked in most lakes will impact the fishery poorly unless overstocked. We had this happen in IL for awhile. I think a proper balance, is and will always be the key.

    Yeah Doug....I know how you feel. Sadly, I think our opinion about the value of a well done skin mount is fading with the call to "let 'em go and let 'em grow"...... the new generation is saving our fishery! I just wonder where all the new innovation in replica sizes and detailing is going to come from if there are no fish allowed to be kept for mold makers. Should we just sculpt new fish to be molded?

  9. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    Glad you feel that way Den.....I think you know of what you speak. Too bad politics plays such a part in fisheries management.
  10. wctaxidermy1

    wctaxidermy1 Member

    I do agree that 55" is one hell of a fish and setting the bar to high. I can definitely agree this is being fueled by diehards. The thought of a kid catching a 50" musky and not being able to keep it is something that didn't cross my mind..

    However I don't think this will make it thru all the red tape to become law. I have read a lot of articles on musky mortality and it is really low if they are handled properly. If someone caught one and its legal and they keep it who gives a chit like all fish and game they are renewable.

    But let's not kid ourselves there needs to be rules and limits to, like before mentioned to keep honest people honest and the dishonest accountable foe their actions.
  11. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    Good input Scott. I agree with your take on comercially available musky replica blanks. The extreme C&R musky crowd stills tells all that will listen to C&R and just give your taxidermist your measurements and he can provide a replica that will last a lifetime! I can't begin to tell the stories of the dissapointed clients that I've had who listened to that montra. There just is no viable replica availability to service this market.
  12. wctaxidermy1

    wctaxidermy1 Member

    I personally catch and release musky only I was just saying I would go not matter if this becomes law or not. I DO NOT ever want to see catch and release only. When I fish for panfish or walleye if I'm catching good eaters there going in the box.

    But I also feel good cutting loose a big musky with the hope that someone else can catch there fish of a lifetime. I do not preach catch and release just what I do.
  13. Its happening all over already in Wisconsin. And its happening in bodies of water that have never had a single 55" fish recorded in all the years of DNR surveys.
    My view is its total Bullshit from the C&R crowd. If they had their way they would jack license costs up to get rid of the "riff raff" Soon fishing will be a rich mans sport.
  14. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    WC...sure there needs to be rules. I just believe those "rules" should be based on solid fisheries management for ALL fishermen and the waters in question and not for "special interest" groups who want to protect a non endangered fish solely to promote their own vision of how fishermen should be able to utilize that resource. The money spent on a fishing license, either resident or non- resident should go for the proper management of the states waters for the enjoyment of all those who spend money on that license.
  15. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    Josh....sadly, I agree that the "common sense" approach to fisheries management has left the house. We now have "groups" that believe they know what is best for all of us and want to mandate how we should be able to enjoy the fisheries of our country.
  16. wctaxidermy1

    wctaxidermy1 Member

    Doug I agree 100% like I said they are renewable, I may have came off wrong with my OP. I do fish for musky and just as hard for all others I would NEVER look down on someone for keeping a fish.

    I get where your coming from to if a bass fisherman catches a musky and wants to keep it, what a story landing a 50" with bass gear! What a story to go with the mount! A replica works for me and I'm freeing up a fish for someone else to HOPEFULLY catch.

    I'm not letting them go so I can feel special about myself because I did. Though I've talked to some that think there chit don't stink because there so hardcore for musky.
  17. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    Many biologists will say that C&R mortality can vary from 2- 15% or more depending on many factors. But I think all but the most radical and extreme will agree that C&R is NOT a no kill practice. So many of the guides that pride themselves on putting maybe 50-100 or more muskies in the boat for their clients are actually more harmful to a fishery than the vacation angler who may catch 1-3 muskies on a week vacation and take one home to mount. I've had conversations with a guide in Door Cty WI who claims to put over 150 muskies in his boat in a year for clients. If he's telling the truth...at a minimum, he's killing 3 fish a year....at 2%mortality. At 5% he's killing 7.5....how many muskies does the average vacation angler catch a year??????
  18. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    WC...you didn't come off wrong. I understand your point and position. I have always supported the concept of C&R, always. I just support the freedom of choice and good fisheries management more. These waters are for all to enjoy and not meant to be the playground of special groups, whoever they may be, to promote "their" fish over all others.......just tics me off....
  19. den007

    den007 Active Member

    With all that is being said, I feel it is incumbent upon those who mold and cast to give huge incentives to those who will provide legal musky for replication. Free mount? NOt out of the question. Even a "finders fee" for a good casting fish taken legally. Without this, the replication process……..which can save many fish……will suffer from lack of use.

    If the big suppliers and fish molders aligned, some nice, NEW specimens could be acquired and hopefully help save fish.

    Lots of size slots here……..most under 55 inches!
  20. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    I see I'm not alone. I don't mount a lot of musky so it isn't going to hurt my business too bad but the ones I have done are under 50" and most were caught by kids. Like I asked how can this improve the species? It can't. I don't like it one bit that my money is used to kiss their asses, they put no more money in the DNR's pocket than I do, in fact I'm betting less. I enjoy chasing water wolves no doubt but if these guys want special attention let them pay more for it. Like was said the squeaky wheel gets oiled.