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Big Fish FWIW


Dr Hook

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Got my first DNR Master Angler patch in the mail the other day for the 29 lb-er I caught back in August. Along with the patch and a nice letter, they sent a list of all the Master Angler qualifying fish for the past 3 years. The list also contained the method used to catch the fish. I have heard people say that meat rigs catch bigger fish, so I decided to put that assumption to the test since I really don't run meat.

Breaking it down for the 35 fish over 30 lbs:

29 were caught by trolling.

Of those 29, 3 were caught on flasher/fly, 4 on plugs, 7 on meat and 13 on spoons. No bait was listed for 2.

My initial interpretation was that spoons showed up at the top because most spreads are probably spoon heavy; at least mine are. So I went a step farther.

The breakdown for all 121 Master Angler Chinook:

111 were caught trolling.

Of those 111, 13 were caught on flasher/fly, 32 on plugs, 25 on meat and 36 on spoons. No bait was listed for 5.

So what does it mean? Don't really have a clue. Plugs kind of blew my initial conclusion. Only explanation I have for it is that people seem to run more plugs later in the year when fish are bigger. Also, goes to show the importance of sample size.

From a scientific perspective, the next step would be to get 4 boats together and have each boat exclusively run a different type of bait on every rod in their spread for a season.

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Congratulations on the Master Angler. Next year we'll have to do some side by side trolling with different setups and see what happens. --course I know as soon as something starts popping I'll want to put more of it out :-)

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Congrats on your master angler Chinook and thanks for sharing your info with the MA program and us. You can do alot of analyzing and research with the info the MA awards provides. Right down to what time of day,month,year most MA fish are caught and what areas or ports are the most productive for a certain species. I try to analyze the brown trout info every winter. I'd love to see the info broken down like you did for each species and for every category going as far back as possible, but by the time I get brown trout done I have had enough.

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Thanks for the interesting article Dr Hook. What I got out of it is that we must run a variety of lures. We found this year that what worked today did not work the next day. Not only different lures but one day downriggers the next day boards or divers seemed to work the best. First fish of the year back in May was a 18.5 lb King thinking this is going to be some kind of year. We ended up with around 100 Kings and never broke the 20 lb mark. Looking forward to next year already!

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I'd love to see the info broken down like you did for each species and for every category going as far back as possible, but by the time I get brown trout done I have had enough.

I was thinking that would be a good February project.

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