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catch and release on the big water


Trina Rose

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Figured i would see how many people actually throw back salmon trout and steelhead after they are landed on the great lakes. Reason i ask is because after i got bit by the river steelhead bug real hard i have developed a soft spot for these fish. I often try to release steelhead on the big water. I only had to turn the boat and retreave one fish that did not survive the long battle on a 300 copper. I also throw back small salmon from time to time. I was just curious if anyone else does this, and do you think most the fish live. We did well one week 15 miles offshore in frankfort on steelhead and lake trout on the surface. We threw back so many fish that week and all of them swam off unharmed. It was kind of cool to see them smim away in that flat calm water.

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If it looks like they are in good condition to survive I leave it up to the person who reeled it in but yes we release some of the fish we catch. Not to many lakers go back if they came up from deep cold water to warm on top and you can see if they are bloated. Those don't usually survive. If any fish are going back its as quick and careful as possible. Most smaller fish don't seem to have any problems going back.

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i release a lot of fish on my own boat. when i was a first mate we would occasionly get someone who did not want to keep fish and we had a slot limit that a lot of the lake trout would be over so they all had to go back. lots of them were netted and we found if you sort of torpedoed them back into the water they would swim off verse floating on the surface. dont know how many lived long term but the laws the law. laketrout fishing in the bays has been good enough that i think the majority of them lived.

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Being a rookie to Salmon and Steelhead fishing, I would like to keep some of my fish as the family likes to eat them....I appreciate this thread as I'm now learning a bit about netting and release...something I've never known with Salmon....what is the opinion about coho? Could someone fill me in on what 'small' to 'decent' size means on Lake Huron? Thanks for the info.

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