Log On Today - Fish On Tomorrow! ™
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Having grown up on Lake Winni and fished it since I was knee-high to a grasshopper (1965) would like to make a few points:
1. Tired of posts blaming ice fishermen for poor salmon fishing - I like to fish both open water & ice fishing - I don't think either has the moral/ sportmanship high ground... compare the fishing techiques between ice fishing & trolling... lets see:
a. trolling (2) lines pp - same as ice fishing -
b. the ability to cover water and track down where the salmon vs. (2) holes w/ tipups or (1) hole for jigging & (1) hole for tipup- no comparison between the ability to cover water trolling and ice fishing
c. water temp: LL salmon optimum 45 -55 open water/ trolling has that temp covered vs ice fishing water temp 32-39
d. limit: (2)fish / day open water vs (0)/ day ice fishing (yet we all pay the same license fee - is this really fair?)
e. Hook Wounds: NH F & G has identified hook wounds as being a major problen: ice fishing single hook for live bait vs. a mouth full of treble hooks or take a streamer fly deep - it is easy to cut the line using a single hook..who cuts the line and lets a salmon swim off w/ a fly or lure in it's mouth?
How many have released fish when their surviability was in question so can keep on fishing?
2. Technology has Changed the Sport: Let's face the facts we are not going to return to pre-downrigger/ locator/gps/ plotters/ planner boards etc. days when there was very little pressure on the fishery after mid June
As one of the pioneers in downrigger fishing w/ a Lorance Green Box flasher I was amazing at how effective it was in the summertime ...stop and think where we are now...gps plotters to go right back over feeding fish...electric downriggers...planner boards...side scanning sonar etc...it no longer hit the fish hard thru May and then leave the fish alone now we hammer the fish month after month...is it any wonder we are in this situation?
"We have met the enemy and he is us." Walt Kelley
3. Water Temp Affect on Survivability: catch & release but is the fish dead anyway? I have read studies about salmon being stressed from being caught when the water is warm (August -Sept. on Winni) and dying after release because of lactic acid build up...seen it for myself fly fishing for salmon in rivers in the summertime...release the fish and it goes into shock (I'm sure some of you have experienced this also w/ large stripers when the water is warm)
4. Stop Blaming F & G: Walk a while in the biologists shoes...they've got to collect data and then predict an outcome based on that data...here's a newsflash... It is not an exact science!
5. Having fished through the peak (1970-1979+/-) when is was fairly common for us to cath 5lb salmon from Winni to the dismal years of overstocking (based on carrying capacity) the early 80s, catching a lot of sub-legal fish, releasing them and think next year would be good only to find out the following year was more of the same...I hope one down year is not a trend and that F & G can turn the Lake salmon fishing around
6. Finally let's agree to disagree but please respect each other and don't think that one legal fishing technique is more noble than another
7. BTW: when "Poggie Bay" used to run the little salmon derby in the 70's the winning fish almost always came from Squam (usually around 8-9lbs), even back then Winni was know for being quanity vs quality
Gregory T Kidd