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OntarioFishingGuy

How To Land A Muskie???

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I fish alone so a net would not be the easiest thing to use. I am considering a Boga Grip. Any other solutions (landing by hand) would alo be welcome. I have lost quite a few fish because i always seem to hook a muskie when i dont have a leader on and they chew through the braid in no time, so if i dont land them quickly they are gone. Also, i fish from a dock that is about 2 feet of the water.

 

Thanks a bunch

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Netting a 40# fish single handed with a net is not always easy, I'd opt for a Boga or some type of a lip grip.  Another option is a lip gaff, it's a common practice when the intention is to release a fish, a thin gaff in the lip or lower gills. This is a picture of a tarpon being gaffed.

 

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The gaff sound o.k, but the problem is that in Ontario, gaffs are illegal.                                            

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I've hand landed fish up to 45 inches long. I grab them just behind the head. If they are small, 10 pounds and under, I just pull them out of the water. If they are larger, I hold them in the same place, behind the head with my fingers just inside the gill flaps. I pick them up enough so that I can slide my other hand under the gills, just under the jaw. Just don't put your fingers too far inside to touch the gill rakers. They will slice your fingers up. Have a pair of jaw spreaders ready and tied to something. Also have a pair of long needle nose pliers to get the hooks out.

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Well, until the 1940's, in Wisconsin, ( The muskey capital of the world) The guides would shoot them in the head with a .32 cal. pistol. Things have changed just a little bit, Now they use a catch and release net and 95% are put back. Use a net, treat them with kindness and "put em back"

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I'd say a net.  It would be easier then trying to reach down 2ft to try and angle an angry toothy musky to try and catch him with a Boga Grip. Just make sure you have a big enough net and a long handle. Its easier to guide a fish into a net and lift, once you have him in the net, if you have a reel with a clicker, put it in free spool with the clicker on, set the rod down and use both hands.  

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Evert time I think about a net reminds me of this episode a few years ago.  We were fishing in 80 fow and hook a nice cobia, as we had our limit already this fish needed to be released.  My buddy had a pos net with no rubber grips, it was chilly out and my hands were wet.  Cobia decides to put another run on, leader breaks and the slippery aluminum net slides out of my hands.  At least the fish was released, lol.

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Those cobia can be quite the handful.  Always seem to have a little something left right at the end especially the big ones.  They like to do the death role when you gaff them.  I could see the net on them being a problem with the bigger ones especially if they decide to go the other way.

 

Evert time I think about a net reminds me of this episode a few years ago.  We were fishing in 80 fow and hook a nice cobia, as we had our limit already this fish needed to be released.  My buddy had a pos net with no rubber grips, it was chilly out and my hands were wet.  Cobia decides to put another run on, leader breaks and the slippery aluminum net slides out of my hands.  At least the fish was released, lol.

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With cobia you have to watch the spines behind the neck, very sharp.  We had kingfish take swipe at a leg on a boat, a slash from the knee to the ankle.  A barracuda will go after you in an eye blink and tarpon and snook have gill plates like a razor blade.  You have to be equally careful with pike and muskie.  As much as I want to handle a fish with care if I'm releasing it, my safety comes first.

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I notice the little brother of the Muskie and the great northern pike the smaller pickerel can be really nasty and my last pickerel was mad when the crankbait was stuck in his mouth when he engulfed it so bad he could close his mouth. He was fighting me the whole time trying to bite me as I tried to unhook the two treble hooks. His jaws were snapping the whole time. I figure the larger great northern pike and Muskie will try to bite us too. My point is one must be careful of its mouth.

With my pickerel it was my first cast using the bomber crank in citrus. So far here the larger chain pickerel I have seen landed so far are between 29" to 32" in length. These are so fat both your hands will not fit around there girth. I can't imagine what a great northern pike or muskie is like to handle to release it.

Btw, there gills on the back side are razor sharp too. I'm thinking fishing gloves to protect your hands.

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