Mortality Study Update – Suckers & Livescope – Bait Stuff
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Video Game Sucker Fishin'
Despite the fact that live viewing sonar is getting more and more popular, there's still barely any content/screen records online of musky dudes using it to catch our favorite species of toothy fish.
The latest video from Todays Angler has a few brief clips showing muskies chasin' around suckers on Livescope.... like this shot:
Sure as heck beats staring at a bobber for 14 hours straight.... 😂
Fishing is a full-blown outdoor sport, but it's crazy how much you can learn by staring at screens all day.
At this rate, we might as well just paste one to our face indefinitely.... LOL
Kidding of course, but it's wild how electronics have changed the game....
Over the years, we've played with sonar, high-def mapping, Side Imaging and now the live viewing shhhtuff. Every step of the way, we've learned things that helped us better understand musky behavior and catch more of 'em.
The next question: How has all this new technology impacted our fisheries with the even-more-sophisticated angling pressure we've added in recent years?
Something to chew on...
Fresh Musky Tackle
There's TONS of new stuff being released this week at the Chicago Muskie Expo.... too much to highlight right now, but here's a few baits that caught our eye:
Red October Magic Stix (link) – A sleek spade-tailed "twitch, jerk, snap" bait from the crew that's most known for their famous musky tubes. Pumped to see this 11-inch tasty lookin' morsel in the water.
Musky Mayhem Grenade (link) – We shared this unique in-line jig/bucktail hybrid in a past newsletter. It has a completely different look and action the fish haven't seen before, and it's the PERFECT bait for sharpshooting muskies with live viewing sonar.
Monster Swimmin' Dawg (link) – This new plus-sized swimbait is 16 inches long and weighs 19.5 ounces. Perfect for the "bigger baits = bigger fish" crowd!
**Warning: Objects in photo are larger than they appear. 😉**
Stealth Pre-Made Hook Extensions (link) – Sometimes upgrading your favorite proven fish-catchin' bait is better than spending more $$ on fresh new lures. This Shallow Invader hook modification isn't new, but now you can get it pre-made with A+ components from the Stealth Tackle crew. 👍
Trueglide Blacklist Cranks (link) – Really cool new baits with polycarbonate (Joystick) and aluminum (8ball) lip options. You can alter the depth and action of the bait by adjusting the pin and brass ball – hard to explain, but easy to visualize in this video.
Warm Water Study
Lots of musky-heads have been keeping tabs on the James River musky mortality study that's trying to answer the ever-important question:
How much do warm water temps impact musky mortality rates?
From the writeup on The Fishing Wire:
"Many musky anglers stop fishing when water temperatures exceed 80°F because catching fish in elevated temperatures is believed to lead to high mortality. Until this point, there has been no formal evaluation to validate this belief."
They talked about sampling methods in the writeup, but I know most of you are most interested on the RESULTS. Here's a summary of the data they've collected over the last two years:
"Seven fish were caught in 2020 and five were caught in 2021. Three of the seven fish caught in 2020 died and one of the five fish caught in 2021 died, leading to a mortality estimate of 33.3% for fish released in warm water. Additionally, we had one natural mortality in 2020 and three natural mortalities in 2021, resulting in a natural mortality estimate of 6.9% for the warm-water period."
Unfortunately, we're working with a very small sample size here (sounds like catch-rates are lower overall on the James River during the mid-summer months?), but it's cool to see someone trying to tackle this question.
Hopefully this leads to more studies and efforts trying to quantify angling mortality, particularly during the hottest weeks of the year. It's a controversial topic that could become a lot less polarizing if we had more targeted data to dissect.
This Week's Mashup:
#1 – Lovin' the slimy ink from Ben Morrett – thanks for sharing dude!
#2 – Really enjoyed the 2021 highlights video from Musky Adrenaline, but couldn't help but notice how stinkin' brave/gutty their dog is, crawling to the front of the boat as they fly through a maze of shield rock.
#3 – We haven't shared too many "ugly" muskies lately, but had to show ya this pudgy Indiana high-snouter sent in by Derrick Keener. #U-G-L-Y
#4 – This definitely isn't a pike newsletter, but these greenish, blueish, yellow pike are too dang cool not to share when we see 'em. Great shot from David Fusaro 🔥
– More PMTT event deets available (link)
– Are you at the Chicago Muskie Expo this weekend? (link)
– “Great White Strikes” w/ Doug Wegner (video)
– Late fall musky fishing on LSC w/ Angling Anarchy (video)
– 2021 highlights w/ Slime & Slay (video)
– Fishing a musky tournament w/ Smith’s Fishing (video)
– Fall river jigging from shore w/ justkeepcasting (video)
THIS WEEK'S MONSTER MUSKIES:
What is Dougie's best-kept-secret for catchin' big muskies???
It's gotta be the lucky plaid colored underwear! 😉 #TheMoreYouKnow!
Sweet incidental northern Wisconsin hardwater 'skie from Josh Warner.
Also a good time to remind everyone to handle muskies with care if you happen to stumble into one during the wintertime months – over-handling can lead to frozen eyes and/or gills and dead fish.
Congrats on the catch, Josh!
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