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Lake: Granby Lake

Multiple Master Angler Lakers from Granby

Post By: Wreckstar      Posted: 3/4/2024 7:36:21 AM     Points: 5455    
My annual trip to Granby was awesome this year! Multiple Master Angler Lakers. My Fishing partner Jamin saved my bacon when I was being dumb and my fish got tangled in all my lines. He also coached a younger guy to land an almost 40"er!!

[log in for link]

 Reply by: IceAngler86      Posted: Mar. 4, 8:43:59 AM     Points: 432
Nice fish! Thanks for sharing!
 Reply by: laker guy      Posted: Mar. 4, 8:52:55 AM     Points: 1
Nice fish! Thanks for the release.
 Reply by: yard dogs      Posted: Mar. 4, 9:47:42 AM     Points: 745
Beautiful fish man
 Reply by: MAC ATTACK      Posted: Mar. 4, 6:20:43 PM     Points: 39890
Clicks instead of picks. Gotta love it.

FYI, please learn how you to handle a big laker, before you blast the internet showing everyone how to put your hands in the gill plates.

Fish probably has a 30% survival rate.
 Reply by: SirGreg88      Posted: Mar. 4, 10:52:57 PM     Points: 395
Hate to rain on their parade but handling took way too long for a release. It doesn't take away from the great catch.
 Reply by: Wreckstar      Posted: Mar. 5, 7:33:50 AM     Points: 5455
Before I ever attempted the big Lakers on my own, I used multiple guided trips to learn how to find them, catch them and release them. I LOVE fishing, and I care about the conservation of our fishing habitat and the health of the fish. I've only ever spent money on fishing, never made a dime and don't expect to. I make videos because I enjoy it and I have 3 kids that might get to see a different side of their father when they get older. I don't care about the clicks, but I do get excited to share with like minded people. It disappoints me to hear folks tell me we didn't handle those fish correctly, because part of my goal is education.

I was taught by guides that have fished Granby for years and years. I can assure you that when we use the gill plate to pull the fish out of the hole and position the fish to hold it, we are extremely careful not to touch the gills. We are also very cognizant of the time the fish spends out of the water and the temps as well.

I chose to make these videos available for people to watch because I think others will enjoy them. I could edit them so no one ever sees anything wrong or bad, but I also chose to make them real videos and not staged. I used a portion of the video to talk about mistakes I made, because it is important for me to put out content that has good information about best practices.

I'm not an uneducated fisherman looking for clicks, so I would appreciate a tad more respect than that. I do appreciate the constructive critique, because I still learn things and if I didn't handle a fish correctly or didn't teach the right technique to a younger fisherman, I want to get better. Because of who taught me and the reputation he/they have I was sure I was doing things properly. I'll do some more research before my next trip. Thanks!
 Reply by: shmiley1      Posted: Mar. 5, 9:19:12 AM     Points: 2688
Things happen in the heat of the moment. Planning goes along way.
Just a couple of tips from my POV.

Should never stick anything in a trouts gills, including your hands. Their gill plates are not made for hanging.
Also fish that size should not be held up by their head (or any other single body part). Their bodies are not designed to support that kind of weight out of the water.
The more things you have hanging in the water close togather, the chances of a mess increase.
 Reply by: yard dogs      Posted: Mar. 5, 4:01:06 PM     Points: 745
Holy cow - a shmiley appearance!!! Whats up man? Hope you are well and still catching fish!
 Reply by: shmiley1      Posted: Mar. 5, 8:16:16 PM     Points: 2688
Never know who is lurking...
I am good, i see pics of you and the fam.. Reminds me its been a while. Lol.

Im still here, doing my thing... Im just pretty quiet about it.
 Reply by: chodeman      Posted: Mar. 5, 11:47:48 PM     Points: 3796
Wreckster: Great Fish! Don't sweat the negativity, I'm sure you will learn from it.

Mac Attack: Wow

Shmiley: Great reply. Very well said. Nice to hear you're doing well!
 Reply by: MAC ATTACK      Posted: Mar. 6, 6:53:52 AM     Points: 39890
Respect is earned. Like I said that fish probably has a 30% chance of survival. No guide worth his salt would show you how to pick the fish up by the gill plate.

Good to hear you’re still out there Jeremy. You need to come over here. Blue Mesa is rocking right now. Soft water fishing from a pontoon. Half the lake didn’t cap.
 Reply by: RipLip2      Posted: Mar. 15, 10:35:50 AM     Points: 3
This is the issue with the USA today, if you do not do it my way you are wrong, NOT okay to disagree! I love your videos as well as many others on here. I guess what I would say is if he wanted your opinion he would have asked, but he did not! Your kids will love the videos later for sure! Do NOT get discouraged just ignore the "nay sayers" as I have for 63 years with much difficulty! I always want to fire back and have for many years but now it is easier for my and I will come to the aid of others who get attacked by people who simply cannot keep their unwanted opinions to themselves, SAD!

Keep up the good work and ping me anytime, I will always support your efforts!
 Reply by: skiman      Posted: Mar. 15, 1:17:56 PM     Points: 2825
MacAttack has years of experience handling fish, and some of us DO care about what he has to say. Maybe instead of criticizing, watch and listen, you might actually learn something.
 Reply by: Ajax5240      Posted: Mar. 15, 3:37:11 PM     Points: 38011
Posting something on a public forum is exactly the same as asking for feedback. You’re going to get a mix of high fives, congrats, and people opinions. Simple as that.

And, also agree that MAC has more than earned his stripes to voice his opinion.

Grow thick skin or don’t post…
 Reply by: ColoradoRay      Posted: Mar. 15, 4:37:07 PM     Points: 37299
RipLip2 - You seem to be new here. Please be aware this is a site to share things fishing related. And please review the forum rules for posting and pay close attention to the lead in and points 1,2, and 3. You can find these listed to the right of the entry space after you hit the reply button.
 Reply by: Mbogo      Posted: Mar. 16, 9:40:05 AM     Points: 3
Great video, and thank you for posting. Your kids will treasure it some day down the road.

Not judging the fish handling here at all, only looking to learn. If, as some have opined, the handling of these fish was not optimal, do any of you have videos that show how it should have been done in your opinion? Especially when pulling the fish from the hole initially. Are you using a gloved hand and grabbing by the bottom lip to lift out of the hole? And for pictures, are you putting the forward hand under the fish and just behind the gills with the other at the tail?

These guys were obviously concerned with the well being of the fish and getting them back in the water quickly to live and fight another day, which they did. Just looking for some additional tips, thanks.
 Reply by: chodeman      Posted: Mar. 16, 9:10:20 PM     Points: 3796
This is so humorous. MAC, you did nothing but bash the guy and then claim respect is earned, yet showed none to him in the 1st place. Your 30% claim is truly a guess and you have no way of knowing how that fish fared. I totally agree that they handled the fish incorrectly, but isn't this site a place to learn and better educate / advocate? If it is just going to be about trashing people then Matt just cancel my membership!

Over the years I have met and taken more members fishing (for lakers) than I can count. It is my favorite part of being a part of this community. To all the friends and companions I have met, it's been my honor to share the water with you.

Such a shame considering I have enjoyed countless post by you Mac over the years. Maybe you were having a bad day or maybe you're just a bitter person. Whatever it is, short of an apology to the man, I can guarantee you will never earn my respect!
 Reply by: randog      Posted: Mar. 17, 8:24:49 PM     Points: 1805
Smash that like button, earn my respect, lol. $!*ty fish handling is $!*ty fish handling. Simple
 Reply by: Wreckstar      Posted: Mar. 18, 9:55:42 AM     Points: 5455
Did not mean to cause such a stir. I do very much appreciate the comments, I have already learned from my mistakes and can assure I will get better. I just wanted to add one thought. The thing I was most disappointed with was the lack of actual help and our guidance. I immediately researched "proper Laker handling" on the internet and truthfully did not find any great resources. I was never malicious and had good intentions, so to be treated like an ignorant no good was unexpected. I was quick to admit I made mistakes and would fix those moving forward, and that seems to be something most folks have a hard time doing these days, admitting they were wrong.

The true heroes are those that chimed in with tips or advice on how to fix my mistakes. I appreciate those folks the most, because that's why I come here. MAC is right and respect is earned. Thanks for those that reached out a hand you gained my respect. Also, no worries about the harsh comments I only wish they came with an offer to help, Like Chodeman said why else do you even come here?
 Reply by: Walleyeone      Posted: Mar. 18, 4:18:03 PM     Points: 1061
I agree with Mack and Shmiley.
You can damage fish by mishandling them.
I think they are just trying to help us understand and not trying to start a$!* show.
Although they are both ornery s o b s
 Reply by: eholm      Posted: Mar. 18, 9:37:50 PM     Points: 17497
PART 1 of 2

I almost stayed out of this one, but after reading Wreckstar's (referred to as OP going forward) follow-up reply from March 18 I've gotta chime in with some observations, opinions, and research.

MAC ATTACK's (referred to as MA going forward) first reply was short but harsh in my opinion. MA has indeed earned plenty of respect over the years and proven his knowledge in the past. That's probably why the short response evoked a strong response from some others.

Both of OP's follow-up replies have a tone of humility. He did not engage in name calling. I think he deserves fins up for that alone.

I'd like to add my take to the three statements included in MA's first reply.

1) "Clicks instead of picks. Gotta love it."

MA is certainly entitled to his opinion on the Youtubers. We've discussed it in the past, and I once started an entire thread about it. So if that was all he had said, its no big deal. However, it might not have been a tactful approach to leading into what I think was a criticism that MA cares about even more (MA you can correct me, but I'm assuming you care more about lake trout than about Youtubers).

In other words, if he had omitted that first sentence, or even said something like "Nice video, BUT..." , I think it would have been easier to take his next point seriously.

My opinion is that MA's "clicks instead of pics" is somewhat of a misdirected frustration. Here's why. OP wasn't necessarily posting to "get clicks". He was sharing a video - the most popular medium on the internet. So really it is "video instead of pics".

The only way to share a video on this site currently is to link out to it. If we could embed a youtube video directly in a post, then it could be played right here on FXR, and it wouldn't be seen so much as trying to get clicks.

2) "FYI, please learn how you to handle a big laker, before you blast the internet showing everyone how to put your hands in the gill plates."

This is the statement that seems to bring the heat. Yet, OP's response was humble. His problem with the criticism is not what was said, but what was NOT said. As OP mentioned in a follow-up post, he wasn't offered any solution or correction.

As a matter of fact OP already DID LEARN how to handle a big laker. As OP stated: "I used multiple guided trips" and "I was taught by guides that have fished Granby for years and years.".

In MA's follow-up reply, he seems to respond to this with: "No guide worth his salt would show you how to pick the fish up by the gill plate.".

Again MA is entitled to his opinion. His definition of "worth his salt" can be anything he wants it to be. However, I would like to add that I've seen several "reputable" guides and/or pro anglers over the years who pick up large fish by the gill plates on various videos. Personally, I've not yet caught a fish big enough through the ice that it might necessitate grabbing it by the gill plate, so I haven't ever had to worry about it.

Here is an article that I will quote: [log in for link]

Gord Pyzer wrote: "If the weather is mild, I like to carefully grab a big fish behind the gills and gently help it swim right out of the hole and onto the ice. Then I slide my free hand under the fish’s belly so I can take the pressure off its spine."

He also cites a study in which "a whopping 91-percent of the lake trout that had been caught in the mouth area on artificial jigs survived after they were released. Even in the middle of the winter when air temperatures were harsh." In that study they measured, weighed and marked the fish, meaning they were handled out of the water for probably a minute or two.

Gord Pyzer is widely regarded as Canada's most scientific angler. He worked for 30 years as a senior manager with Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources. Worth his salt?
 Reply by: eholm      Posted: Mar. 18, 9:38:12 PM     Points: 17497
PART 2 of 2

Now, MA might have some great data or other resources to the contrary. I don't know, and neither does OP. As OP stated in a follow-up: "I immediately researched "proper Laker handling" on the internet and truthfully did not find any great resources."

I tried searching for such information too, and I have to agree with OP. There are readily available several hundred (probably thousands) of articles, videos and other resources sharing how to CATCH big lake trout through the ice. I found none that specifically covered how to get the fish through the hole without touching the gill plates.

So, MA - where is MA supposed to learn your correct method?

Here is MA's article from 2014 (10 years ago): [log in for link]

My key takeaway from that article is "be prepared". For example here's a quote: "What will I do when the fish is at the surface? (With the fish still in the net remove the hook. Gently remove the fish from the net and take the picture as fast as you can)"

Here's a paper from the state of Montana from 2008 with some similar points: [log in for link]

Point #1: "Plan ahead. Have pliers, cameras, etc. ready to release fish quickly."

To those points, I see the anglers in OP's video doing a lot of things right. They were very intentional about what they were doing when they landed the lakers, and seemed to have a plan. Even the part about grabbing the gill plates was spoken out loud and intentionally, it was part of the plan. It appears the first big laker was out of the water about 60 seconds and the second one about 90 seconds. Someone's going to say that's too long, but to me it looked like they were reasonably efficient.

shmiley1 replied with, "Things happen in the heat of the moment. Planning goes along way." I think all of us who have caught a big fish can agree with that statement. I do not think OP should be severely faulted for lack of planning, as planning is evident, and he already admitted he learned from multiple mistakes.

shmiley1 also posted a pic of a big laker with a bleeding mouth, which is very typical. Not just from one hook spot, but around the mouth. Again quite typical and "probably" not a problem, although in my research today I came across articles that said any bleeding "could" become a problem. My point in pointing this out is that ANYONE who catches a big laker from any depth by any means at any time of year is inflicting stress on that fish.

My point in saying THAT is: anglers who fish for lakers are not standing on moral high ground to judge less experienced angers who are also fishing for lakers. If you've got a better way, share it.

3) "Fish probably has a 30% survival rate." MA repeated this claim again in a reply. As a couple others mentioned, that's a speculative number.

Let's just suppose 30% is true. On one hand, my reply to that could be - well, 30% is better than 0%. At least they are practicing C&R, and giving the fish a chance. On the other hand my reply would be - OK, how do they increase the survival rate?

Scientific studies are few. Here is one from the state of Alaska: [log in for link]

Page 17 has some interesting data:

"The data did not indicate a significant difference in recovery rates between fish that were bleeding and not bleeding"

"The data did not indicate a significant difference in recovery rates based on length of time out of the water" (the average was 68 seconds)

"analysis showed no evidence of an affect on recovery rates of lure-caught fish that were bleeding and/or were subjected to lengthy (>60 s) exposure to ambient air during the marking events"

This last part is not meant as an insult, but food for thought and hopefully something productive. If you can even estimate a 30% survival rate based on your experiences, it means you've seen some fish die. It means you made some mistakes in the past that you learned from, or at the very least you were lucky enough to learn from someone else's mistakes.

I think the tendency for all of us who have been doing something for decades is to take our own knowledge for granted at times. I might think to myself... of course we keep our fingers out of gills, duh! Everyone knows that! I'll admit I personally think that way at times. Then I'm on a fishing app, and I see like 60% of pics posted have their fingers in the gills of all kinds of species.

So to MA I would just encourage you to keep up all the great educating and knowledge sharing that you've been known for all these years.
 Reply by: Gurnman      Posted: Mar. 18, 10:28:32 PM     Points: 603
 Reply by: shmiley1      Posted: Mar. 19, 10:24:34 AM     Points: 2688
Ftr, that blood was from ONE single hook and ONE hook hole, fish was out of the water MAYBE 40 secs.. Also, the "slime" that most are not concerned about rubbing off as well as the cold water work togather to stop bleeding and prevent infection/disease. Just something to keep in mind.

When you post stuff on the internet, you make a statement and should be prepared for critique.
Sure i prolly have pic/video from over the years that may have shown improper handling ect., but i dont post them up for ppl to see and repeat because they saw it on a video.
I feel like alot of ppl prioritize getting the video over anything else and thats where most of the issues stem from.
Wreck, you took stuff well, hold onto that. All you can do is note what could have been handled better for next time.
 Reply by: eholm      Posted: Mar. 19, 11:24:34 AM     Points: 17497
shmiley - good reply, I give you fins up once again. So ftr, I don't doubt that it was one hook, and I don't doubt that you handled the fish well. Again my point there is simply that there is not necessarily a moral high ground for someone who is a more experienced C&R angler than another. Especially for anyone who takes a fish out of the water, which 100% includes me. (The single barbless fly anglers who keep fish underwater and don't even take pics will feel justified here, LOL - though I could argue that they play the fish 5X longer than me and tire it out more). I post more pics on this site than anyone else these days, and a lot of them are me holding trout out of the water. I am an advocate of catch-photo-release at the cost of some risk to the fish, and I could write another 10,000 word post about why, but I'll save that for another time.

You are right about some people prioritizing getting the video shot. That is proven by all the stupid things that some youtubers do, like jump into the fish tank at Bass Pro. But like most things in life, you can't lump everyone into a generalization. I once fished with a Youtuber friend and wore a GoPro for the session. When he viewed the footage, he straight up admonished me for some of my fish handling, because it was all right there on video!

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