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Have been seeing numerous reports of smaller walleye being caught which is good for future fishing. What is the best way to handle and release some of these smaller fish to ensure their survival for future catches? I'm talking everything under 18 inch fish. However, I'd just as soon keep a 15-18 incher if it is going to die because of handling anyway.
 

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Bit by Musky bug
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I normally don't net fish that small and just swing them into the boat but I try not to let them hit hot carpet or floor and just try and shake them off the hook back into the water untouched, if you can't do that, wet your hands and gently un-hook them without squeezing them whatsoever and back they go the bigger they are the more you can squeeze them, if they are 18's or better and I'm keeping fish that day they go in my cooler.

I think most Erie anglers became experts at this when you couldn't keep the little 03's off the hooks, I remember one day fishing the sanbar when I caught 100 of them in one long day of fishing we caught them 15-1 on the keepers, man that was a loooong day of fishing, drop the dispey pull it up 4 minutes later with a 10 inch spike with a stinger spoon hanging out of its mouth you couldn't even see the hit....hitchhikers
 

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I like to hold them by the lip with the boga grip, remove the hook and drop them back in the water without touching them.
 
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