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June 14, 2004 – Erie’s Little Treasures
For those of you who have not had the pleasure of getting out in Lake Erie’s western basin this year, last year crop of walleye now 6 to 9 inches in length are everywhere. It is not unusual to catch one or two for every keeper size walleye. It is impossible to keep these little guys off your lines but it is equally important to handle them gently so they can grow up to be big guys in a couple of years. It is best to not handle them if possible, we try and shake them off the hooks without lifting them out of the water, if this is not possible I lift them up to were I can get a hold of the hook with needle nose pliers, the turn the hook up side down and shake them off. It is very important not to handle them as your hands will wipe off the protective coating and make then susceptible to disease. If you have no choice but to handle them wet your hands first and be as gentle as possible. Remember in a couple of years these will be keepers.
 

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For some odd reason whenever I catch the small guys they have all 3 treble hooks deep in their mouth. But yet when you catch a big one it barely has one hook in the edge of its lip. :rolleyes:
 
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