Musky America Magazine October 2023 Edition

killed in ALL of Muskies Inc. in 1999. Maybe other members aren't comfortable admitting they kept or killed one! Think about this: When was the last time someone admitted releasing an unreleasable fish? Due to the peer pressure, we've put on ourselves, it's probably happening more often than we want to believe. Has this peer pressure turned us into complete FANATICS? Just maybe we need to take a really hard look in the mirror. This kind of thinking that every muskie must be released is not healthy. At the last count in the 1999 Muskies Inc. Members Only Contest, we registered 9,208 fish. Who knows how many more weren't registered? Only fifteen of them were kept. Does anyone truly believe we released 9,193 live and VIABLE muskies? I wonder. All those anglers, warm water, cold water, trolling, casting, suckers, landing nets, hand landing, and last but not least photos! To how many fish did we give a little shove, then come in and thump our chests and say that we released them, when in reality we ultimately made turtle food out of them? Why would muskie anglers do that? Because we've been taught that every muskie MUST be released to fight another day. Right? Or are we afraid to ADMIT to keeping one? I 'd bet the latter occurs a lot more than we want to believe. If you don't believe the intensity of this "you must let 'em go" mentality, check out how Muskie anglers sign-off on the website message boards on Muskie Inc. and Musky Hunter Magazine (ie. let 'em go, let 'em grow, or let 'em live, etc.). Every speaker at every seminar concludes his presentation by hammering home the catch-and-release philosophy. That mindset is deeply rooted, although the basic philosophy is not entirely bad. Muskies Inc. has done its job promoting catch-and-release, and I don't mean it sarcastically. We should release Muskies, but it