Late Season Tactics

Some local guides still practice Set-Line Slaughter It was reported that a 52-inch musky weighing more than 40 pounds was found washed up dead on an island on the northeast end of the Chippewa Flowage on June I by three anglers from Illinois...certainly a disheartening site for someone who has traveled all that way to fish the Chippewa Flowage. The dead musky apparently expired this spring after ingesting a single-hook sucker rig last fall, according to local musky guide Scott Allen, who examined the fish on June 2. A swallow-hook rig was found coming out of its mouth. According to Allen and a number of other anglers and guides, the fish is another example of the waste of a natural resource caused by some anglers who fish from shore with sucker-baited set-line rigs each October and November. The set-line fishermen may or may not get to a rod when there is a bite. They cut the wire leader and release many of the fish, thinking they will live. But the fish end up dying, Allen said. Allen stated that "The (52-inch) musky may have broken the line while battling an angler or wrapped the line around a stump or log and broke it before the set- liners got around to checking their fishing rods. "Last year in the Hayward area, there was only one 40-pound-plus musky that was known to have been caught," Allen added. The practice of set-lining is "a big problem, especially on the Chippewa Flowage. We have to stop it, and stop anglers from using swallow-type hooks," he said. "This is hurting our fishing, and it is having a negative impact on Sawyer County businesses, especially in the fall when tourist dollars are needed the most," Allen said. Betty Greene, co-owner of D & B Bait and Tackle on the Chippewa Flowage, agrees that "this practice has hurt everyone in this business, and it's got to stop. Something has to be done. Fall business is going to heck. I sure wish some tourist would have had that (52-inch fish) on his line and had the thrill of his life," she said.