Musky America Magazine November Edition

of death was injuries sustained to vital organs as a result of trauma caused by the single hook. The third musky to expire was a 41 1/2-inch female, caught in November on a 16-inch sucker. A 10/0, squared, bronze-colored, steel hook was used. The leader material was nylon-coated, 60pound test, wrapped wire. The musky was hooked in the stomach and no part of the hook was visible. The wire was snipped and the musky was released in shallow water. Although the musky swam off exhibiting a great deal of strength and speed, it was found the very next day dead along the shore. An autopsy revealed that the hook had passed through the stomach lining and penetrated the rib cage. The result was that the musky died from internal bleeding as evidenced by the large quantity of blood in its stomach cavity. The remaining 10 sucker-caught Muskies are believed to still be alive (at this writing). Some may take the position that three dead fish is evidence enough to seek legislation against single hook rigs. However, others - especially those in the scientific community and those who support the use of single hook rigs - could make the claim that the three that have expired may have died as a result of a combination of factors that may or may not have been related to the single hook rigs. However, special care was taken to not cause unusual additional stress to the study Muskies. Of the three Muskies which did perish, none of them fought in an abnormally excessive manner nor did they experience any excessive handling during the transmitter implantation process. So, in the cases of these three Muskies, as evidenced by the autopsies, it's clear that the hook itself was the cause of death.