The muskie biologist for the VA Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries called me up earlier this week to see if I wanted to join them in shocking for musky this year.  He informed me he has been tagging fish with a numbered yellow tag near the dorsal fin.  These tags need to be removed by clipping the tag off with scissors and turned in to the state (see below) with length, where, when, tackle used, and released or harvested (check regulations).  They are worth $20 dollars for returned tags with this information.  This is one way to knock down the price of a guided trip.  Most musky fisherman practice catch and release because they know how much work goes into catching them and how valuable they are.  Musky in the James river have not been stocked in 5 years.  The population is doing well and the musky are successfully spawning on their own.  Be sure to take care of these giants!  One thing to keep in mind is to keep the fish in the net and in the water when removing the fly or lure.  A musky in the net or loose in a boat floor is not good.  They will go crazy, breaking rods, gear, and injuring themselves.  Have fun out there and remember musky are the fish of “10,000 cast” and your going to have to catch a bunch of tagged fish before you make back all that money you already have spent trying to catch them.IMG_4249