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We need to teach how to catch and release!


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Fish are fragile creatures. Many fisherman unfortunately do not know how to handle a caught fish. I have observed many smallies die at the hands of an unskilled fisherman. 2 cases were very recent which motivated me to post this. At the very least, many fisherman take too long even if it's a clean release. They don't think to place the fish in the water for a few moments to give the fish some fresh oxygen if the release procedure is taking too long; I witnessed this occurance today. The fish was caught with a rattle trap but the fisherman took a long time unhooking the fish. I spoke to him and gave him the tip on pinching down the barbs of his hooks. He felt bad about his release and seemed responsive to the tip.

 

Some fisherman don't think to cut their hooks with bolt cutters if the fish is hooked in multiple locations on the fish's body, such as the case with treble hooks. I need to get a new pair now that I think of it.

 

I think it would be great to produce a video that can be presented on how to handle fish that are hooked in various ways. Even gut hooked fish can be saved or at least have a chance. Pulling the hook forward and cutting the hook removes the hook. The fish may have a damaged esophagus but it has a better chance than with a hook impailed in its throat.

 

It can be a great educational tool at the ISA booths. It can also show how to handle certain un-hooking tools. Many people buy them but don't know how to use them.

 

Just an idea.

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Jim,

 

It is a great idea. a "pinned" article in several of the forums would go a long way. There is a big difference between live release and survival. The fish that swims away can die later from stress, injury, or infection just to mention a few of the hazards.

 

We even need to be sure the photo part of CPR does not become the last straw. In this regard my favorite tip is to hold the fish in a horizontal plane for the pic. There are two benefits. First the fish suffers less from gravity pulling and displacing the gut inside. Longer fish like pike are especially vulnerable to this pot belly effect. I know Musky hunters who cringe when they see a fish held vertically for the picture. "Released or not it is a dead fish." Second, on the brighter side, the fish looks bigger because the eye compares it to the horizontal width of the holder's body rather than the vertican height of the holder. This all assumes that the fish spends very little time out of the water.

 

Good idea.

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Something else I've learned is that when fishing in temps at or below freezing it is essential to get the fish back in the water asap. Exposure to freezing air temps damages the gills of fish, and even though they are released in what appears to be good health, they may soon die due to exposure of the gills to those air temps. It can take just mere seconds for frost to develope on the fragile gill tissue, resulting in frostbite and death of the tissue. It is often wise to forgo the grip-n-grin pictures and just get the fish back in the water.

 

Although I rarely fish in these kinds of temperatures, when I do I usually try to keep the fish in the water as I remove the hook. Keeping the fish in the water eliminates the possibility of damage.

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;)

 

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Ok guys, you've got me motivated...anyone want to join me?

 

Lets produce a video to demonstrate how to un-hook 'em.

 

Are ya with me?

 

I'm sure youtube has some but we want our own!

 

Fishing shows are great, but the average fishman isn't a pro. They don't encounter the difficulties an average angler encounters when unhooking a fish.

 

First, we would have to film the proper "procedures" in the field. Once we get a collection of them, we can edit and put together a series of "case studies".

Remember the barbless hook debate...in this video we can also include how to pinch down the barb. Some people don't know what that means. Others also think that it risks losing the fish.

 

We can give the data if we wanted to collect that as well. #of fish caught and released versus number of fish that got away using barbless hooks. This isn't necessary but just a thought.

 

If you are motivated, get out there and start video taping. Kids are great for this too....they seem to hook fish in the nastiest ways. Just one thing...if you fish solo this wouldn't work...you need a film guy to be on hand.

 

Collect what you can and at the end of the fishing season lets see if we can put this project together!

 

This doesn't have to be a long video, however, there are a lot of different ways I've seen fish hooked!

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