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magic_minnow

What if..................

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What if someone caught a, lets say, Largemouth bass out of season and it had swallowed the hook and died. What are you supposed to do with the fish? If someone could clarify this with me it would be great! Me and a few buddies were fishing for crappies and the question came up. We had a big ol debate about it on the lake. Throwing it back wouldn't seem feasible, while keeping it is illegal. What to do??? confused.gif Thanks.

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throw it back, you can't keep it.

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Yep, it has to go back.

Same thing happens if you catch a fish thats in a protected slot. Even if you know it won't live if its to big it has to go back. Sad to see but its the law.

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Yup-- what they said.

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Throw it back and it will become part of the circle of life.....something will usually use it for a meal!!!

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It might seem wasteful to have to throw it back but if the DNR didnt have this rule people would purposly mess up the fish to be able to keep them.

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Ahhhhhhhhhhh! Makes a lotta sense. Thanks for clarifying!

I've seen this happen before, but never thought twice about it because the fish was already dead anyway. Thanks for the info! Happy Topwatering!

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Let me clarify this subject for you and for others on here who don't know:

If the bass have completely swallowed the hook, I am assuming your using a single hook what you can do is sever the line as close as possible to the hook. Or if it's deeply embedded outside not inside you can use pliers to cut the barb.

Afterwards let the fish go. The hook will simply degrade or rust over time and the fish will be just fine.

Do not try to pull a deeply embedded hook or a completely swallowed hook out as it will damage the fish.

Now you know and good fishing... grin.gif

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Let me clarify this subject for you and for others on here who don't know:

If the bass have completely swallowed the hook, I am assuming your using a single hook what you can do is sever the line as close as possible to the hook. Or if it's deeply embedded outside not inside you can use pliers to cut the barb.

Afterwards let the fish go. The hook will simply degrade or rust over time and the fish will be just fine.

Do not try to pull a deeply embedded hook or a completely swallowed hook out as it will damage the fish.

Now you know and good fishing...
grin.gif


Take a look at this article. It disputes what has been the traditional view.

Hooks In or Out?

by Ralph Manns

Getting the word out on hook removal. Those of us who try to share the findings of scientific study with non-scientists are often frustrated. It seems very difficult to get the word out. We write about some important discovery, but find anglers, particularly the influential professional bass anglers, either don't read the new information or dismiss the new scientific insights because they conflict with beliefs the anglers already hold.

Professional and TV anglers aren't the only ones to be slow in learning and applying the latest "word" from scientists. Biologists, particularly state fisheries workers are too busy with their own assigned tasks to read all of the literature produced by other scientists. They continue to advise anglers to handle fish using outmoded procedures.

The recommendation that anglers cut the leader close to the hook when bass are "deep-hooked" is a good example. It is hard to find a publication on catch-and-release (C&R) techniques that doesn't pass on this poor advice. Yet, recent research on release techniques strongly suggests there is a better way.

Some years ago, Doug Hannon noted that most magazine articles and state publications recommend leaving hooks in bass and other fish to "rust" out. He claimed that hooks don't rust fast enough, even in salt water; and suggested that the shank of a hook pointing up the throat of a bass acts like a lever or trap door that prevents swallowing. Bass can die of starvation while waiting for normal body processes to eject the hook. Food coming down a bass' throat will bypass a hook-shank, IF the shank lies tightly against the side of the throat where the barb is lodged. However, if the shank protrudes into the throat, food coming down can push the shank across the esophagus, blocking it. Deep-hooked bass may even feel pain as the food rotates the barb and regurgitate the food. Recently, Hannon's observations have been scientifically verified. John Foster, Recreational Fisheries Coordinator for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, studied striped bass at Chesapeake Bay. His researchers held throat-hooked stripers between 16- and 28-inches long for observation in half-strength seawater so that hooks had ample opportunity to rust away. Size 1/0 and 2/0 stainless steel, bronzed, nickel, tin and tin-cadmium hooks were hooked in the top of each fish's esophagus, with an 18-inch length of line connected to the hook.

After four months, 78 percent of the hooks were still imbedded. Cadmium coated hooks poisoned 20 percent of the fish, and production of these hooks has been stopped. Bronzed hooks were less likely (70%) to be retained than tin-cadmium (80%), nickel (83%), or stainless steel (100%) hooks.

In a second test, the line was clipped at the eye of the hook, as advised by most existing C&R guides. One-hundred percent of the stainless hooks were again retained, while 56 percent of tin, 76 percent of bronze, 84 percent of tin-cadmium, and 88 percent of nickel hooks remained. Fish mortality was greater when all line was trimmed. Foster theorized that the lengths of line hanging from a fish's mouth kept the hook-shank flat against the side of the esophagus and allowed food to pass. Without the line, food could move the hook and close the throat.

Hooks rusted slowly in stages, and the bend and barb became smaller very gradually. Stripers formed scar tissue around imbedded hook points, a typical reaction of body tissue to foreign matter. Foster noted, however, that once the tough scar tissue formed, hooks became more, not less, difficult to remove. Months after fish were hooked, infections sometimes developed around points, causing some deaths.

Based on his research, Foster recommended anglers carefully remove even deeply imbedded hooks. If the hook can not be removed, then it seems better to leave about 18 inches of line attached. Perhaps, someday, these findings will reach C&R anglers, the biologists who are researching C&R and publish C&R guidelines, and TV anglers who teach by their example.

Another good idea is to carry strong wire-cutting pliers. Cur off protruding barbs in the throat and the hook shank falls free easily.

Texas researchers recently compared the mortality of largemouth bass hooked with live bait and artificial lures. Their main finding: "there is no biological justification to regulate use of live bait to catch bass" has been widely publicized. Other findings may help anglers make appropriate adjustments in technique.

In two separate tests, largemouth bass in a private water were landed by TPWD anglers using Carolina-rigged scented plastic worms, crankbaits with multiple treble hooks, and live carp fished with either a Carolina rig or a float. To simulate normal fishing conditions, anglers with different levels of expertise were used.

While fishing with floats, anglers were instructed to delay hooksets until floats went completely under, simulating the way typical amateur anglers fish with unattended rods. Under all other conditions, anglers were to strike immediately upon feeling a hit. Captured bass were immediately examined to identify hook-related injuries. When bass were hooked deep in the throat, the line was cut and hook left in place. (TPWD did not identify whether the cut was made in the traditional way near the hook, or with line remaining outside the fish's mouth.) Bass were then kept in a large holding net over a 72-hour observation period to determine short-term mortality rates. Sixty bass were taken using each method. Tests were made in August, when water was warm and stress and mortality are normally high.

The average mortality under these worst-case conditions was 22 percent. Carolina rigs with scented worms caused the highest mortality, followed by live carp used under floats, crankbaits, and Carolina-rigged carp minnows.

TPWD biologists concluded that the timing of the hookset appeared more critical than the type of bait used in the determination of short-term death rates. The data show bass hooked in the throat had poor survival odds. Evidently, largemouth bass took both lures and live bait fully into their mouths almost immediately. The bass pros' advice to strike without delay is important to reduce fish mortality. Angling techniques that delay hooksets should be avoided.

Carolina-rig and worm combos likely killed more fish because the loose-floating leader prevented immediate detection of some strikes and flavored worms are easily swallowed or held in the back of a bass' mouth. Eighteen percent of bass taken on rigs with worms were throat-hooked.

In contrast, Carolina rigs with live bait and live baits under floats caused less mortality, likely because live preyfish are often held in a bass' mouth for a few seconds, killed, and turned to be swallowed headfirst. This gives anglers a few seconds more to detect hits before baits are ingested. The decision to delay hits when live baits were used with floats and to strike immediately with Carolina-rigged baits likely caused the different mortality rates of these two techniques. Nevertheless, 10 percent of bass hooked on Carolina-rigged live baits were hooked in the esophagus.

It is no surprise that crankbaits are less likely to be swallowed, as their artificial nature is immediately detectable to fish. When fisheries are managed primarily for C&R or trophy bass production, it may be appropriate to ban use of multiple rods to reduce delayed hooksets, or to limit lures to items unlikely to be swallowed. In any case, C&R sportsmen will want to avoid techniques that delay hooksets, like fishing with unattended rods.

The TPWD study showed that bass hooked in the tongue and esophagus had about a 50 percent chance of dying, while bass hooked in the lips mouth, jaw, roof of mouth had 25 percent or less mortality. Interestingly, only 12.5 percent of gill hooked fish died. This finding suggests anglers who kill and eat or mount gill-damaged bass because "they are unlikely to live" are in error.

TPWD also compared the survival of bass when they were bleeding and when leaders were cut and hooks left in the fish. Removing hooks improved bass survival when bass were not bleeding. But there was little difference in mortality when bass were bleeding or hooks were left in the fish.

Anglers practicing C&R rather than to eat bass might note these findings. Fish caught with only superficial wounds are likely to survive release. Small, deeply-hooked and bleeding bass likely should be eaten, rather than released to die later. But lunker bass are so valuable that they should be immediately released, even if they are bleeding or deeply-hooked. Remove the hook if posible. Leave an 18-inch leader if you can not remove the hook.

Ralph Manns

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Great article Black Bay! & thanks for sharing it with us. It clears up a lot of confusion, and now I can go up to my buddy and be like "HA! I GOTCHU!" He'll probably still outfish me though! shocked.giftongue.gif

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So I was out fishing last night and I saw some teenagers throwing out spinner baits and buzz baits (on a very good bass lake). So I go over to them and tell them if I see another bass bait hit the water I will be calling the DNR. The kid driving the boat (a little acehole) tells me they are northern fishing and to get away from them. But they were casting right up on shore from their boat the way someone would bass fish during legal season. I didn't end up calling on them but should I have or was I out of line for yelling at them.

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Although the article above is good information, one could do another research of similiar and come out with opposite opinions. Plus how controlled in variable enviroments and how many fish were conducted in this research?

I have caught more than my share of fishes that already have deeply embedded hooks mostly pike & bass and and have observed the fish to do just fine due to that. I even have pulled out some rusted hooks still attached to leader or lines. The fish looked healthy and and hook definately looked rusty and have observed this more than several times during outings because I was able to pull the hook out with little force from some of those fish.

So I still say cut that line or use pliers to cut the barb and give that fish a chance to live...

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So I was out fishing last night and I saw some teenagers throwing out spinner baits and buzz baits (on a very good bass lake). So I go over to them and tell them if I see another bass bait hit the water I will be calling the DNR. The kid driving the boat (a little acehole) tells me they are northern fishing and to get away from them. But they were casting right up on shore from their boat the way someone would bass fish during legal season. I didn't end up calling on them but should I have or was I out of line for yelling at them.


What I like to do Wallace is to go up to them and ask what kind of fish their catching. Another thing is to just watch and wait before making any decision.

If your targeting a certain species and they are out of seasoned fish that are taking your bait your suppose to move along and leave that area alone. Take for instance your targeting Crappies but the bass in the area keeps hitting your line. A CO can and may ticket you for fishing because the bass are likely holding up or spawning in the same areas.

Another scenario would be that since you are targeting an in season fish unspecifically in areas and are catching bass one can make the opposite arguement that as long as your not keeping them there is nothing the CO can do and some CO's will tell you just that.

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So I was out fishing last night and I saw some teenagers throwing out spinner baits and buzz baits (on a very good bass lake). So I go over to them and tell them if I see another bass bait hit the water I will be calling the DNR. The kid driving the boat (a little acehole) tells me they are northern fishing and to get away from them. But they were casting right up on shore from their boat the way someone would bass fish during legal season. I didn't end up calling on them but should I have or was I out of line for yelling at them.


Spinner baits and buzz baits are great pike lures. And pike can be up in the warm shallow water this time of year feeding on sunnies. I don't think there is much you can do with this one. They were most likely telling you the truth and even if they weren't you don't have any evidence of it.

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So I still say cut that line or use pliers to cut the barb and give that fish a chance to live...


Fisherman Andy it is amazing that even after a study has been done you still arent willing to admit that maybe your method is not the best. I guess I would like to see the research on your method of removing hooks. I will stick with what keeps the fish alive.

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Quote:

So I still say cut that line or use pliers to cut the barb and give that fish a chance to live...


Fisherman Andy it is amazing that even after a study has been done you still arent willing to admit that maybe your method is not the best. I guess I would like to see the research on your method of removing hooks. I will stick with what keeps the fish alive.


That is an independent study. Any independent study can have various outcome. A study can show to prove anything. I want long term information from multiple sources to even consider the outcome. One should know and understand just because a single source says something and back it up with some data doesnt mean it's solid data.

Best method? There is no best method, only recommended ones. But what method are we talking about? Their method is simply the same or similiar method to what im talking about with emphasis that leaving a leader may help but not guarantee better survival. How would you like it if someone left an 8 ~ 12 inch leader in your mouth? It is also possible that the leader can make feeding more difficult or even block the moment of the feeding process not allowing the fish to intake the prey. Heck it could get tangle up in the fish mouth for all we know.

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As stated, spinner baits and buzz baits are great for pike and the pike are up shallow in the weeds right now. Bass and pike can live in the same areas and do go after the same baits. When I have been out fishing pike this past week, I have used the same methods and have done fairly well.

Regarding the original topic. Yep, it's unfortunate, but they gotta go back. A meal for a turtle, muskrat or bigger fish... I have heard that about the hooks before. It's an interesting article posted, but I have to agree with fisherman-andy. It would be nice to see a study done on some Minnesota fish (gills, lmb/smb, walleye, pike, etc). I think they only used Striped Bass. Either way, there isn't a "perfect" way to do it. There ought to be a tool that can be used to cut the hook off, as much as can be accessed, so the only part left in the fish is just half of a hook or less. Like a wire cutter, but longer like a needle nose.

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The Wisconsin DNR did a study on gut hooked Muskies, the line was cut, and they were immediately released into their ponds.

Mortality was 0 after 24 hours, 22% after 50 days, 83% total after 1 year! shocked.gif

Now that is for gut hooked fish, single hook, long line, huge, tough, fish. So I can see a 15 to 25% rate with treble hooked, rough handled, fish.

Most of the experts figure a minimum of 10% of all fish returned to the water will die as a result of the C&R process. And when people sit on a spot and catch hundreds in a day, some of them more than once, or maybe taking pictures, holding them by gills, or big ones by the stomach, or keeping them out of water for more than 30 seconds... 15-20%. frown.gif

Infection is the unforseen killer, as well as hinderance to the fish's ability to consume mass quantities of animal protein digestables.

Many of these fish do swim away looking like they are just fine, and they may be...but for how long after we leave? blush.gif

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Still a lot better than the 'good old' days when there was 100% mortality!

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There is actually a real easy way to remove a hook that is even pinning the gullet shut. I carry a heavy side-cutter, and if I get a deep hooked fish, I just cut the hook in half, and pull it out going the same way it was hooked. With no more shank, it pulls right out with only the small hole from where it went in.

I have had hooks laying in old tackle boxes for ever two years that had water in them, and the hooks are not rusted away. With todays composite metals, the likelyhood of a hook rusting away in the lifetime of that fish is slim to none.

IMHO, I think many anglers just cut the line out of convenience or lazyness, because they don't want to take the time to properly remove a deep hook.

Glenn

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There is actually a real easy way to remove a hook that is even pinning the gullet shut. I carry a heavy side-cutter, and if I get a deep hooked fish, I just cut the hook in half, and pull it out going the same way it was hooked. With no more shank, it pulls right out with only the small hole from where it went in.

I have had hooks laying in old tackle boxes for ever two years that had water in them, and the hooks are not rusted away. With todays composite metals, the likelyhood of a hook rusting away in the lifetime of that fish is slim to none.

IMHO, I think many anglers just cut the line out of convenience or lazyness, because they don't want to take the time to properly remove a deep hook.

Glenn


Kudos to you man. Way to go. Do all you can and give that fish a fighting chance to live.

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