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Releasing a foul hooked fish

Discussion in 'Beginners and Improvers' started by Stubby73, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. Stubby73

    Stubby73 Member

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    Was out earlier in the week and foul hooked a small conger, It took a 2/0 Sakuma Manta Extra in the flank past the return of the bend so I think the barb was in past its fishy equivalent of ribs . I did my best to remove the hook with forceps and a Gemini disgorger but felt I was going to do more bad than good pulling it. I cut the hook off and released him, and though he swam off strongly I don’t know if I did the right thing. Should I have released him, carried on pulling, put the thing out of his misery or tried to cut the hook shank with my Leatherman??
    Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
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  3. Blanksy

    Blanksy Member

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    I think it's worthy of thought and contemplation, it's what separates us from other animals.

    It may survive, in which case you did the right thing. It may not survive and become food for other fish, in which case you did the right thing.

    What matters, is that you gave it some thought:)
     
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  4. sniggle

    sniggle Member

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    The method of removing hooks from people hooked in skin or fleshy parts is to put a loop of strong cord or line around the bend of the hook, hold the eye end of the shank in hard to the flesh and give the loop a hard jerk .
    Think there is a vid on youtube somewhere.
    Always take the hook out or it may fester for months.
     
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  5. Shane the fish

    Shane the fish Member

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    On any other fish it might be a problem but conger are hardy and better back in the water. Probably he's forgot about it already.
     
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  6. marc portch

    marc portch Member

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    You did the right thing mate. Digging around too much would cause more damage than leaving it to rot out.

    If you were able to cut the hook and thread it through it would have been the best option but eels are tough fish. I've known of freshwater eels that have been caught with hooks that have come out their sides from the inside, and fish that regurgitate hooks in a bucket. The way they can move/squirm about is a decent way for them to unhook themselves, even internally.

    You're probably more worried about it than he is. He might well have already got rid of it. Whatever happens, you gave him his best chance of survival so don't feel too bad. A pair of cutters can be very useful at times.
     
  7. seaanglerlen

    seaanglerlen Member

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    if you cant get the hook out kill the fish or if it dies that hook can get stuck in another fish or animal if it floats to a beach
     
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  8. John Mason

    John Mason Member

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    Having deep-hooked a finger the other week I can vouch for how difficult it is to extract them (I did with a certain amount of curses and it bled well and healed quickly). But fish deal with hooks differently from us. Have caught, on more than one occasion, small-eyed rays trailing hooks in their mouths due to bad knots or hook-lengths that were impossibly light. So they get the full dental check-up. Once when boat-fishing I took a large huss to eat, and on gutting it I found a stainless long-line style hook in its gut wall and grown-over to seal the wound. By contrast, that Manta should rust out in a matter of weeks so the wound has a chance of healing. It's one reason why I don't use stainless hooks.
     
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  9. andy1967

    andy1967 Member

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    very good point about stainless hooks, as a game angler we don't use stainless hooks, that way if a fish is lost the hook should rust out and the fish survive
     
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  10. marc portch

    marc portch Member

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    I'm afraid I've got to disagree with that mate. Not sure if it's even possible if the hook is buried within the fish, and non-stainless hooks will rust out quickly. If it's in an area where the digestive juices can get at it, it will rot out even quicker. Predators have very strong digestive juices to enable them to dissolve bones etc.

    The fish has no chance whatsoever if you bang it on the head. :frown:
     
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  11. Obansharker

    Obansharker Member

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    Earlier this year I had a similar situation with a large thornback ray, with the hook down deep near the stomach while she threw up half digested crabs at me. I left it in and put the fish back although I did think to myself that she probably wouldn't make it, 3 weeks later fishing the same mark I caught a "another" thornback she was really fit and well - fat, full of eggs and clearly in the process of laying as I removed my hook she spat the one I had left in her 3 weeks prior back at me!! As much as I hate leaving hooks in fish as I return almost everything I catch that thornie at least showed me that some fish can and will recover from being gut hooked even with the hook still in - can't say they'll survive everytime but at least there's a chance. Also think Sakuma Mantas and the hooks I use Varivas BMX are very similar and the Varivas do rust so it should fall out.
     
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  12. MakesNoSense

    MakesNoSense

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    So is returning every sea fish you catch the right thing to do? Or does that just make you feel better that you pretend the fish survive?
    I am new to this catch and release sea fish, I would like to know.
     
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  13. John Mason

    John Mason Member

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    It depends to me on the species and how they are doing. Years ago I ate most of the rays I caught. Now I make sure they go back. They are slow growing and do not reproduce in a prolific matter compared to the cod family or the flatties - and let's face it, a good sized dab beats a skate wing hands down!
     
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  14. Obansharker

    Obansharker Member

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    There is no pretending involved you can tell pretty quickly if a fish is not going to survive once they are back in the water, deep hooking aside if the fish is carefully handled and returned quickly they do will well.

    Can't talk for all species but find that species with swim bladders like gadoids don't do well being dropped from any height or bashed against rocks when reeled in and the bladder is susceptible to being pushed out the mouth or burst when brought up through deep water, don't do any of these and they will swim away pretty happily.

    Sharks and skates on the other hand are generally pretty hardy although sharks internal organs have no support out of the water and lifting only by the tail can cause internal rupturing which will kill them, once again look after them and avoid this and they will do fine I've caught a good few tagged fish and fish with hooks in them that were fit and healthy - personally, I don't think that any shark, skate or ray should be killed for any reason as John mason says most species are long lived and that low fecundity so populations suffer under any kind of pressure and most species in the UK are currently threatened with a few like spurdog, common skate and porbeagle shark are critically endangered not only that the loss of shark species from ecosystems is highly damaging and through trophic cascading this causes problems with other species - not looking to start a fight it's simply my opinion.
     
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  15. RDT

    RDT Member

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    Totally agree, the thought was there. One of the situations where you're damed if you or damed if you don't.
     
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  16. sniggle

    sniggle Member

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    Got to say most kid themselves that all is ok , out of sight out of mind !

    The 'hook will rot away' but not as fast as the flesh and organs around it !
    Quality of life is what matters and a slow death by tissue necrosis perhap ended sooner if you are not fit enough to evade the seas many predators !
    Big fish may survive but the smaller ones will be obvious targets as the weakest in a shoal .
     
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  17. Stupidluke

    Stupidluke

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    I always thought Pollock and Pouting etc from deep water were done for if their swim bladder is up in their mouth when they reach the boat. However, in Florida this year we were catching bottom fish in deep water and I saw the crew were putting the hook point into the fish's anus releasing the pressure and the fish were swimming off quite happily, albeit with a sore botty. I haven't tried it with Uk fish but it has to be worth a go as the fish is doomed to be Seagull food if it goes back with a blown up swim bladder.
     
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  18. sniggle

    sniggle Member

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    The fish is doomed to be Seagull food if it goes back with a blown up swim bladder.

    And below the surface with a non functioning swim bladder they are shark food !
     
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  19. sniggle

    sniggle Member

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    It certainly has no chance of suffering !

    As for the strong digestive juices , digestive bacteria and such imagine what they will do leaking out of the gut into the fishes own body cavity .
     
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  20. NickK-UK

    NickK-UK Member

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    There is a great autopsy program where they do an autopsy on a great white. What is interesting is it's digestive system.
    GW eat prey, in their stomach the flesh is taken off the bones by acid, then all the juices then enter a really small efficient corkscrew gut with an pipe no thicker than then scientist's finger. The gut length isn't that long but the corkscrew allows the longer length to be pack in more efficiently.
    So what happens to things that can't be digested? Well the GW can invert is stomach out of it's mouth - it literally throws it's guts up - ejecting it's stomach and undigestables out before retracting the stomach to feed again.

    Also fish will and do regurgitate stuff and I know that dogfish have a reflex action to throw up when deep hooked.
     
  21. Obansharker

    Obansharker Member

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    Yeah as far as I'm aware all sharks skates and rays can do this, the programmes was called Inside Nature's Giants. As for doggies throwing up their stomach contents they do quite regularly even without deep hooking so I think they use it as a defence mechanism to evade predators, don't know if they've been observed doing this though so I may be wrong.
     
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