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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Unfortunately last nights weather brought a temporary halt to my quest for a PB ray almost as soon as it started so I decided to head for the top of then island on a conger hunt instead. The mark I chose was recommended to me last year by Tony (STB) and sadly my first visit there had resulted in a big fat blank but it looked fishy enough so I reckoned that it was worth another try.

I arrived about an hour after high water and I didn't have to wait long for some action when my first cast resulted in my target species, only a strap of about a pound but mission accomplished and the blank was beaten :).

Anguidae Reptile


Next up was the obligatory doggie but this one was a little bit different o_O.

Fish Fish Organism Marine biology


Longer serving members may remember the mystery of the banded doggies when about 5 years ago lots were caught with these rubber rings around their necks. Looking at how the flesh had grown around them they had obviously been there for a while and theories about the origin of the bands ranged from sick anglers or commercials with a grudge against dogs having deliberately ringed them, to the bands being part of lobster pots which caught on the dogs when they tried to get at the pot baits, to a container full of the bands having been washed off a container ship before the dogs got caught in them while foraging for food.

No conclusive evidence was ever found and the incidences died out but it looks like we may still have a problem :(.

Anyway, I cut the band off and released her so fingers crossed she survives.

Nose Jaw Leg Joint Flesh


The rest of the night was quiet and resulted in just one more doggie, without the band, and a solitary whiting but with a club match scheduled for tomorrow evening at least I haven't got long to wait until my next fix ;).
 

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It is strange. Never seen one in the flesh myself and don't really want to. Well done on getting out and catching your target species.
 

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Well done on catching a conger. The next one will be bigger for sure.
Bizarre catching that banded doggie. Looks like its had that on for some time. I wonder if its one of the same batch as before?
 

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Well done catching your target species and good on you for cutting the band off the poor Doggie:)
 

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Well done on the conger :). That doggie banding is weird. I caught one with a band on it at Ty Croes last year. It's very sad to see people resorting to this kind of behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It is very strange how these bands still show up so long after the initial glut of reports, personally I'm leaning towards the lost ships cargo theory rather than it being something done deliberately by anglers, if that was the case I'm sure someone would have heard on the grapevine by now who the culprits are. Also they show up over too wide an area for one person or small group to be responsible and the bands are quite inflexible so they're not exactly the easiest thing to stretch over a wriggling doggies head.

If they are from a ships cargo I wonder if the fact they only seem to show on doggies is down to their skin being smooth one way and rough the other, making it impossible to get the rings off? Other fish are obviously smoother and other members of the shark family wouldn't get stuck as they actively hunt their food rather than scavenge on the bottom like doggies do. Just my thoughts.
 

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It is very strange how these bands still show up so long after the initial glut of reports, personally I'm leaning towards the lost ships cargo theory rather than it being something done deliberately by anglers, if that was the case I'm sure someone would have heard on the grapevine by now who the culprits are. Also they show up over too wide an area for one person or small group to be responsible and the bands are quite inflexible so they're not exactly the easiest thing to stretch over a wriggling doggies head.

If they are from a ships cargo I wonder if the fact they only seem to show on doggies is down to their skin being smooth one way and rough the other, making it impossible to get the rings off? Other fish are obviously smoother and other members of the shark family wouldn't get stuck as they actively hunt their food rather than scavenge on the bottom like doggies do. Just my thoughts.
I still struggle to imagine all these little hoops washing around the sea and then a dogfish swimming up to one in such a way that it slides neatly over it's head without the dogfish reacting to stop it happening but I suppose they could end up in crevices that the dogfish naturally root around it for food and get lodged on that way.

Going back to the human take on it. If these bands don't come off because of the direction of the roughness of the skin then they wouldn't need to stretch a tight fitting band over a doggies head as a looser one would stay on anyway but I would have thought someone who wanted to lesson dogfish numbers, like a commercial for example, if they were nicking the bait meant for more valuable species would just kill them outright and not mess about with putting bands on them as it isn't killing them is it? so I think we can rule out that option.

You would think that small huss must be also showing up in the casualties as well though.
 

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They look like O rings to me, not the sort of thing you'd have in your tackle box by accident. I must admit I tend to favour the sick bastard theory; pity someone doesn't catch him at it & slip one over his nads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I still struggle to imagine all these little hoops washing around the sea and then a dogfish swimming up to one in such a way that it slides neatly over it's head without the dogfish reacting to stop it happening but I suppose they could end up in crevices that the dogfish naturally root around it for food and get lodged on that way.

The odds do seem to be stacked against doggies getting their heads stuck in the bands without help but I’m no expert on fish behaviour so who knows how they root about on the sea bed and what sort of ground these bands are scattered around on.


Going back to the human take on it. If these bands don't come off because of the direction of the roughness of the skin then they wouldn't need to stretch a tight fitting band over a doggies head as a looser one would stay on anyway but I would have thought someone who wanted to lesson dogfish numbers, like a commercial for example, if they were nicking the bait meant for more valuable species would just kill them outright and not mess about with putting bands on them as it isn't killing them is it? so I think we can rule out that option.

Good point about putting the bands on but as you say why not just kill them? Having said that there are some pretty sick individuals around so I wouldn’t put it past some people.


One strange thing though is that every example I’ve seen of these bands has obviously been on the fish for a while and the flesh has grown around them quite badly, this suggests that the fish are quite small when they first get stuck and how many tiny dogs are caught by anglers compared to the average size we’re used to catching? I’ve yet to see a doggie which has just been “banded” so I’m tempted to think that they come into contact with the bands when they’re quite small, perhaps the bands are scattered around where immature doggies congregate.


You would think that small huss must be also showing up in the casualties as well though.

As far as the bands not showing on huss is concerned I think that’s probably just down to size and numbers, how many dog sized huss are caught compared to doggies? And the bands will probably kill the huss once they reach the 3lb mark and before they’re usually caught by anglers. Also if anglers, and I use the term loosely, are responsible then I doubt they’ve got the intelligence to distinguish between immature huss and dogs so as not to put the bands on baby huss in the first place.




They look like O rings to me, not the sort of thing you'd have in your tackle box by accident. I must admit I tend to favour the sick ******* theory; pity someone doesn't catch him at it & slip one over his nads.
They certainly look like O rings to me, the ones I've seen are 5.5cm in diameter, flattened and square in profile, they're also made of quite rigid black rubber.

As far as it being done deliberately as I replied to BigCat above the way the bands have cut into the dogs suggests that they've been on since they were small so how many mini dogs are actually caught and why would a sicko only put them on small doggies rather than all of them?


To be honest I wonder if we will ever find out how this is happening but it would be interesting to hear the opinion of Bangor Uni on the matter.
 

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The odds do seem to be stacked against doggies getting their heads stuck in the bands without help but I’m no expert on fish behaviour so who knows how they root about on the sea bed and what sort of ground these bands are scattered around on.
It beggars belief Andy, but yeah I agree if it is natural then the bands must be going on when the doggies are immature

I’ve yet to see a doggie which has just been “banded” so I’m tempted to think that they come into contact with the bands when they’re quite small
Very small immature doggies don't seem to feature that heavily in catch reports which is a pity as this would go a good way towards coming down on one side of the other.

I do think though that there is a chance that within a relatively short space of time of having a band put on a bigger dogfish, it could start to cut into the flesh with all the movement the dogfish is constantly doing. It might not take that long for it to turn red, cut into it and look pretty nasty. It could cause swelling and infection quite soon after going on.

As far as it being done deliberately as I replied to BigCat above the way the bands have cut into the dogs suggests that they've been on since they were small so how many mini dogs are actually caught and why would a sicko only put them on small doggies rather than all of them?
Yes that point definitely makes it a one or the other scenario for me. That seems very unlikely as most doggies caught seem to be well beyond that immature stage.

To be honest I wonder if we will ever find out how this is happening but it would be interesting to hear the opinion of Bangor Uni on the matter.
Like you I'm still undecided but having had a discussion about it I'm definitely now thinking that the larger dogs don't naturally get their heads stuck in these bands. If it's natural it's surely only the smaller ones that do as they are too tight fitting on the larger dogs for them to go on naturally.

Although unlikely, I still think there is some chance it is deliberate but only because in the several years it's been happening, no one as yet had reported a smaller dogfish with a band on it and although they are caught in much smaller numbers I'm surprised, with the amount of viewing this forum gets, that not once has anybody come forward and mentioned any occurrence of this. Also, because I think the nasty appearance of it cutting into them might not take as long as first thought.

One thing that has just sprung to mind though, if you were going to go out and do this to dogfish would you use O rings for the job or just buy a pack of strong elastic bands?
I mean how likely is it that someone would be using O rings to do it anyway?
 

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Very interesting. Now if these rings are NOT flexible what exactly are they made for? I presume the ones used for lobster claws ARE flexible, so what else in the fishery domain are they used for!
 

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I cannot imagine a dogfish going through a loose O-ring freely swimming in the sea. However, I can see a dogfish going through some sort of plastic pipe/tube that has an O-ring inside (something like this photo), as part of its exploratory behaviour.

The fish may then detach the O-ring, perhaps swimming backward out of the tube, due to its skin properties (smooth one way, rough the other one). Are you aware of anything like this that could be presnet in the sea?

Yellow Personal protective equipment Rim
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The rings are not completely rigid but they're inflexible enough not to be the first choice of band if you deliberately set out to "ring" doggies.

The idea of them being part of a lobster pot was suggested last time this occurred but as you can see from this picture the rings are too small for that:

Auto part Automotive engine part Piston ring Rim


They are also square in profile when cut.

Anyone recognize them?
 

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They look a bit like a wiper seal from a hydraulic jack is the inner or outer lip protruding? i.e. not rectangular more having one side longer than the other??
 

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It could be that they are placed on the fish not to kill them but to restrict what they can get down there throat and to stop them nicking potters bait or something on the same lines?

Well done on your few fish:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
They look a bit like a wiper seal from a hydraulic jack is the inner or outer lip protruding? i.e. not rectangular more having one side longer than the other??
There doesn't appear to be a protruding lip but on closer inspection they are more rectangular than square in cross section.
Finger Skin Hand Nail Nose
 

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You need to use some moisturiser ;) or is that from saving the lives of loads of dogfish
 
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