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I am having trouble unhooking flatties as they swallow the hook too deep. Any tips? I have a T-Bar, but am not sure how to use it properly. Also, is it sadly true, that most flatties die anyway once they have been caught because of the damage caused by the hook? I read this in Sea Angler.
 

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i heard circle hooks are great for them as easy to unhook but i have never tried them. It is a shame when they go deep inside some times its best to just cut line if your not keeping it for the table. Just make sure the little fella is dead before trying to get hook out.
 

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Smaller hooks, i.e. size 4, can be easier to get out - especially if you try using some artery forceps.
The T-bar will be useless for getting hooks out of flatties.
 

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I am having trouble unhooking flatties as they swallow the hook too deep. Any tips? I have a T-Bar, but am not sure how to use it properly. Also, is it sadly true, that most flatties die anyway once they have been caught because of the damage caused by the hook? I read this in Sea Angler.
Just goes to show you can't believe everything you read in the 'Dangler';)

Get yourself a Gemini disgorger - with a bit of practice you'll unhook most of them.

As Blueskip is having one of his periodic abstinences from the site I'm sure he won't mind me sharing this with you for those deeply hooked ones: Use a pair of long nose forceps, now carefully insert them through the gill cover and out through the mouth grab the snood and again carefully draw the forceps complete with line back through the gills - if you do this correctly the hook will now be turned with the eye facing the back of the fish - insert the forceps through the mouth of the fish and you should be able to grasp the bend of the hook, a quick wiggle and the hook should come free. Sounds complicated but with a bit of practice it's easy and you should have very few Flatties swimming around with rusting hooks in them.
 

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Smaller hooks, i.e. size 4, can be easier to get out - especially if you try using some artery forceps.
The T-bar will be useless for getting hooks out of flatties.

this isn't to far wrong , I've had loads of flatties and likes been said if i don't take for table and if its proper swallowed {down to its backside } then these newer hooks will rust out so in my honest opinion its best to cut the line as close as possible and release they have a better chance of survival than poking around and causing injury when releasing ,
i always use 1's or 1/0 fine wire Aberdeen's for flatfish don't no why but I've a knack of getting hooks out when others cant must be all the practice i get :roll1:




tightlines...............................daz
 

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this is how you unhook a deep hooked flattie.
flip the fish onto his back, and lift up and look into his gills, using an artery forceps, or a tiny t bar made out of a mustad clip on boom, insert it between the top of the row of gill plates (red) and the underneath of the gill cover.
push the forceps out the mouth and grip the line an inch or so outside, and slowly pull the line back through the mouth and throath, and out from under the gill cover, or using a tiny t bar, push it an inch or 2 outside the fishes mouth like you did with the forceps, and wrap the snood line around it a couple of times, carefully pulling it out through the gill cover like before, taking care not to catch and damage the gills (always push beads/sequins/blades etc well up the snood out of the way)
Then you pull the snood line steadly backwards towards the fishes tail, this will cause the hook point to turn, which you will feel easily, and you will see the shank and eye come out the gills then you push the hook upwards towards the mouth fully releasing the barb, once this happens use your forceps or tiny t bar to go in through the fishes mouth, and you can grasp the hook by the bend (as it's now upside down), and pull the hook out backwards through the mouth.
This will work in 99% of times, if it is very difficult to turn the hook, turn the fish on to its stomach, and use the top gill cover to access the hook in the same way.
Hope this helps,
Dave
 

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If you are ever unsure about removing a hook that is deep in the fish then I would always recommend that you simply cut the line as close to the hook as possible. I can just imagine a load of novices reading these posts and ripping a flatfish to bits in order to remove a hook.

Sure, there are ways to remove the hooks cleanly, which have been explained in the above posts, but I have also seen many inexperienced anglers attempting these tips and tricks only to cause more damage to the fish.

I'm not suggesting that you don't follow this advice, all I'm saying is that if you are unsure, then cut the line, close to the hook, and return the fish as soon as possible. It only takes a few days for small hooks to corrode in sea water. If you want this verifying, then simply dip a hook in sea water and leave it for a few days in your tackle box. After a few days you'll notice how the reaction from the salt water has began to eat into the hooks and so it begins to rust. Now imagine what would happen if this hook had been underwater 24 hours a day, as well as being regularly moved by the fish?

Most flatfish are hardy fish and they will have a greater chance of survival this way, as opposed to the risk of ripping their stomachs apart or damaging their gills.

I'll see if I can come up with a step-by-step set of pictures of how Dave (customleads) has described to remove the hooks successfully.

Regarding the comments about 'fish dying after they have been hooked', well that's a load of cobblers. The fish die due to overhandling. Like I said they are hardy fish in water, but they don't like being handled too much. It's more likely to be the stress of being out of the water for too long that does the damage.

Daz
 

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i have found in the past, that deep hooked, can often only be in the gil area, as mentioned above, and not actually as deep as they look, i have pulled the hook out thru the gill on many occasions, cut of the hook and pulled the line thru, it's a pain when using clipped rigs, but the little fella will go back.

i have a serious aversion to the 'it'll rust out' theory, so i don't do it, i will get a hook out in 99% of deeper hooked fish, if i can't get it out in a sensible time, or without injuring the fish badly, i'll kill it.

flatties are notoriously tough fish, and i'm sure a throat injury would be preferable to a hook left there, rendering it unable to get food past the obstruction. try dropping a hook (your usual brand) into some salt water, see how long it takes to rust ! jmho
 

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if your only targetting flatties then very fine aberdeen blues can be an advantage. they can bend straightened easily and the hook removed easier. as the fish will not be massive they don't usually cause any loss of fish.
 

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Fine wire hooks don't last long in sea water.Where I fish you can go down at low water and collect lots of snagged rigs and you seldom ever get a hook left on the snood,a wee rusty stump is usually the only sign of a hook being there.As has been said if you have a peek in the gills you can often see the hook and pull it gently out of the gill,nip the line off and re-tie the hook.If I can't do that then just nip off the line and leave the hook to rot.
 

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If you are ever unsure about removing a hook that is deep in the fish then I would always recommend that you simply cut the line as close to the hook as possible. I can just imagine a load of novices reading these posts and ripping a flatfish to bits in order to remove a hook.

Sure, there are ways to remove the hooks cleanly, which have been explained in the above posts, but I have also seen many inexperienced anglers attempting these tips and tricks only to cause more damage to the fish.

I'm not suggesting that you don't follow this advice, all I'm saying is that if you are unsure, then cut the line, close to the hook, and return the fish as soon as possible. It only takes a few days for small hooks to corrode in sea water. If you want this verifying, then simply dip a hook in sea water and leave it for a few days in your tackle box. After a few days you'll notice how the reaction from the salt water has began to eat into the hooks and so it begins to rust. Now imagine what would happen if this hook had been underwater 24 hours a day, as well as being regularly moved by the fish?

Most flatfish are hardy fish and they will have a greater chance of survival this way, as opposed to the risk of ripping their stomachs apart or damaging their gills.

I'll see if I can come up with a step-by-step set of pictures of how Dave (customleads) has described to remove the hooks successfully.

Regarding the comments about 'fish dying after they have been hooked', well that's a load of cobblers. The fish die due to overhandling. Like I said they are hardy fish in water, but they don't like being handled too much. It's more likely to be the stress of being out of the water for too long that does the damage.

Daz
Good first post Daz. Welcome to WSF. :)
 

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if your only targetting flatties then very fine aberdeen blues can be an advantage. they can bend straightened easily and the hook removed easier. as the fish will not be massive they don't usually cause any loss of fish.
good point, though personally i normally use a long shank kamasan b940 aberdeen, so long as the eye is by the mouth, i just pull the line so the eye protrudes and pull it down the side of the mouth, it just pops right out ! same works for rockling and eel.

i used to use circle hooks alot, and agree they're alot better at reducing deep hooks, but harder to get out if they do go deep ! plus an added bonus, they don't hook eels easily !
 
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