My wife brought home a pile of old magazines today and there was a Field & Stream with an article about Chris Harris fishing on the James River for big cats. They had caught a 35# and here's what a clip from the article said: The fish's stomach is distended and rock hard. Harris explains that many anglers assume they've caught a fish that just ate, but it's really just the air bladder, which expands when a fish comes up from the depths. "If you let him go like that, he'll die. We gotta burp him." Harris produces a 3 foot length of pvc pipe, inserts it into the fish's mouth and presses it gently until we hear a deep sigh, then another, and finally a soft belch. The fish's stomach softens and returns to normal size. "Good to go," says Harris. ------------------------------------- What do y'all think of this? They were fishing in about 40 feet of water. I've pulled cats in from 40' depths and never noticed a "rock hard stomach". Another thing. I didn't know a fish's air bladder could be deflated by burping through it's mouth. I've heard of delfating air bladders in other fish, but I thought they had to use a needle.