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Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by cliff n york, Sep 12, 2007.
how and why would i want to burp catfish
Make sure the fish is retained in the margins or over the side of the boat by the tail, submerge fish so both gill plates are under water and rub stomach tilting fish slowly from side to side.
The rubbing and tilting need to be done in unison and is a slow deliberate fashion. If the fish needs to be burped you will soon see the excess air reatined in stomach come out through gills in form of plumes of bubbles whilst rubbing.
Not all catfish need burping after capture, catfish retain air in stomach when out of water, depending on this time frame and amount of stress endured relates to volume of air taken in.
When placing the fish back into the water some tilt to one side due to the pocket of air retained within, if this occurs it needs to be burped other wise if let go it floats of down stream and drowns slowly due to not being able to stabalize and return to the depths where it belongs.
If this does not work then the fish may be suffering from the bends, where it has been brought up from the deep in a short time frame, in this case the swim bladder is usually visable in the fishes mouth. All you need do is pop this with a needle and poke it all back in the mouth with a finger and hope that the fish gulps all back into place and recovers. This usually means tending to the fish for several minutes on return.
I hope this helps, this advice is based on personal experience and thinking
Ever catch a cat from deep water and its belly was bloated looking and very firm? When a fish is in deep water the air in its swim bladder is compressed from all the pressure around the fish. When the fish is brought up quickly this compressed air expands as the pressure comes off of it and causes the fish to bloat. Normally a fish can equalize the pressure on is own as is rises, but not when pulled up quickly as often happens when we catch one. A fish that is bloated like this can not dive untill the air is released either naturally, or with a little help and will struggle on the surface and could die. Sometimes a cat will burp on its own when a little gentle pressure is applied to its belly by a hand or when lying on the bottom of a boat. If not, a small pipe can be inserted gently down it's throat until the air is released. Be carefull not to have your face in line with the pipe because often a little gift may come out along with the air. I use a ½ inch pvc pipe with the ends smoothed off for this.
you will hear alot of people say to stick them with a needle.. DONT DO THAT! IT WILL KILL THEM. they will swim away at first, but it inhibits their ability to properly swim and suspend and eventually leads to mortality
If you're not catching fish from 40+ ft of water, you should almost never have to worry about burping them. And if you are fishing in water that deep, you can make life a lot easier on the catfish by bringing him up slowly, pausing for a few seconds every few feet to let him equalize the pressure in his swim bladder.
If you do end up with a bloated fish in your boat, they'll usually take care of the problem themselves, given a little bit of time. I've never tried the PVC down the gullet method, and in general wouldn't recommend it, as you're likely to do more harm than good. A little pressure on their belly usually does the trick in my experience. Prevention is better than cure, so make sure you bring them up slowly.
But the bottom line is to be sure you don't let them go until the swim bladder has vented - otherwise, you'll find them stuck floating on top of the water, slowly dying. If worst comes to worst, take him home and enjoy a nice catfish dinner rather than let him suffer and die on his own...
When I first started catching catfish from deep water(over 40 ft.) I thought they were all just fat, when actually they are just bloated. A blue cats swim bladder is connected to its stomach and the decrease in pressure from below 40 ft. to the surface causes the swim bladder to expand, forcing air into the stomach. So if your fishing in 40 ft. of water or more(this is an estimate based on my experience), the fish can't adapt to the pressure decrease fast enough, so then it might need "burped" when in the boat. Most of the time the fish will burp itself while on the bottom of the boat, but if you catch a fish from deep water and its stomach is big and tight , then it needs to burp. If you don't burp them, then the air in the stomach acts like a floater and doesn't let them go back down(and the fish could die). Click on my name and public profile and look at the bigger picture on the right( notice the huge belly on the fish). This fish had to burp itself before being released. Usually if the fish burps and the stomach is no longer tight, then you can sucessfully release the fish.
hrmm is this their croaking sounds? often wondered why they croak.
As mentioned before I use a 18" peice of pvc pipe with the ends sanded smooth. It works and is easy. I have done this several times and havent lost a fish yet. When you do it youll hear the air escape and sometimes that gift. Dont poke a needle in their bladder it'll kill them later.
chris is right on the money, take the pvc sand the edge of it. just slide the pipe in the air comes out. we do this all the time. even tourney fishing, was at a tourney this summer a team lost a fish 30 pounder because they didnt burp the fish. not only did they kill the fish, it cost them frist place. its very easy to do & a must, it is a death sentance to the fish if its bloted, & you throw it back in or put it in livewell without doing this simple thing.
Roger, the croaking sound you hear has nothing to mdo with burping. catfish make the sound by rubing two bones together.
Well I did lose one Big Cat this year. I burped him several times and he wouldn't come around at all. Every time I tried to release him he'd just kind of wallow on the top of the water. That made me feel a bit sad but finally put him in the livewell and took him home. I have caught several other big cats in 50+ feet of water before I knew a thing about burping and they swam off full strength.
Sometimes I think the stress will take a cat here and there. Hopefully it won't happen often.
Oh yes, I used the pvc method and defineately heard a big burp.
fellas i find that 95% of the time if you ease your deep fish in, take your time and enjoy the fight , work him in ,play with it and the fish will do it by its self. as he makes his runs youll see the large amount of bubbles rise to the top. i like to feel the fish fight, i dont like to feel the resistance of a swirling cat when you pull em in to quick
Here's a link a great little video.....midway of the video the guys are burping a blue....hope you enjoy it.
Double dog ditto!
Leave the PVC pipe at home and just slow down a bit. Problem solves itself.