Do Catfish have to be deflated out of deep water?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by wolfman, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,081
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    I just read this article and was curious if it applies to catfish. If so has anyone ever done this?

    How to Deflate a Fish

    You’ve hauled in the fish from deep down. His eyes are bulging and his stomach is sticking out of his mouth. How can you get him back in the water to swim away? You can’t unless you vent his swim bladder gases.
    The swim bladder is an organ filled with gases, mostly oxygen and nitrogen. This organ is in the abdominal cavity along the backbone beneath the first dorsal fin. Except for sharks and rays most marine fishes have well-developed swim bladders. The swim bladder helps keep the fish buoyant at whatever depth they normally live.

    When fish are at rest, the pressure of the gases in the swim bladder equals the pressure exerted by the surrounding water. The gases are compressed and the swim bladder occupies a relatively small space. If you bring a fish rapidly to the surface from down below 30’, the outside pressure lessens and the gases in the swim bladder expand in direct proportion.

    Say you catch a fish at a depth of 33 feet. By the time you get him to the surface the gases in his swim bladder will occupy twice their original volume. These bladders can only stretch so far before they burst. When they do, the gases escape into the fishes abdomen, where they continue to expand. This puts pressure on the stomach, the intestines and other internal organs. To return the fish safely, you must vent those gases.And you must do it without further injury to the fish. Don’t try to force the stomach or other organs back into the body cavity. DO NOT vent the gases by puncturing the protruding stomach or going through the anus. The fish will probably swim away but won’t live.

    Most fish are hardy and can survive this trauma, if properly deflated, he will survive, get bigger and reproduce. Here is how you do it:

    Use a deflating tool (an atheletic ball inflation needle ground to a sharp point or a carpet needle).

    Insert it through the thin part of the body wall on the underside of the belly below the pectoral fin.

    Squeeze the fish gently to force the gases out through the tube or needle.

    Do this quickly and very soon after capture

    Release the fish holding him in the water until he can swim away.
     
  2. Doctor

    Doctor Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Springfield, Ohio
    Walter,
    I have never seen that in a Catfish, What I have seen is there belly fully distended and hard as a rock, now I carry a Teflon tube that has rounded edges and 24 inches in length and I slip that tube down in there gullet and "burp" the air out then there good to go, seems like when the water is cold is when I see them with the distended belly.............Doc
     

  3. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

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    4,339
    State:
    West Tn
    If you see one that lets out bubble 2 or 3 times on a long fight. He will be ok. as he is letting the air out his self.
    But the ones you horse in fast. They are the ones that are in trouble.
    Pete
     
  4. TIM HAGAN

    TIM HAGAN New Member

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    Walkersvil
    Walter it is called burping the fish , it releases air from the bladder that inflats when they come uo to quickly. Use a small size pvc pipe 1/2 to 3/4 and slowly stick it into they mouth down to the passageway of the air bladder. and the catfish wil make a brrrrpppp sound its best to have the fish on its belly and you will hear the air. Without burpping the fish it will not be able to stay down in the water is will float and eventually die.

    Cut a priece of pvc pipe and 18" and round the ends off so it dosen't cut the fish as you stick it down its mouth. Sometime you may need to move it around a little to help open the air bladder and release the air. If you catch a fish and it has a very big or hard belly it will need to be burped sometimes you can even see the bladder in its mouth but not always I like to feel the belly and a rock hard belly is a good sign it need burped.
     
  5. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Tim, what would you consider 'deep' water that would require burping the fish? I've burped some from 45-60' but I see quite a few floating in the lakes at times that I suspect were release with good intentions, but because of not being burped, or other reasons, they don't make it. Thanks
     
  6. curdog

    curdog New Member

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    896
    State:
    Sheridan, Arkansas
    I want to thank you all for that info I shore didn't know that. I havn't fished very deep water eather. But if I do i'll know what to do. Thanks
     
  7. TIM HAGAN

    TIM HAGAN New Member

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    1,236
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    Walkersvil
    Tom I have saw it in fish that come up to fast in 20' of water. And you are right as most people don't know about this they just let them back in the water. The fish will then go down only to pop up down river or away from the boat and end up dead. I have been ask to put alot of things like this into a video so I will start putting thing just like this together to help inform beginners and others way to better care for the fish when CRP is used. I just check every fish I catch better safe then sorry
     
  8. Doctor

    Doctor Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Springfield, Ohio
    Oh yea I have only had to do it to Blues, Flathead and Channels seem to relieve on there own, I just did a 37# Blue here last month that I pulled out of only 17 foot of water, his belly looked like it had swallowed a basket ball and it took me better than 15 min. to get him to the boat, slid the pipe down and blast of air just blew out, just don't get your face down near the end of the tube when relieving them:eek:oooh: Thanks for the putting them on there belly tip, Tim, I always hold them by there jaws and very carefully twist the pipe into there gullet

    Doc
     
  9. dougc

    dougc Active Member

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    1,709
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    Independen
    From what I've read, you don't want to use the needle method on catfish. The tube through the mouth is the correct way.
     
  10. TIM HAGAN

    TIM HAGAN New Member

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    1,236
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    Walkersvil
    Ya I use the pipe just round the ends off and you will be OK. As soon as I can see the water again I will try to get a small video and send it to Paul to post here and help others out with this.
     
  11. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,081
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    Thats a great idea Tim, and thanks to everyone for the tips.
     
  12. neocats

    neocats New Member

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    2,130
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    Steubenvil
    Thanks guys. Great to know this. Don't fish a lot of really deep waters and never knew to check on this situation. We learn something new every day.
     
  13. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

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    7,782
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    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:lol: .
    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
    Myself I just put them on my shoulder and give them a good pat on the back:lol: J/K. I carry a 2 ft. peice of 1/2 inch pvc pipe with the ends smoothed off for this.