Information on Releasing Gut or Gullet Hooked Fish

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Diego, Apr 9, 2006.

  1. Diego

    Diego New Member

    Messages:
    63
    State:
    California
    Hey guys, here are some articles I've read that I think are worth sharing. Please post them up here if you have some you'd like to share.

    From: http://saltfishing.about.com/od/catchandrelease/a/aa040630a.htm

    Survival rates are higher than most people think

    The Issue
    Most of the fish we catch are hooked in the mouth. However, many times fish are caught with the hook buried in their stomach or gills. We call that being "gut hooked". Lots of people like to release their catch and sometimes they don't know how when the hook is buried so deep. I’ve watched people rip the hook out of a fish, insuring that it will not survive. I’ve seen people keep fish they ordinarily would have released had the fish not been hooked so deep. Conservation of the resource dictates we find a way to release as many of these fish in as healthy a state as possible.

    The Acid Test
    All fish have a built in mechanism that will help them survive a hook. The larger the fish, the better the mechanism. Their body fluids contain a substance that can literally dissolve a hook within a matter of days. I have caught a number of large fish wherein an imprint of a hook can be seen inside their mouth cavity. The hook is gone – dissolved – but the outline is still there. I’ve cleaned fish and found the same thing in their stomach lining. Biologists I have interviewed in the past have provided me with data indicating the high acid content that dissolves the hook.

    The Release Process
    Given that these fish can dissolve the hooks relatively easily, the best method for releasing becomes obvious. I cut the line or leader off the hook as close to the eye as possible. Fish hooked in the gills are less likely to survive, but leaving the hook in place is far better than trying to remove it. Fisheries biologists confirm that the survival rate is extremely high if we simply leave the hook and cut the line.

    Did you ever notice that fish hooked in the mouth area or in the stomach area never bleed? Bleeding fish will invariably be hooked in the gills, where their blood flows to gather oxygen from the water. The mouth area does not bleed. Fish are constantly being poked and stuck during their normal course of feeding. Larger fish, feeding on smaller fish are constantly being stuck in the mouth area with dorsal and anal fins – and painlessly, I might add. A hook is simply another fin to them.

    Handle the fish as little as possible and make this a quick return to the water.

    Summary
    In the future, take the time to allow a fish to live to fight again another day. Give up the few cents it cost to replace a hook and let your released fish take care of it. Future generations of anglers will thank you!
     
  2. dreamer34

    dreamer34 New Member

    Messages:
    849
    State:
    danville virginia
    good articale ...thanks for the info
     

  3. Mutt

    Mutt Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    18,945
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    Name:
    Mutt
    real good info thanks.
     
  4. SilverCross

    SilverCross New Member

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    1,562
    State:
    Fairbury, Illin
  5. treddinwater

    treddinwater Active Member

    Messages:
    1,123
    State:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Great information, I had always heard that fish can get rid of a hook in them, but I never knew how. I do know catfish are very hardy when it comes to stuff like that. My dad was cleaning a channel cat once from a local canal and he somebodys fly in its stomach, hook and all.
     
  6. Diego

    Diego New Member

    Messages:
    63
    State:
    California
    Here we have a pretty decent run of stripers through the Sacramento River Delta. Lots of folks find hooks in their stomachs when cleaned.

    Here's a quote from the previous article I feel needs special attention:

    Third, take care with deeply embedded hooks (in the throat or gills). If you choose to leave the hook embedded in the fish, remove any plastic and lead from the bait. Use long-handled cutting dikes (very long handles...10-12 inches) to cut the actual shank of the hook off leaving only the bend of the hook and the point imbedded in the fish. This leaves less hook to rust and prevents the shank from obstructing the passage of food through the fish's throat. If you use these cutting dikes, be careful not to cut the soft tissue of the fish's throat, yet be sure to cut as much of the hook shank and bend off as possible. These dikes are available at most auto retail stores.
     
  7. Mutt

    Mutt Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    18,945
    State:
    Ca
    Name:
    Mutt
    Yep good advice I use them too. By the way where abouts are you located? I am down here in Turlock area.
     
  8. Diego

    Diego New Member

    Messages:
    63
    State:
    California
    Hey Mutt, I'm located in Roseville. I drive through Turlock on my way to Fresno. Lots of good catfishing in your area!
     
  9. Mutt

    Mutt Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    18,945
    State:
    Ca
    Name:
    Mutt
    when the rivers go down where we can get on the river again sometime if you like you are more then welcome to go fish this one spot i go to its a real nice place.
     
  10. suddawg

    suddawg New Member

    Great post.

    SudDawg
     
  11. armynavy

    armynavy New Member

    Messages:
    422
    State:
    Iowa
    Very good post, if its gut hooked I cut the line at the eye or as far down as possible wether I am keeping or releasing.