Releasing Blue catfish Alive

Discussion in 'Blue Catfishing' started by moe, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. moe

    moe New Member

    Messages:
    22
    State:
    nc
    It's important to release the large blues to keep the rivers and lakes producing large fish for our furture generations. When releasing bules caught from deep water especially in the cold months of winter, you need to burp some of them. You can tell if they need burping by looking at their belly. If it is extended and all blown up looking like a football it probably needs help. They get air trapped in their stomach and can't get rid of it and can't dive back under the water when released. To burp one you need a soft rubber tube with no sharp edges. Just slide it down the fishes' mouth in the center real easy 'til you hear a gush of air. I can't take credit for these suggestions they were given to me by fellow fishermen, but I do beleive in the theory and remedy and would like to pass it along.

    moe
     
  2. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    thanks moe for that information. ive notice sometimes the fish are swollen. i always thought it was from eating. i released a 23lb blue a month ago to later seeing the fish turned belly up about 50 yards from the boat. i thought i was going to have to pull anchor and help the fish out if i could. finnally the fish took off. i just wonder if the fish turning upside down released the air by chance. i fished for another two hours and never seen the again. i know that throwing them back in is not good. you need to put them back real easy and let the gills go back to working before release.
     

  3. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

    Messages:
    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele
    Good information on burping and releasing the big blues for the ones who do not know. Its good to revisit tpoics like this for those who are new to the sport. I had to burp a few blues myself caught from the deep.
     
  4. beeheck

    beeheck New Member

    Messages:
    631
    State:
    Iowa / Missouri
    This is new to me so I need a little more information. On the tube what diameter? 1/2" or 1/4" or ?? and soft tube, I'm thinking like the clear plastic tube you can buy at an auto parts store or something softer? Sorry to ask questions but if I do this I don't want to hurt the fish by doing something we could of prevented.
     
  5. bigsammy

    bigsammy New Member

    Messages:
    189
    State:
    Poteau ok
    Thanks fer the tip Moe,but Beeheck has a good question and I'm new to this method too
     
  6. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Messages:
    4,644
    State:
    Wilmington, NC
    Good job moe, good post.:)
     
  7. master_cat

    master_cat New Member

    Messages:
    686
    State:
    tennessee
    real good info i didnt know that thank you
     
  8. moe

    moe New Member

    Messages:
    22
    State:
    nc
    In answer to your questions about seize, 1/4 or 1/2 should do fine. Just make sure it has no sharp edges and is flexible. I've heard of guys using the but of their rods to burp. I don't know if I would recommend that or not. I guess it's a judgment call in case of life or death of the fish and you have nothing else to use.
    PS The tube needs to be firm enough to slide down the fish's mouth and all the way to it stomach.

    moe
     
  9. T-Bone

    T-Bone New Member

    Messages:
    1,125
    State:
    South of Dallas
    Thanks moe, I've never heard of using a tube before. Sounds as if it would work though. Good info.
     
  10. jonnycat

    jonnycat New Member

    Messages:
    103
    State:
    Maryland
    One of the guides on the James River in VA was featured in the November Issue 2004 of Field and Stream. He is a devoted catmen of course. He keeps a piece of PVC all smoothed down to prevent harm to the big fish. Here is the kicker, his tube is 4in in diameter(LOL) for the giants he encounters on the James. Seriously, he does keep the PVC but I can't remember the diameter. I suppose that 411 could be obtained if someone knew the correct methods. I have the magazine in my 5-drawer fishing file-cabinet in the basement. Glad to see the concern for these big fish is widespread. It's the gene pool that we need to preserve. I've got a couple of pictures that would be interesting to look at if and when y'all run up on me. Got to get some sleep for the trip at 9am. Later for now---jonnycat
     
  11. jlcclh

    jlcclh New Member

    Messages:
    84
    State:
    Virginia
    are there bellies hard when they need burping? Do big cats need burping in warm water also?
     
  12. moe

    moe New Member

    Messages:
    22
    State:
    nc
    I would say yes if the fish come from deep water and had hard extended bellies.

    moe