What Damage Do Our Snags Do?

Discussion in 'MISSOURI RIVERS TALK' started by jnordyke, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. jnordyke

    jnordyke Member

    Messages:
    99
    State:
    Hannibal, MO
    I've been thinking about snags - since getting a bit more aggressive about where I fish, my snag rate has gone up. Rivers in general, wing dikes, brushpiles - where we catfisherman work is an inherently "snaggy" place.

    The week I joined BOC, the "hot topic" was members exhorting others not to try using WD40 as an attractant because "it damages water quality." I was too timid then, but I still wonder as I did back then: "You've left enough pure lead in the bottom of the river to walk from bank to bank without getting wet, and you're worried about a squirt of WD40???" So my question #1 is, are we fouling our own nest so to speak when we leave lead in the water?

    My second question about the potential harm of snags - what's the difference between a broken-off snag that still has bait and hook attached and a trot line that's put out and never checked? How often, do you think, do we end up killing a fish with our left-behind snags?

    So get with it, guys - invent a biodegradable weight heavier than lead and hooks that disintegrate after say 6 hours in the water, or invent a 100% snag-proof method of fishing (and make a zillion dollars).
     
  2. TheMadCatter

    TheMadCatter New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    missouri
    i use bio-degradable wieghts, i call them railroad spikes. they are steel and will rust away in no time at all.
    as far as hooks and what not getting left in snags, they dont last long. it only takes a week or two for a hook to dissappear. even when swallowed by a fish they still rust away. catfish are very slimy, this slime has antibactierial properties that keep the fish from getting infections.
     

  3. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    Solid lead sinkers in the bottom of the river aren't that big of a deal for water quality from what I've read (how many old municipal plumbing systems you think there are out there with lead pipes still present to some degree?). The bigger issue is small lead split shot and jigheads on the bottom where they get inadvertently eaten by waterfowl. I suppose there's a duck out there that could eat an 8 oz. flat bank sinker by mistake, but I'd be scared to see it:smile2:

    12" of unattached line with a baited hook is probably not all that dangerous to a fish, depending on how it's rigged. I use slip rigs so once my main line is broken, the sinker comes off. If a fish did eat it, it'd have a circle hook with an 18" leader to contend with. It's possible the swallowed hook could cause issues but I doubt there's much risk of them getting snagged at a later date due to the leader.

    Lots different than a trotline that's anchored or heavily weighted that a fish is caught on.
     
  4. bigkane

    bigkane New Member

    Messages:
    279
    State:
    Ashland, K
    Yeah and if you get too concerned about lead, there's non-lead sinkers easily available. I agree with the above post hooks don't last long, especially inside of a fish.
     
  5. Catfish_Scooter

    Catfish_Scooter New Member

    Messages:
    2,055
    State:
    Tennessee
    It's almost impossible to get snags with the barrel swivel rig.. at least where i fish..
     
  6. wayne1967

    wayne1967 New Member

    Messages:
    528
    State:
    Missouri
    Our 2 stroke engines do more damage then the WD 40 I would think. I make a point to look around during low water for lost sinkers i can melt back down. It always amazed me how people could break off and loose rigging in very flat sandy areas. I guess using rotten line.
     
  7. crazy

    crazy New Member

    Messages:
    2,090
    State:
    Kansas CIty, MO
    It's actually easier then you think. The sinker sinks into the sand once it does that the sand covers the sinker. When you go to pull it free it can be covered with several inches of sand. Now comes the breaking off point Sand particles are like little knives they will cut right though that mono like hot butter... There's your lesson on sand. :big_smile:
     
  8. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    I'd be more concerned over all that braided line that gets cut at the rod because they can't break off at the terminal tackle.
     
  9. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC

    That's an operator issue, not an equipment issue:smile2: I use 80# PowerPro on all my reels and don't have any problem breaking it off. If somebody is too dense to wrap it around a stick or the rod butt and break it they probably shouldn't be driving the car or boat that got them to where they're fishing:smile2: I ran 200# on one reel for awhile (it was cheaper than the 80# in Cabela's bargain cave) and I either broke that with one of the methods described above or it bent/broke the hook while I was trying to break it. No more excuse for leaving long pieces of braided line in/around the water than there is for leaving mono lay on the bank when someone respools or leaving other trash lay. It's matter of ignorance or laziness - or both. Braid is waaaaaay to expensive to be wasting that much of it anyway:smile2:

    Sorry to be so blunt about it but I've seen this mentioned a couple of times and it's truly irritating because it isn't any more (and to me much less) difficult to break than stretchy ol' mono if the folks doing it would use a bit of common sense.
     
  10. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    Messages:
    10,362
    State:
    JOISY
    I'm more worried about all the urine I put in the water. LOL! I'm a drinkin and peein fool out there. :crazy:
     
  11. JUG_LINE

    JUG_LINE New Member

    Messages:
    82
    State:
    NE Oklahoma
    I agree on the line issue. A few weeks ago a young man in Oklahoma was reported to have drown while swimming in the Arkansas river. Authotities clam he became tangled in a fishing line and could not surface. They didnt specify anything more about what type of line. It could have been anything but catfishing is very popular in the Arkansas.
     
  12. catfishscotty

    catfishscotty Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,388
    State:
    mo
    I agree dont use sinkers ,, hooks or braided line !!!!

    electro shock is much more safe and even more productive ...

    and leaves no mess what so ever :wink:

    just throw out the leeds and dial (1 800 big cats ) :smile2::smile2:
     
  13. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

    Messages:
    3,649
    State:
    O.P., KS
    Don't fish with braid, do you? It's actually much easier to break than heavy mono, and the incentives to do so are that it costs $20 - $40 to fill a reel, and braid to braid junction knots perform poorly. I've yet to see a person cut their braid because of a snag, but I've seen plenty of folks cut off big lengths of 40-80lb mono.
     
  14. catfishscotty

    catfishscotty Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,388
    State:
    mo
    I bet a glob of epoxy would make a good sinker protector :smile2::smile2:

    supose ill just go back to using old sparkplugs ... worked great for many years :wink:
     
  15. SWeiss

    SWeiss New Member

    Messages:
    751
    State:
    Pennsylvania
    I often wondered, just how much lead we could gather up if the river suddenly dried up for no more than 5 minutes and we could run out and grab as much as we could. I've left more than my fair share of it on the bottom, I know that.

    I don't believe that lead is a real big deal. Take into consideration the shear amount of water vs. the amount of lead out there. The solution to pollution is dilution! Besides most snags probably get covered in silt in a short amount of time anyway.

    Hooks oxidize pretty quickly too.

    The biggest problem in my opinion is mono. That stuff can last forever, and it floats. Gets caught in props, trees, weeds, your rig.
     
  16. 320hotrod

    320hotrod New Member

    Messages:
    356
    State:
    KCMO
    In my opinion, large leads are not necessarily hazardous, just more like a pop can in the water; just a form of pollution. Of course, I won't be gnawing on them either. Lucky for me I tend to snag up on a wad of leads every snaggin season and manage to replace alot that I've lost through the years. And I don't recall ever seeing any degradation of the weights that apear to have been on the river bottom for years. That may be why the states that have bans on lead content of fishing weights all pertain to less than 1 oz weights. It's the birds eating smaller weights that look like stones that causes the concerns among environmentalists, among others.
    As for braid, I'm there with Branden and Gary. I don't think I could afford to break off at the reel everytmie I snagged up, and when it breaks. it's almost always at the knot, whereas I've seen mono break at any point, including the reel. Can't recall every having braid smack me in the face or hand when it snapped.
     
  17. wayne1967

    wayne1967 New Member

    Messages:
    528
    State:
    Missouri
    Man, how long do you stay in one spot!:smile2:
     
  18. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    Wayne, believe it or not it doesn't take long if the bottom is soft:smile2: Fished a lot of sandbars where I had to give the rig a big, long pull to get the sinker up out of the sand after just a couple of hours.
     
  19. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

    Messages:
    3,649
    State:
    O.P., KS
    On the river in places your sinker can get pretty well buried in 10-15 minutes, I'll usually reel in about a foot of line every once in awhile to pull it back out. Leave your line alone for an hour or more in those places and you may very well break 20-40lb mono trying to get it out of the deep sand.
     
  20. wayne1967

    wayne1967 New Member

    Messages:
    528
    State:
    Missouri
    Shows you what my patience level is.:big_smile: