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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Calming a fish down for hook removal #14526716 11/06/22 12:18 PM
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SenkoSam Offline OP
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How many of you grab a fish to keep it still when removing a hook and/or taking a photo?

Last week I found a simple way to calm the fish from thrashing and possibly getting free to thrash on the ground or boat bottom - both detrimental to its slime (mucous) coat.

Now, before you object to the solution, think of how difficult it is to keep a fish stationary in order to hold it with one hand and use pliers in the other hand to take the hook out. I'm not talking LM bass with large lips allowing you to grab their lower jaw. Panfish, even smaller crappie and SM bass, have small mouths.

Tip to try:
I take a wet terrycloth and wrap it around the fish's head and body - most definitely the head. After that, open the cloth, hold the fish with your hand or pliers and remove the hook. Why the fish becomes sedated is anyone's guess, but it is and stays that way. Just remember to be careful to not wipe the sides of the fish. Even with a wet cloth (which must be terrycloth or of a similar soft texture), slime removal is possible and always avoided. Its life depends on it!

Here's are a few examples of calm fish posing for the camera:
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]





Last edited by SenkoSam; 11/06/22 12:29 PM.
Re: Calming a fish down for hook removal [Re: SenkoSam] #14526827 11/06/22 02:35 PM
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IslandJim Online Content
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Offshore, a wild wahoo, king or barracuda on deck can take off a foot with their teeth. My friends always kept a wet towel on deck to throw over the fish's head. and it would immediately stop flailing around. Similar to what you were doing. IslandJim


I'm an Eighth Day Adventist. On the Eighth Day, God went fishing!
Re: Calming a fish down for hook removal [Re: SenkoSam] #14527609 11/07/22 01:51 PM
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SenkoSam Offline OP
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Thanks Jim for your reply.
I thought about the difference in cloth materials and figure the wet terry cloth holds the maximum amount of water and is a barrier from the cloth absorbing and removing the slime coat period. I also figure that a calmed fish recovers faster once released and the sooner the better.
I've read about slime coat rengeneration but wonder if it is fast enough for the prevention of disease. Obviously it must be for the many fish that have been recaught showing torn lips and old predator injuries.

Re: Calming a fish down for hook removal [Re: SenkoSam] #14527688 11/07/22 03:11 PM
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bassnman Offline
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I just grab the treble hook with the pliers. Then lip or grab the fish. May take a few seconds but still faster than a cloth. No slime on the boat either. Quickest, safest, best for the fish.

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