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I was interested in what you veteren fisherman felt about removing hooks from gut hooked fish. Every year I get a few fish that totally engulf a tube or whatever else. No matter what you do, it seems like a couple of fish just hammer & swallow the bait in a split second. What is the best thing to do about this without killing the fish. I don't really want to crimp the barbs on all my tackle. Is there a way to get the hook out clean without any damage?

What type of mortality rate do these fish have if you cut the line & leave the hook in the fish? Just looking to save a few more fish for next year. Any help would be appreciated.

Mark
 

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Some time ago, another post referred me to this so I pass it on to you.
Feb 2003 In-Fisherman, page 18, "Feedback"article from Mark Gomez by way of Jeff Snyder on gut-hooked fish and how to remove deep hooks.
I hope that I don't gut-hook but if I do, I will definitely try this. Check it out.
Tim J.
 

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I'm getting pretty good at the Jeff Snyder trick for deep-hooked smallies although cameraguy has more practice. It really works great most of the time. So far, it's worked every time I've tried it with minimal distress to the bass.

If you do decide to 'cut the line' on a deep hooked bass, leave about 6 to 8 inches of line hanging OUT of the bass' mouth. For some reason, they are able to get rid of the lure/obstruction a little better in those circumstances. But I think, once you've tried the trick above, you won't have to do that much anymore.
 

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Mark, I have been fishing LSC for a long time. In the last 6 years, to the best of my knowledge I have not killed a fish. I don't fish Tournaments and I don't keep fish very often, (walleye, occasionally). I will loose a few more fish than other anglers. But, I usually spend alot less time unhooking fish. I bend all my barbs down, and check them occasionally to make sure the flare has not raised.
even on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, topwater, jerkbaits and exspecially jigs and plastic hooked baits. You can allways buy new treble hooks for your hardbaits, if you fish tournaments. The fish you save may be the state record in a few years. Not to mention the time it takes to unhook and the stress you feel trying to save the fish. Try it when it doesn't matter, to see if the long distance release really bothers you. It dosen't happen all that often.
good luck!
john
 
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