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Well i was fishing saginaw bay and i caught a walleye 14 and 1/2 incher. Not a leagal size fish. The problem was she swallowed the hook and it was a spoon so needless to say i dont think she was going to make it! I set her free knowing it was a dead fish swimming??? To bad you can't keep it after somthing like that. Kind of a waste i felt bad about it! It seems like you could explain yourself to the DNR about the situation, but it was'nt worth it to me.

What would you do? Don't LIE!
 

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If they made an exception then everybody would shove a hook in the fishes throat, rip it out and tell the CO that the fish swallowed the hook. It sucks to throw the fish back, but it's not wasted. Something will eat it, or it will just decompose and put nutrients back into the ecosystem. I would throw it back. No fish is worth a $100+ ticket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
QUOTE(icefishermanmark12 @ Feb 17 2010, 06:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If they made an exception then everybody would shove a hook in the fishes throat, rip it out and tell the CO that the fish swallowed the hook. It sucks to throw the fish back, but it's not wasted. Something will eat it, or it will just decompose and put nutrients back into the ecosystem. I would throw it back. No fish is worth a $100+ ticket.
No no no, they could carry a portable lie DETECTOR!!!
 

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QUOTE(Mini @ Feb 17 2010, 07:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>YOu dont know if the fish is going to make it. You should be able to cut the hook off (leave it where it is) and let it go.

I have done it to hundreds of fish.....ruined some nice baits too.
Me too but no wire cutter in the shanty! It was kind of a freak thing i think? Also i herd that "cut it off and leave it where it is thing" is a myth and they still will die. Herd it only works in SALT water? Just sayn.
 

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You did the right thing, and it's what I would have done. For several reasons- first, it's the law. That aside, I've had fish in my life that I just knew weren't going to make it, but weren't legal or whatever. I take great comfort knowing that I did everything I could and treated the fish fairly and that it would soon return to nature. Now if I'd beat on it, took 50 pics, laid it on the ground and so on....then it's kinda my fault and I'd feel guilty about returning a dying fish to the water. But it happens and knowing that it's going back into the cycle of the lake and that I didn't waste it through disrespect, but rather that it just happened to die, I take comfort in that. It's sad to see, but it's life.

And like Mini says, often you don't know it died. I remember catching a non-legal pike in MN several years ago, and it swallowed the fly to it's butthole. Barbless fly or not, it was bleeding all over the place just getting it into the boat. I managed to back the hook out and get it out and it was still bleeding. I had to put it back because it wasn't legal. I put it in the water and tried to revive it, but it just wasn't happening. It's eyes were non-responsive to tilt and it's operculumns weren't moving. It went side-up and I felt bad, but saw an osprey in the tree eyeing it, so I knew it wasn't long for this world. I fished down the weedline a bit further, but was still close enough to keep the osprey away, and I figured any minute it'd come down and get the pike (about 18"). No sooner had I thought that, the pike slowly righted itself and shot down beneath a log. Osprey was pissed! LOL
 

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QUOTE(Freek @ Feb 17 2010, 06:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>QUOTE(Mini @ Feb 17 2010, 07:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>YOu dont know if the fish is going to make it. You should be able to cut the hook off (leave it where it is) and let it go.

I have done it to hundreds of fish.....ruined some nice baits too.
Me too but no wire cutter in the shanty! It was kind of a freak thing i think? Also i herd that "cut it off and leave it where it is thing" is a myth and they still will die. Herd it only works in SALT water? Just sayn.


I have caught numerous fish with partial or whole jigs, crawler harnesses, hooks, etc still attached to them....so i dont think that they will just die.

On two sepeerate occasions I have weighed in fish that had lures coming from the anal vent.....one was a tube hook and one was a crawler harness! I think the fish are alot heartier than most people think. Well smallmouth anyway....some other species may be different.
 

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I have caught Pike with spoons hanging out of their mouthand the hookwas almost eaten in half. Salt water the same thing... It is the fish that gets rid of it not the water.
 

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By the way I have caught Muskie and Pike with one side of their Gill torn completely out of their heads and they were healthy and feeding very well. Also Blind in one eye fish a lot. As John said they are a lot tougher than you think.
 

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QUOTE(muskiebobsr @ Feb 18 2010, 08:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It is the fish that gets rid of it not the water.
I have seen fish come to the surface seconds later after breaking off and try to shake lures/hooks loose. Or just mock me.

Maybe breaking the fishes back would've added a 1/2 inch? JUST KIDDING. You did the right thing throwing it back, I definitely would've.
 

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Here is some info
Leave hooks in fish?<-----click

Here is some more info not related to the link above thats good to know
This is from an article by Charles W Bryant, How to Remove a Hook Without Injuring the Fish

"Fish can put up a heck of a fight when they're on the end of your line. But while a fish possesses excellent defense techniques, the act of attempting to free itself from the hook takes a lot out of the creature. When you see a fish struggling against the fishing line, jumping from the water and thrashing, it's depleting its tissue of oxygen through the stress of exertion. An oxygen deficit soon occurs, and the muscles begin to function without it. This causes lactic acid to build up on the muscle tissue, and that lactic acid eventually finds its way into the bloodstream. The pH, or measurement of the blood's alkalinity, drops because of the addition of the acid. Once the blood's pH is disrupted, it can mean curtains for the fish".(http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/outdoor...k.htm/printable paragraph 6)

This is why it is important to get a big musky or bass to the boat and released as soon as possible. Don't use light gear when targeting trophy fish.
 

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QUOTE(Freek @ Feb 17 2010, 05:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Well i was fishing saginaw bay and i caught a walleye 14 and 1/2 incher. Not a leagal size fish. The problem was she swallowed the hook and it was a spoon so needless to say i dont think she was going to make it! I set her free knowing it was a dead fish swimming??? To bad you can't keep it after somthing like that. Kind of a waste i felt bad about it! It seems like you could explain yourself to the DNR about the situation, but it was'nt worth it to me.

What would you do? Don't LIE!


Ya.....if you think leaving a deeply swallowed hook in a fish is going to rust away or get spit out your fooling yourself to feel better about it. If it does rust away(over the years) can rust be good for the fish? Thats why people that cut off pike or muskie at the boat because they don't want them flopping around in the boat are a bunch of idiots.
 

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QUOTE(daredevle @ Feb 18 2010, 03:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>QUOTE(Freek @ Feb 17 2010, 05:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Well i was fishing saginaw bay and i caught a walleye 14 and 1/2 incher. Not a leagal size fish. The problem was she swallowed the hook and it was a spoon so needless to say i dont think she was going to make it! I set her free knowing it was a dead fish swimming??? To bad you can't keep it after somthing like that. Kind of a waste i felt bad about it! It seems like you could explain yourself to the DNR about the situation, but it was'nt worth it to me.

What would you do? Don't LIE!


Ya.....if you think leaving a deeply swallowed hook in a fish is going to rust away or get spit out your fooling yourself to feel better about it. If it does rust away(over the years) can rust be good for the fish? Thats why people that cut off pike or muskie at the boat because they don't want them flopping around in the boat are a bunch of idiots.


Definitely agree. I don't believe in the "hook rusting away" theory. It doesn't heal / rust over night or even over a week. No sense in putting the fish back so that it can suffer. A deep hook is different than a gut hook. A fish may be able to eat with a deep hook that is not obstructing the gullet, however I feel that once it starts going down the throat, it's game over.
 

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QUOTE(b_radici @ Feb 18 2010, 03:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>QUOTE(daredevle @ Feb 18 2010, 03:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>QUOTE(Freek @ Feb 17 2010, 05:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Well i was fishing saginaw bay and i caught a walleye 14 and 1/2 incher. Not a leagal size fish. The problem was she swallowed the hook and it was a spoon so needless to say i dont think she was going to make it! I set her free knowing it was a dead fish swimming??? To bad you can't keep it after somthing like that. Kind of a waste i felt bad about it! It seems like you could explain yourself to the DNR about the situation, but it was'nt worth it to me.

What would you do? Don't LIE!


Ya.....if you think leaving a deeply swallowed hook in a fish is going to rust away or get spit out your fooling yourself to feel better about it. If it does rust away(over the years) can rust be good for the fish? Thats why people that cut off pike or muskie at the boat because they don't want them flopping around in the boat are a bunch of idiots.


Definitely agree. I don't believe in the "hook rusting away" theory. It doesn't heal / rust over night or even over a week. No sense in putting the fish back so that it can suffer. A deep hook is different than a gut hook. A fish may be able to eat with a deep hook that is not obstructing the gullet, however I feel that once it starts going down the throat, it's game over.


Then how can you explain a crawler harness coming out of an anal vent?

or a tube jig head coming out of an anal vent with the hook so weak it breaks like a toothpick? I do agree that the hooks dont rust overnight (unless it is a CHEAP hook). MOst of the nickle plated high quality hooks last quite a while. BUt fish will still eat with something hanging out of their mouth or hooked in their mouth.

I know it could be a rare occasion but to make a blanket statement about cutting hooks off at the boat is pretty silly.....I think it is up to the angler and the situation. There have been many times I have cut my line and pulled the bait out of gills from the rear just to minimize damage and blood loss.

I have also poured catch and release into a fish's mouth to stop the bleeding....it works.
 

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Heres 2 more sites that every one should read
http://southhoustonbassclub.com/Documents/Gut%20Hooked.htm

http://www.acuteangling.com/Reference/C&RMortality.html

I have always believed that just cutting the line would keep the fish from dying but from what I have been reading it depends on how the fish is hooked to begin with and there are numerous other factors regarding the survival of gut hooked fish. I was also shocked to read how long it takes a hook to rust out. So the reality that we may have to face is that gut hooked fish may have a higher mortality rate than we once believed. What kind of damage is being done when fighting a gut hooked fish to the boat we don't know, sure it might swim off but how long will it live. I'm glad this thread was started I have learned alot from researching information on this topic. Something that I have believed for over 30yrs has been put into question and the answer is not good. All we can really do is cut the line and say a prayer that the fish will be ok.
 

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I caught a pike last winter, and cut the hook because I couldn't get it out. It was a red treble. Two weeks later, we were out and my friend caught the same fish. The hook was still in his mouth and was still completely red. That hook was not going to rust out any time soon.
 
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