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Discussion Starter #1
Ok gents, this thread was up & running a little while ago. However, there was a bit of a 'blip', and the thread accidentally got deleted. I've managed to salvage all the info that was on there from a cached version, so will post the info back in txt format . . . . . . .



  • 12-02-10 10:36 #1
    ColmMcCann



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    Handling/Holding Bass
    I'd like to get views on the right and wrong way to handle a Bass. It's very rarely discussed but to my mind very important.
    There are a lot of pictures on various websites where the fish is held up single handed by it's gill's and this doesn't look right to me?

    This does not look good for the fish?

    (pic of someone holding a brace of Bass by the gills)

    This looks ideal?

    (pic of someone gently cradling a Bass)
    Last edited by Simon Lewis; Today at 13:12. Reason: A couple of pics used from elsewhere that may be the subject of copyright.​
  • 12-02-10 11:19 #2
    Mark Sleep



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    I grip the fishes mouth, thumb over the bottom lip, and support the body further back. They cant bite that hard. Now I have a Boga though, so wont need to get my hand in there, but will still support the body near the anal fin. Its easier to get hurt by the gill blades when you are unsure and tentative when handling, and I find the smaller Bass are the ones that have sliced me more in the past.​
  • 12-02-10 11:32 #3
    bucko



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    If its going back then I'd rather not even take it out of the water. Just my preference though. Incidentally its not the gill rakers or spines that worry me- its the other trebles on the plug that pose more danger. I had a schoolie shake its head and drive a treble into my finger last year- I didn't even have time to say "Ow" by the time it shook once more ripping the treble out. The air turned blue at that point!​
    Ian B
  • 12-02-10 11:33 #4
    Nathan Bell



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    For me it has too be, grip the bottom lip with your thumb then support the fishes wieght with your other hand. Holding there jaw helps too control the fish if it thrashes.
    I don't go near the gills and don't hang it from it's jaw alone,(i don't like Boga style grips for wieghing fish). It's also a good idea too keep the fish low and close too water while you get your camera ready.
    This is just my opinion i'm not an expert and not having a pop at anyone.​
    Last edited by Nathan Bell; 12-02-10 at 11:34. Reason: Missed info​
  • 12-02-10 12:26 #5
    Tim Griffin



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    I think I'd agree with all the comments so far. I like to get photos with the fish, especially when my son catches them. He is even more concerned about the fishes welfare so we make an effort to support their weight, grip with a thumb in the mouth and keep them low/close to the water before returning. PS I know all about the treble hook risks from head shakes too! If they are going back then you have to do your best to avoid any further trauma for the fish - being caught is enough!​
    Last edited by Tim Griffin; 12-02-10 at 12:31.​
    "Griff"
    An English exile in Wales - addicted to bass fishing.
  • 12-02-10 13:24 #6
    Nick Phillips



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    Simple one this...............
    I would never hold a fish up with a Boga (or other) unless the fishes body is totally supported.
    Its exactly the same with Pike and Zander,you must always support the fishes body.
    Stress on the jaws and stress on the fishes internal organs can easily happen especially with larger fish etc.
    The fishes body mass was never designed to be out of water supported as a dead weight.​
  • 12-02-10 13:27 #7
    Keith White



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    Handle fish with care.

    Turn a green fish upside down to calm it.

    Play a fish and don't horse it...

    2 schools of thought there but...

    Green fish might go back easier IF the guy handling the fish can manage a green fish.

    I've witnessed green fish dropped and spiking people far more often than tired fish.

    I like to semi play my fish out and I always support Bass when holding them.​
  • 12-02-10 13:57 #9
    Ben Field



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    I think it's a really tricky one to know exactly what's right.

    For the record, I like to hold them fully supported at all times, but.... (to play devils advocate)...

    I do this because I DON'T KNOW what damage holding them any other way will cause, so don't risk it. We really don't actually know what happens to a fishes organs when they're held vertical in air - even though we all claim that they must get squashed or mushed by their own weight. Its one of those classic fishermen things where we all decide on one thing and then that just becomes the rule - even if we have no evidence and there is the possibility that it could be proven wrong at a later date. Hold us upside down and we're fine - apart from a bit of a head-rush. Our guts don't fall out, implode or explode. Fish are pure muscle - holding their bits in place. In theory I'd actually suggest that holding them upside down (either way) does less damage to them than it would even us. Granted, when fish are out of the water they is less external pressure on them than when they are in the water. How much of a difference though when in shallow waters? Do fish with swimbladders taking up space internally fair differently out of water to those without?

    I don't think there can be too much argument about holding bigger fish by just their jaw though. Damage to their jaw (the functionality of their mouthes is obviously VERY important to them), or if they're a big fish, connection between head and spine could be a possibility. This is just another unknown though! Again, they have so much more muscle than us that I think it's probably wrong to imagine their bodies as if they withstand stresses in the same way. Chances are they're more tolerant and stronger overall, so there is a chance that we worry too much?!

    I'll care for my fish as much as humanly possible for as long as I live - just through respect for the fish as much as anything, just like any animal. The chances are that no of the above questions will ever be answered scientifically, but until they are I think I'll just admit that I don't know....​
    Last edited by Ben Field; 12-02-10 at 14:02.​
    BJF
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    Lure caught species 2010: Bass, Mackerel, Garfish, Pollack, Mullet, Wrasse, Long Spined Sea Scorpion.
  • 12-02-10 14:29 #10
    Chris Guest



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    A Boga in the bottom lip really does help control fish enabling you to get the trebles out a lot easier and of course even easier if you use barbless hooks, to weigh a fish a nylon weigh sling should be used, you can get these from any Carp Angling web site they are light and take up no room, support the fish and keep them safe. Never ever put the "hook" of the scales in the Gill Raker area then hold them up for weighing.

    B.T.W a good substitute for the weigh sling is a plastic carry bag (M&S of course!)


    Chris Guest​
  • 12-02-10 14:30 #11
    Dave Irving



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    I agree with Keith,
    Play out fish until they can be landed in a controlled manner, I have seen far more accidents (to both angler and fish) from horsing in a green fish. Treat the trebles with a great deal of respect, same goes for the edges on the gills and spines. Cradle the fish and keep calm, and as Keith points out, if the fish starts to thrash, turn it upside down. Know where your pliers are (should be close to hand), unhook the fish doing as little extra damage as possible, and get the fish back into the water asap.​
    Formally known as Tunny

  • 13-02-10 08:36 #12
    James Davis



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    A chap called Nico posted a video on WSF last week. He's a tournament angler in France and the boat he was fishing on was draped in all things UF. Red rods a plenty.

    Obviously very very knowledgeable fishermen, but I did notice that when they caught fish they did hold them up just by bogas to weigh and also when holding them up by hand alone they almost held them like the anglers do who fish for black bass do when showing for a photo.

    Maybe our bass are a tad more robust then we think? Either way, I prefer to cradle them like delicate babies rather than take a chance. I have too much respect for them.​
  • 22-02-10 16:27 #13
    Rapala



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    Hi,
    I think the fish handling thing is all about common sense, but sometimes that flies out the window especially when a good one gets caught eh!
    I'd say;
    1. Visualize exactly how you are going to lad a fish at any spot you are at before you even make a cast.
    2. Try and stay calm; dont take chances with your own personal safety when landing a fish.
    3. Do not drag the fish onto hard dry rocks or anywhere it can suffer body/ eye damage.
    4. Always support body of the fish.
    5. Try and keep the fish out of water for the minimum time.
    6. Pliers BEFORE Camera; Remove the lure ASAP to prevent further damage to the fish or you, if the fish thrashes.
    7.Be very careful when unhooking - control the fish's head properly (with a lip grip perhaps) until you get the lure away from it and then use your thumb in its mouth.
    8. If carrying the fish, keep low so if you drop it by accident less damage will occur.
    9.Weigh in a sling or bag
    10.Revive properly before release.

    Oh, and if trying Keiths upside down "tonic immobility" method, protect yourself from the danger areas.

    Cheers,​
    Ian Morris


    Beware the man with only one lure - he might just know how to use it.
  • The Following User Says Thank You to Rapala For This Useful Post:
    Ben Field (22-02-10)​
  • 22-02-10 17:02 #14
    Ben Field



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    Sums it up nicely I think...​
    BJF
    Cornwall

    Lure caught species 2010: Bass, Mackerel, Garfish, Pollack, Mullet, Wrasse, Long Spined Sea Scorpion.
  • Today 09:15 #15
    anselmo



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    Handling fish
    Just a quick question and comment

    How many of you are landing fish with lip grippers?

    I note a lot of pics with bass being suspended (dangling) with the lip gripper firmly in place
    Do users note the stress placed on the throat latch of the fish by doing this?
    There has been a lot of discussion overseas on thr correct way to lift a live fish so that its put back in thewater fit and healthy - and suspending a fishes weight through the throat latch is the worst way

    I would urge you all to use a comfort lift on conjunction with the lip grippers (if you even need them - bass don't have teeth like pike - bass grip them with your thumb unless trebles are an issue)

    If further expansion upon this subject is required let me know

    Nick​
    ... just call me Nick ...

    Also at: (see my Profile page)
  • Today 09:53 #16
    Tim Murphy



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    Cheers Nick. Also see my signature...​
  • Today 10:14 #17
    anselmo



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    Originally Posted by Tim Murphy
    Cheers Nick. Also see my signature...



    thats a good article, although the first section is mainly to do with opening a fishes jaw too wide.
    he also doesn't (IMHO) place enough emphasis on the fact that once a fish is over about a pound in weight a pure vertical jaw/thumb lift destroys a fishes throat latch (especially if the fish struggles)

    "At least one bass angler I've seen in a video didn't land bass by the lip at all. Instead, he put his hand under tired bass and lifted them straight up." This is the confort lift I referred to.

    if you're going to lift lip or use grippers - you should use a second hand under the belly to support the fishes weight (wet hands only please!)

    Nick​
    ... just call me Nick ...

    Also at: (see my Profile page)
 

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I am quite happy to get a sore thumb from holding bass by the mouth (and supporting their tail with the other hand). I don't like to see hands under a fishes gut, that is an entirely unnatural pressure for them. Hands in gill plates are OK IMO, so long as you don't touch the actual gills.

At the end of the day I think you should risk a little pain to save the fish from any.

I don't really like Bogas unless the lure is looking like it is in a dangerous spot or the fish is going to be kept for whatever reason. It's all a question of personal choice but it is great to see so many guys worried about the welfare of the fish.
 

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im going off the bogas paul, defo for the wrasse, easy to do damage, but yesterday it was necessary to stop the fish getting damaged washed onto the rocks,
 

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Just my opinion but on landing the fish I rap it in a wet towel(dripping wet) making sure it covers the eyes. I have found that this keeps the fish calm. So making hook removing simple, protects its eyes from sunlight and keeps the skin wet. I very rarely weigh fish. To release the fish I place the fish and towel in the water, remove towel hold the fish by the tail until it is ready to swim off by its self. Over the top maybe but I feel better.
 

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I haven't got a lot of experience with bass but have handled other species, especially perch, pike and trout (I worked for a time on a trout farm) I find that holding a fish upside down does keep it calmer. However it is not always easy to do it this way if the fish has dorsal fin spikes, unless you can run your hand down the fish to 'smooth' the dorsal fin down. Ideally this is where the wet cloth comes in.

David
 
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