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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I would start this topic because I am wondering about what other anglers do to ensure that the fish they are holding out of the water for a pic, or to remove a hook, or whatever, is not suffering any ill effects from the handling after it is released? Let me know what yas think.
 

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Hey Shady - good to chat again - good topic - I use a net with soft C&R mesh (no knots). For bigger fish I use a cradle with the C&R netting. Warning - don't use with lures w/trebles - you'll spend more time unhooking from the net than you will fishing. Another reason I like the cradle - fish can lay flat and fin in the water after you've removed the hook for a minute or so before the picture - helps them get their breath back after the fight. Keep your hands wet before handling the fish - don't squeeze the belly or touch the gills. Bigger fish - don't hold them vertically by the lip with your hand or lip-gripper - you can damage the mouth and jaw if they're heavy - always offer support under the mid-section without squeezing. Hold them by the tail until they're revived and ready to go - I've made the mistake of letting go too soon on a couple fish only to see them swim a bit and then start floundering in the current. Luckily I was able to wade out and right them again, but one almost washed away on me.
I'm sure most everyone's heard all this before - but it's never a bad idea to re-hash this stuff. One of the biggest things I think is to give the fish a few moments to breathe in the water after the fight before you hold them out for a photo - and a lot of people don't do that.

I know I've posted this somewhere in the past - but imagine if you were forced to run a mile as fast as you possibly could - upon crossing the finish line - you're bent over gasping for air - someone grabs you and throws your head underwater while they take pics. Give em' a minute.

My 2 cents anyway - good topic.

J.

Oh yeah, and barbless hooks aren't a bad idea either.
 

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Hey Shady - good to chat again - good topic - I use a net with soft C&R mesh (no knots). For bigger fish I use a cradle with the C&R netting. Warning - don't use with lures w/trebles - you'll spend more time unhooking from the net than you will fishing. Another reason I like the cradle - fish can lay flat and fin in the water after you've removed the hook for a minute or so before the picture - helps them get their breath back after the fight. Keep your hands wet before handling the fish - don't squeeze the belly or touch the gills. Bigger fish - don't hold them vertically by the lip with your hand or lip-gripper - you can damage the mouth and jaw if they're heavy - always offer support under the mid-section without squeezing. Hold them by the tail until they're revived and ready to go - I've made the mistake of letting go too soon on a couple fish only to see them swim a bit and then start floundering in the current. Luckily I was able to wade out and right them again, but one almost washed away on me.
I'm sure most everyone's heard all this before - but it's never a bad idea to re-hash this stuff. One of the biggest things I think is to give the fish a few moments to breathe in the water after the fight before you hold them out for a photo - and a lot of people don't do that.

I know I've posted this somewhere in the past - but imagine if you were forced to run a mile as fast as you possibly could - upon crossing the finish line - you're bent over gasping for air - someone grabs you and throws your head underwater while they take pics. Give em' a minute.

My 2 cents anyway - good topic.

J.

Oh yeah, and barbless hooks aren't a bad idea either.
thank you very much for the info i am very new to fishing and like all the advice
 

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also try to keep the fish in the water as much as possible. Have someone else take the pictures for you if possible. a picture of you cradling the fish in the water is a great photo. If you want to get a nice out of water pic keep the fish in the water until the camera operator is ready then hold it by the tail and put your other hand under and cradle the fish. put fish back in the water as soon as possible.
Also get down on your knees if you can and that way you don't really need to lift the fish out of the water for a nice shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yea, good to hear from you too, Grouse right? I have noticed over the years, bruising on the caudal peduncle, I guess this is from someone gripping the tail too hard. Anyone else ever see this?
 

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I try to practice most of the aboved mentioned, those fish grips should be outlawed, if you are to scared to hold a bass by the lip (with support under the back of his body) or a pickerel by the back of the head stay home and watch soap operas.
 

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I have the hardest time holding pickerel. Those buggers are slippery. I use to fish for pike all the time and they arent nearly as slick, plus they tend to freeze when you grab them behind the head. With pickerel it seems like I'm always losing my grip but I dont want to squeeze to hard and hurt the fish.
 
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