Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fish Grip Science

   I've said before I'm not a huge fan of the trend for using fish grips and this evaluation of the injury and short term survival rates of fish only re-enforces my opinion.

If you have a habit of getting hooks stuck in your hand maybe you could consider crushing the barbs , also swapping the trebles for singles and rubberised landing nets can help in this regard.
   Its been debated many times and is currently on topic again on WSF , it will probably always be a contentious issue I suppose?


  1. I agree with this article 100%.

    I always use a landing net if necessary but if I can I simple grab the fish with my hand from the bottom lip. Crushing the barbs is a really good idea but most anglers believe the fish will wiggle free. This is hardly ever the case as the fish instinctively pulls away from the line keeping it tense, there are exceptions but these are generally the small ones (Bass).

    My advice is to try and avoid holding a fish under the gills and handle the minimum possible as a fish under stress "sweats" a great amount of mucus and being handled only accelerates this reaction. Long Forceps also help to unhook.

    Another important point is to never release a fish until it has recovered sufficient strength. On a beach this can be more difficult because of the surf but if on the rocks finding a pool (which isn't warm from the sun) and keeping it in the lading net so it doesn't have to be handled to release increases the chances of survival.

    Having said all this, a study shows that a great number of fish die between 2 and 5 days after release depending on the species. Sea Bass are quite robust and have a greater chance of survival.

    The bigger the fish the greater the stress so be as quick as possible and give them plenty of time to recover before release.

    I often use the holding nets used in carp fishing which help to increase survival.

    Great post. Frank

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