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Just watched Pro Team Journal. Mark Menendez fishing with Bill Mcdonald. Mcdonald deep hooked a bass, took the worm off the hook and cut the line, and left the hook in. He said this was the best procedure, since the hook would disolve in a couple of days. What do you do? One authority says yes, another says no. Does anybody really have any accurate information other than just an opinion, or hearsay. I have heard this bantered back and forth for 50 yrs. I have no answer, but I don't believe a steel hook will disolve in a couple of days.

Hootie

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Lol he must be fishing with alka seltzer hooks

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He must have thought he was fishing saltwater. Even the cheapest, bronze fishing hook isn't going to rust out in a couple days. I think it probably depends a lot in how the fish is hooked on if it should be removed or not. If it's hooked in a way that you're going to do more damage removing it than it's currently doing then you could leave it. Also, if someone isn't very adept at removing a deeply set hook then they should probably leave it. That being said, I'm going to remove it 100% of the time. I like a fishes chances a whole lot better even it's bleeding a little over having a hook still stuck in it's throat. With the right tools and an understanding of how to remove a deep hook, it's really not much more difficult or damaging than it is to a lip hooked fish. 

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According to the Michigan DNR, you should cut the line. The hook should deteriorate over time. 

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I've caught several fish, including bass, with hooks, lures and all kinds of rigs still stuck in and around their mouth and face.  Yet they were still apparently unaffected enough to still strike a bait.

 

That said, I Rarely leave a hook in a fish.  I don't fish live bait much so a single hooked soft plastic is about the only bait that comes into play here.

 

I initially purchased the tool pictured below to be used on the larger variety of pike that often swallow plastic offerings here.  However, it has prove invaluable for freeing up swallowed hooks in bass as well.

 

A-Jay

 

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Leaving the hook in a fishes throat is a death sentence. The hook blocks the throat and prevent the fish from swallowing food. Several article have been published showing hooks do not rust away as previously thought.

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  I carry a pair of side cutters in the boat to cut the hook if I can when it's to deep. I too have caught many fish with deep hooks still in them. Will the hook rust out or save the fish ? All I do know if you try to remove it and she bleeds from the gills then she's dead in your live well in less then one half an hour. I do have stuff to put in the water and I have seen in a very few rare cases that it worked. But most of the time she's belly up at the end of the day.

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^^^this, i highly recommend every angler learn it...

That trick saved a few bass for me. I was teaching kids how to fish and wasnt paying to my wacky rig and deep hooked a bass. Taught them how to get a deep hook out instead. 

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I try to get hooks out whenever I can but sometimes will leave them in when it looks like I will do more damage than good.

 

That being said, the last place I look for examples of how to handle fish is fishing shows. Some are better than others but some guys are just plan horrible about handling the fish carefully.

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I have no answer, but I don't believe a steel hook will disolve in a couple of days.

Hootie

 

You have determined that some authorities should not be. I don't believe a steel hook will dissolve in a couple of months. Remove it & let mother nature take care of the healing process. If you can not remove it cut as close as you can to the flesh.

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I always remove the deep hook.

 

Only problem is the time the bass is out of the water as I perform the operation.

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I saw the show and immediately thought of the post already shared on this thread. Sad because as the pros people will listen to them and believe they did was the right thing.

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Most of today's modern bass worm hooks are made of corrosion resistant steel, heat treated, coated or plated to further protect the CRES for corrosion. Leave a hook made of this type of steel and it's there till the fish dies.

If you have ever cleaned a fish with a worm hook in it's gullet you would know what happens.

The hook in the gullet gets covered over with tissue in time, if the fish survives.

The old cheap steel hooks may have rusted in time but I doubt that, never found a rusted hook when cleaning fish. I check the gullet for what type of prey the fish was eating, only reason to be disecting the stomach!

Tom

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I have seen 2 fishing shows where the fish have passed the hook.  The anglers pulled the hooks out and both said they'd never seen this before.  I wish I could remember the shows.  One may have been the kayak bass fishing show.  I am not sure. I usually try and remove the hook.  If I can't then I cut the line hoping the fish has a chance. 

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Just watched Pro Team Journal. Mark Menendez fishing with Bill Mcdonald. Mcdonald deep hooked a bass, took the worm off the hook and cut the line, and left the hook in. He said this was the best procedure, since the hook would disolve in a couple of days. What do you do? One authority says yes, another says no. Does anybody really have any accurate information other than just an opinion, or hearsay. I have heard this bantered back and forth for 50 yrs. I have no answer, but I don't believe a steel hook will disolve in a couple of days.

Hootie

 

When I fish from bank, with recent dry spell we have in California, I find lots of lost plastics. I always bring a zip lock bag to put them in so I can put them in trash later. As I pick them up, I say 95% of them have hooks in them, far from dissolved, even if the plastic look very old.

 

Maybe he practices this so that he does not have to take a risk of killing fish in competition which he can get penalized for. And "it would be dissolved in a couple of days" is a convenient excuse for that action.

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The hook will not rust out, but if it is hooked deep enough in the back of the throat area the enzymes in the fish will destroy the hook relatively fast. think about it bass eat crayfish and other baitfish with scales, there body can breakdown very hard materials with not much of a problem. that being said here is a very easy solution, bring a nice pair of wire cutters, cut the barbed end off and pull the hook back out. minimal damage to the fish, need a new hook though...

 

Mitch

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for all you saying cut the barb off, well how do you do that when its buried deep in a fishes gullet? you cant that i know of. trying to push the barb back up through the gullet to cut it off is going to cause the fish more harm and likely pull their throat out. LEARN THE THROUGH THE GILLS METHOD. its simple and relatively quick once you get the hang of it. its much simpler to me to turn the eye of the hook down through the gills, grab the bend/curve in the hook with some pliers and pull the hook right out. and it pops out very easily every time ive done it, no harm to the fish. seems to make much more sense than cutting the line, or jamming side cutters into a fishes mouth and cutting the hook of which you still leave part of it in the fish if you cant get the barb pushed through, not to mention you risk accidentally cutting the fishes mouth causing further damage. with the through the gills method, you leave nothing in the fish. i have not left a hook in a bass since i learned the method, and have removed hooks from fish left by other anglers as well. its probaly the single greatest thing ive learned on this site

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See what I mean? Everybody is FIRM on their thoughts. CONFUSING!! I always do everything I can to remove the hook safely. Sometimes, there is just no way. Sad part is, on the lake I fish, it is "catch and release" only. No keeping any bass for any reason. I believe I will definitely try the wire cutter idea for sure. Don't know why I never thought of that before.

Hootie

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ive never ever seen an instance where i needed wire cutters to remove a hook from a bass...i'm not calling anyone a liar, but i'd really love to see a clear good quality picture of such an instance, of the bass with hook in the mouth

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the instance is when you are using a small finesse hook and it goes al the way through a small portion of the fishes gullet, I cut the hook off just before the barb then remove it using a long pair of forceps. I have not left a hook in a bass ever, now live bait fishing for walleye is another matter, sometimes that hook is long gone and all you can do is cut the line... 

 

Mitch 

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This past fall I caught my first gut hooked bass. Luckily the barb was protruding so I was able to snip it with cutters. The gill method looks interesting. I'll definitely give it a try when such a situation arises.

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See what I mean? Everybody is FIRM on their thoughts. CONFUSING!! I always do everything I can to remove the hook safely. Sometimes, there is just no way. Sad part is, on the lake I fish, it is "catch and release" only. No keeping any bass for any reason. I believe I will definitely try the wire cutter idea for sure. Don't know why I never thought of that before.

Hootie

 

You would think all these state agency/conservations and organizations like bass/flw would come together and form a consensus on how to truly handle this situation. You would think the importance of bass's life in a situation where death can occur would become a priority for every angler to know.

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While a lot of anglers pass along the link from the first page as the best way to remove a hook, a scientific study back in 2010 compared that technique against others and found no advantage in terms of survival. It also found that bass frequently ended up expelling deep hooks automatically when left in with an inch or less of line as in the show being cited, though such hooks likely don't dissolve as suggested by the angler. Here are some notes from that study.

 

 

The 2010 study took a scientific look at several common hook removal methods. What made the study so interesting was the intentional inclusion of the "through the gills" removal technique made popular by a Ralph Manns piece back in 2002 in In-Fisherman magazine and revisited again by Doug Stange some years later. The study authors even went so far as to use the exact same hook style in their testing as was done in the original publication piece.

 

The study techniques involved a control set of fish that were hooked in the oral cavity ("in the mouth" but not deep) as well as the deeply hooked fish that were given 4 treatment types:

  • barbless method - through the mouth with hemostats
  • standard method - through the mouth with hemostats
  • through the gill method- the IF technique with hemostats
  • hook in method -  left the hook in the mouth with 1" or less of cut line attached

After all the testing was complete, fish were placed back into ponds and checked in both the summer and the fall for feeding and growth. Results included:

  • Hook removal method has no influence on survival of deeply hooked largemouth bass angled using these gear types.
  • The authors found no evidence that deeply hooked largemouth bass suffer reduced growth compared with fish hooked in the oral cavity or among deeply hooked fish subjected to various hook removal techniques.
  • No method for removal of deep hooks in largemouth bass was found to be advantageous in terms of growth or survival.
  • Necropsies of eight surviving fish that originally had hooks left in revealed that all of the fish had shed their hooks by the end of the experiment.
  • Although air exposure varied among treatments (ave. 8-60 sec.), these patterns were not consistent with measures of feeding recovery, suggesting that the observed periods of air exposure had little negative effects.
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