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Where to put the scale when weighing a fish


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Just saw a video where the guy had a spring scale (no grippers) and punched a little hole in the side of the fish's mouth instead of putting the scale in the fish's gills.  Where should I place the scale hook when trying to cause the least amount of damage to a fish?

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  • BassResource.com Administrator

NEVER punch a hole in its mouth.  Instead, slide the "hook" up under his jaw, near his gill plates.  Trust me, you'll never damage his gill plates doing it this way.

I demonstrate how to this using culling tags in this video:

 

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I use a berkley didital scale and hook them ...how can I say this , "through the gill plate, under the mouth".

while holding the bass with my left thumb in his mouth, I enter the scale hook from underneath, through the bottom of gill plate and hook it on bottom jaw. Not touching or on the gills.

This doesn't poke any more holes and doesn't injure them at all. Hope I explained it well enough 

 

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23 minutes ago, Glenn said:

NEVER punch a hole in its mouth.  Instead, slide the "hook" up under his jaw, near his gill plates.  Trust me, you'll never damage his gill plates doing it this way.

I demonstrate how to this using culling tags in this video:

 

This is what I was looking for - thanks!

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  • Global Moderator

Grippers are cheap and much easier on the fish. You could probably find some clips for chip bags that close hard enough and could be rigged up. Do the fish a favor and use grippers of some sort. 

If you're set on using the hooks, below the jaw like Glenn showed is best. 

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  • Super User

the grip works the best no doubt about it.  i used the hook for a while until i rigged up a grip on my scale not too long ago and all the fish i've talked to about it really seem to appreciate it ;)

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Do yourself a favor and buy a pair of grippers. The hooks on scales are generally too small and are a pain to hook the fish under the mouth. After you have a big one or two that you put on the scale start flopping around and flop off you'll understand why grippers are a much better deal. An added bonus of the grippers is you can use them without the scale. They're a great tool when you are using anything with treble hooks. With jerkbait season fast approaching they are indispensable. Unfortunately I forgot to pull mine out a few trips ago and paid the price when a smallie ripped a jerkbait hook across the underside of my thumbnail. Used the grippers the rest of the trip and my hand stayed safely away from any flying hooks when the fish decided to thrash.  

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How many bass do you plan to weigh?

If you only weigh bass occasionally you can use your net and zero the digital scale, put the bass in the net and weigh it. Alternative method is use a plastic grocery bag, put the bass in the bag and weigh it. To say clips don't do any damage is a stretch if the bass is flopping around. Inserting a stringer clip with small diameter wire through the gill opening carefully works OK, if you are careful. Poking a small hole through the lower jaw membrane isn't any more stressful than hooking the bass with fish hook. Where do you draw line? Handle the bass with care, weigh it and release it quickly.

Tom

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Ditto Glenn's advice. 

Another option for weighing fish is by suspending them in net mesh, a "keep-sack", or even a plastic grocery bag. 

I just caught a bass that someone had punched a hole in its' lower jaw, presumably to weigh it. I know I mumbled something like, "That can't be good." It was, however, able to glom onto my jig.

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I really don't know how much such a hole might hinder bass feeding. But the mouth of a bass -most fish in fact- are engineering marvels that have undergone heavy selective pressure over time, indicating that they are important to feeding. LMB in particular rely on suction to capture prey, and on a tightly closed mouth, and gill rakers, to keep captured prey in there long enough to be swallowed. A hole in the buccal cavity (as it's called) can't be a help. Also, bluegills and some other prey species have evolved post-capture behaviors that provide them a last ditch chance for escape through the mouth or gills. Prey isn't food until it's in the gut.

In general, I think fish are beautiful creatures, and enjoy each and every one of them. I try my best not to damage them.

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On 10/9/2016 at 4:53 PM, Gilgamesh said:

Just saw a video where the guy had a spring scale (no grippers) and punched a little hole in the side of the fish's mouth instead of putting the scale in the fish's gills.  Where should I place the scale hook when trying to cause the least amount of damage to a fish?

On 10/9/2016 at 4:53 PM, Gilgamesh said:

Just saw a video where the guy had a spring scale (no grippers) and punched a little hole in the side of the fish's mouth instead of putting the scale in the fish's gills.  Where should I place the scale hook when trying to cause the least amount of damage to a fish?

If you wanted to do as little damage as you can, the best option would be a grocery store style scale, that you can put a bin of water on and zero it. You could then place the fish in the water and get a weight.

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  • Super User

I weigh them through the gill plate, but before I do I always let them flop around a little.  I want them tired out so they won't hurt themselves while getting weighed.

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The free plastic thin grocery bag holds 5 lbs, has handles to hook the scale on and has multiple ease as a littler bag, fits in a shirt pocket. You are not weighting a 5 bass limit, for that use a catch & release tournament bag.

Tom

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2 hours ago, scaleface said:

Next time you buy a large bag of ice  , keep the sack . They are big and strong enough to hols a bass .

Good idea. My friend once weighed a fish in a Wal-Mart bag that he had in the boat.

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