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EGbassing

At what weight is it harmful to hold bass vertically?

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I've heard several people over time say that holding huge bass vertically can damage their spine, organs, etc. I also read a SaltStrong article saying that someone did an experiment with fifty barramundi, where they held them all vertically and then put them in a tank or something. All fifty of them died. Can it kill a, say, 10 pound bass to hold it vertically, or is it just harmful to the absolutely huge ones? (15+ pounds) Whenever I catch one over 5 pounds or so I try not to hold them vertically because I don't want to risk injuring them for no reason. 

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There has been studies done showing that this does not negatively impact a fishes bone structure. Yes this was done with x-rays. Maby all 50 of them barramundi were stressed to the point of dying  from being caught then thrown in a tank. Hard saying how long they held them out of the water etc...  I will try to find the article I am referring to

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If you hold them properly, without distorting and overstressing their lower jaw, I think there is no problem.  I find it amazing that so many fishermen, supposedly experts, on TV hold the fish so that the lower jay is terribly "bent."  Let that jaw be vertical when hanging the fish from it.

 

This is not the case with big pike and muskies, which should have their bodies properly supported in a horizontal position.  That's why cradle nets were made.

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You're fine up to about 3 lbs.  Then you can either hold them completely vertical (no bent jaw), or cradle them horizontally.  Here's a video with a 2 and 5 pounder I caught to demonstrate this:

 

 

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Just now, Glenn said:

You're fine up to about 3 lbs.  Then you can either hold them completely vertical (no bent jaw), or cradle them horizontally.  Here's a video with a 2 and 5 pounder I caught to demonstrate this:

 

 

I'll watch that now, thanks. I'm referring to holding it completely vertical, not bending their jaw though. 

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Agree. Hold them vertical is fine. Hyper-extending bottom jaw will probably hurt the fish. In one way or another 

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I think the biggest concern is doing damage to their jaw. I tend to hold most fish horizontally when they reach about 2.5lbs - as much as is possible.

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1 hour ago, MickD said:

This is not the case with big pike and muskies, which should have their bodies properly supported in a horizontal position.  That's why cradle nets were made.

What's the difference between pike/muskie and bass that causes pike to require that?

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Just now, EGbassing said:

What's the difference between pike/muskie and bass that causes pike to require that?

Bass are 'stockier', so center-of-weight is towards the front. Pike, pickerel, muskie are LONG fish, so the center-of-weight is much further back.

 

Not that I'd ever stick my hand inside a pike/muskie's jaw - even with gloves...those teeth are SHARP.

 

No, I'm not answering how I know that. :rolleyes:

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 Dottie was caught several times and held vertically for pictures.  She was foul hooked at 25.1 lbs, photographed vertically,  released and lived 3 more years. So I feel pretty safe holding any bass vertical. 

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Horizontally in a pan they tend to fry more evenly. Vertically is just showing off. 

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38 minutes ago, GreenPig said:

 Dottie was caught several times and held vertically for pictures.  She was foul hooked at 25.1 lbs, photographed vertically,  released and lived 3 more years. So I feel pretty safe holding any bass vertical. 

This x1000000000000000

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13 hours ago, EGbassing said:

What's the difference between pike/muskie and bass that causes pike to require that?

I'm not sure, but probably has to do with their long length.  Maybe their internal organs get stretched out of place.  I've read it in some pretty credible pike/muskie articles.  

 

I tried to find some documentation for the horizontal hold, and did find a little, but no detail on why the horizontal hold is  recommended.  Maybe a muskie expert can help out here.

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Well, more than 25 lbs

 

Mac_Weakley_image.jpg

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1 hour ago, roadwarrior said:

Well, more than 25 lbs

 

Mac_Weakley_image.jpg

Was she caught again after that picture was taken though?

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Nope, she (Dottie) died later that year.

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Its when you try to hold a bass HORIZONTALLY (by the jaw and without supporting the body) that injury can occur to the jaw.  Holding a bass vertically usually doesn't cause great injury unless it thrashes around a lot and you drop it.

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Slightly off topic: bass are commonly injured when jaw tissues and articulations are torqued during hook removal. If a hook doesn't come out easily, counter pressure adjacent to the entrance site should be used. One should not use pliers like a lever that pivots against the adjacent parts of the jaw, or those adjacent parts will become permanently dislocated or otherwise damaged and may lead to death. The issue is worse in young bass, whose jaws are still delicate.

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39 minutes ago, roadwarrior said:

Nope, she (Dottie) died later that year.

Had she been caught, held vertically, and then caught again before?

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The photo of Dottie being held by the jaw with fingers on the outside and thumb inside without bending the jaw is exactly how I hold giant bass. Hold bass horizontal by the jaw bending it dislocates the jaw hinge if you don't support the bass by it's belly.

It's a nonsense issue holding bass vertically, horizontal can be the problem.

Tom

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2 minutes ago, WRB said:

The photo of Dottie being held by the jaw with fingers on the outside and thumb inside without bending the jaw is exactly how I hold giant bass. Hold bass horizontal by the jaw bending it dislocates the jaw hinge if you don't support the bass by it's belly.

It's a nonsense issue holding bass vertically, horizontal can be the problem.

Tom

I don't think anyone thinks of holding bass horizontally any other way than holding it by the jaw and belly....

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12 minutes ago, Glaucus said:

I don't think anyone thinks of holding bass horizontally any other way than holding it by the jaw and belly....

Bill Dance

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There is no scientific proof that holding a bass by the jaw vertically causes any damage. Holding a bass horizontally by the jaw without supporting it's mid section/belly area does cause stress to the jaw. Bill Dance has promoted improper handling with his shows because he jacks the jaw by trying to hold the fish horizontally without supporting the fish with a second hand. His horizontal hold is more of a 35-45 degree hold. Maybe if someone told him his attempt to show the fish to the camera with one hand was causing a problem he might change his ways.   

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It needs to be reiterated that for bass under 3lbs, holding them at an angle by the jaw does not harm them.  "Jacking" them by the jaw, dislocating them, causing mortal injury etc is in the context of 5+ lb fish only.

 

And, it's also important to note, that injury is not a given.  It's a possibility. They're not fragile glass dolls. Yes, you could damage the jaw, but that's not a common occurrence.

 

It's insane how this topic has gone to extremes in the bass fishing community. It's seems nowadays any pic of somebody holding a bass is now attacked for killing the fish.  LOL!

 

Support the body if he's a big fish, otherwise take the pic and let him go to grow old.

 

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Largemouth bass are one of the few fish anglers hold by it's open lower jaw. The reason is the LMB has a large mouth that doesn't have teeth and is easy technique to hold the fish.

Smallmouth and spotted bass have smaller mouth that the fish tend to keep closed and it isn't convient to pry the thier mouth open to hold the fish.

Trout, Musky, Pike, Walleye, Pickerel are fresh water game fish that have teeth making holding them by the mouth a problem so anglers don't don't do it.

Use common sense when holding fish to remove hooks. I think MLF rules makes good sense, but a good soft knotless net is a lot safer.

Tom

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