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billmac

Does wiping the slime off fish not matter anymore?

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This may seem like a trivial question, but I and the friends I fished with growing up (and read every fishing magazine we could lay our hands on) were very careful to try not to touch the fish on the body.  If we couldn't lip the bass, or had to land a toothy fish, we always wet our hands before touching them.  In the time I took off from fishing did we discover that kind of thing doesn't matter anymore?  It sure looks that way from the fishing videos I watch.

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9 minutes ago, billmac said:

In the time I took off from fishing did we discover that kind of thing doesn't matter anymore?

It still matters. The slime coat is what protects fish from parasites, bacteria, etc. They continuously renew it and the pathogens that are trapped in the slime are removed when the old coat is shed. Removing the slime coat, even in a small spot, can open them up to disease. The slime also contains antibodies and enzymes that attack pathogens.

 

Ignore the videos of people 'rough' handling fish. Make sure to wet your hands if you have to grab them by the body so that you do as little harm to the slime coat as possible.

 

<- Aquatic Biology major in college.

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Watch MLF, no holding the bass agianst your body, no nets, no carpets, no boat contact, no tossing the bass back into the water only minimal mouth contact or belly holds allowed to prevent loss of slime coat and no livewells to reduce stress to the bass.

Tom 

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Safety first to the angler, then the fish.

 

Treble hooks might prevent you from lipping a fish. Get those hooks out anyway you can ,photo, and release the fish as quick as you can. 

 

Some toothy fish fish like Trout and Pickerel prohibit lipping. 

 

The idea deal is take your pic and release the Bass or other species as fast as you can.

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1 hour ago, WRB said:

Watch MLF, no holding the bass agianst your body, no nets, no carpets, no boat contact, no tossing the bass back into the water only minimal mouth contact or belly holds allowed to prevent loss of slime coat and no livewells to reduce stress to the bass.

Tom 

False, they land them by the belly all the time.

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Fish are not that fragile. The natural response to being handled is making more slime. Within 10 seconds after you first lay your hand on a fish it’s already 2, 3 or 4 times more slimy. The slime coat coming off a bass is as likely as the oil coming off a person’s skin. I know, it sounds harsh, but I release fish safely. Most fish aren’t that fragile. Some are, like shiners. But most kinds of fish have no problem with the type of handling you see on MLF. They can swallow a live bluegill whole and chase it with a whole live crawfish. We’d die if we tried that.

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22 minutes ago, jbsoonerfan said:

False, they land them by the belly all the time.

All the time...bigger smallies they they do LMB rarely.

My point is MLF makes if a penality to bounce bass or miss handle them, not so with every other bass tournament series and long term should have a possitive impact of bass survival.

Tom

 

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Just now, WRB said:

All the time...bigger smallies they they do LMB rarely.

My point is MLF makes if a penality to bounce bass or miss handle them, not so with every other bass tournament series and long term should have a possitive impact of bass survival.

Tom

 

Yes, all the time with small mouth. I just watched them fish Champlain today and they did it with 90% of the smallies but it's not a penalty.

 

Miss handle them? Their rules are straight forward. There is no "minimal mouth contact or belly hold" rule. But whatever man, I won't argue semantics.

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10 minutes ago, jbsoonerfan said:

Yes, all the time with small mouth. I just watched them fish Champlain today and they did it with 90% of the smallies but it's not a penalty.

 

Miss handle them? Their rules are straight forward. There is no "minimal mouth contact or belly hold" rule. But whatever man, I won't argue semantics.

Think you better re read my 1st post, belly holds are allowed along with mouth holds.

The 1st season too many treble hooked hands with smallies trying to get their mouth open.

Tom

 

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Too many people want to be Youtube famous and don't care about the fish. 

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I'm not faulting the MLF. They are doing it right.  At least if you belly land the fish, your hand is going in the water and getting wet.  It's the flipping them out of the water and letting them bounce all over the carpet that I really hate. (that, and holding them horizontally by the lip while you shake them at the camera and do a little dance).

 

On that note, the MLF really needs a new video demonstrating how they release bass.  The guy couldn't get the hook out and took forever with this little bank runner that sure didn't look healthy when he finally returned it to the water.

 

I carry a pair of forceps that I clip to my shirt or vest.  Way easier and safer to get deep hooks out and much better if it is so deep you have to reach in through the gills to get it out.

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Over 60 years of bass fishing I have never landed one by the belly hold! held several big bass by the jaw supporting the belly, well aware of it's slime coat.

Never bounced a fresh water bass into the boat intensionally. Always lipped bass or use a net, there are some good knotless nets available, when needed using crankbaits.

The belly hold is new to me.

Tom

 

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Bass are not fragile animals.  They live in à violent world where they race through thick vegetation, rocks, and timber to eat other fish and avoid predators.  Yes try to preserve the the coating and do what you can to get them back in the water quickly, but they are far from fragile.  I have caught bass many times with a lip totally torn and a gill plate detached on one side and the fish was doing fine all from an old injury.  They can survive more than we can imagine.  Keep following the guidelines but these animals are tough survivors !

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I have to say, I don't think I've ever done the belly land, or seen it done until I started watching the modern tournaments.  If there are a lot of hooks involved or it's a toothy fish, I've landed them by gripping just behind the head.  I don't think the belly hold is a huge deal, but the belly hold often leads to a full body hug, and that's not cool.

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Talking about bouncing bass in the boat...I was watching a video of a local pro, no names mentioned here, but I was appalled when bounces this oh, I'd say 6 lb'r off the deck, and again on the floor by the seat. Surely that can't be good for most fish.? When I Have to handle a bass, as in my profile pic, my hands are Wet, and I make it as fast as I possibly can. The bass I'm holding was not out of water for more than 45 secs..yes we timed it. Right or wrong, I try to be as gentle with fish as I can..period. 

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In MLF, the body hold that they penalize for is holding the bass against the body of the fisherman as he is securing the bass.

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I won't even use a net.  If I lose them trying to lip them then so be it.  I will never bounce on on the carpet of the boat.  I won't even swing them in unless they are under 2lbs and I can suspend them while I reach for a lip.  The fly fishermen have been wetting their hands forever when dealing with trout and are meticulous about fish care.  Anybody who smallmouth fishes knows that if you cradle them by the belly 90% of the time they stop struggling.  I've been doing it for years although I would rather lip them to avoid dropping them if they do struggle, especially if they are caught with trebles.  If you lip a largemouth, they will settle quick.  If you lip a smallmouth they will usually thrash more before they settle down.   

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Seems we each have our way. I am not a boat flipper: never have - never will.

Prefer a landing net and a mat.  While removing hooks I take care to handle the fish as little as possible while maintaining control with a boga grip (especially when treble hooks are involved).  Quick video or picture includes a two handed thumb and tail supported finger hold again offering minimal handling/contact.

A-Jay 590697a38ba9e_NetJob.thumb.png.812857e4620fc04770c3d867659984ed.png

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Always rinse the slime off before eating...........

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