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I havent gut hooked a fish in a long time but I found this article on removing the hook from a gut hooked fish and wonderd if anyone has tried this before? Ill give it a try next time I gut hook a fish and see if it works.

http://www.in-fisherman.com/magazine/articles/if2806_HookRemoval/index.html

sorry I dont know how to make a live link.

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I've used this technique for a while now and it works great!  In my opinion, it would be better on the fish than cutting the line and leaving the hook in its throat.  Just be careful with the gills.

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Gary Yamamoto demonstrates a similar method on his dvd, but he doesn't use a pliers.  he actually pulls the hook out through the gill and then cuts it off. I think it's improtant that we try to learn how to minimize the damage from gut hooking.  With all these tasty artificial baits out there the bass are eating soft plastic lures as hungrily as minnows.

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Wow, I've been doing that for years.  I'm glad that I've been using the right technique without even knowing it.  I would caution everyone to be VERY careful when handling the fish around the gills, if you can't get the hook out in a short amount of time, it is best to just cut the line and return the fish to the water.  Thanks for the article.

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Can't tell you how excited i was to see that method posted. I learned about it from a different fishing forum. It was posted in response to leaving the hook in and it will just fall out mentality. The guy that posted it on the other site told a story about a fish having a hook in its mouth while in captivity for months. WOW. good to get this kind of info out there. i don't think gammies and owners and the like are really ever going to rust out. they are made of some hardcore stuff. ike

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It says to note the postion of the hook shank. Is that in reference to which side of the mouth it is closer to, so you will know to go underneath the gill plate that the eye of the hook is closer to?

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Thanks for the info, i'll make sure to use this the next time i gut hook a fish. I don't like leaving the hook in either.

rattletrap, I think thats what they are talking about, thats what I got from it anyway.

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I've been using this for several years and it works. If you use senko's or power bait plastics you really need to check this out. Bass will swallow both of those baits quickly. I posted this a few months ago and got a few heated replies for fellow fishermen concerned about damage to the gills. You do have to careful with tools in the gill area. I found a neat little tool to facilitate this Technique. You'll find one at most fly shops. It's a set of hemostats with the tip bent 180 degrees. Makes it very easy to reach up through the gill plate and grab the line. With the bend on the jaws of the tool, there's no sharp point to cause any damage. I found mine at the St Louis Fly Shop.      ( feather-craft.com ) It was about 12 bucks.

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When I'm recreational fishing I ALWAYS remove the hook, no matter how badly it's gut-hooked. This isn't salt water! The hook won't just rust out in a week. I'd guess more like a year or more. I once read a study on gut-hooked fish that conlcuded in the SHORT TERM, it's better to just cut the line, but in the LONG TERM it's always best to remove it. Some bass might be able to live with that hook in the throat for years, but most bass will eventually die for various problems.

Now if I'm in a tournament, I'll just cut it if it's badly gut hooked. I need that fish to be alive for the short term.

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It says to note the postion of the hook shank. Is that in reference to which side of the mouth it is closer to, so you will know to go underneath the gill plate that the eye of the hook is closer to?

Yes, it will be obvious when you do it.  

I will make note that this is more difficult in small fish.  In small fish if you are using a large hook, it is difficult to get it turned down in the small mouth and getting the plier through the gill is more difficult without doing any damage.  

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Two comments about this:

1) It does take a little practice to get it right and you have to be concerned abut the amount of time the fish is out of water while you're trying to get the hook lined up to be removed (once you do it is surprising how easy it comes out).

2) Leaving the hook in makes it easier to come out later and doesn't necessarily hurt the fish.  Last year, I caught a fish that was gut hooked one night and because I couldn't see well enough to use the method, I cut the line.  Two days later, I caught the same fish (I could tell by the line - Power-Pro - still attached to the hook) and was able to take the hook out without any damage to the fish.  Obviously the fish was still feeding and the hook was easier to take out because the hole in the gullet had been enlarged.

Fish are tougher than we give them credit for -- they lead a tough life.

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Why can't you pull on the hook, pulling the stomach inside out. Then, remove the hook and push the stomach back in with a stick.  :-? Just kidding.  ;D

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Why can't you pull on the hook, pulling the stomach inside out. Then, remove the hook and push the stomach back in with a stick. :-? Just kidding. ;D

Hmmm.  Never thought of that.  Sounds good! ::) ;D lol

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It's probably been over 10 years since I gut hooked a fish. If you are getting gut hooks on plasics, you might be letting them run too far. As soon as you feel them pick it up, set the hook. Gut hooks should be a very, very rare occasion. You can expect an occasional gut hook with live bait though.

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