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Poor Richard

Bass survival w/ lure in mouth

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In several lifetimes, my family and I have broken off three good bass.  They were hooked on multi-trebles.  I have picked up and buried bass that swallowed someone's worm, got hooked in the gills, or lost an eye, which led to starvation.  But I have never seen a dead bass with a lure in its jaw or body.  I've caught bass all scarred up from being wrapped in line, chewed up by gars, fins ripped by whatever ripped them, separated pieces of the jaw, and one with a hole shot through it.  These were all healthy, so it's obvious they are tough.  Have any of you sports ever seen a bass that died with a lure stuck in it?

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Today's motto:  You killed it, you eat it.

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I have seen bass, dead on the shore, with hooks left in them, from someone trying to perform operations on the poor fish.

Other than that, no.

There was a catfish that I caught, at Fort Mountain State Park, that went about 12 lbs., that had my hook, and 3 other hooks in it's lip, with line still attatched.  

So, I know that fish can survive if you don't mess with the hooks, once they have been set in them.

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One of three things will happen to a lure (hook or hooks) that get stuck in a bass' mouth:

1.  The bass will work the hook out against the bottom.

2.  Someone else will catch the bass soon and remove the broken off lure/hook.

3.  In time, the hook will rust and break out of the bass' mouth.

I wouldn't worry about breaking off the occasional fish.  However, I wouldn't try to "preform operations" as nwgabassmaster put it.

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Yeah, I mean, some slight ones, when you don't have the hook set well in the gill plates is ok.  I have done that several times, and the fish have lived.  However, some of the fish that I have seen have had gill plates removed, throats cut open and gaping wide open.................just blatent attempts to get their hook back.

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I saw this on the PA Fish and Game site, they were Electro Shocking Struble Lake and found this Bass, they removed the lure and returned it unharmed. Looks like it was in there awhile. They also have a Musky with a big spinnerbait jammed in its mouth that was also returned 089646.jpg

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I've never believed that rusting hooks. I allways have offset side cutters in boat in the case of tubes pull the tube off and cut hook as close as possible.

Turtles get most of the fish that die the first night so we never see them.

Garnet

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I don't know if it is the same for largemouth, but when I have broken off smallmouth on topwaters or crankbaits most of the time i see them leaping in the air and shaking around trying to free themselves from the lure.  Most of the time they succeed.  I have even been able to retrieve a few of these lures after they were shaken off and left floating on the surface.

Cody

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I have never heard of or seen a bass die because it had a hook or lure stuck in it. Most of the time when I break one off they start jumping and trying to shake the lure out.  

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I don't know if it is the same for largemouth, but when I have broken off smallmouth on topwaters or crankbaits most of the time i see them leaping in the air and shaking around trying to free themselves from the lure.  Most of the time they succeed.  I have even been able to retrieve a few of these lures after they were shaken off and left floating on the surface.

       

        Largemouth do this too.

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I don't know if it is the same for largemouth, but when I have broken off smallmouth on topwaters or crankbaits most of the time i see them leaping in the air and shaking around trying to free themselves from the lure. Most of the time they succeed. I have even been able to retrieve a few of these lures after they were shaken off and left floating on the surface.

     

      Largemouth do this too.

Yep.  I can remember three different incidents where I got a crankbait back that I lost in a fish's mouth.  It's a good thing they float ;)

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There is a tool out there called a D-Bard.  It's look's like a large set of split ring pliers, with a cutting bit.  On gut hooked fish you just push the hook through use the tool to cut the hook below the barb and pull it back through the orginal hole.  I do not know if they still make this tool because there website is pending re-newel.  But if you can find one this is the best tool I have found to ensure the life of gut hooked fish.

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I caugt a fish that went 8lbs.  It had three hooks already in its mouth, two with leaders of 12 and 18 inches.  One with no line at all, and my hook.   Two hooks had no redness, they had the most errosion of the hooks,  one appeared to be recent.   All were in the top portions of the  mouth.   Used needle nose and removed all hooks easily.   I think it takes longer than a month or so to erode the hooks out.  Quality of hook, and size of hook will play major role in determining when the hook will errode.   Both existing lines were at least 20lb test.

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While we're on the subject, it should be emphasized that 'stainless steel' hooks

should never be used, in freshwater or saltwater.

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In several lifetimes, my family and I have broken off three good bass. They were hooked on multi-trebles. I have picked up and buried bass that swallowed someone's worm, got hooked in the gills, or lost an eye, which led to starvation. But I have never seen a dead bass with a lure in its jaw or body. I've caught bass all scarred up from being wrapped in line, chewed up by gars, fins ripped by whatever ripped them, separated pieces of the jaw, and one with a hole shot through it. These were all healthy, so it's obvious they are tough. Have any of you sports ever seen a bass that died with a lure stuck in it?

--------------------

Today's motto: You killed it, you eat it.

Because they lost an eye, doesn't mean they starve.  They learn how to adapt.  I have caught many healthy fish with only one eye ball.  I know when I was a kid and had no bait left, I would do surgery on a sunfish's eyeball for extra bait. :) ha ha, so I know a few fish in the Minnesota Metro Area have only one eyeball.

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