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jomatty

gut hooked fish diagram help

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ok, i know that you cant fish without occasionally hurting a fish but i still like to do everything i can to try to release them all unharmed.  ive studied the diagram about removing hooks from gut hooked fish and although it has worked its only about 50-50 for me.  ive heard others say that they can remove almost all guthooks.  fortunately it is rare that i gut hook a fish.  however last night when pitching an ika into heavy weeds i gut hooked a 4.5 lber and could not get the hook out.  i tried everything but eventually just had to cut the line and hope for the best (and with a 4/0 hook in its gullet im not overly optomistic.)  

anyways, to my question, as i understand it you just turn the hook shank whatever way it is pointing and then reach up through the gills and with the hook shank facing down it should pop out.  does anyone have any  tips to make this work better for me, or am i missing something.  im fishing such small waters that not harming fish (especially big fish) is important and any tips are appreciated.

matt

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Crimp down the bard on your hook. You will not notice a change in your landing percentage and this makes removing a hook much easier.

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Crimp down the bard on your hook. You will not notice a change in your landing percentage and this makes removing a hook much easier.

I agree. All of my hooks are de-barbed. I even de-barb the treble hooks. Takes some work, and I usually get a little stick but does make removal easier. Any missed strikes are mostly due to me and not the de-barb'd hook.

Also, if you ever hook yourself, a de-barbed hook is much easier to remove and could possible avoid a trip to the ER. Especially fly-fishing - don't ask how I know that.

Eddie

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From your description, you may have the order slightly wrong. First you look inside the fish's mouth and see whether the shank is leaning to the left or right. Then you insert your pliers through the gill plates on that side to pull the shank down until it's almost parallel with the fish's body. This will cause the barb end of the hook to rise up from the gullet (but not out of it). You then move your pliers out from between the gill plates and reach into the fish's mouth and grab the hook as close to the barb as possible. You should be able to work that end out fairly easily. Having long pliers helps a lot. Rapala sells a pair of pliers that have a little nipple at the end of one of the jaws, which is useful for grabbing the hook. This procedure has worked well for me, though popping the barb out is sometimes tricky, which is why others have suggested crimping off the barbs on your hooks.

Hope this is clear.

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