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Eddie Munster

Lot of people holding them toads wrong......

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Not sure if this had been covered before but I was reading an article from 'Largemouth Bass; An In-fisherman Handbook of Strategies'. The article tells of a theory of David Campbell a biologist who's in charge of spawning the 13 pound plus lunkers donated by anglers to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. He's received several bass with damaged or dislocated jaws so bad that the fish cannot even eat. The fish starved to death after awhile. :'(

The article goes into how it's not okay to force a LMB's jaw fully open ESPECIALLY if it's a lunker and ESPECIALLY if you're not supporting the tail at the same time. It says do NOT use the jaw as leverage to hold the fish which forces the jaws wide open. I normally don't do this anyway but I have seen several members here display pictures of fish they've caught using the fish's lower jaw just as the article says not to. Even if it's a little bit hyped up, it's still disturbing to know that those toads we brag about releasing could starve to death because we've damaged their jaws. :(

We all know those fish have big mouths, so there's no need to prove it with a picture of them with their mouth jammed open. Let's hold them correctly and guarantee they'll be there next year waiting for us to catch them again. :)

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I know what you're saying.  Just open up a Bassmaster magazine and head to the Lunker Page with photos of the trophy bass.  Some of those guys are correctly holding the fish, however, there are many who can't hold them right and you can tell the fish is going to be damaged, or may already be injured.

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EM it was covered before and really well! It's always good to be reminded of things like this again ;)!!!

                             As Ever,

                              skillet

BTW not everyone has the advantage of being a member of BassResource.com :(

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Another thing that gets me is laying the fish down on the ground next to their rod for scale or something. I'm pretty sure that can't be good for the fish either.  :o

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I'm looking at my pix now and notice in some of them I'm holding the fish wrong :( Thanks for the heads up. I've always supported large fish by the tail but never really thought about damaging the jaw from opening it too wide or applying too much pressure to it  :-/.

I've never understood the fish on the ground thing either, I always thought it was best NOT to make too much contact (by hand or ground) with the body of the fish as this removes their protective slime coat.

Thanks again for the info, hopefully I haven't killed any fish  :'(

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What is your thought about laying a fish on its side being bad ?

not saying its right or wrong because I do not know.

I am a catch and release guy all the way and would like to do it right too.

Jeff

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Thankfully, none of my fish are lunkers.

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Just a note about laying fish on the ground.....

When fish are laid on the ground, floor of a boat, etc., it can remove the slime coat of the fish.  It takes time for the slime coat to regeneratre.  The slime coat acts as a barrier from infection and disease.

I think, as with anything else in life, it cannot hurt to be as gentle as possible with a fish during handling.  Anything that reduces the fish's stress level increases the odds of the fish surviving when it is released.

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Hey Eddie,

Thanks for the tip.

I think I may have read that tip on this forum or in a magazine.

I am no longer holding them by their lower lip.

By not holding them by their lower lip it reduces the chances of getting that hook slammed into your hand or finger, especially if it is a treble hook.

Great post.  :)

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I went on a guided fishing trip a couple months ago, and the first fish I caught was a ten pound striper and  I held it by its lower lip.  The guide immediately supported the belly and told me that I should never hold a fish just by its lower lip and that the belly should always be supported no matter what size fish it is.

I have been supporting the belly ever since, even with the dinks! ;D

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Thankfully, none of my fish are lunkers.

x2!

Ha, I wouldn't have to worry about this either.   ;D

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Regarding the slime.  One of the first things I learned when I started fishing was to dip my hand in the water to get it wet before handling a fish.  You'll remove a lot less slime, and end up with a not so slimy hand.

Before I knew that trick, I used to grab eels with my dry hand.  Talk about slime.  My hand could have had a cameo role in Ghostbusters when they got slimed.  It was darn near impossible to remove.  Had to wear away.

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Thanks Sam.  :)

I plan on paying better attention to all the fish I boat from now on, especially the big ones (crosses fingers). I've also been guilty of kind of being careless letting the smaller ones go but the article also addressed easing the bass back in the water; not dropping them back in.

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Folks that lay them on the ground are probably fishing solo and don't have someone to take the photo.

Thats the case with me. But now, thinking about it, its not worth the photo. I guess you guys will just have to take my word for it when I catch that 25lb this weekend  ;D

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I guess I have a couple of dumb questions...If you are holding the fish by the lip with one hand and then supporting them under the belly with the other hand...how do you get the hook out?  Both hands would be busy holding and supporting the fish.  Or am I just not getting what's being said?  Or is it ok to hold the fish by the lower lip so long as you are not cranking the lower lip at such a great angle that would force the weight of the fish on the jaw hinge?

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Thankfully, none of my fish are lunkers.

Me and you both...lol.

And it's a personal choice...we do not catch the big ones solely because we do not want to hurt them...

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I guess I have a couple of dumb questions...If you are holding the fish by the lip with one hand and then supporting them under the belly with the other hand...how do you get the hook out? Both hands would be busy holding and supporting the fish. Or am I just not getting what's being said? Or is it ok to hold the fish by the lower lip so long as you are not cranking the lower lip at such a great angle that would force the weight of the fish on the jaw hinge?

Holding them vertical does not damage their jaws but, holding horizontal by the lip is bad.  

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I guess I have a couple of dumb questions...If you are holding the fish by the lip with one hand and then supporting them under the belly with the other hand...how do you get the hook out? Both hands would be busy holding and supporting the fish. Or am I just not getting what's being said? Or is it ok to hold the fish by the lower lip so long as you are not cranking the lower lip at such a great angle that would force the weight of the fish on the jaw hinge?

Holding them vertical does not damage their jaws but, holding horizontal by the lip is bad.

Exactly. And as far as pics go do like I did for the pic in my avatar. Use a cellphone or digital camera, take a pic then look at it to make sure you got the fish.  :)

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I agree 100%, when ever I catch as bass over 5 lbs, I like to hold it by the gill plate, it (as the article says) I hold the mouth, and support the tail!

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I agree 100%, when ever I catch as bass over 5 lbs, I like to hold it by the gill plate, it (as the article says) I hold the mouth, and support the tail!

Is holding a fish by the gill plates really better? I always try to minimize contact with the gills.

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The way you are holding the bass in your pic is fine G, just don't try to bring it parallel to the ground by the jaw only.

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Nice thread, Eddie Munster. I kind of wonder about some of those who are always correcting the people laying fish on the ground for scale though. (I see it all the time in the "My Fishing Tournament or Outing" section and sometimes it is done in a condescending way.) Holding the fish by the mouth and under the back portion of the belly is considered proper but it also removes slime. Many people recommend rubber nets to protect fish but guess what? They remove slime too. I agree that we shouldn't lay fish on the ground though I have done it once for a picture. We all care about these fish but I'm sure we've all removed more slime than intended at times. It is an imperfect world where I live.

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Another thing that gets me is laying the fish down on the ground next to their rod for scale or something. I'm pretty sure that can't be good for the fish either. :o

How is hooking a fish good for it?

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