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crankbait2009

fishing for smallie in the winter time

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i read in an article that taking a fish from cold water can put them into shock.  how do you avoid this?  if they do go in shock, what do you do to releive them?

i will be fishing from the bank/wading....if that helps as well.

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If you believe that , just keep them in the water while you're taking the hook out.

I personally have never heard that but there are many things I have not heard or experienced.

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I've caught hundreds in 35-45 degree water in streams, and never had one go into any sort of shock when released. To me winter bass show very little stress when caught. Summer caught bass conversely, can be pIayed too long to the detriment of the fish as exhaustion sets in.

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I use my trout net when I fish for smallies in the winter :) I keep them in there the whole time and keep them in the water. I only take out the BIG fish to take pictures of. The average and 'decent' smallies just get released as soon as the hook comes out.

I don't really think they get a shock, the only fish I really worry about keeping them out of the water due to temperature shocks are trout, especially the dinks :)

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i agree. i have taken smallmouth in water temps in 35 and below and i have even got them through the ice and have never had one go in any sort of shock.

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I don't think its the water temp they are talking about, colder water temps are probably better stress wise for the fish. Air temps on the other hand can freeze gills and other vital exterior fish parts (slime coat) I have open water fished in temps below zero before, and I wont take the fish out of the water in those extreme temps, its not an instant death but anything longer than 10-15 seconds is going to damage to those fish. Above 20-25 degrees and you are going to be fine

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Cold water and deep water wintering bass, like you see so often here in the far north, can be of concern. Same can be said with high water temps and deep fish as well. Not good..

I would say, under 25 FOW, catch em all you want in the cold water..

I catch lots of smallies through the ice, under 25 FOW and they are fine.. But, know others who have caught them deeper and it hasnt been a good thing.

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