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Big Stick Joe

The Strength Of A Bass Jaw

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Hey guys,

I just got done watching the Classic and i saw how Chris Lane was man handling the fish and it got me thinking, so i wanted to ask the question to everybody. How strong is a fish's lower jaw? And why i'm on this subject, how much pressure can you put on a fish's jaw before you break it? when i lip one, i always keep the whole fish vertical because i'm always afraid of breaking the fish's jaw. What is your guy's technique when handling a fish.

Thanks guys.

Joe

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Yea he was Pretty rough with that thing. I couldn't tell ya how strong it is but I do know they can break from miss handling. I have been trying ( with good sucess) to make sure that when I handle a fish other than just lipping it in the boat that I hold it horizontally and then the majority of it weight is supported by the belly and not it's jaw

Such as this:

43c8b629.jpg

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Another problem with holding a large fish vertically is their body isn't designed to support their body weight since they live in a weightless world. So holding them vertically can actually cause their internal organs to basically crush themselves if held for an extended period of time. Holding them up and shaking them like pros do at weigh ins sometimes probably does the same thing.

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Thanks guys for your responses. I never thought about their organs before, i will work on holding them horizontally. Nice fish in the picture Ninja.

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So holding them vertically can actually cause their internal organs to basically crush themselves if held for an extended period of time.

Not likely. The is ZERO problem holding them like this:

Fishing2011-20-L.jpg

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A lot of guys really overvalue "holding the fish without breaking it's jaw". Bass aren't built fragile like shiners. If they're jaws were that fragile then how come they don't break when they violently thrash trying to throw lures? I understand trying not to cause harm to the fish but some of these ideas are kind of ridiculous.

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A lot of guys really overvalue "holding the fish without breaking it's jaw". Bass aren't built fragile like shiners. If they're jaws were that fragile then how come they don't break when they violently thrash trying to throw lures? I understand trying not to cause harm to the fish but some of these ideas are kind of ridiculous.

Same way that An arm can support allot of weight (ie lifting a 40# dumbbell overhead). But putting pressure in a directed spot ( such as an arm bar) the bone will snap. I think most fish are injured as a result of improper handling and support. An angler that knows how to handle the fish and exert most of the pressure vertically such as J is doing in his pic is fine. But the inexperienced angler will use the same grip and exert more horizontal or lateral force to the fish and that it when the jaw will give way. One way to prevent that either experienced or inexperienced is to hold the fish horizontal with both hands. Although that does lead to the question of how to take the picture:D

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The less hands on a fish, the better. The less time out of the water, the better.

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Same way that An arm can support allot of weight (ie lifting a 40# dumbbell overhead). But putting pressure in a directed spot ( such as an arm bar) the bone will snap. I think most fish are injured as a result of improper handling and support. An angler that knows how to handle the fish and exert most of the pressure of the fish is exerted vertically such as J is doing in his pic is fine. But the inexperienced angler will use the same grip and exert more horizontal or lateral force to the fish and that it when the jaw will give way. One way to prevent that either experienced or inexperienced is to hold the fish horizontal with both hands. Although that does lead to the question of how to take the picture:D

I've been bass fishing my entire life and never "snapped" a bass's jaw bone by holding it with one hand. I guess to each its own though.

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I've caught plenty of fish that have jaws that have obviously been broken in half, and healed.

Here's one, note the V-shaped lower jaw, and this isn't even a 2 lb. fish:

300355738_iNeZ2-L.jpg

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Straight from the best bass information website on the planet..(2nd line down) http://www.bassresource.com/fish_biology/handle.html

I VERY STRONGLY DISAGREE with points 1, 2, and 4. A good rubberized net shortens the battle and the stress, while protecting the slime coat. I even keep the net on the deck, and land smaller bass right there. The fish I pictured above was almost 5 lbs., no broken jaw when handled correctly. Leaving the hook in the fish is a HUGE no-no.

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No net is good, no swinging and dropping a fish on the deck, no touching a fish when possible, no rough handling of a fish, not keeping the fish out of the water too long, always remove the hooks and carefully, opening their mouth to full is ok as long as there is no additional pressure added by pivoting the body during hook removal or when bragging on a stage... after all if it wasn't for that fish... there would be no PHOTO or CELEBRATION!

Over the years, and on many bodies of water, I've caught several of the same fish more than once with no problems ever noticed. The fish didn't miss treat me by biting so I'll return the favor by treating them with care, thanking them for the visit and returning them exactly where we met! It's more like a relationship thing to me...

Big O

www.ragetail.com

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I don't understand how a bass will "dislodge the hook out himself" as the article states. Does he use his hands!!!! :eyebrows:

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Hey guys,

I just got done watching the Classic and i saw how Chris Lane was man handling the fish

I also thought he was shaking the fish right hard...guess it was his emotions coming out!

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@Big-O: I think your last comment was right on the head. I really do not know much about handling fish but some basic rules but what you said sounds like the perfect checklist.

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The less hands on a fish, the better. The less time out of the water, the better.

I agree 100% and as long as you are not flexing pressure on the jaw of a heavy fish, it will be fine.

I worry more about the guy that throws that fish in the dirt or on the boat deck to get a photo.

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I handle fish with "kid gloves", I think I've seen somewhere that the state of TX has a handling guide out, and in it they recommend grabbing the fish by the lip and then under the belly. here is the link http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/sharelunker/handle/ With all of that said I've seen fish kept out of the water for about two minutes revived and released, and it did survive, it was in a small backyard pond, granted it was a small bass don't know if that makes any difference.

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i agree that fish shouldnt be handled like rag dolls.

but then again, fish arent as fragile as some make them out to be...

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i usually try to keep the fish out of the water under 1 minute. As soon as the hook is out and i admire it a little, it goes right back in the water. The only time it gets really hard is during a tourney when they are weighing it and the weigh station is not close to the water.

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The best way to handle a bass > "Is with common sense".

IMPO, fat more bass die, because guys are not prepared with a livewell (an icebox full of freshwater is fine) and / or don't have a camera or scale ready. Consequentally, the bass is kept around, and sometimes (worst of all) out of water way longer than it should be. THIS is what kills most bass.

Fish

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No net is good, no swinging and dropping a fish on the deck, no touching a fish when possible, no rough handling of a fish, not keeping the fish out of the water too long, always remove the hooks and carefully, opening their mouth to full is ok as long as there is no additional pressure added by pivoting the body during hook removal or when bragging on a stage... after all if it wasn't for that fish... there would be no PHOTO or CELEBRATION!

Over the years, and on many bodies of water, I've caught several of the same fish more than once with no problems ever noticed. The fish didn't miss treat me by biting so I'll return the favor by treating them with care, thanking them for the visit and returning them exactly where we met! It's more like a relationship thing to me...

Big O

www.ragetail.com

Beautiful man just beautiful !!!!

I VERY STRONGLY DISAGREE with points 1, 2, and 4. A good rubberized net shortens the battle and the stress, while protecting the slime coat. I even keep the net on the deck, and land smaller bass right there. The fish I pictured above was almost 5 lbs., no broken jaw when handled correctly. Leaving the hook in the fish is a HUGE no-no.

I agree with you here the only difference is I never use a net...unless the fish has really big teeth !!!!

One thing I will do however is keep the fish close to the surface of the boat, just incase it decides to start flailing around, all the added stress on the lower jaw is lessened if the fish does not have it's total body weight hanging during that time, if the fish should come loose from your grip the chances of it being injured from a fall are lessened as well.

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Its clear that Bass are very sturdy creatures, we ALL know how strong they are on the line, however we can not forget that Bass are made for water. As soon as they come out of their element things change. Personally, I've never snapped a Bass' jaw by holding it vertically, but I also do not hold it that way for very long, nor do I shake it around, or sling it everywhere either. I try to get the hook out of it as quick as possible, without handling it too much. Sometimes the hook set is deep and you have to handle the fish more, but if the fish is not too tired, the hook set is nice, holding it vertically a few seconds will not kill it...as experience would indicate.

Regardless of how strong they may be, physics applies to everything. If you put too much force (in this case weight) on something that can not support and/or displace that weight it will fail, bridge, branch, bass jaw, whatever. So, although I would not scream foul at holding the fish vertical for a few seconds, I certainly would not recommend holding it horizontally without supporting the rest of its weight. After all, how much effort does it take to properly handle a fish after spending months planning, buying tackle, watching technique videos, cranking, flipping, pitching and everything else we do??

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