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Heartland Outdoors Forum | Handling Large Fish
 
   
 
Handling Large Fish
Posted: 28 September 2011 01:55 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I have a question and it may be dumb to some of you, but I want to know whats right. I see a lot of pictures where people are holding very large fish, like Flatheads, Blue Cats or even a big Largemouth. When they are being held by the head and the body is hanging down is this hard on the fish if you are going to release them? I have heard that it is hard on their insides with all the weight hanging down instead of holding them long ways. I see a lot of fish in pictures that are being released that are being held this way, and was just wanting to know!

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Posted: 28 September 2011 08:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I think it’s a very valid question to be honest. My own personal beliefs, which are not based on any scientific facts is that catfish 20 pounds and under are fine by lifting them by the mouth. Anything larger needs to be supported with a second hand. Bass 2 pounds and under same, over 2 pounds support the body weight with a second hand. Musky, pike, trout, of any size I always use 2 hands and generally only pull them from the water for a quick pick and back into the water as soon as possible. Walleye, crappie, and bluegill, all are gently laid in a soft bed of bread crumbs and then released into a pan full of 425 degree oil. None of this is based on any scientific data, just 28 years of fishing experience. I would love to hear what others have to say.

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Posted: 28 September 2011 08:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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i hold every cat i catch over 20 lbs under gills and have never had one not swim away instantly,  same goes with the smaller ones,  white bass and bass are more fragile but the old lip holding photo shot doesnt hurt them either. i would say laying them on the ground getting dirt and rubbing their slime off is more harmful than holding them by the mouth or gills. i dont think there is any wrong way to hold a fish as long as it swims away (or is kept for meat)

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Posted: 29 September 2011 06:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I did rip the bottom gill on a 35 lb. grass carp when I lifted it from the water to the bank.  It tore the flesh and the fish died quick.  I couldn’t find anyone to eat it so it was coon food.

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Posted: 29 September 2011 08:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I agree Josh that laying them down or a lot of handling would be bad. Regarding the Grass Carp reminded me of another story. A friend of mine was Bass fishing along the bank at Lake Springfield after work one night, he came across another guy fishing and asked how he was doing. The guy replied good the Crappie are really biting, so my friend asks do you care if I see them just wondering if they had any size. This guy pulls the basket out of the water and sure enough a real nice mess of fish, but they were Drum! My friend just didn’t have the heart to tell him different so I guess he did eat them. When I release a fish I try not to handle it very much, but I see a lot of pictures of guys holding fish like that and I had for a long time heard people speak of this both ways so I just was wanting others thoughts on this. But from another angle. How about when they are spawning, would all that weight affect or hurt the egg sacks?

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Posted: 09 June 2012 06:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Colt - 28 September 2011 08:33 PM

I think it’s a very valid question to be honest. My own personal beliefs, which are not based on any scientific facts is that catfish 20 pounds and under are fine by lifting them by the mouth. Anything larger needs to be supported with a second hand. Bass 2 pounds and under same, over 2 pounds support the body weight with a second hand. Musky, pike, trout, of any size I always use 2 hands and generally only pull them from the water for a quick pick and back into the water as soon as possible. Walleye, crappie, and bluegill, all are gently laid in a soft bed of bread crumbs and then released into a pan full of 425 degree oil. None of this is based on any scientific data, just 28 years of fishing experience. I would love to hear what others have to say.

I never use oil over 350 degrees. It smokes and shortens the life when heated over 350.

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Posted: 29 June 2012 10:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Scott you are absolutely correct on oil temperature. I got caught up in the moment and did not write the proper number down. When I think about fried walleye my mouth begins to drool and forget everything else. Thanks for pointing that out for myself and the others.

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