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Reviving a salmon after boating it


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So I have seen it done a few ways, what is the best way you guys go about reviving a salmon after boating it?  I always held the fish at the surface facing the direction the boat is heading and  then move it back and forth until it kicks.  I've seen other guys just torpedo them back in with success.  Others face the fish in the opposite direction of the boat heading.  What are all your thoughts on getting a salmon right again?  Nothing worse than seeing one floating and having to circle back.

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The point is to let the fish rest and "catch" its breath before you release it. I hold the fish by the tail and under the belly and face them into the flow until they are moving their gills by themselves then I loosen my grip on the tail and let them swim away on their own. If they're little guys and you didn't fight them long you can just let them slide back in. Gotta respect the fish!

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I think flowing water backwards thru a set of gills is like choking a fish. I like to crank the flow in the live well and put them in and regain strength in there under control. Once they re-liven up a bit I then put them back in the lake once they can swim out of my hand... Sometimes 15min in a live well will do wonders...

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The point is to let the fish rest and "catch" its breath before you release it. I hold the fish by the tail and under the belly and face them into the flow until they are moving their gills by themselves then I loosen my grip on the tail and let them swim away on their own. If they're little guys and you didn't fight them long you can just let them slide back in. Gotta respect the fish!

Agreed. I don't have a live well but that sounds like a good option

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I've never had much luck reviving big chinook because they fight their heart out and the lactic acid builds up in their system and they are pretty well shot after that fight...

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Do the big kings survive for you guys in the summer if you try to revive them?? I have had about  30% that swam off on there own after holding them face forward on the side of the boat. the other 70% end up in the cooler. I like to try to let a few go, especially the smaller kings.

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You are not doing these Kings any favors by reviving them. Fact is they will swim down and die and you will never see them. Second is their scales are their protection coat. When scales fall off bringing them aboard it exposes the King and Coho to the elements below also killing them. 

 

Best thing is not bringing them aboard. only net them with a rubber net , leaving it in the water with the fish below the surface, removing the hooks 

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We use Berkley lip gripper on the finger lakes. Boga grip style device which keeps the fish out of the net and off the floor of the boat. Nothing worse than  a fish banging on the deck of the boat while you try to get the hook out. Livewells work great if surface water temp keeps a good supply of cold water. We tried many things to increase release rates and this works well. Slow steady retrieve, lip gripper on lower jaw(will not hold on upper jaw), lift fish,remove hook and release. We have taken lakers as deep as 180' and they go down like a rocket ship! If the fish is gill hooked and bleeding bad we box it. Studies show that these fish do not make it. A big salmon would be tough to handle but if you are catching small fish and want them to swim another day give this a try!  Wes

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I use the lip gripper style fish holders with great success. I have boga Grip 30 lb grippers 1 on each side always rigged an ready to go. I use them to revive my fish. It works great for boats with a high freeboard. This also lets you get back to fishing or re rigging while your fish is reviving. I use a 8 ft section of bungee cord but you can use a 10 ft dock line- long enough to secure the gripper and back to your boat/cleat rod holder etc. Get your rods reset and clean up the deck, usually by then they are ready to be released!

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Jax turned me onto this and I have to say it is a great method! I have only had 1 salmon go belly up on me from this method, and that's because an older gentleman took a year and a day to bring it in. I am going to get video of this method sometime soon, and share it with you guys.

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I use the lip gripper style fish holders with great success. I have boga Grip 30 lb grippers 1 on each side always rigged an ready to go. I use them to revive my fish. It works great for boats with a high freeboard. This also lets you get back to fishing or re rigging while your fish is reviving. I use a 8 ft section of bungee cord but you can use a 10 ft dock line- long enough to secure the gripper and back to your boat/cleat rod holder etc. Get your rods reset and clean up the deck, usually by then they are ready to be released!

Works great!

Shawn

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that is awesome! Let me ask something though, what specie and size of fish would you most likely keep? What specie and size would you least likely keep?

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When the water is cold like its is now we usually will torpedo the fish back. But when we get into the summer months and the surface temp is much warmer we lay the fish in the water facing into the current of the boat.

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