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I am releasing all the fish I catch and was wondering what is the fastest, safest way to get the fish back in the water.

Sometimes when they eat 3 hooks it's taking me awhile to get the hook out.

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Fish release pretty easy this time of year. The best way is not to net them and just unhook them in water off the back of the boat. 

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Send them down head first. Usually wakes them up enough to get them to recover the majority of the time.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Luckydogie said:

Thanks for your help, I,ll try those techniques.

I have a pair of plastic fish grips that I use for releasing fish. I tie the grips to a piece of rope and drag the fish along side of the side of the boat. I only do this if it was an extended fight or I had trouble getting the hooks out. 1-2 mins along the side of the boat is usually enough to bring most of them back. Normally if everything went well, I use the "torpedo" technique as we call it and toss them back in head first. I also avoid taking pics or holding them vertically by the gills if we are going to release them.

Edited by FishingFool34

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It's a nice thought to be 100% catch and release but that's not possible with deep water trolling . 

 

Bringing fish up from very deep  , especially on dipsey and long lines , bringing them in the boat , taking hooks out which is hard sometimes  , Then a pic , a lot of times is to  much stress on them . 

 

If I bring them boatside and they aren't hooked good I hang my net back to catch the hooks and rip  the hook out while the fish is still in the water or hang over the back of my boat while the fish is,in the water to dehook .  

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Having all the tools ready to get them back as quick as possible is huge.  Taking photos is ok but must be done quickly.  I don't understand guys that take photos of skippy kings.  They are our fish of the future and need to be put back asap and with great care! 

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I use a boga grip tied to mid cleat tow them for a while. If they dont look good they go in cooler. Saves from turning and scooping floaters. 

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Towing works great for kings. I hate steelhead I try not to even handle thengrabe the hook with pliers over the back of the boat and flip them off.

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Thanks for all the great replies, I will put them to use. Nothing worse than releasing a fish and see it go belly up.

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Posted (edited)

I know there are different opinions on this but years ago I changed basically all my spoons to single hooks with the hook facing upward to get away from the treble problem of multiple hooks in the mouth and difficulty disengaging them or catching them in the net. I merely grab the hook shank with needle nose pliers while the fish is still in the water and a turn of the wrist usually disengages the hook. Rainbows or steelies  are a pretty fragile fish and  even in the best case scenario some don't seem to make it regardless of release tactics especially in warmer water conditions.during the summer months when the water really heats up toward the surface releasing is more complicated as the temperature change from bringing fish up from colder water  creates  a complex of physiological problems for the fish  and each species (e.g. rainbows vs. lake trout for example) can be a little different in reaction and depending on amount of depth change and how long they are on the line they may require more adaptation time and careful releasing. When the water is colder during Spring and Fall  most fish seem to fare better when released as these water temp changes are not so drastic. I don't use anything longer than a 300 copper anymore though as the amount of time to get them in with longer ones pretty much cancels out their survival chances.

Edited by Sk8man
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I am releasing all the fish I catch and was wondering what is the fastest, safest way to get the fish back in the water.
Sometimes when they eat 3 hooks it's taking me awhile to get the hook out.

If you do take fish out of the water when returning them back to the water I’ll set them back in and hold the back tail and swish them back and forth till they take off under there own power always seems to work


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1 hour ago, Scalloper 1 said:

If you real serious use only single hooks for starters.

Single hooks work great on bigger fish.  Most of the time the single come right out of the eye on smaller salmon and trout.  That is the reason I went back to trebles. 

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25 minutes ago, GAMBLER said:

Single hooks work great on bigger fish.  Most of the time the single come right out of the eye on smaller salmon and trout.  That is the reason I went back to trebles. 

 

Agree, trebles mangle but singles kill (at least my experience with kings).  

 

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Posted (edited)

Admittedly it can happen but in over 50 years of using the singles I have had maybe  a half dozen at most with them through the eye (as mentioned smaller fish and usually rainbows). I would compare this with all of the floaters I have seen while on other boats that resulted from being too long out of water and rough handling while getting trebles out so it is again mainly a personal preference issue  and I think better hookups with SS singles because the hooks don't work against each other as with the trebles. I arrange my singles with the hook pointing upward which I think helps with hookset. Good cases can be made either way.....

Edited by Sk8man

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Using Evil eyes a ton way back when , if the single hits bone good , it can be hard to get out and I have bent the hell on some of them . 

 

The biggest contributor to mortality IMO , is taking the fish out of the,water , seconded by long lines,. 

 

Anyone who is 100 % catch and release is throwing back some dead or dying fish . 

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Posted (edited)

I have always used Mustad Siwash stainless steel #9510XXX salmon hooks in sizes 1/0, 2/0 and 3/0. I have never bent one ever.....they have a long point and rather compressed barb and are relatively easy to get out with just needle nose pliers.

Edited by Sk8man

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What size hook on mags, stingers? I want to try it on a few lures and see what I think.

Thanks for all your input.

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Posted (edited)

As a rule of thumb I use the 1/0 on small spoons (2-3 inches) a 2/0 for most medium spoons and for some mags 3/0. Size 2/0 or 3/0 will work on most mags on real light flutters I may downsize1 size to accomodate the weight change. The eyelet on the hooks comes open from the package so you have to take off the treble and then carefully close the eyelet with pliers

Edited by Sk8man

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On 5/29/2020 at 4:31 AM, phil2 said:

I use a boga grip tied to mid cleat tow them for a while. If they dont look good they go in cooler. Saves from turning and scooping floaters. 

Ditto for me too. Towing works great. Safe way to revive them and there is no mistaking when they are ready to be let go! Been using this method for the last 15 years and very few fish do not recover using this method.

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C&C fishing in the streams I pinch the barb off, land most, not all and release is never a issue. Never tried it trolling but keeping pressure on the retrieve I think barbless would work. If you got the fish on for 30 seconds count it as a catch if you’re C&C


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