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“Descending Devices” for releasing fish caught from deep water

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I’ve seen a number of west coast videos where people use descending devices to return fish to the deep depths they were caught from.


Apparently this upcoming season in some west coast waters a descending device will be required to have aboard most boats if fishing for certain deep water species. There are a few commercially made devices for sale. Prices seem to range from $30-60. Most seem to work by sensing water pressure which opens grips holding the jaw of fish when a desired depth is achieved.


For a few years now we’ve been lip hooking and towing fish boat side for a few minutes to revive fish we intend to release. It works great for shallow caught fish, but I’ve had some concerns from fish hooked by deep set riggers and divers.


I’m thinking of rigging up one of these descending devices so it can be hooked onto a rigger cable. I think it would work well. Just tow them near the surface until they begin to recover, then use the rigger to send them more than half way down from the depth they were hook from (the recommended procedure).


Here’s some articles on the subject:








Here’s a descending device I’m thinking of trying this season:





Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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I have been wondering how well this would work for salmon and trout for a few years now. It would be nice to see a study in the great lakes on this subject.  I know it can't hurt to try. I think I will order one too

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I used a seaqualizer last year on my boat and found that you have to have it all ready to deploy conveniently

so that you can get the fish back in the water and downstairs as quickly as possible.  When fishing deep I only use 2-3 riggers so I leave mine hooked up to my 4th rigger all the time and just snap it on the jaw and send her down . 


I don't know how much it helps the survival rate but it can't hurt and at least I don't have to watch any floaters behind the boat.

If the fish is bleeding or in too bad of shape it still goes in my box. 

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I made one last year with a coat hanger and a 1lb. lead weight. It worked like a charm.

Kinda looks like this, but my weight is where the jig is




Edited by J.D.
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