Re: Digestible Hooks?

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Posted by J. Webb on September 16, 1997 at 23:56:22:

In Reply to: Re: Digestible Hooks? posted by JboroBrown on September 16, 1997 at 22:02:04:

> > > An interesting story about the hook protruding from the fish. However, I'd always been told that if you "gut hook" a fish if you'll leave the hook in that the hook will eventually disolve from the fish's natural digestive system and you'll do far less damage than trying to pull the hook free. Now I'm curious as to how true that really is.
> I don't think that what you have encountered is that unusual for an otherwise healthy fish. Two years ago I was fishing near Ponce Inlet by New Smyrna Beach, and caught a 39" redfish that had the eye end of a hook protruding from it's vent. The hook was seriously corroded and was removed easily. This fish was very strong, with no indication of ill effects. In fact, two days later, my fishin' buddy caught him again (very unique spots, only on one side).

> This fish taught me two lessons; 1- catch & release works for all species, 2- I no longer use plated hooks.

This is not from my experience as I have done no studies on fish that I have caught and released. I have had fish die in extreme conditions. What I presented was from a bonafied study of the results of leaving a hook in a fish, in the throat in particular and the adverse reactions if fish(specifically trout in this study) are deprived of oxygen. Now, I am sure that all fish, other than lung fish and the 'walking' catfish would have limitations on being held out of water for a period of time. I think what you may want to note is that different species and even regional strains of fish would all have varying levels of tolerance for stress.

I don't think that you can compare a slat water species to a fresh water trout species. I am unfamiliar with salt run striped bass but am aware that those in Georgia's lakes are a fragile species and can expire due to extreme exhaustion complicated by the water conditions. There may be a legitimate question about the quality of the trout most commonly fished for, stockers. These fish are reared in cement runs, crowded, grown quickly, scooped into a truck, drive over hill and dale then scooped up and cast into a stream which may not resemble their growing runs. Also a trout has a relatively small mouth and throat compared to other fish. Try jerking a trout up by sticking your fingers in the gills or by the lower lip and you will likely see that fish floating. On the other hand it seems if you could smack of large mouth bass and it would just swim off with contempt. I will add that the article mentioned the formation of scar tissue in the throat. I hope this helps put the information I provided in perspective.


J. Webb

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