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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I searched the site looking for an answer to this question and did not find much in the way of an answer, it is probably here somewhere as there seem to be quite a few knowledgeable fisherman use this site. <--(blatant flattery)

I use barb-less circle hooks that seem to corrode relatively quickly, rusty after a trip or two and have not received my good hook remover back from a soon to be ex-friend as of yet, I had one of those red things you see at Canadian tire or Wal-mart but they look like a medieval torture device way too wide, sharp edges and quite difficult to use (for me anyway) tried it and tossed it, most fish we hook are in the side of the mouth but we do get the odd one that just swallows it and goes, I had been told by various men fishing to keep the fish it is going to die anyway and others have said the hook would disintegrate by the stomach acids.

So I went Googling and found a very interesting paper by: Dr. Andy Danylchuk, Assistant Professor,University of Massachusetts Amherst, July 2012.

Here is an excerpt pertaining to my question I thought I would share:

Do not forcefully remove the hook if you cannot see it or it
appears that you may cause greater harm to the fish by attempting to remove the hook when a fish is hooked deep inthe throat or stomach or hooked in the gills do not forcefully remove it. Cut the leader as
close to the eye of the hook as possible and leave the hook in the fish.
There is evidence that fish are capable of rejecting, expelling or encapsulating hooks by secreting
an inert matrix of calcified cellular material.

Link to full article good read for anyone in to catch and release:
Assessing Impacts of Catch and Release Practices on Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis)
 

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My first reaction would be that if the fish is not of legal size then the options are limited....release it as unharmed as possible. If it is legal and you will use the fish for food....a second option is to keep it. As for my self...I would cut the line as close to the hook as possible and release it. Interesting question though: should make for some good responses from people who know more than me...actually...that would be everybody else...oh well.

Butch
 

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There is an interesting addendum to this with regard to the use of stainless hooks.

If you are using carbon steel the fish's digestives system will deal with it in short order and it will probably survive - not so stainless.

I believe someone else has posted an observation on the topic on this site.
 

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my personal opinion is for undersized fish is cut the line close to the hook as always, if the fish makes it great, if not, atleast its still going back to the ecosystem where it will be eaten by fish, bird, crabs etc
 

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I had an interesting thing happen once in regards to releasing a fish that I had cut the hook from. I was in Manitoba and I had caught a small Northern Pike, the fish ate the hook so I did my best but ultimately cut the line and released it. The pike swam away but could tell it was struggling, as I drifted away not more than 20 seconds later a bald eagle came down and took the fish.

Now hopefully the hook in the pike didn't affect the eagle but it was an interesting. The statement about putting back into the ecosystem reminded me of this incident
 

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I had an interesting thing happen once in regards to releasing a fish that I had cut the hook from. I was in Manitoba and I had caught a small Northern Pike, the fish ate the hook so I did my best but ultimately cut the line and released it. The pike swam away but could tell it was struggling, as I drifted away not more than 20 seconds later a bald eagle came down and took the fish.

Now hopefully the hook in the pike didn't affect the eagle but it was an interesting. The statement about putting back into the ecosystem reminded me of this incident
Excellent point, one that most folks would never think of. Releasing that fish, with a hook still in it might very well have negative effects on other life within the fragile ecosystem. Once saw a similar thing with a Loon. Sadly the Loon did not make it, that same Loon also had a nest on the waterways that this occurred on. I doubt the nest survived either. Whether it be an Eagle, Osprey, Loon or possibly a 4 legged creature there is other wildlife out there that will eat that fish, complete with hook, when and if it dies.
 

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The biggest problem of removeing a hook from a fish that is hooked deep is trying to get it out thru the mouth. Lift the gill plate and see if you can see it. take a pair of pliers and remove the hook back thru the gill plate, cut the lie and pull thru the mouth and retie. This way the hook is comeing out backwards and doesn"t tear or rehook on the way out. If you cant see it and if no blood is showing you can cut the line or just if legal keep it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the responses, I was mostly worried about legal sized bass that swallow the hook, whether to keep it or not, if I keep it there is no chance for it's survival, if I dig around trying to get it out mortality rate goes up, from what I read as long as I am using barb-less circle hooks that corrode and leave them alone the fish has a real good chance of survival. I imagine the bigger the fish the better a chance it will have.
 

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I searched the site looking for an answer to this question and did not find much in the way of an answer, it is probably here somewhere as there seem to be quite a few knowledgeable fisherman use this site. <--(blatant flattery)

I use barb-less circle hooks that seem to corrode relatively quickly, rusty after a trip or two and have not received my good hook remover back from a soon to be ex-friend as of yet, I had one of those red things you see at Canadian tire or Wal-mart but they look like a medieval torture device way too wide, sharp edges and quite difficult to use (for me anyway) tried it and tossed it, most fish we hook are in the side of the mouth but we do get the odd one that just swallows it and goes, I had been told by various men fishing to keep the fish it is going to die anyway and others have said the hook would disintegrate by the stomach acids.

So I went Googling and found a very interesting paper by: Dr. Andy Danylchuk, Assistant Professor,University of Massachusetts Amherst, July 2012.

Here is an excerpt pertaining to my question I thought I would share:

Do not forcefully remove the hook if you cannot see it or it
appears that you may cause greater harm to the fish by attempting to remove the hook when a fish is hooked deep inthe throat or stomach or hooked in the gills do not forcefully remove it. Cut the leader as
close to the eye of the hook as possible and leave the hook in the fish.
There is evidence that fish are capable of rejecting, expelling or encapsulating hooks by secreting
an inert matrix of calcified cellular material.

Link to full article good read for anyone in to catch and release:
Assessing Impacts of Catch and Release Practices on Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis)
hi m8 i fish them for the sport but the rule i go by is if the fish has got injured or swallowed the hook and it is not a kepper size 26.8 inches then i put it back hoping it recovers but if it looks like it wont make it and its a keeper i would end up keeping him
 

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The biggest problem of removeing a hook from a fish that is hooked deep is trying to get it out thru the mouth. Lift the gill plate and see if you can see it. take a pair of pliers and remove the hook back thru the gill plate, cut the lie and pull thru the mouth and retie. This way the hook is comeing out backwards and doesn"t tear or rehook on the way out. If you cant see it and if no blood is showing you can cut the line or just if legal keep it.
I think Perry has the best advice here, but unfortunately hook and release is not always possible, and IMHO it is a shame to return a fish that you know full well will die, unless it is a salmon or an undersized fish, there is nothing wrong about catching and eating a fish, after all that is why we humans started fishing, and is truly what it is all about, isn't it? If not maybe we should start hooking and releasing deer with a hook baited with an apple? If it is legal, eat the fish, if not be as careful as possible and let it go.
 

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I think Perry has the best advice here, but unfortunately hook and release is not always possible, and IMHO it is a shame to return a fish that you know full well will die, unless it is a salmon or an undersized fish, there is nothing wrong about catching and eating a fish, after all that is why we humans started fishing, and is truly what it is all about, isn't it? If not maybe we should start hooking and releasing deer with a hook baited with an apple? If it is legal, eat the fish, if not be as careful as possible and let it go.
gill plates are sensitive you could harm the fish more
 

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No The gill plate is a protective boney shield for the gills. The gills are the critical part for survival You have to extreamly carefull while removeing hook not to damage gills. If The hook is in the gullet the removal is simple as opposed to bringing it up thru the gills and out the mouth. After removeing hook if there is blood the fish will die. I have done this a number of times with success but the reality is a deep hook up is not a great outcome for the fish and truttas advice is right on, if legal retain and enjoy!
 

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a friend of mine that fishs smallmouth tournaments said that on multiple occasions they have hooked fish very deep and cut the line and put them in the live well and before long they look in and the hook is laying on the bottom, somehow the fish can remove the hook. quite interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
a friend of mine that fishs smallmouth tournaments said that on multiple occasions they have hooked fish very deep and cut the line and put them in the live well and before long they look in and the hook is laying on the bottom, somehow the fish can remove the hook. quite interesting.
That's good news. :D
 

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I have always cut the line above the hook .I once had a Pike deeply hooked while live bait fishing. I tried to get the hook out and ended up harming the fish. I had to keep it which was not illegal. I always returned the Pike I caught. Ever since then if a fish is caught in the stomach I snip the line as close to the hook as possible. Now heres a question, have any of you caught a Striper with a hook already embedded in it? I have had it happen with a trout.
 

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For any water I fish where the bagging season for a species of fish is closed I use hooks that are barbless. I just squat em down with me plyers. Works pretty good if you ask me. If you can keep a steady retrieve on the line, don't seem to lose em to easy. I suspect getting the keepers bagged would be statistically lesser.
 
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