HANDLING FISH

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essexman
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HANDLING FISH

Post by essexman »

The priority when landing both boat and shore fish is make sure that they cannot thrash around and injure themselves. You'll find all fish become subdued if you cover their eyes with a damp cloth.

Fish have a protective coating of mucus or slime on the body that is a safeguard from infection, and by handling the fish with a damp cloth or wet hands, this slimy coating is left intact. Handle a fish with normal dry hands and some of that coating will adhere to the hands and leave the fish open to attack.

Some thinking shore anglers have taken to using a large piece of chamois leather, or a coarse fisher's pikecarp bag to lay the fish on whilst the hook is freed. This does less damage than laying the fish down on the sand or shingle.

To see some anglers perform when actually handling a fish makes you wonder why their fishing in the first place, such is their fear of fish. A confident, but gentle grip is essential for clean unhooking. Round fish should be gripped between thumb and fingers over the head and just to the rear of the gill plates. This allows the hand gripping the fish full manoeuvrability.

Dogfish, having that habit of twisting their abrasive tail around your arm, should be held by folding the tail round to touch their head and gripped so for unhooking. Silver eels, there is no easy way, but use a piece of damp chamois leather to grip the main body and gently grip the head between index, middle finger and third finger.



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MadKev
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fish handling

Post by MadKev »

Nice piece, I think we should catch up with the coarse anglers if we are going to return our fish.

Many beach comps are catch, witness, measure & release, I'm not squeamish about eating my catch but this is a 'good thing'. It can be done without ever touching the fish.

Weigh and release: go to a decent industrial containers shop, espy a bucket with tapered walls. See if an identical one will slot inside. Buy both. Cut the rim off one, cut two holes and put rope through to make a handle. Drill lots of holes in the bottom.Put it inside the first bucket and half fill with sea water. When the fish arrives, drop it in and use the inner 'sieve' you have made to lift it out for weighing or for water changes. Imitation is the sincerest flattery, lots of people doing this now.

If measure and release, swing the fish into your bucket of water, unclip the rig, carry to your neighbour who uses the snood to lift it out and hold the fish vertically against a measure, much easier than the fish squirming on the ground, then take to the waterline and unhook with a Gemini disgorger straight into the sea. MK

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