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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While fishing some of my favorite spots this past week I'd seen several so called "experienced fisherman" mishandle stripers from the surf. They took the pleasure to grab these fish by the gills and hold them up for a photo before releasing them. Each time you grab a striped bass by the gill plates you shorten it's life and decrease it's chance of surviving a release! It's like me grabing you by your lungs. So don't do it. Fortunately most good surf rats don't. If you can, grab the bass by the lower jaw and lift it straight up. Be careful not to bend the jaw to far downward or backwards.

This practice will increase bass survival and allow all of us to enjoy striper fishing for a long time to come.

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Tiderunner
 

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I sometimes grab them by the tail with these rubberized gloves I have

They have fat tails though, aint too easy. I got this from a show I watched where they were flyfishing for trout { big guys, steelhead maybe} and they grabbed the fish by the tail and then cradled them to show it off.
I can see why the gill plates could get damaged.
Thats why we invented nets, those big game nets will work with big fish.
Alan
 

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I am usually wearing a neoprene glove, with a leather baseball batting glove underneath that. On wear it on my right hand, since that's my power arm. I have never picked up a fish by it's gills, just stick my hand in the mouth and grab the tail..... I prefer the holding the fish sideways picture than the vertical picture.

I have even picked up blues in this manner, they may rip up the glove, but have never had one pierce through to my hand...
 

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WoW JMC91881, I wouldnt stick my finger in a bluefishes....

mouth with even welders gloves on. screw that , I know of a guy { from works father} who lost his finger to a bluefish. Be carefull around those choppers man!
 

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Scala

It's not that bad, I've learned that if you grip them with your thumb deep in the lower part of the jaw they can't really close their mouth too well. I think it has to do with pressuring their tongue, also if you keep your grip off to the side of their mouth and get a nice TIGHT grip, they won't close their mouths.... But you must hold their tails very tight... I wouldn't hold a blue like that unless I'm in control of it, it's wiggling would probably assist in ripping apart the gloves and digging deep into my fingers.

You don't know how many times my father has told me I'm stupid....
 

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Just be cafeful man, those guys clamp down

Dang Choppers, eating machines.
you must know what your doing and have some tough gloves!
You gots to be carefull with losing a finger in life cus you allways have to be able to flip someone the bird when cut off!
alan
 

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Striper77

If you've ever felt what happens to leather batting gloves when they get dipped in saltwater, you'd understand why I have no problem picking up small blues...

The leather is literally hard as a rock, not thick, but they are pretty solid. I know my limits, I will never pick up a giant gorilla that way, but small to medium I will.

BTW, where did the blue bite the jig? Actually go through the hook or just throught the jig itself?

Striper, I've seen you post about the SWR area, do you live there? I live in Shoreham...
 

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Never go Near a Bluefish's Mouth

I got nailed real bad by a bluefish, we were using 007 jigs in the middle of a blitz and I was anxious to get the hook out of the fishes mouth.

I grabbed the top of the jig at the same time that the blue decided to eat the whole thing. Oh man, was I in trouble, he clamped down on both my thumb and index finger. Lucky a mate was nearby and helped me get that bad boy still before he started swinging his head, if he had I would have needed more that a large bandage.
 

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I wonder if there's ever been any studies supporting the notion that lifting a bass from under the gillplate is any more harmful than grabbing them by the lip. A lot of nonsense information gets passed down without anything to back it up. You're not actually touching the delicate red gills by holding them under the gil plate. Still, to be on the safe side, I try to hold them by the lip, but this becomes difficult at best with fish over 25 pounds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Gill Plates

A good reference that talks about releasing fish unharmed can be seen in the book " The Complete Book of Saltwater Fishing" by Milt Rosko, Chapter 12 "Releasing Fish Properly". This chapter will describe about studies regarding fish mortality. This is not nonsense! Educate yourself! But by placing you hands near the gill plates with a fish still thrashing, you are sure to do some damage to this creature. Also, when you battle a fish and try to muscle it in, you also create large amounts of lactic acid build up in the stripers muscle. Although the fish may look well it can die 12 hours later after release by drowing. Yes, fish can drown! Nor should you drag the fish along the beach and wipe off it's protective slime. Of course if you are going to keep the fish bring it in any way you can.
All I am asking is to 1. Don't muscle the fish in or prolong the battle. 2. Be careful when carrying the fish, not near the gill plates. 3. Practice conservation.

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Tiderunner
 

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I've read that book. Does he really cite studies done on the differences between lifting a fish by the gills vs. mouth? I don't recall that. Again, the choice is easy with small fish (mouth), but how do you handle a fish over 25 pounds??
When fighting a fish don't muscle them but don't overplay them? Doesn't leave much of a window to do it "right". I agree 100% that overplaying them is a very bad thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Have you ever noticed how large a 25# striper's mouth is? You can put your arm in it's mouth with room to spare. The next 25# that you catch if your plan is to release it, try grabbing the lower jaw with your entire hand. This will stabilize the fish so that you can release it unharmed. There is no need to grab it by the gill plates. I have been surfishing nearly 30 years and have caught many large bass. I don't need to handle them by the gill to control them. I don't seem to have a problem with controling the fish. As far as studies are concerned you need to call the NYSDEC for info. I do some fish scale sampling for them. This is not rocket science. If someone were to grab you by the family jewels do you think we need to do a study to see if it really hurts or does any harm? :)
I do agree that carrying a 25# isn't easy but catching them isn't easy either. :)

P.S. Lift some weights! :)
Any how. This is all Tounge and Cheek or Tounge and Lip :)
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Tiderunner
 

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JMC,
The one I saw bit through a 007, it was just above the eye, not in the middle, but still impressed me with the power of that jaw. I live in Rocky Point, just East of Hallock Landing Rd and fish out of Mt.Sinai. Boat should be ready to go in next week so I can start chasing fish.
 
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