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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking of purchasing one of those grouper/snapper venting tools that guys down south use to deflate the swim bladders of fish brought up from the deep on pollock this summer/fall during the epic slams that we experience in the GOM. It's just disgusting to kill so many fish sometimes, and would be nice to be able to catch them without having to kill them...

Has anyone tried this before? Am I wasting my time?

Any opinions appreciated.

-Willy.
 

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I wonder if that would work though on pollock that have skin that looks like warts. That is all air bubbles under the skin. I figure that on some fish, that would be enough to keep them buoyant. That is a great idea though, if you get to test it out, tell me the results. I work on a partyboat and it would be great to have considering I see a lot of pollack that don't go back down.

This post edited by Joser06 11:23 AM 01/06/2008
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah I completely understand what you mean. Take this fish, for example, which came up to the surface like a nuclear sub and was all "blistered." You can even see bubbles of blood coming out of the gaff-hole--that's how messed up this fish was. But with your average, swollen-belly fish, I feel like it might work, no?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ha well if I want to really get cynical/tree-huggerish about it it is less wasteful to feed em to the dogs and gulls and put them back in the ecosystem than have people eat em and put em into a landfill.

But them cusps deserve respek, not their eyes getting poked out by a stupid gull or shearwater...

Greg will be shaking his head if he reads this...
 

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Et tu, Willy?

Don't forget those precious little redfish, either. Now, I applaud the humane sentiment, I really do. Lets say you vented your victim's air bladder, but what are you going to do for its puppy eyes that popped clear out of the skull (they are poppy eyes now)? Give it reverse mouth to mouth to suck them back into place? Maybe ask a crew member to assist you in that noble task?

Personally, I've decided to adopt the Mexican conservation ethic - kill them all, and let the chef sort them out. It's very liberating. I mean, those fish got to die some time. Might as well be here and now. They don't have the abstract concept of time, so they won't know the difference. It's a win/win, really.

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Codfisha15 wrote:
I'm thinking of purchasing one of those grouper/snapper venting tools that guys down south use to deflate the swim bladders of fish brought up from the deep on pollock this summer/fall during the epic slams that we experience in the GOM. It's just disgusting to kill so many fish sometimes, and would be nice to be able to catch them without having to kill them...

Has anyone tried this before? Am I wasting my time?

Any opinions appreciated.

-Willy.
Hey Willy,
When I've had to throw red snapper back (either short or closed season), I'll generally just quickly get my knife and pop it really quick. The key is speed more than anything. Some will still die, but the survival rate is much higher if you get them back in the water quickly.

Can't say whether or not it would work with pollack.
 

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Yeah those pollock that are bubbling from the gaff hole are probably dead no matter what, but those with swollen bellies should be fine when they are deflated. With those fish I squeeze them below the pectoral fin until I hear some of the gas escape. This works really well with the cod and some haddock, This method doesn't always work with the pollock but it is something to reduce the mortality with the fish. About the cusk... I am sure there isn't anything you can do for them, I only seen 1 cusk ever swim back down and it was all of 10 inches long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I concur, but what about those just "inflated fish" that come up when the fish are brought up slowly like all of Spina's fish?;)

A gentle swing onto the deck, a quick vent, and back she goes. If it is all right with you I will show up this summer with a venting tool and give it a shot
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