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Edward Snowden

Trout swallowed hook

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The other day my buddy caught two trout that swallowed his fly. (wooly bigger) He tried to remove the hook from the first, but it started bleeding and he cut the tippet. Should he have gone ahead and dispatched the fish? The second he just cut the trout free. Is this a death sentence for a trout? I would really like to know what is the best way to handle this situation. Thank you in advance.

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It has been said said to cut the line and the hook will eventually dissolve. I am not sure that this is entirely correct. Sure some fish will die especially if the gills are involved. My experience when hooking bass with poppers is they can take the hook deep so I always pinch down the barbs. Very easy to back out with minimal damage to the fish.

 

Bullhead

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I've caught fish that still had the hook from a previous catching in their throat or gullet. Best thing would be to debarb the hook or use a barbless hook. They're much easier to remove. As far as dispatching the fish, if you're going to eat it, then I don't see a problem.

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Hooked in stomach usually they will survive long as its not totally blocking them from swallowing food. Hooked in gill is usually best to dispatch them and eat or give to someone to eat.

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This trick works with bass, and larger hooks.

Open the fish's mouth as much as you can without hurting the fish.

Using needle nose pliers or hemostats, reach through the gap between the inner most gill and the body of the fish on the side the hook is "aimed".

Grab the line or the eye of the hook and pull it back through the gap. This will turn the hook.

Reach in through the mouth, grab the bend of the hook and remove it.

 

It's worked with every bass that's been gut hooked.

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Last study I read said they (several years ago now & iirc in NJ) survive best if when you cut the leader you leave about a foot of leader hanging out of the mouth- this supposedly will keep the hook from blocking the food in take. in that study the cut short as possible leaders led to mortality, supposedly from the hook blocking the gullet . I believe a Canadian study on pike about the same time indicated that hooks don't dissolve readily but that fish often rid them selves of the hook within 48 hours. I've read several places that Mikechell's method works well, on bass.

My hooks are all barbless or bent down barbs because I believe they penetrate better, and they usually come out pretty easy, but if I can't easily reach it with forceps, I have cut the tippet long as suggested in that study- however if a fish is bleeding I don't have much hope that it will survive, if a legal fish I'd sure dispatch and eat. If a no keeper you have no choice but to release it, "unharmed".

I have also read anecdotes of fish caught with hook and some leader hanging from the vent, as if passed through the digestive system.

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I have also read anecdotes of fish caught with hook and some leader hanging from the vent, as if passed through the digestive system.

 

Yep it happens. I've actually caught a few bass like that over the years. Really weird thing to see blink.png

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I caught and kept a 19 inch rainbow one time that had a line hanging from his vent. When I cleaned him the hook was in his stomach. The hook wasn't corroded very much but the wound was healed around the hook. The fish appeared to be healthy in every way.

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I would really like to know what is the best way to handle this situation.

 

coat with cornmeal and pan fry in garlic butter

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