08-12-2003, 04:26 PM
Does anyone use a cradle for handling large fish from a boat. We are all talking about the resource and bigger fish. Fish in general and larger fish especially are built to live in a medium that presses on their whole body equally from all directions. When we remove them from the water and hang them from a boga or drape them over our arms we are probibly adding to the stress of being caught. The unequalized pressure may do damage to their internal organs. Pike and Musky fisherman have been using cradles for years why not us. Just a thought to consider.
08-12-2003, 05:16 PM
I think lipping a big fish and cradling it over the forearm is pretty gentle. I think boga's hard on stripers and kind of unneccesary. I mean, is there a more user-freindly fish than the striped bass? I am more concerned about keeping the fish out of the water too long and removal of the slimy exterior - which protects the fish from disease,
I think the muskie cradle was adopted for a couple of reasons:
There is no easy way to get control of one using your hands and big nets are tough on fins
Pike have a much more sensitive slime coating than most other fish - you can keep them and the net wet using the cradle
They can't thrash around in the cradle like they can in a net
I agree that a boga or lipping a large fish and taking it out of the water may be just as bad as giving it a swift kick in the gut. I also think that a net or craddle may take off the slime that protects the fish from disease. Seeing the size of some of the huge pike they catch I think the craddle may be as much for the angler's sake as the fish's. Though I never used a craddle I've got to think it provides some control.
Lucky for me the boat has cursed my fishing and I've not gotten anything over 3' this year :(
08-13-2003, 11:30 AM
I guess I should have been more specific in my original post. I am talking about using cradles for big fish say 34 inches and above. The cows that you intend to release, you know the ones. They have the big bellies that cause the fish to hang over your arm or hand in an inverted V. There are new net/cradles materials that are slime friendlier and I think that the rougher scales on a striper make slime lose less of an issue then pike or other fish with smaller or smoother scales.
I also belive that the loss of some slime is less damaging and stressful then a ruptured or bruised internal organ.