Somthing to think on! [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Somthing to think on!


Slinger
03-07-2004, 11:41 PM
While manning the booth for the Rhoddy crew at the RISAA show this weekend I heard this tale from two differant people. A study was conducted on lip gripping bass, to see if it had any effect on them. The story goes that some scientist went out and caught ten bass and grabbed them by the bottom lip while unhooking then the fish were placed in a holding tank and in 10 days all the fish were dead. The test was run again and got the same results. Then 10 more fish were caught and carefully cradeled while being unhooked and put in the tank and after ten days all were doing fine.
I don`t know how scientific this study was or if it was even done but it does give rise to some unsettleing questions. Is the long standing and generally accepted way of landing bass hurting them more than we could imagine?
By the way the RISAA show at the Convention Center was one of the best I`ve been to in a long time. A hearty congratulations and lots of thanks to the volunteers who made it such a huge success.
Slinger

juro
03-08-2004, 07:03 AM
Hmmm... I'm curious, were the fish lifted from the water and all their weight held by the lip?

Also the details of such a study would be valuable to a community like this, Jeffs, Reel-time and also to CCA et. al.

Roop
03-08-2004, 07:50 AM
There is a more detailed scientific study & report I read regarding redfish & snook with the same conclusions. I think striped bass were mentioned as well

I will find it and post it.

flyfisha1
03-08-2004, 09:44 AM
If the "lip-gripping" is the problem, I have two questions:
1. Were the fish held in any sort of plane other than completely vertical, and if so, by approximately how much (and what were the weights of the fish, as well)?
2. If gripping them by the lip was the real culprit, what does that mean for those using Boga grips?

striblue
03-08-2004, 09:52 AM
Yes... I think we should try and get that study and WHO these scientist are. I would certainly want to know about that issue... but at the same time..I would also need to know who sponsored the tests and how the test were actually conducted. But more importantly who conducted them and by who's prompting... It would make a big difference to me if it were done by a legitimate scientific study or some PETA type group in disquise.... just being suspicious. I know i have heard that with big fish it might be a problem. I would also like to know if the size of the fish was discussed as well.

John Desjardins
03-08-2004, 10:01 AM
I seem to recall hearing a similiar discussion about largemouth bass years ago. If my memory is correct it was something about breaking the jaw by lifting large fish vertically out of the water.

Roop
03-08-2004, 10:03 AM
Originally posted by striblue
Yes...It would make a big difference to me if it were done by a legitimate scientific study or some PETA type group in disquise.... just being suspicious.

Valid point John.

Florida Fish & Wildlife have limited informatton on it, I'm having a hard time tracking it down. I might have dreamed it.

Roop
03-08-2004, 12:01 PM
It's the March issue of the Saltwater Sportsman

JimW
03-08-2004, 12:45 PM
So are the internal organs being damaged by the weight of the bass our of water? If every lipped bass died 10 days after release, seems we'd be seeing the occasional floater out on the water.

Roop
03-08-2004, 03:43 PM
Sorry for being light on the details - trying to get some work done.;)

On closer inspection, the writer, who has a PHD in fish physiology, conducted an "informal" study of published photos...

Based on this, he opined that the joint of the jaws is not meant to support all the weight of the fish, especially when you figure it has grown up in a weightless environment.

It also is supposed to cause organ damage holding the fish vertically, tearing mesentaries....

He recommends you hold cradle it in a horizontal position.

RE: why no dead fish seen floating, I saw quite a few last year, more on the inside, plus with the huge numbers of dogfish we have I'm sure the carcasses don't last long.

Roop

artb
03-08-2004, 08:21 PM
Tom Meade Outdoor Editor of the Providence Sunday Journal had it in his Sunday column March 7. It told about 20 stripers lifted by the lower jaw, they were kept in a pen, all 20 died. I don't remember how long it took, but the test was repeated, with the same results. A Boga Grip was mentioned as no good either. I also read somewhere where it is no good putting your hands on their bodies, as it removes the mucus, leaving them open for infection. I guess the best way is use barbless hooks, and try releasing without touching them.

Smcdermott
03-08-2004, 09:07 PM
It seems to me that something is missing in this study. How is that anglers each year catch tagged fish etc... I know for a fact that I have caught the same fish twice a few weeks apart in a small estuary enviornment and I definitely lifted it by the jaw. I am sure some fish die due to miss handling but I am having a hard time buying that all fish died due to the lip grip.

Sean

flyfisha1
03-08-2004, 09:30 PM
Originally posted by artb
Tom Meade Outdoor Editor of the Providence Sunday Journal had it in his Sunday column March 7. It told about 20 stripers lifted by the lower jaw, they were kept in a pen, all 20 died. I don't remember how long it took, but the test was repeated, with the same results. A Boga Grip was mentioned as no good either. I also read somewhere where it is no good putting your hands on their bodies, as it removes the mucus, leaving them open for infection. I guess the best way is use barbless hooks, and try releasing without touching them.

I smell PETA somewhere in this. I would have to say that it pays to treat the fish gently and carefully rather than carelessly, however I have a hard time believing that lipping them is fatal. Besides, I work in the aquarium industry and consult with multi-million dollar operations and I'd love to hear about the specific water parameters in these pens. Sounds like a lot of BS.

tglynos
03-08-2004, 10:42 PM
I've also read a study that stated that 10 fly fisherman who used bait scent on their flies were found dead in 10 days as well?

Studies are only as strong as the parameters that are used to test them and must be always compared to a control group to have any validity. granted lipping big fish might be detrimental, but I agree to state that all fish died in 2 subsequent studies smells a little fishy to me too. Were they starving these fish, but feeding the belly cradle fish sand eel delight? The article needs to be reviewed.

Roop
03-09-2004, 08:09 AM
Sean's point about the tagged fish is great.

Anyone read those reports? Same fish tagged in the same area year after year.

This year for heavier fish we will be gaffing them in the spinal column instead of lipping.;)

Rip Ryder
03-11-2004, 12:05 PM
Read through the post quickly, but if not mentioned there is an article in this months "Saltwater Magazine" about this subject.
Article in anti lip grippers, but does suggest using the grip to control fish and highly suggest craddling as you would with a trout.

Capt Keith

Eddie
03-11-2004, 01:45 PM
that's a pretty weak tangent. Unless you have anything more than a kneejerk hunch, perhaps a separate peta bashing thread would make sense.
To the question at hand: I read the article, and it wasn't that scientific, but made good points in a common sense kind of way. It would not surprise me if lifting fish straight out of the water by their jaws might not be good for them. I doubt that scientists lip fish in aquariums and studies (flyfisha1, what do you see in the field?).
We have all seen gross abuse of caught fish by ignorant anglers. Heck, befor we knew better, most of us were probably pretty unkind as well. I welcome studies that suggest that we reconsider the way we fish.
I am always trying to think of ways to do things better(like all of us), and from a boat, I think plastic mesh cradle would be a better way to handle a fish (that for what ever reason needs handling). I have seen walleye fishermen use them on tv. I will try it this season.

FishHawk
03-12-2004, 07:09 AM
I don't buy it.I have seen countless fish lipped released without any ill effects. So according to this study we should all carry cradle nets. Hogwash. However, to pick up a fish by the gills which I've seen done by so called professional guides is another matter. Just my .02
FishHawk;)

Lefty
03-12-2004, 08:27 AM
Good work here. I'm very curious and hope this study is peer reviewed. Let's keep on it.

Lefty

Eddie
03-12-2004, 09:15 AM
Those experienced guides are not picking the fish up by the gills, but the gill plate(actually the notch where it atatches to the head). Lots of muscle and tissue there. Still might not be good for them.
I don't see why the possibility of dislocating and tearing muscles in the fish's jaw is so far fetched. flyfisha1, as a biologist, is it possible or even likely?
The widespread practice of catch and release is still relatively new, so that we are all still learning makes sense. When people kick fish into the water, they are probably thinking,"Go on little girl, and come back when you're bigger." and then turn to their novice buddy and say, "A striper is too important a resource to catch only once."
No one is saying that you have to buy a cradle or even use one. I think that the purpose of the "study" (if it even could be called that) was to point out another vulnerable area on the fish.
We know not to squeeze the fish, drop the fish, hold it out of the water for too long, put pressure on the organs, put our hands in the gills (the rakers or the plates?), and so on. Now maybe lipping the fish could be harmful. If we are releasinfg the fish, it makes sense to MINIMIZE the trama. Not ELIMINATE the trama. If it's legal, killing the fish and eating it is an option too. Inbetween doesn't make sense, but that is the reality of catch and release. If given the choice, I'm sure the fish would opt for the pricked lip, the sore jaw and organs a takes it's chances with the sharks and crabs(over the priest).

Dble Haul
03-12-2004, 09:39 AM
Eddie makes some very good points here. I think it's just as he says, another reason to be more aware of the impact we may have on fish that we release.

As a scientist, I can't take these types of studies seriously without knowing the parameters and variables. Ideally, the only variable should be the handling, and all other factors should be as close to equal as possible. That being said, I hope that the study covered such questions as:

1. Temperature and quality of water where fish were caught vs. temperature and quality of water in the holding pens.

2. Area of the mouth that fish were hooked. Jaw hooking is far different than tongue hooking, which often results in bleeding. If some fish were bleeding and some weren't, regardless of handling group, then the study isn't very rugged.

3. Size of the fish studied. If they weren't all of the same general size class, then this could possibly introduce other variables as well.

4. Frequency of feeding once in the holding pens. If they weren't fed, then this would likely contribute to a decline in health regardless of handling. And if they weren't all fed on the same schedule with the same amounts of food, regardless of handling group, this would also introduce some potential variability in overall health.

These are just some points off the top of my head. There are likely several others, so let's keep in mind that there may very likely be third and fourth variables at work here. Lip handling of bass may not necessarily kill them, but it might be a contributing factor when combined with other stressors.

I will reserve complete judgement until I have the opportunity to thoroughly read the study itself.

flyfisha1
03-12-2004, 10:50 AM
Well, Eddie, I don't think that wondering if PETA is involved in a "study" where fish that were lipped all died as a supposed consequence of such after being kept in captivity for a period of time afterwards is such a far-flung notion. But regardless...

Mark is right: there are far too many variables that we are unaware of at the present time. In aquatics (both private and public), fish are removed from systems at various times and invariably lose some of their protective slime coat; few of them would be removed by the lip, with the exceptions being in those outdoor warehouse-type stores that have massive displays of North American gamefish. These fish are promptly returned to their aquatic system and survive quite well. So the key here is that the fish are being returned to a chemically-stable environment. I would be willing to bet money that the fish kept in pens were placed into water with a far different water chemistry than the one they were accustomed to, which would have stressed them and in these cases fish rarely eat. Additionally, was there any cover, i.e. objects to hide behind, in the system? If not, it's again possible that the fish were stressed. Fish that don't eat usually die, right? There is no word on how the fish died, if they died in succession, and if so what were the water parameters? Was pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, salinity, temperature always what it should have been? Without answers to these questions, as well as those that Mark posed, such a "study" is nothing more conclusive than making a "knee-jerk statement".

Of course it's possible to damage the tissue around the jaw; Nature and evolution didn't design these jaws for the express purpose of the fish being grasped by it and lifted out of its medium. It would be sensible to theorize that the bigger the fish, the greater the potential for such damage to occur. Damaging the gills would be a far more effective way of bringing on death, since the fish wouldn't be able to breathe as efficiently and would therefore lose an edge to competitors when it comes to feeding, the length of time spent swimming at higher speeds would decrease, and the fish may not even be able to make transitions between marine and brackish or freshwater systems due to decreased ability to move ions across the gill membranes.

The real point: account for these variables, make observations, then draw some unbiased conclusions; this is what science is.

Eddie
03-12-2004, 12:28 PM
In the absences of science, we only have common sense to guide us. No one has said that this was a perfect scientific study. It would seem that when enviormental resources are at question, there is NO science that is good for everyone. I can't help but to wonder why there is so much resistance here to any notion that maybe lipping fish out of the water can be damaging to the fish. It would seem that this "study"(or whatever it was) is pro-catch and release/pro fishing ie. "let's do it better".The idea that this is some plot, cooked up by the forces of evil is absurd. Especially with out a shred of evidence......I know, I know..."In the absence of proof, we only have common sense to guide us"..touche;)

flyfisha1
03-12-2004, 12:40 PM
Originally posted by Slinger
... A study was conducted on lip gripping bass, to see if it had any effect on them. The story goes that some scientist went out and caught ten bass and grabbed them by the bottom lip while unhooking then the fish were placed in a holding tank and in 10 days all the fish were dead. The test was run again and got the same results. Then 10 more fish were caught and carefully cradeled while being unhooked and put in the tank and after ten days all were doing fine...

I think that you mistook my statement regarding PETA; honestly, it was meant as a joke. It's practically impossible to account for every variable when it comes to biological studies, and we have no information regarding the guidelines of this particular study to go by. My intention wasn't to suggest that lipping the fish is good for them, so allow me to apologize if that's the way it came across; rather, I think that it's a better alternative to physically grabbing them elsewhere. I'm all for finding a way to catch and release with the least possible impact to the fish; we all are. I would simply hate for a study such as this one to become fuel for the fire against fishing conducted by radical animal rights activists, and I know you would agree with that.

sean
03-12-2004, 12:59 PM
Can't a striper be lipped but left mostly in the water while the hook is removed?

That would seem like the best of both worlds and the best for the fish.

-sean

flyfisha1
03-12-2004, 01:02 PM
That's the way I typically handle every fish that can be lipped; I would imagine that it has the lowest impact on the fish and its internal organs, as well as the jaw. If the fish isn't a potential record-breaker, why lift it all the way out?

Eddie
03-12-2004, 10:03 PM
most fish (stripers, bluefish and trout at least) don't even need to be lipped most of the time. just slide my hand down the leader and pop the barbless hook out.
As for studies being misused, the comercial fishermen love the one that showed that 30% of all released stripers die. The study was conducted in 70+ degree water.:rolleyes: so I know what you are saying.

rooster
03-13-2004, 06:40 PM
Not sure where the article was trying to go, however......,I am quite certain that 100% of fish that are caught on flies or bait and not released die......,
Spring is almost here!
DK

Striper
03-13-2004, 07:58 PM
Not going far with this thread but I can tell you that last year when I caught my big fish my attempts at reviving it were futile, I believe this was a direct result of my removing this fish from the water and laying it on the deck. A fish that large is not going to survive being crushed under it own massive weight and this never even occurred to me until it was too late. I am a firm believer now after many,many very large fish caught last year that the worst thing you can do for a very large bass is remove it from the water. If you do not plan on killing it leave it in the wtaer and unhook at boatside so that the fishes full weight is still being supported by it's own bouyancy. They are tough critters but as soon as they have all of their body weight bearing down on them it curtains. As for lifting from the lip I feel the same way, I do not think that lifting them from the lip is causing the damage as much as removing them from the water. I think some cradle manufacturer is trying to sell more cradles and broaden their market:D

Mike M.

MattS
03-13-2004, 09:33 PM
Interesting topic and certainly one worth gathering more information about.

My question is, have we all overlooked the most obvious variable in the study...after capture, how and where are the fish being kept, fed, cared for, water quality and quantity, food source(s) etc.

The "study" is dealing with a wild fish population being a) caught and b) held in captivity for study! We have all seen the results of similar situations in our local zoos and read about such catastrophes over and over again in wildlife study, maintenance and reserch programs...

flyfisha1
03-13-2004, 11:12 PM
Originally posted by MattS
...have we all overlooked the most obvious variable in the study...after capture, how and where are the fish being kept, fed, cared for, water quality and quantity, food source(s) etc.


I think we covered all of this pretty thoroughly in previous posts. Until we know the specifics of the study, the results it produced are worthless.

seuss
03-16-2004, 09:02 AM
agree with everyone in that the unknown variables make the "study" far from conclusive about anything.

also agree with the tone of eddie's comments, in that if there's a chance it might be harmful, why not make the extra effort to do what is less likely to cause harm to the fish. the consensus seeming to be...keep the fish horizontal in its natural buoyant environment as much as possible.

striblue
03-17-2004, 07:19 AM
Is everyone saying that if you catch say a 40 inch striper you should not take it out of the water... from beach or boat, but keep it in the water and release it in the water.... and not pick it up in the hinge btweeen the body and gill plat.... no one can lift a huge fish by the lip without a boga...smaller fish you can. That's is interesting since not one of you that I know on this board have not lifted a fish out of the water, large or small. The ones of you I have seen and all the pictures I have seen.... Next time you pick a big fish out of water by cradling it don't curse after it's dorsal fin spikes stab you in the stomack or arm as you try to subdue it. Common sence also tells me that I want to know if studies ARE legitimate. Fighting a fish Too long is in MHO is far worse.

Roop
03-17-2004, 10:26 AM
Guys, if anything, regardless of the numerous questions that have arisen from any studies/ reports, it makes you think. Which I think is the most important thing.

I have always tried to land my fish as quickly as possible to give it a better chance if released. Now I'll try to think about how I land/ release the heavier ones.

Best of luck,

Roop

striblue
03-17-2004, 10:58 AM
Jeff..I agree...but my point is EVERY time I see a scientific test... ANYWHERE! The results are in percentages... this test was ALL fish held by the lip died and ALL fish not held by the lip did not die. That is simply not credible by standard testing of anything... Thats like saying all men shot in the head die...All men not shot in the head don't die. Any test like that MUST be suspect under common sence and knowlege of Scientific test results. I took the liberty of searching back on this forum and Saw ALL posters here with pics of little and big stripers holding them up by the lip as they cradled the fish...some cradling ,some not...all except one poster I could not find with any fish. I think it's good to think about ways to protect and better land fish and that is all I get from this thread as you quite correctly point out...not some law on it and some suspect scientific test. I will expect this years pictures of fish to be quite different from the past by some posters. One other thing..ArtB is right... you might as well not hold them either... I remember my father telling me when I was little to not hold the trout to long as it removes the protective mucos protection.

Eddie
03-17-2004, 01:26 PM
"I think it's good to think about ways to protect and better land fish and that is all I get from this thread." John, I think that this is the whole point of this thread. I don't think that anyone here is advocating laws, and I'm sure that we all would agree that we have a lot to learn about fish.
Maybe the reason you couldn't find any pictures of me holding a fish....:(

artb
03-17-2004, 08:25 PM
I weighed in before, now I had time to think about it. The first thing I think is not to hold the fish with your hands, I am really convinced that it removes the protective mucus from the fish, smell your hands after releasing a fish, also feel the slime. The best method is not taking the fish out of the water which is fairly easy todo if you use barbless hooks. Then again usually if you hold a fish by the lower jaw the fish seems to relax and not struggle most of the time. I have tried most methods, except what I have seen quite a few do, and that is kick them into the surf. At any rate try and put the least stress on the fish as possible, by what ever method you use. I have caught a few fish in my lifetime,and I don't remember ever having a bass go belly up.

striblue
03-17-2004, 09:36 PM
Art..good points...if you hold them in the water BY THE lip,....Yes, they become immobilized...if you hold them by the tail, it's to hard since they don't calm down....You would swing them around and grab the tail to revive them by the usual push and pull though the water..... if you try reviving them by pushing then back and forth though the water, by holding them by the lip...you could do it all day and they will not move.

flyfisha1
03-18-2004, 04:51 AM
How about slipping them a mild tranquilizer or depressant as soon as they get to the side of the boat, then removing the hook? ;) :chuckle:

FishHawk
03-18-2004, 07:18 AM
One thing that works for me in trout fishing is to turn the fish upside down while in the water . This calms the fish right down. Then I simply remove the hook. I will try this on a small striper and see if it works. Something to try. Oh by the way a Montana guide taught me this technique.
FishHawk:D

Eddie
03-18-2004, 10:59 AM
oooh, but then you have those spikes to contend with. If you fish barbless, slipping your hand down the leader and popping off the fly. Don't even have to touch the fish most of the time.
The trouble, as I see it is when the fly is in a little deep, or you want to get pictures/show your buddy. Maybe it is just better to cut the fly off rather than take the fish out at all. As for handling the fish for the sake of handleing the fish...it is a natural desire. Everyone wants to hoist a nice fish out of the water to show their pals. The boga grip seemed like the best way to do that. Heck, you can even tell your pal how much it weighs. Many experienced anglers are rejecting the use of boga grips. Is there a better way? Maybe a little mortality is acceptable(certainly unavoidable).

John Desjardins
03-18-2004, 11:12 AM
Originally posted by FishHawk
One thing that works for me in trout fishing is to turn the fish upside down while in the water . This calms the fish right down. Then I simply remove the hook.
FishHawk:D

It works on all the freshwater fish I've tried it on. I can't comment on stripers though.

Roop
03-18-2004, 11:52 AM
I think the fish need to show up soon.

Big fish, use your head, little fish - I doubt it does much damage.

I'm surprised someone hasn't brought up the "hookless" flies theory....

When/ where does being a steward for the species/ environment end and the point of fanatacism begin?

I think this topic has been mulled over enough.

Time to melt some snow & catch some fish.

Best of luck,

Roop

Smcdermott
03-18-2004, 12:06 PM
Originally posted by Roop
I think the fish need to show up soon.

Time to melt some snow & catch some fish.

Best of luck,

Roop

I almost let out a Howard Dean scream in my living room last night. I got a bad case of the shack nasties. Can't even seem to tie anymore. Its like when you have been driving for a while without a rest stop and you get close to home. Your body knows its close but not there yet and everything builds up. Man I need to catch some fish.

Sean:eyecrazy: