06-05-2001, 03:16 PM
For certain fisheries the popularity of a device called "boga grip" is increasing. This is particularly true for saltwater fisheries because of the sharpness of the teeth of gamefish in the sea but I am sure they are used in freshwater as well. The device is a metallic gripper for the fish's lip. I have not heard of or read of any documented negative effect from this device but don't use them because it puts all of the stress on a small point on the fish's lip while lifting and allows the fish to thrash about on that tiny area while held out of the water.
This is just my opinion - but I don't use them and won't use them. What is your opinion on them? Ever try one?
I use the Boga to hold/control the fish while it's in the water. (You don't have to lift the fish unless you are bound and determined to use the integrated scale in the handle...that's too small for me to read without my cheeters.) Once controlled, the hook can be removed and the fish "revived" then released without ever actually handling it. I feel this is better than doing the "extended lip lock" as demoed by Bubba on BassMasters.
...Especially for toothy critters...and after a day of schoolies, my hands aren't chafed and looking like road-rash...
06-05-2001, 06:50 PM
I think the integrated scale tempts people to lift to see what the weight is. I hate seeing big stripers being hung by a tiny spot on the lip for a photo with those contraptions.
Personally I don't lift big fish by the jaw out of the water unless it's going into the cooler. If it's going onto film and back in the water I cradle it's weight with the other hand.
Absolutely!! The fact that fish spend their lives in a neutral semi-boyant horizontal state, being held vertically by the gill plate, lip, jaw, Boga, or wherever after giving its' all in the struggle has to be a traumatic strain to internal organs as their bellies bulge and as Bubba holds the lip so as to force the jaw out and the mouth open to gain the full distorted Hollywood effect. Some sort of assault and battery! When used kindly, I find the Boga to be a beneficial tool worth considering. The scale on the Boga is more for the anal retentive. A horizontal two-handed cradle is definitely the way to go if the well being of the catch is a concern (which it should be!)
I am "Thumb Challenged" and need help holding/controlling until I can sort things out, admire, and revive/release. Crushed barbs should be the rule and not the exception. I wish the fishing shows stressed more of what proper care and handling should be!
Thanks for letting me vent...
06-05-2001, 09:00 PM
I will watch a bass show on occasion and at some point in every episode, there will be a fish with a face full of treble hooks and every time, the angler will say simptheticly" poor guy, look at you with a face full of hooks." He them procedes to strugle to rip them out. Why not barbless? Especially for tv.
As for the boga, I have mixed feelings. If you have ever dropped a fish, the boga seems like a good idea. Sometimes I have to take the fish out of the water to get the fly, and it seems that the fish stops thrashhing when control is established.
Nothing beats sliding your hand down the leader and easing a barbless fly out of the fishes jaw.
06-05-2001, 11:18 PM
Ever try releasing a striper while holding it by the lower lip in the water... they don't move.. I think it really immobilizes them. Switch it around and hold the tail and off it goes.
06-06-2001, 07:25 PM
I actually bought one this year - thinking more of bluefish, barracuda and other toothy critters than stripers. I must admit that the concentrated weight issue is a concern. A technique which works on bonefish (haven't tried this with stripers owing to spiny dorsal) is to carefully lift the fish from the water upside down - weight balanced across the palm. I guess they get momenarily disoriented and lie completely still. I seem to recall Flip Pallot using a similar technique with snook - "the Vulcan snook lift". Reality is the less handling the better.
After removing the hook I get a kick out of switching from the Boga to my good thumb...gently release lip pressure so that only my thumb is in their mouth...the fish can leave at will...sometimes they don't realize they are free to depart and hover there until it finally dawns on them it's time to swim away. If you were real polite and gentle they will occassionally stop, turn, wink, and whisper "thanks for the dance".