VERY Important reading... [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: VERY Important reading...


juro
01-04-2001, 12:24 PM
This is a very important article written by the MD DNR on circle hooks and striped bass survival...

<!--http--><a href="http://www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/recreational/crsb.html" target="_blank"> HERE </a><!--url-->

Let's discuss this after it's been read a little...

Lefty
01-04-2001, 12:48 PM
2 things strike me:

1. Deep Hooking leads to higher mortality

2. If you do deep hook a fish, traditional bait hooks are worse not because of their point but the bend. The bend strikes the sidewall when you pull on it. Interesting.

Correct me if I'm wrong but as a barbless FFman in New England most of our hookings are "shallow" and below the air temp of 95 deg. yielding the LOWEST mortality rate of 0.8%.
I see no need for the use of circle hooks in my practices...right? I guess the one thing we can do given this data set is to lobby for circle hook use by bait fishermen to protect the stocks. And I can tell you they ain't gonna like it! Too bad.

Terry

Hawkeye
01-04-2001, 02:17 PM
Those are certainly impressive differences.

I wonder if fishing shops would allow a group of concerned anglers to post a tasteful poster near thier hooks that would inform the buyer of the difference.

Something like:

"Small fish released today are tomorrow's trophies. Use a circle hook and let 9% more of your released fish have a chance at being a trophy."

Nathan Smith
01-04-2001, 02:35 PM
Terry I think you are right about streamer style flys, but circle hooks might make alot of since with crustation flys like crabs and sand fleas (southern fly). Fish more often inhale these and get hooked deep

juro
01-04-2001, 04:37 PM
Hawkeye -

A bit of my ol' marketing days coming thru but how about "Use circle hooks for bait and reduce mortality by up to 90%".

Same figures, but with the extra zero when applied to the difference within the mortality percentage range.

Good idea, I prepared something to this effect for C&R but lost it with an old hard-drive. Hmmm... time to archive!

John_Desjardins
01-05-2001, 08:54 AM
Here goes a thought on saying anything you want to with statistics.

In the results section of the paper is the following "Anglers caught 476 striped bass with conventional bait hooks and 640 with non-offset circle hooks". If I slip into the marketing mode I would switch this to "In studies anglers caught 25% more fish with circle hooks". Further explanation, if needed, could be that with by using circle hooks you spend less time re rigging your bait and more time with the bait in the water.

Now if I could figure out how to hook a fish using a circle hook I might believe the hype I just wrote.

Aaron
01-05-2001, 10:09 AM
Circle hooks have been used for a long time by long-liners - both pelagic and deepwater (like for deepwater snappers). They like these hooks because they hook the fish well without being set by, for example, a hard jerk of the rod. Also, they tend not to gut hook, so are more easily removed - speed of rebaiting and fewer replaced hooks on the lines are money to these guys. In other words, the findings of the MD DNR folks aren't surprising.

However, don't get too ambitious about applying the results of this study across the board. Note - this, and other similar studies, are providing very valuable information on C&R mortality! But remember that any research project is, just by the nature of the complexities of the system being studied, limited in scope. In large part, that is why biologists so often answer "It depends..." when asked a question about some aspect of ecology, etc. Nonetheless, we know that there is mortality associated with C&R, so studies like this are valuable in helping to incorporate this source of mortality into management plans.

But regarding the subject of hooking fish with circle hooks. The key is to NOT set the hook like you would normally. Circle hooks will set themselves, or to put it another way, the fish will hook themselves. If you try to set a circle hook with a raised rod, strip strike, etc, you will more than likely pull the hook right out of the fish's mouth. This can be very hard to train yourself to do, but it works. Once the fish is hooked, then you can apply a traditional set with the rod just to make sure.

Aaron

juro
01-05-2001, 10:26 AM
John -

Thanks again for the fascinating article re: fish school behavior. If anyone else is interested let me know and I will forward it.

Aaron -

I think the 'meta' level significance of the study is that it captures that flies and lures kill significantly less fish than bait; and that bait fishing is best done with circle hooks. It also infers that artificial / retrieved methods (like flyfishing)represents a small portion of the kill problem - particularly when the design of the hook is simple. This is stated as a research observation with no elitism whatsoever. It's a matter of conscience in my book.

Great discussion,

Juro

Lefty
01-05-2001, 10:31 AM
Juro: Lures? With 6 to 9 hooks on them gashing the side of the fish?

Terry

ronl
01-05-2001, 10:41 AM
I tried circle hooks last year and found like Aaron that the fish did a better job of hooking themselves than I did(old habits are hard to break). Once the fish was hooked though they didn't get off even with alot of slack in the line. This takes away some of the challenge of fly fishing; ie, keeping a tight line to the fly. Also the only hooks that I've found for flies in the circle variety(non-offset) have been Eagle Claw and the finish doesn't hold up to the salt. All the others have been offset and to me would do the same damage as the regular hooks; plus straightening out the offset seems to weaken the hook, not to mention ruining the finish that protects the hook from the salt. I agree with the use of circle hooks for crustacen flies because they are inhaled- I find this early in the spring when I'm using clousers to imitate crabs and shrimp along the bottom- the fish are also smaller at this time also; but the hook is generally in the gill rakers not the stomach as it would be with bait. I agree that bait fishermen should be using circle hooks because they tend not to hold their rods so the fish can get the bait deeper than someone using artificials. It would be tough to enforce this though, but worth the try. Ron

i'm so outta here
01-05-2001, 11:43 AM
Juro -- Read what Aaron wrote again. I think you're missing his point. You can't point to one study and say, "See, I told you so!" There are a lot of questions still left to be answered. All we can say here is that fish that are shallow hooked on bait rods died less frequently than fish that are gut hooked. We don't know, for example, if the longer fight associated with landing a fish on the fly rod has any detrimental effect. Also, it's reasonable to assume that if temps above 95 degrees escalates the mortality rate of shallow hooked fish to more than 17%, there may be other circumstances and situations that do the same. It's way too early to say with certainty "that flies and lures kill significantly less fish than bait" You can believe it, as I myself do, but it's just a belief.....

I think we are far too eager to exonerate ourselves in this matter, but you all know how I feel on that subject, so I'll just let it lie (sort of http://216.71.206.188/images/flytalk/Wilk.gif)

Aaron
01-05-2001, 01:20 PM
Thanks Al for clarifying my middled point.
Juro - one thing that concerns me in so many resource issues, is that we too often end up in a me vs. you situation. I am not speaking to any of us, or at this specific issue of C&R mortality, but about the whole process in general. So many resource use issues degrade to me vs. you - commercial vs. recreational fishing in dozens of fisheries, indigenous vs recreational vs commercial fishing rights, catch and release vs harvest, native fish vs hatcheries, PETA et al vs recreational fishing, and the list goes on. Too often, we lose sight of the processes and dynamics of the system we are talking about and instead focus on relative merits of the arguments of the user groups. Perhaps we should focus first on circle hooks for multiple user groups, or single hooks for all user groups (includes getting rid of trebles AND two-hook fly rigs), and other results from this and similar papers that are common to all, before talking about which group is doing what to this fish or that. I think that in the long run this approach is more constructive. After all, a fly rod in the hands of an inexperienced angler will contribute to the mortality of a large percentage of released fish for no other reason than prolonged fight times.

Just my $.02

Aaron

juro
01-05-2001, 01:32 PM
I'm confused again.

Do you believe that bait doesn't kill more fish than other means?

What's "I told you so from?"

Juro

Lefty
01-05-2001, 02:30 PM
I for one believe that bait fishing kills more. Yes that is my belief. But are we only limited to acting on things proven by well funded PHds over and over? Governments have been brought down over beliefs. There's nothing wrong with forming an opinion based on what you witness which is that the bait guys kill more fish. And there's nothing wrong with us grumbling about it in a Flyfishing discussion group.
Long live the barbless catch n release fly fishermen!

Terry

i'm so outta here
01-05-2001, 02:50 PM
What Aaron said.


It always seems to boil down to a matter of who gets the blame. What <i>I</i> believe has little to do with shaping behavior and getting results (but as I said, I believe fly fishing does kill less fish).

Persuasion is about putting aside <i>a priori</i> beliefs and demonstrating to the persuadee that his <i>own</i> beliefs dictate a certain course of action. That's the direction in which I'd like to see us moving. That's all.

i'm so outta here
01-05-2001, 03:01 PM
Terry -- I appreciate what you're saying. All I'm saying is that if you really want to make a difference, you have to assume a stance that allows the other guy to come around to your way of thinking. Shouting our opinion from the virtual roof top is great for board moral, but I think putting it on a poster only entrenches the opposing belief.... i.e. we need a well thought out "public face" for the issue of C&R.

Lefty
01-05-2001, 03:07 PM
You call it blame. I prefer to think of it as targeting the guys who are actually doing the offense. Shall we preach to the choir and tell the FFmen to stop guthooking with chunk mackeral? OR teach the bait fisherman to use circle hooks. I prefer the ladder but by your standards above that would be us vs. them or the blame game. Semantics.

TerryW

Aaron
01-05-2001, 03:09 PM
Juro said:
"I'm confused again. Do you believe that bait doesn't kill more fish than other means?"

I didn't say that, and have never said a position on fly vs bait vs lure. My point was that as soon as one group becomes the focus of another's ire, this group (in this hypothetical case - bait fishermen) becomes defensive, the argument is immediately polarized, and little is accomplished. This situation is especially difficult in a management system such as ours where as much as possible management is supposed to be by consensus (thus the Councils), which necessitates cooperation.

For the most part, aren't bait fishers targeting keepers (which means they want to securely hook and then kill the fish)?
Historically, fisheries management by gear regulation has not worked, so I kind of doubt limiting use of bait would work in this case (enforcement would be a nightmare to say the least). In this, and many other cases, I think a different approach is needed to effectively manage the fishery. What that approach is, I'm not sure, plus that's an entirely different discussion.

"What's "I told you so from?" "
I have no idea, now I'm confused.

TerryW said:
"I for one believe that bait fishing kills more. Yes that is my belief. But are we only limited to acting on things
proven by well funded PHds over and over? Governments have been brought down over beliefs. There's nothing wrong with forming an opinion based on what you witness which is that the bait guys kill more fish. And there's nothing wrong with us grumbling about it in a Flyfishing discussion group. Long live the barbless catch n release fly fishermen!"

Hi Terry,

I completely agree with you on the right to have beliefs, especially on the right to grumble, and on the supposition that beliefs are what drive our actions. It would be foolish to say otherwise. Nonetheless, I am once again throwing dirt into the gears. At the public comment sessions of the various management councils, people are invited to take the floor and express their beliefs. By and large, however, the management decisions, in the end, are based on the science and the consensus of the members of the Councils. This is why I advocate a less polarizing approach.
Hey, I am also sickened by seeing another angler haul a fish up onto the beach or rocks, let it beat itself to death as he removes the hook, and then throw the half-dead and bleeding fish back into the water.

Aaron

i'm so outta here
01-05-2001, 03:43 PM
Fine, Terry. I'm the egg-head purveyor of bonehead semantics and sophistry. But the fact remains that one study isn't enough to convince anyone of anything (except those who hear exactly what they wanted to in it).

juro
01-05-2001, 04:32 PM
I may have been guilty of spending only a drive-by moment on this thread earlier today, so I have just re-read it.

The crux of Aaron's post:

<i><font size="1">But remember that any research project is, just by the nature of the complexities of the system being studied, limited in scope. In large part, that is why biologists so often answer "It depends..." when asked a question about some aspect of ecology, etc. Nonetheless, we know that there is mortality associated with C&R, so studies like this are valuable in helping to incorporate this source of mortality into management plans.</font><!--1--></i>

No one denies that there is mortality associated with C&R, and total agreement that research is not an exact science. In fact I appreciate the savvy views from Aaron and expect to kick some flats ass with him this summer. http://216.71.206.188/images/flytalk/Wilk.gif" border="0" align="middle">

My reply:

<font size="1"><i>I think the 'meta' level significance of the study is that it captures that flies and lures kill significantly less fish than bait; and that bait fishing is best done with circle hooks. It also infers that artificial / retrieved methods (like flyfishing)represents a small portion of the kill problem - particularly when the design of the hook is simple. This is stated as a research observation with no elitism whatsoever. It's a matter of conscience in my book.</font><!--1--></i>

Trying to respond to the "across the board" warning in Aaron's post, I used the word 'meta' to abstract the general sense for what I observed from the research... essentially my "beliefs". In reading the MD DNR report again, I find plenty of reasons to hold beliefs.

Al's points:

<font size="1"><i>Juro -- Read what Aaron wrote again. I think you're missing his point. You can't point to one study and say, "See, I told you so!" There are a lot of questions still left to be answered. All we can say here is that fish that are shallow hooked on bait rods died less frequently than fish that are gut hooked. We don't know, for example, if the longer fight associated with landing a fish on the fly rod has any detrimental effect. Also, it's reasonable to assume that if temps above 95 degrees escalates the mortality rate of shallow hooked fish to more than 17%, there may be other circumstances and situations that do the same. It's way too early to say with certainty "that flies and lures kill significantly less fish than bait" You can believe it, as I myself do, but it's just a belief.....</font><!--1--></i>

I agree that there is nothing conclusive in the way of exonerating flyfishing. That was not my intent. Your point that there are many *other* factors that would weigh into a true comparison are well taken, in fact if stress (temps, salinity, etc) are one of the two mortality factors (the other being hooking) then there is the very real possibility that large fish fought in low salinity water in warm temps on a fly rod (or any combination of these) could be a very deadly combination. It warrants further study and I will make it a point to avoid such conditions (except perhaps the size of fish part! <img src="http://216.71.206.188/images/flytalk/Wilk.gif)

I think it boils down to two things: <b>belief and action</b> The rest is unsubstantiated, which is in effect what Al said (belief is all we can take away from it), and Terry emphasized (acting on belief is a good thing) as Aaron warns us not to be taken by research.

I say once again... good discussion!

juro
01-05-2001, 04:42 PM
Wow! A lot happened while I was putting that post together trying to give ample think times between running to end-of-week meetings as the business day nears its end.

Anyway... I think we are all guilty of a little anxiety, misreading, passion, concern, frustration for the way things work in our regulatory and management system, difficulty in gaining consensus, and winter. That's why there's *FLYFISHING*!

Enjoy the weekend

PeteGray
01-05-2001, 05:27 PM
No matter what...Catch'n Release has a much better mortality rate then
Catch'n Fillet...I don't have any scientific numbers but highly suspect it's true. Most of the bait folks I've run into have a consumption notion from the get go...Gofigure?!

i'm so outta here
01-05-2001, 07:07 PM
Being home now and having a moment to actually think about this and cool down a bit, I'd like to say that I'm all for expressing the C&R credo here on the board, and if you take some time to read what I say above, you'll see that nowhere do I admonish anyone for having an opinion or a belief. I do imply (perhaps too loosely) that it's important to distinguish belief from hard fact.

[BTW, semantics built this nation as well. If you don't believe me, read the Constitution sometime. It's loaded with hair splitting attention to how people interpret the symbols and signs around us.]

The summation to either preach to the choir or teach to the unenlightened is not the whole story and misses what I'm after. Trying to educate someone who never asked for education is an invitation to a fight. That's not semantics. It's human nature.

As Juro aptly puts it, it comes down to belief and action. We all believe pretty much the same thing. It's time to go beyond what we believe and get something done. Consider the effectiveness of these two statements:

<font size="4">1: Save time and money and catch more fish: use circle hooks</font><!--4-->

<font size="4">2: Use circle hooks and reduce mortality by up to 90% </font><!--4-->

#1 has more significance to bait fishermen. #2 speaks to our own ethos, but has the potential of putting bait fishermen on the defensive. #1 speaks directly to the reason why bait fishermen fish in the first place. At the same time, it offends our sense of sportsmanship.

Both point to the same outcome: circle hooks become popular with the bait crowd and fish mortality declines. What I'm saying is that we have to stuff our personal feelings on this and stick with posters or flyers or whatever that embrace the spirit of statement #1 ...i.e. if action (with results) is really what we are after. Let's see if this fizzles out again.....?

artb
01-05-2001, 08:52 PM
I would like to throw a curve. I have fished for stripers since about 1948 with a fly. Back when we only used Mustard 1/0 short shanked hooks for bass which were steel hooks which were bronzed. Yes, the hooks rusted, but they rotted out if left in a fish in a relative short period of time. Today, most of us use stainless steel hooks which don't rot. If the fly is lost in a fish it becomes like an earing, unless the fish can rub it out,are we not wrong? I was going to start a thread about this, but seeing we are talking mortality of stripers which are hooked I stated my thoughts here.

Lefty
01-05-2001, 11:11 PM
Sorry, just bounced back from reformatting the home hard drive and rebuilding,yuk.

Al said:

<i>The summation to either preach to the choir or teach to the unenlightened is not the whole story and misses what I'm after. Trying to educate someone who never asked for education is an invitation to a fight. That's not semantics. It's human nature. </i>

I never said it was. I did say you call something BLAME while I call it identifying the group doing it. That IS semantics or at least what I referred to. Either way if you want to apply either #1 or #2 above it's not going to be to the choir, we are all in the .8% mortality group already. Good luck with the bait guys, a suggestive flyer sounds best to be posted or left for the taking in the bait shops.

As far as America being founded on semantics- shrug??

Terry

tomd
01-06-2001, 12:00 AM
I beleive I got a flier like you're talking about (the benefits of circle hooks)at a bait shop in R.I.. or it may have been Murat's in attleboro. as far as fish mortality, I've bait-fished before many times, and I cannot beleive anyone that has, and then used a lure or fly, won't be honest enough to say they remember many released fish floating away. it is not anecdotal if it is common knowledge. we would all qualify as fishing experts to one degree or another, and so would bait and lure fishermen. the reason I say this is add up the number of hours in your life you've done this and you'd be shocked. any person in a profession could be declared an expert with that much experience. we do need to sugarcoat it a bit to get a baitfisher to swallow it but the fact is baits are swallowed deep and cause more internal damage,period. I baid fish for bass and trout with my 3+5 yr olds, and if they market tiny cicle hooks I'll spend whatever it takes not to here my son ask "what is that fish swimming on top of the water for dad?", again. just my $.02 Tom D
ok, now where are the steps so I can climb down from this soapbox?

i'm so outta here
01-06-2001, 01:34 AM
Terry:

<i>....teach the bait fisherman to use circle hooks. I prefer the ladder but by your standards above that would be us vs. them or the blame game</i>

No. By my standards, teaching those who don't recognize your authority to teach them is a dumb idea. The blame game is what we all seem to be content with playing here on the board. There's a huge difference.

But I hear you. You're saying identify the problem group and teach them that they are killing fish, and that they could avoid it if they used circle hooks. I'm saying, and I think Aaron is saying too, that killing fish is what bait guys are all about so this approach will inevitably fail with them. Mortality has no relevence to them. As Tom points out, you need to take a more tactful approach, something that appeals to their own sense of what's right. Save money. Save time. Catch more fish. Am I speaking Greek here?

<i>A: Trying to educate someone who never asked for education is an invitation to a fight. That's not semantics. It's human nature.

T: I never said it was.....</i>

I never said you said it was. That is, I'm saying it's human nature, not a matter of interpretation, to resent forced education. Ask any 8th grader on the truth of that one ;)

recursive: <i>see recursive</i>

Aaron
01-06-2001, 10:08 AM
Pretty energetic discussion! And we're all on the same side.

First, Juro said: "No one denies that there is mortality associated with C&R, and total agreement that research is not an exact science."

Nothing at all against this particular study, but from what they published about the study on the web site, I was able to easily find problems with the sample design that might call into question some of their statistical findings. That's not to say I think the results are invalid, just that they can be questioned by someone with the knowledge and desire to do so - which they will be if/when presented into any management discussion.

and then: "In fact I appreciate the savvy views from Aaron and expect to kick some flats ass with him this summer."

Thanks, and I hope to do some more fishing this year, and to catch up with you on the flats. Last year was so damn hectic, and my fishing so sporadic - even the times I got to go fishing I often felt rushed. This year had better be an improvement!

Onto the general discussion - again, regulation of a gear type (or associated group of anglers), has historically failed in fisheries management. First, we are very innovative, so it doesn't take long to coome up with a substitute for the restricted gear type, and laws on gear restrictions, by nature, have to be very specific to that gear. Second, it would be difficult to restrict access to a 'common resource', as our society considers the ocean to be, to a particular group - in this case baitfishers going for fish for meat. Not so much the case in the US, but in many other parts of the world 'subsistence' fishing is exempt from many (in some places all) regulations. It's a sticky issue. On top of all of that, any new regulations on striped bass (or any other saltwater species) are only as good as the enforcement and the willingness of the fisheries agency to enforce these regulations. With the possible exception of MD, enforcement is at best irregular, at worst nonexistent, in most cases drastically underfunded, and almost always not taken seriously by the judicial system (again, with the exception of MD).

So, once again I'm pointing to addressing things on a much broader scale, which would incorporate batifishing, and in a manner that sidesteps polarization.

Aaron

Lefty
01-06-2001, 03:04 PM
sarcastic stupidity edited out.....sorry gang.

Terry

John_Desjardins
01-08-2001, 11:42 AM
Before this thread went off the bottom of the monitor I wanted to thank Aaron & Ronl for the advice on hoking fish using circle hooks. I have the tendency to set the hook at the first indication of a bite and was probably pulling the hook out of the fishes mouth.

Does anyone have links to similiar reports on other game fish? This is a serious topic that as fisherman we should be aware of.

Tomd: Last year I investigated what circle hooks are available for bait fishing with my 5 year old. The options that I found were as follows:

VMC makes a circle hook ( a modified Kahle bend if my memory is correct) in size 6. I was unable to order the hook, and have lost track of the part #.

Gamakatsu introduced a size 8 octopus circle, that has an offset point, last year. It was introduced too late in the year to make it into their 2000 catalog. I was also unable to order this hook. I do have the part # at home if your interested.

I was able to order from Cabelas an Eagle Claw # L702G circle hook in size 8. This was the hook that I pulled out of the fishes mouth. I believe that there may be a couple of other Eagle claw hooks in the right size range.

Those are all of the circle hooks that I could find in a reasonable size for pan fish, trout, etc. After the trouble with finding hooks & hooking fish I gave up on the idea of using them last year. This year I'll try again.