Driftless Trout Anglers

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Gurth  
#1 Posted : Friday, January 18, 2019 3:52:59 PM(UTC)
Gurth
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While I was growing up – well, one thing… we didn't take many pictures of fish we caught.

When we did though and if it was a big one, we often held it by its gills. That's just how you did it… how we were taught.

Times have changed and photos of fish in this social media age are almost reflexive for many of us, myself included. Even if it's not to share for likes or to tell a story. I take photos of a lot of the fish I catch and most are just for me to look at later on for my own enjoyment or for reference.

Anyway… the science is in and holding fish by their gills that you plan to release exponentially increases the chance that they will die.

Even as recently as a few years ago I did not know or consider this.

If you think about it though, you (we… I…) are putting your fingers in their lungs.

We need to be better at this and it is the duty of all of us to spread the word.

Like I said, I didn't know I was doing anything wrong as recently as a few years back, so not throwing around blame. However, if you know this and continue to do this… well, that's on you.

Of course, not taking any photos would be the absolute best practice, but so would not catching any fish that you don't intend to kill. The middle ground is the key and most articles support this notion. Photos are fine if you do them correctly.

I recently corresponded with Panther Martin through their Facebook and made them aware of this and asked that they be better about what photos they post and for them to promote best practices considering their high profile in the trout fishing community.

I was assured that they would and not a week later another photo appeared of an angler holding a trout by its gills.

Progress comes slowly.


Some articles/posts…


https://frontrangeangler...est-practices-1-10-2014/

https://news.orvis.com/f...w-to-treat-a-trout-right


I am NOT perfect when it comes to fish handling and beat myself up pretty good when something goes wrong or something could have been done better.

The key is learning and not repeating mistakes. I'm much better now than I used to be.


.

Edited by user Friday, January 18, 2019 3:58:28 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

“Harvest eaters... release trophies.” -Gurth
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
thanks 1 user thanked Gurth for this useful post.
weiliwen on 1/18/2019(UTC)
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Gurth  
#2 Posted : Friday, January 18, 2019 5:58:17 PM(UTC)
Gurth
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Another thing since I'm at it…

What's with the throwing of bluegills when ice fishing?

I routinely see people tossing a gill 20-40 feet through the air back towards their bucket.

That's a living thing. With… you know… nerve endings.

I realize we're gonna kill and eat these fish, but a little decency and respect could be shown.



Loved this one too…

In December, a couple of idiots were fishing tip-ups for northern and they ran the 50-60 yards to land one and then didn't have anything on them to remove the hook.

I could hear them saying that one would have to go back for the pliers.

When fishing specifically for northern, how in the F do you not have a hemostat on you at all times?

After getting it off, they posed for several photos and then let it go (dumped the corpse).

Was probably out of the water for almost 8-10 minutes and was not legal to keep – have to be 40 inches in this spot.

Morons.



.

Edited by user Friday, January 18, 2019 8:46:53 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

“Harvest eaters... release trophies.” -Gurth
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
William Schlafer  
#3 Posted : Friday, January 18, 2019 8:20:30 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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I'm as guilty as the next guy when it comes to mishandling Trout. This season I have vowed to leave bigger Trout in the net as much as possible for hook removal and a quick picture.

Advice I've gotten was to always wet your hands before handling Trout. This helps reduce the amount of protective body slime removed by your hands. Minimize as much as possible how much a fish is handled and return it to the water as quickly as possible.

Never pump a Trout back in forth in the water (like you see in those Sunday morning fishing shows) to revive it. Simply support the fish in the water with your hands open. When it's ready, it will swim away.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
Gurth  
#4 Posted : Friday, January 18, 2019 8:46:17 PM(UTC)
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From everything I've read or heard in podcasts, the worst things are when you hold em by the gills, lay em on the ground or fight them too long.

I don't believe that simple handling is that big of a deal as we would see lots of corpses every time we fished and I rarely if ever see dead trout – even on the most pressured streams.

I've actually heard and read things on both sides of the wet hands subject and also the barbed vs barbless debate. I mean obviously wet hands and barbless hooks won't hurt the fish more, but I've found info that doubts whether it helps all that much. Like I said though… can't hurt.

Full disclosure – I still use barbed hooks.


When I got the 21 on opening day, the first thing I did was sit on the bank with feet in the water and removed the hook. I then let the fish sit in the net for a couple of minutes to recover. Was actually nice letting the adrenaline subside and just being with that amazing fish.

Got the camera ready and while still sitting, lifted the fish over the water and snapped a couple quick and let it go. My photo is poorly lit, but I can live with it coz… who really cares?

Do I want a cookie?

No.

Well... actually I do, but not for how I interacted with this trout. Flapper


This was learned behavior though and I learned this because others chose to write about it or dedicate a podcast to it.

I shudder to think back many years and of fish laid on the bank for a photo or accidentally dropped on the bank when they squirmed.

Like I said… the key is learning from mistakes.

Edited by user Friday, January 18, 2019 8:52:28 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

“Harvest eaters... release trophies.” -Gurth
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
rschmidt  
#5 Posted : Saturday, January 19, 2019 12:18:37 AM(UTC)
rschmidt
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Good advice from all. The number one factor from my experience is keeping the fish out of water. Other than the rare gill fudge, trout seem very tolerant of basic wet hand holding, rubber netting and even line tangle. Outside the gill fudge, the trout that have struggled, were ones that stayed out of water the longest. I try to do the best I can, but fishing is inherently dangerous. If a fish is legal to take and there is any question in my mind I will eat it. I do think you are right on Gurth, if every trout that was handled died, the sewage would pile up where I fish and I have never seen anything to support that theory. Happy Fishing!

Edited by user Saturday, January 19, 2019 12:19:12 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

NBrevitz  
#6 Posted : Sunday, January 20, 2019 4:37:36 AM(UTC)
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I appreciated the free lures, but Panther Martin do no market themselves well. Put Ron on the floor and have him handle the supply chain, Shebs in PR, and myself in testing, they'd have 10 times the social media presence they do now.

They market themselves to families that occasionally fish put-take fisheries, when they should be marketing to trophy hunters that go through 2-3 lures a week, not 5 lures a year like those families who fish the Whitewater for fresh stockers. That lure is so damn effective.... Why are they trying to sell the fact that it can catch stockers? Show trophy wild Trout, show Steelhead, Salmon, Char, big Pike, Smallmouth, don't show the fishing world that your bait is #1 for stocker Rainbows... That's like being

They're still great lures (when you don't get a lemon), but good lord are they tone deaf given the direction Trout fishing is heading. And yes they're like the old school bait shop that proudly displays the photo of the dead Musky some dumbass kept because he thought it was a state record. Not with the times...

As for C&R, I don't think barbed hooks are a huge deal. Studies have shown little to no difference in mortality in most populations. With saltwater fish in freshwater, barbless hooks are good as some species, like Sea Run Brook Trout, lack clotting agents while in streams. But I still use barbed hooks. I keep a few small spinners de-barbed for those streams where you're going to catch a lot of dinks during early season and don't want to get your hands wet 40 times.

As for the ice fishermen, they're stupid all around, at least most of them. I went out a couple weeks ago on a lake thats essentially a big bowl. Half the lake is 0-10, the other half 11-17. 1000 acre lake. Fish can be literally anywhere beyond 10 feet deep. I got out and the lake was deserted. I set up on a non-descript sunken island, that isn't even on any baro maps... Sure enough, right before Crappie time, 2 trucks came out, circled our shack, and drilled within 40 yards of us. The entire rest of the lake was barren. I wanted to throw a chisel through their windows.... As you might guess, the bite dried up after they showed up. I hate people. This keeps up and I'll be living in Grand Marais...
"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
thanks 1 user thanked NBrevitz for this useful post.
rschmidt on 1/20/2019(UTC)
Gurth  
#7 Posted : Sunday, January 20, 2019 5:04:52 AM(UTC)
Gurth
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Originally Posted by: NBrevitz Go to Quoted Post
...when they should be marketing to trophy hunters that go through 2-3 lures a week...



Laugh

I go through that many in an hour sometimes. Laugh

Rocks gotta eat and the really hungry ones are on the bottoms of deep holes where I can't go to get my lure back.


And I've tried braided and would rather lose the lures.
“Harvest eaters... release trophies.” -Gurth
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
Gurth  
#8 Posted : Sunday, January 20, 2019 5:06:50 AM(UTC)
Gurth
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Such a funny thing as I almost never lose lures while lake fishing but think nothing of burning through a hundred or more Panther Martins in a season.
“Harvest eaters... release trophies.” -Gurth
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
Guillermo  
#9 Posted : Sunday, January 20, 2019 10:06:41 AM(UTC)
Guillermo
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Wet your hands, don’t pull the fish out of the water with the rod and leave it dangling by the hook, limit time out of the water or better yet don’t take the fish out of the water at all if possible, and realize that if a fish is bleeding its chances of making it probably aren’t great. I also think a net is a necessity to at least have along. You don’t need it for small fish, but it can make controlling and responsibly releasing a big fish noticeably easier.

As was said already, if there’s a good shot a fish won’t make it and its legal I’ll throw it in my creel. This happens to me maybe 2 or 3 times a year, usually only 1 maybe 2 fish at a time. When it does, I’ll catch 1 or 2 more and keep them to make a meal out of it.

As for the barbed/pinched debate, I pinch my barbs. I find trout to routinely be harder to unhook with barbed hooks. If a fish is out of the water while being unhooked, I like the reduction in time before release that pinched barbs afford me. But barbed hooks are fully legal and I’ll not criticize anyone who takes a different approach than me.

One last word about hemostats...if you find yourself going through the cheap pairs that are typically made in countries such as Pakistan, search eBay for good deals on some high quality German-made hemostats/forceps. I got a medical-grade pair 3 years ago and they are virtually indestructible and infinitely more functional than any cheap pair I’ve found. I paid about 10 or 15 bucks for these.

Edited by user Sunday, January 20, 2019 10:11:24 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

rschmidt  
#10 Posted : Sunday, January 20, 2019 2:28:46 PM(UTC)
rschmidt
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I have a buddy who is a dentist, he says the orthos have the best hemos. Personally I like a SS long needle nose. Way better leverage and far less futzing around than with a locking hemo. R
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