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12/08/2017 03:22PM
I have seen on YouTube and on trip reports several folks very concerned about immediately releasing big fish, in fear of killing them.

I was taught that if you don’t hasty force the fish up from the depths and as long as it can swim away with confidence, the fish would be fine.

What say ye the people?
 
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nofish
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12/08/2017 03:52PM
I've always heard that when pulling fish from deep water its not the slow speed of the release that does them in but the fast speed at which you real them in. Bringing them up slower is supposed to allow them to adjust to the pressure difference as they rise from the deep water which increases their chance of survival.



plittle
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12/08/2017 07:02PM
Always get ANY big fish back into the water asap.

Lake trout can regulate pressure change but struggle with temp change. Best to get a big trout in fast and out fast. Espcially if surface temps are in the 70s. Get um back down ASAP.

Mortality is more likely to come from gill trauma. Trout will roll and get the line wrapped around their gills and actually cut gill filaments causing bleeding. Sometimes they will roll right back out of it and youll wonder why the fish is bleeding. This is the only circumstance ive had trout die.

mastertangler
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12/09/2017 05:57AM
quote plittle: "Always get ANY big fish back into the water asap.


Lake trout can regulate pressure change but struggle with temp change. Best to get a big trout in fast and out fast. Espcially if surface temps are in the 70s. Get um back down ASAP.


Mortality is more likely to come from gill trauma. Trout will roll and get the line wrapped around their gills and actually cut gill filaments causing bleeding. Sometimes they will roll right back out of it and youll wonder why the fish is bleeding. This is the only circumstance ive had trout die.


"


My thoughts exactly.
AmarilloJim
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12/11/2017 08:21AM
If you through them in head pointed down this will help get them back to depth faster.
missmolly
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12/11/2017 08:27AM
If you're concerned about mortality, keep the fish in the water as long as possible or through the entire releasing. I've caught a number of plus-forty inch pike for which I've no photos because I released them in the water. Also, never pose a big fish vertically as it smushes their guts.
carmike
distinguished member(1580)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/11/2017 08:31AM
As nofish says, I have heard that the problem has more to do with the speed they're brought up, though others are certainly right to point out that keeping them out of the water for extended periods of time is a no-no as well.

I've caught 100% of my trout the last few years within 20 ft of the surface, often within 15 or 10 ft. No big worries there, though I do see them releasing air bubbles so I never rush them.

In the, I dunno, hundreds of fish I've caught in the last few years, I only know of one that has died -- and that was because it ate a Tail Dancer so deeply the rear hook was deep in the gullet and the front hook was in the gills. All others were released and appeared fine. I don't know the long-term survival, though, and while I've never seen any "floaters" on subsequent days on the same lake, I can't imagine a tasty trout floating on the top of very clear water would avoid the gaze of a passing eagle for very long.
12/11/2017 08:06PM
So what I am getting from folks is this...

Get them unhooked and in the water as soon as possible. For some a quick horizontal (for the fish) picture is okay.

Two options on speed of getting them up from the depths, 1) doesn’t matter 2) don’t rush the fish.

Fill damage and gut hug seem to be the most common causes of death for big fish.

If I missed something let me know. Thanks again everyone!
FishermanTed
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12/13/2017 11:00AM
CanoeViking: "So what I am getting from folks is this...


Get them unhooked and in the water as soon as possible. For some a quick horizontal (for the fish) picture is okay.


Two options on speed of getting them up from the depths, 1) doesn’t matter 2) don’t rush the fish.


Fill damage and gut hug seem to be the most common causes of death for big fish.


If I missed something let me know. Thanks again everyone!"


Hey guys. FT here. This is a topic that is VERY dear to my heart. We practice 100% catch and release to protect the fishery. We also have fish 20+ years old and killing just one would be a travesty. And our lake is over 400 feet deep. Its the trifecta for potential disaster.

In short do not, I repeat DO NOT catch fish deeper than 30-35 feet deep UNLESS it is a laker. You may say well my lure only dives to 24 feet so I am fine. But if you are over deep water many fish will come up from way down deep to hit it. Many fish are looking up from under bait schools and will come hurtling out of the depths.

The only fish in our ecosystem that can handle depth changes are lake trout. So you can jig for them in 110 feet if you want to. All others can not handle the depth change. Also the last thing you want to do is take a very long time to bring them up. No No No. What you are doing is exhausting that fish and depleting their oxygen in their blood even more. Hook the fish and fight it as strong as you can to get him to the boat.

The most common killer of fish IS depth changes (coupled with exhaustion) that fish can't handle. Most people don't get this because they can't actually see it happen. Even with catch and release mortality rates can be in the double digits. Think about that for a second. You throw them all back and 10-15% are dying (potentially)? Yup. They swim away and you think all is good. What you don't know is that they will be dead within the hour and you will never see it.

In the summer when my walleye go deep we can see them at 40-50 even deeper. And they can be caught for sure. But no way do I allow my guests to do that. It will kill them for sure. I make them wait for them to come shallower.

So my advice for you is don't go after deep fish, ever. You can do a lot of damage to them and you might not even know it.

-FT
Kokanee Killer
Guest Paddler
 
12/13/2017 11:41AM
Bigger pike (over 34-35") seem to really be sensitive as well especially in the summer. We have learned over the years on how to handle them better. Early on - we were so excited to catch a "bigger" pike that we hoisted them into the boat using the net immediately. Big mistake. We were just excited and eager and didn't want to lose the fish.

Now we remove hooks while the fish in in the water, get the camera ready, hoist it up for a quick photo and then the fish is back in the water. Fish is out of the water for all about 5 seconds tops.

For lakers - I have found to not net them - period. You net a laker in the warmer summer months from deep water - the fish will likely die. If releasing a laker (in the summer) the fish should never leave the water. Unhook it along the boat/canoe with long handled pliers, most of the time you don't even need to touch the fish.
Gadfly
distinguished member (305)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/13/2017 12:47PM
I've only really had this situation happen to me once and I felt terrible after. I was fishing a BW lake in March for Lakers in about 60 to 80 feet of water and I caught a really nice sized walleye of about 25 inches. As soon as I brought it through the hole I could tell it was dead. Its eyes were popped way out and it was stiff as a board. Because I was worried about being caught with a walleye out of season I stuffed it back down the hole and felt guilty about the waste. I never would have thought that It would be a walleye coming from that depth.
12/13/2017 04:01PM
“Hey guys. FT here. This is a topic that is VERY dear to my heart. We practice 100% catch and release to protect the fishery. We also have fish 20+ years old and killing just one would be a travesty. And our lake is over 400 feet deep. Its the trifecta for potential disaster.


In short do not, I repeat DO NOT catch fish deeper than 30-35 feet deep UNLESS it is a laker. You may say well my lure only dives to 24 feet so I am fine. But if you are over deep water many fish will come up from way down deep to hit it. Many fish are looking up from under bait schools and will come hurtling out of the depths.


The only fish in our ecosystem that can handle depth changes are lake trout. So you can jig for them in 110 feet if you want to. All others can not handle the depth change. Also the last thing you want to do is take a very long time to bring them up. No No No. What you are doing is exhausting that fish and depleting their oxygen in their blood even more. Hook the fish and fight it as strong as you can to get him to the boat.


The most common killer of fish IS depth changes (coupled with exhaustion) that fish can't handle. Most people don't get this because they can't actually see it happen. Even with catch and release mortality rates can be in the double digits. Think about that for a second. You throw them all back and 10-15% are dying (potentially)? Yup. They swim away and you think all is good. What you don't know is that they will be dead within the hour and you will never see it.


In the summer when my walleye go deep we can see them at 40-50 even deeper. And they can be caught for sure. But no way do I allow my guests to do that. It will kill them for sure. I make them wait for them to come shallower.


So my advice for you is don't go after deep fish, ever. You can do a lot of damage to them and you might not even know it.


-FT "

Ted thanks for the info. This is what I was wondering. Do you have any articles to back up what you said? I like to be informed and sometimes I fish with others of differing opinions and they will believe a research article than I friend told me if you know what I mean.

Also, what lake were you referring to? And sounds like your a guide, do you guide groups? I have a family fishing get together coming this spring and they want to have a good fishing experience.
12/13/2017 04:12PM
Thanks again everyone for sharing your experiences and thoughts.

I catch and release the majority of the fish I catch and I always hate killing one and wasting it.
FishermanTed
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12/13/2017 04:28PM
There is tons of research on the web regarding this topic. Lots actually.

I own a lodge (and guide) just north of the Boundary Waters. Similar water, same species.

-FT
boondock
member (40)member
 
12/13/2017 08:54PM
While lake trout are better adapted for rapid pressure changes (phystostomous) they are still susceptible to barotrauma. A deep release device might be a good idea for fish caught from over 100ft. http://www.seagrant.umn.edu/newsletter/2013/05/let_em_down_easy_returning_a_fish_to_deep_water.html
12/14/2017 08:53PM
boondock: "While lake trout are better adapted for rapid pressure changes (phystostomous) they are still susceptible to barotrauma. A deep release device might be a good idea for fish caught from over 100ft. http://www.seagrant.umn.edu/newsletter/2013/05/let_em_down_easy_returning_a_fish_to_deep_water.html"

Thanks for the website info. That was a good article.
GeoFisher
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12/16/2017 12:35AM
For smallmouth and largemouth here in KY , especially Dale Hollow and Cumberland, guys learn how to fizz fish. We regularly catch smallies and largemouth in 40-50 ft of water, and sometimes they need some "help".

Basically, a method of deflating the swim bladder, so they can right themselves in shallow water.

Been doing it for YEARS, and have very limited mortality, when done properly.

fizzing fish

Later,

Geo
bobbernumber3
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12/16/2017 03:43PM
very cool, Geo. I've called it "burping" a laker. And it helps get the fish able to swim back down to deeper, cooler water.
12/17/2017 07:37PM
GeoFisher: "For smallmouth and largemouth here in KY , especially Dale Hollow and Cumberland, guys learn how to fizz fish. We regularly catch smallies and largemouth in 40-50 ft of water, and sometimes they need some "help".


Basically, a method of deflating the swim bladder, so they can right themselves in shallow water.


Been doing it for YEARS, and have very limited mortality, when done properly.


fizzing fish


Later,


Geo"


Thanks for the video. It’s always good to have another technique to save a fish in need ??
GeoFisher
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12/18/2017 11:33PM
GeoFisher: "For smallmouth and largemouth here in KY , especially Dale Hollow and Cumberland, guys learn how to fizz fish. We regularly catch smallies and largemouth in 40-50 ft of water, and sometimes they need some "help".


Basically, a method of deflating the swim bladder, so they can right themselves in shallow water.


Been doing it for YEARS, and have very limited mortality, when done properly.


fizzing fish


Later,


Geo"


This technique is different then the technique I learned years ago.

I used to go through the side of the fish, but this method in the video is much better and less intrusive, I believe.

later,

Geo
thegildedgopher
senior member (100)senior membersenior member
 
01/03/2018 11:20AM
GeoFisher: "For smallmouth and largemouth here in KY , especially Dale Hollow and Cumberland, guys learn how to fizz fish. We regularly catch smallies and largemouth in 40-50 ft of water, and sometimes they need some "help".


Basically, a method of deflating the swim bladder, so they can right themselves in shallow water.


Been doing it for YEARS, and have very limited mortality, when done properly.

Later,


Geo"


I'm new to the forum, so I tread lightly and do not mean to offend -- but given that this is a BWCA forum I think it's wise to share that "fizzing" and then releasing a fish is illegal in the state of MN. See page 87 of our current fishing regulations: "Don’t angle for fish in very deep water, unless you plan to keep what you catch. Fizzing of fish, or the act of inserting a needle into a fish intended to deflate the gas bladder, caught from deep water can do more harm than good and is not legal."

I believe that Paddlefish, Sturgeon and Lake Trout are the only fresh-water species in the United States that can “burp” swim bladder gas. Attempting this technique on a Walleye, for example, is more likely to harm then help. Walleye organs are very close together, the average angler has no business trying to blindly poke a needle into the swim bladder.
01/03/2018 11:38AM
thegildedgopher: "GeoFisher: "For smallmouth and largemouth here in KY , especially Dale Hollow and Cumberland, guys learn how to fizz fish. We regularly catch smallies and largemouth in 40-50 ft of water, and sometimes they need some "help".



Basically, a method of deflating the swim bladder, so they can right themselves in shallow water.



Been doing it for YEARS, and have very limited mortality, when done properly.


Later,



Geo"



I'm new to the forum, so I tread lightly and do not mean to offend -- but given that this is a BWCA forum I think it's wise to share that "fizzing" and then releasing a fish is illegal in the state of MN. See page 87 of our current fishing regulations: "Don’t angle for fish in very deep water, unless you plan to keep what you catch. Fizzing of fish, or the act of inserting a needle into a fish intended to deflate the gas bladder, caught from deep water can do more harm than good and is not legal."


I believe that Paddlefish, Sturgeon and Lake Trout are the only fresh-water species in the United States that can “burp” swim bladder gas. Attempting this technique on a Walleye, for example, is more likely to harm then help. Walleye organs are very close together, the average angler has no business trying to blindly poke a needle into the swim bladder."


Welcome to the forum. Thanks for sharing too I missed that paragraph on page 87. Good information and this feed on this post has informed me greatly I really appreciate what everybody is shared.
GeoFisher
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01/03/2018 12:53PM
thegildedgopher: "GeoFisher: "For smallmouth and largemouth here in KY , especially Dale Hollow and Cumberland, guys learn how to fizz fish. We regularly catch smallies and largemouth in 40-50 ft of water, and sometimes they need some "help".



Basically, a method of deflating the swim bladder, so they can right themselves in shallow water.



Been doing it for YEARS, and have very limited mortality, when done properly.


Later,



Geo"



I'm new to the forum, so I tread lightly and do not mean to offend -- but given that this is a BWCA forum I think it's wise to share that "fizzing" and then releasing a fish is illegal in the state of MN. See page 87 of our current fishing regulations: "Don’t angle for fish in very deep water, unless you plan to keep what you catch. Fizzing of fish, or the act of inserting a needle into a fish intended to deflate the gas bladder, caught from deep water can do more harm than good and is not legal."


I believe that Paddlefish, Sturgeon and Lake Trout are the only fresh-water species in the United States that can “burp” swim bladder gas. Attempting this technique on a Walleye, for example, is more likely to harm then help. Walleye organs are very close together, the average angler has no business trying to blindly poke a needle into the swim bladder."


That is fine.

I make 2 trips to Minnesota or Canada a year, and I've NEVER, not once fished for them that deep. And when I do, they are for food. Lakers don't live when taken deep the times I go, so when I catch them, they are usually for food.

Also, when I go the walleye and smallmouth, which I target are rarely below 20ft, which also means no fizzing.....

I also didn't know it was illegal in Minnesota....I think that is kind of silly, and I can almost guarantee that fisherman may be practicing it, especially in the summer.....

Later,

Geo
thegildedgopher
senior member (100)senior membersenior member
 
01/03/2018 01:34PM
No worries, Geo. Again I didn't mean to point any fingers. I had recalled a discussion of fizzing walleye from another outdoors forum and just wanted to pass long the relevant legal info.

As for whether it's "silly," I guess that's debatable. If the Minnesota DNR believed that fizzing was the best thing for the resource in our state, it would be legal. They don't, so it's not.
 
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