Stomach Pump Questions

MGTom

Active Member
WFF Supporter
So being old school I studied the stream or lake contents and looked at what was in the fish the I ate, but these days I keep a lot less. I've watched many videos and done some online shopping because our sportsman's doesn't have them and have a couple questions about brands and using them on different fish. I hope I'm not wearing you guys out. I've seen both the fly rite with a long tube and a waspi with a shorter tube. Which type would be most versatile? I do trout fishing and see the long tube version used in many videos, but I never see it used on bass. Often they puke up the minnow or crawfish they just ate so you know what's up, but if I need to sample bass is the trout tube large enough in dia? I seem to only see one size. Seems you could modify a turkey baster, but I'm afraid the hard rough plastic could do serious harm.
 

Gyrfalcon2015

Wild Trout
IMHO only, I really hope people are careful doing this. Is it actually even truly a legal thing to do? A moral thing to do after one fish? I ponder, and what follows is just my 2 cents.

Handling fish and doing these kind of studies is at minimum, a stress, at worse, can easily probably do mortal harm. We all know to do this you'd need a good grip on the fish with one hand while the the forces a hard siphon down the soft tissued throat to steal a half days worth of feeding. You will see about 98% of content smaller than anything you could match with a hook, normally, anyway?

Besides, the fish was caught on something that just worked, right?
I do understand that part of the fun of flyfishing, versus slinging powerbait or a spoon, is that we are trying to find a more creative way to fool a fish with a natural imitation, but I am really from the school of thought it is location, location. Location. Having the fly be where it needs to be, placement and presentation, and not so much the pattern. Give me 12 different size Teeny nymphs in sparse to heavier pheasant tail, get that fly to swing, suspend, or dart at the right spot, you are in business. Might not be as fun as matching the the hurl color of a chironomid pattern, but probably near equal in results.

I worked in the field for an ichthyology lab where we sampled fish mostly by electroshocking from a boat, and we took a calculated proportion of a population, euthanized different age classes (guesses until later), took the stomachs out and saved in formalin. Then we spent all Winter huffing that formalin infront of binocular microscopes, doing detailed identifications and counts of what was eaten.

It is fun to see, and like everyone here in our youth, we did it on dead wild fish when we used black roostertail spinners and double spinners w/worms. Not sure what we were expecting to find, but finding a dead bullhead/sculpin in the belly of a 12 inch cutththroat, illicited an "oooh' and "ahhhh" that these were not just little fly eaters.

Just hope it is within reason and the fish health is primary. That said also, this is usually a planted lake scenario, so not damaging to a wild fish, I understand that. Native stream fish, this should be a total no-no, legal or not.

Last thing, you know aliens are watching what we do, and do we really think the anal probings was their idea in the first place? : )
 
Last edited:

Gyrfalcon2015

Wild Trout
Think of what you are looking for as a throat pump rather then a stomach pump.
If you are pumping the stomach, you’ve gone to deep!
SF
Oh, yeah, I should have thought of this, also considering saltwater fish, not my area at all, where matching what they are eating around the shallow shoreline is perhaps more telling about what patterns to use, or what will be working as they change over to new sources seasonally?

I'd want to think those fish could handle a throat sampling easier, safer than a 10inch stream trout?
 

SawyerJones

Active Member
IMHO only, I really hope people are careful doing this. Is it actually even truly a legal thing to do? A moral thing to do after one fish? I ponder, and what follows is just my 2 cents.

Handling fish and doing these kind of studies is at minimum, a stress, at worse, can easily probably do mortal harm. We all know to do this you'd need a good grip on the fish with one hand while the the forces a hard siphon down the soft tissued throat to steal a half days worth of feeding. You will see about 98% of content smaller than anything you could match with a hook, normally, anyway?

Besides, the fish was caught on something that just worked, right?
I do understand that part of the fun of flyfishing, versus slinging powerbait or a spoon, is that we are trying to find a more creative way to fool a fish with a natural imitation, but I am really from the school of thought it is location, location. Location. Having the fly be where it needs to be, placement and presentation, and not so much the pattern. Give me 12 different size Teeny nymphs in sparse to heavier pheasant tail, get that fly to swing, suspend, or dart at the right spot, you are in business. Might not be as fun as matching the the hurl color of a chironomid pattern, but probably near equal in results.

I worked in the field for an ichthyology lab where we sampled fish mostly by electroshocking from a boat, and we took a calculated proportion of a population, euthanized different age classes (guesses until later), took the stomachs out and saved in formalin. Then we spent all Winter huffing that formalin infront of binocular microscopes, doing detailed identifications and counts of what was eaten.

It is fun to see, and like everyone here in our youth, we did it on dead wild fish when we used black roostertail spinners and double spinners w/worms. Not sure what we were expecting to find, but finding a dead bullhead/sculpin in the belly of a 12 inch cutththroat, illicited an "oooh' and "ahhhh" that these were not just little fly eaters.

Just hope it is within reason and the fish health is primary. That said also, this is usually a planted lake scenario, so not damaging to a wild fish, I understand that. Native stream fish, this should be a total no-no, legal or not.

Last thing, you know aliens are watching what we do, and do we really think the anal probings was their idea in the first place? : )
off topic to the thread, apologies. Your comment about a 12 inch cutthroat with a bullhead in its stomach reminded me of some cutthroat fishing I did this afternoon. After a few dry fly casts I opted to for a brown wooly bugger leech type streamer. My initial idea with this was to imitate a leech doing leech stuff through a nice spot on the lake, until I realized the cutthroat were attacking my streamer, not trying to eat it for food. Atleast thats how I interpreted what I saw.

Water was clear enough watch my streamer and watch the fish go after it. They would swing out wide and then B-line to my streamer grab it, shake it and then speed off. They would do this several times until my streamer was out of their territory. It looked to be much more of an aggressive attack at an unwelcome small fish than going after some food in the form of a leech. I managed to get a few hooked up and pulled into my net.

It was pretty fun and enlightening watching this all happen in the clear still water. Changed the way I think of using streamers for resident cutties in small ponds.
 

MGTom

Active Member
WFF Supporter
off topic to the thread,
Not off topic at all. I work off observation too, like the salmon flies the other day. Or often it's the response and not the food. It's not like I'd want to sample when I could figure out what's up, that's half the fun. A sampler may just end up in the bottom of the bag except for "that day". This is why I ask, I only know what I know right now. Need more information to be informed.
 

SawyerJones

Active Member
Not off topic at all. I work off observation too, like the salmon flies the other day. Or often it's the response and not the food. It's not like I'd want to sample when I could figure out what's up, that's half the fun. A sampler may just end up in the bottom of the bag except for "that day". This is why I ask, I only know what I know right now. Need more information to be informed.
For sure. Clear still water sure lends itself to learning about how these trout react to various presentations
 

MGTom

Active Member
WFF Supporter
Been doing a bunch of reading and I think I'm going to pass on this. I don't see many times I'll get a real advantage over what i've been doing in terms of observing. Thx for the input.
 

wetline dave

Active Member
Stomach pumps really bother me for various reasons.
First does the person doing it really know how to do it correctly and not damage a fish.
and by the way I have had a tube shoved down my throat and found it not very pleasant.

If a person has already caught a fish it should be more or less obvious of what the fish are eating so why subject said fish to possible mortal damage by shoving a tube down its throat. As far as I am concerned just kill the fish and gut it. If you are a skilled biologist or ichthyologist that really knows what you are doing maybe that is different but only by a little.

Dave
 

Jake

Active Member
WFF Supporter
I've always wondered about whether it hampers their ability to recover energy after the fight as it involves stealing the food they had eaten..you know...for energy.

I've also wondered about the rationale. I'm sure I'm oversimplifying, but isn't it redundant to catch a fish and then wonder what it is interested in biting?
 

JamesRPL+

Active Member
screw the stomach pump, check the surface water or ck the spider webs on the brush to see what the fish are being offered. Pump your own stomach.
 

Googaplex

Zzzzzzzz....
I have to agree with everything posted above. I don’t understand why you’d need to pump the stomach of a fish who just ate your fly to find out what that fish is eating. IMHO you’re just adding insult to injury at that point. Not only did you deprive the fish of a meal by tricking it into eating an artificial fly, you’ve then stolen all of its previous meals from the day by emptying the entire contents of its stomach. Way to kick ‘em when they’re down.
 

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