A lesson learned

I used to work in an aquarium shop and can attest to the trigger's tenacity. Once, and this is even less-related, I saw a child in Hawaii trying to pull a trigger out from between a couple of rocks. They can really wedge themselves tight. Anyway, the kid pulled and pulled for a while and eventually gave up. After the kid left, the fisk un-stuck itself and swam away, looking as if nothing happened.

I think different species have different tolerances for abuse. Bass seem pretty tough, catfish even moreso. The striped bass I used to catch seemed more fragile.
I only fished for him with bait. That being my finger. He bit me once and I yanked my hand away, and in the process flung him across the room. The little nugger took a chunk out of me though.

I've got lots of those stories. Poor fish.
1I think different species have different tolerances for abuse. Bass seem pretty tough, catfish even moreso. The striped bass I used to catch seemed more fragile.
You're right about that. Many years ago I had a neighbour who was an inverterate Sturgeon fisher. He would often come back in the middle of the night with a seven or eight foot sturgeon still alive in the back of his pickup. He would stake these fish out on his front lawn with the garden sprinkler on them until he could deal with them the next day.
One morning I drove out of my driveway to go to work and found a seven foot sturgeon blocking the road. Sometime during the night this fish had managed to pull the stake loose and had squirmed onto the middle of the street.
I was sure glad when that cretin moved.
For when sleeping I dream of big fish and strong fights.

A correct catch and release method


I saw your posting on the flyfishing forum. Don't worry, you did not kill the fish. He just was oxiginating and was afraid to go to the surface to get more so they stay on the bottom.

When I was about 15, I was a grayling guide in Whitehorse, and the flyfishing thing was a new thing in the Yukon. An Alaskan biologist taught me the following method for catch and release.

Once the fish is on shore, and still under the water remove the fly. After that, the first thing you do is put one of your fingers in one of the gills while it is still in the water. I ussually put my middle finger in the right gill so I can use my other fingers to keep them upright, this keeps the gill open.

The fish thinks that he or she got a stick or something in there and will begin taking in oxygen. This keeps the fish fiesty. Wait for about a minute under the water with your finger in there. You can take them out for about 30 seconds max.

Take your picture and release.

You will find when you return in to the water, your fish will move off very fast and sudden.

It's the lack of oxygen that makes them "dizzy". If not enough is present, they will loose equalibrium balance and go upside down because thier small brains need continuance oxygen in order to function. If they loose the oxygen, they go upside down. Surprisingly, if you release a fish and it floats upside down in most instances they will get into white water and the oxygen will "wake" them and they will turn rightside up.


A correct catch and release method

Funny I was taught to not ever touch the gills. Removel of the slim in that area or around the eyes will cause the fish to have a high degree of getting an infection. Which could kill the fish slowly or blind it. I agree that after any long battle to keep the fish in the water for a minute or two before removing to take photo. If you are not taking a photo to keep the fish in the water and remove the hook and release if you are in slow water or a lake. Take it over to slow water if you are in fast water. Funny how we all seem have diffrent thoughts on this subject.
Something I learned from the guide we had back in June on the Colorado R. at Lee's Ferry.
As someone above said make sure your hands are wet and that he holds them in the net upside down. What also works if you bring them to hand is to hold them upside down, this does something to their equilibrium and they don't squirm around any more. This makes it a lot easier to remove the hook. Our guide also never uses a net, not even one on the boat. He told us it was better for the fish, a net of any kind does some damage, just look at the slime on it after releasing a fish. This same guide and all the guides with the shop we chartered through are C&R only! They are taking care of this fishery and practice what they preach. We also used very light tippets, 5X/6X and if they broke off, no big deal. We went through 2 dozen flies that day, which were all supplied and tied by the guide. In all we caught about 40 fish that day and I don't think we harmed any of them! The water temperature was also 48 degrees which helps too. These guys are on the river over 200 days a year and what they do makes sense.
Jim J.