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I have also seen plenty of SRC with scratches on their gill plates. I have always assumed they were from rummaging around in the barnacles and oyster beds for grub.

Here is one fish with some scratches that are obviously at the wrong angles to be caused by the leader. This fish was hooked on the other side of its mouth.

Food Salmon-like fish Seafood Oncorhynchus Fish

What I always feel really bad about is when the fish has tried to remove the hook during the fight by scraping their face on the bottom. I have only seen this type of damage on beaches with large oyster beds. The wounds are obviously fresh. Really bums me out.

Grey Fish Terrestrial plant Close-up Ray-finned fish

The only time I have seen leader marks was when fishing for tuna this summer.

Eye Fin Organism Fish Marine biology
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