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· Coast to Coast
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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.
I think it's just as likely those marks are just fresh marks from the fish's recent foraging. Nothing to feel bad about.

I've always chalked the gill plate scrapes up to sandlance feeding, just like with chinook. I've seen cutthroat regurgitate sandlance more often than anything else in the areas I fish.

Beyond the face marks I caught one fish a few years back that was scarred all over and missing at least one fin. Was a decent fish, around 16'' or so. Would've loved to have known what he'd been through.
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