Give'm the hook

J

JMac

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May 19, 2009
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I'm pretty new to the forum so forgive me if this has been discussed recently but I was wondering what you guys and gals think about cutting the line on gut hooked fish. Whenever I gut hook one that I don't want to keep I try not to play it longer than I need to and I cut the line as close to the hook as I can and then release the little guy. I was always told that they could eventually digest the hook. So last year I gut hooked a 12" largemouth and cut the line off close to the hook and took him home alive to see if he would survive in my 150 gal freshwater fish tank. He acclimated really well and within a week I couldnt notice the hook. He was feeding right away. Didn't seem to slow him down a bit. Really fun pet but finally died about 6 months later. Not hook related. I think it was fish suicide. Probably felt guilty for terrorizing and eating so many of my girlfriends african ciclids. Man that bass was a good hunter.:D
 
M

m_vang

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May 5, 2009
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they can digest the hook, but it's a hook, it won't always go down as desired. i've caught trout before with hooks inside of them that have punctured through their body to the outside.
 
G

Green_Tackle

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Jan 31, 2009
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Portland, OR
Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule. First, different hooks have different compositions and coatings to prevent them from rusting. So, a stainless steel hook, or a hook coated with "duratin", will take longer to dissolve than a plain bronze hook. Basically, if the hook leaves little rust marks in your tackle box, it will probably dissolve in the fish's system much more quickly.

Furthermore, if the hook does any damage to the fish on it's way down then the fish will be much more vulnerable.

Whenever I gut hook one that I don't want to keep I try not to play it longer than I need to and I cut the line as close to the hook as I can and then release the little guy.

That's good. You do what you can to increase the chance of it surviving. However, I think the odds are stacked up against the little guy. That is why some states regulations call any trout caught with bait against your daily limit. If I'm trout fishing with bait, I keep fish that are deep hooked for dinner and release any fish hooked in the lip or any large/small fish. Once I deep-hook the amount I intended to eat immediately, I switch to lures.
 
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Drew9870

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took him home alive to see if he would survive in my 150 gal freshwater fish tank. He acclimated really well and within a week I couldnt notice the hook. He was feeding right away. Didn't seem to slow him down a bit. Really fun pet but finally died about 6 months later. Not hook related. I think it was fish suicide.

He didn't survive because the temperature is too high, fish around the USA (when it comes to fish tanks) are Coldwater fish, Cichlids live in Tropical Warmwater Aquariums. Also, no types of metal should come into contact with the water, metal poisoning is a common error when it comes to aquariums, along with stocking it with wild fish because you can introduce diseases and other stuff.

The fish around here live in about 45 - 60 degree water (just an estimate).

Coldwater tanks are also supposed to be hard to maintain.

I have an 80 gallon with a 14 inch Red Belly Pacu, a 7 inch Jack Dempsey, and a 4 inch Convict. The Pacu is atleast 7 years old, and is probably on his last year :(.
 
J

JMac

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May 19, 2009
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Actually he buried himself in a little rock cave and couldnt get out and drowned if you actually want the sad details. I was really bummed. I have a smallmouth and a perch pulled from the same river the same day that are still doing great.
 
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