HOW TO REMOVE HOOKS FROM GUT-HOOKED FISH

You just gut-hooked a fish and you are hit by the reality of the situation: you have the option of killing the fish or letting it go. If you practice catching and releasing fishing, you will have to remove the hook with great care to keep the fish alive.

Once you decide to release the fish, the most humane way, be careful when removing the hook, if it rips the fish gills or mouth, it may bleed in the water and may be vulnerable to attack by other fish.

When removing the hook, first of all, you should try to unhook the fish as quickly as possible. Consider putting the fish into a fine-meshed net that contains a little water. The fish will be less likely to flop around and be easier to unhook the fish if it is relatively calm.

The way you handle the fish depends on the fishing method used, the size of the fish, and how the fish is hooked. If possible, the fish should not be removed from the water. If fishing from a boat, try to stop the fish from thrashing around the deck or banging against the side of the boat. Improper handling of the fish can cause skin abrasions, internal injuries, loss of scale, or removal of the protective layer that stops infection. When handling the fish, ensure your hands are wet to reduce the loss of the protective slime coat on the fish.

Grip the fish firmly so it cannot wriggle free. Use one hand to grab the fish around the pectoral fins. Place the index finger under the chin of the fish to prevent it from flopping around. This is the firm position, and it will be difficult for the fish to escape before removing the hook.

Use a pair of scissors or long nose pliers to reach into the fish mouth. This instrument can give you a more precise grip on the hook and eliminate any danger of the fish biting your finger. Gradually rotate the hook out the manner it came. If the fish does not have sharp teeth, and the hook is shallow enough, you can remove the hook with your fingers.

The tools you may need:

You can as well use D-Barb hook remover and line cutter. This is a great tool that helps remove hook which deep inside the fish mouth. If you incidentally hand hooked a fish and you want to release the fish. Simply follow the line to the hook and press against the hook tip. Then slowly open the tool, allowing the hook barb to slip into the cutting area. Snip off the barb and remove the tool. You also can cut any section of hook beside the barb area. There is an integral magnet that will hold the cut portion of the hook from the fish, with this tool the fish will be swimming back unharmed.

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