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Holding fish... How do you do it?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Iron_Chef_CD, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. Iron_Chef_CD

    Iron_Chef_CD Allez Cuisine

    I wondered since I was a kid how guys held fish up by the gill without hurting them. To this day it's still a mystery to me, and I notice in a lot of pictures the fish has blood running down its gills when someone does this.

    I know on some fish like muskies and walleye it's one of the only way without grabing the back of their neck.

    What's the secret to it, does it hurt the fish? I've never done it, I looked and put my hand there but always assumed I would hurt the fish when I release my other hand and that aint my style so I just throw it back. I usually don't fish for anything with teeth but plan on changing that so i figure I better ask the experts for some help on how to properly handle your catch by the gill.

    Iron Chef CD
  2. Banker

    Banker Banned

    I just felt like wasting a reply to tell you that your handle and avatar are CLASSIC!

  3. Slikster

    Slikster Shore Bound

    I've always gripped fish by their bottom lip/mouth. Unless it's something big and toothy like a walleye. In those cases I'll hold the fish from underneath behind its fins. I've always been afraid of holding a fish by its gill area for two reasons.

    Reason One: I don't want to hurt a fish I plan on returning to the water.

    Reason Two: Some fish have very sharp gill plates that will slice you open real bad, and I was never sure exactly which fish those are, so Im not taking any chances LOL
  4. Iron_Chef_CD

    Iron_Chef_CD Allez Cuisine

    Thanks Slikster thats the same way I am but I noticed a lot of fisherman hold their fish by the gill and it just seems natural the they do it and like I said when I tried it, it seemed as if it would tear their gill off...

    Maybe I should clairify do you just hold the outside of the gill is there a bone up there I'm missing? I'm assuming the fish wouldn't survive if you just stuck your hand in his gill and grab whatever, the tissue in there is fairly sensitive as it is their breathing apperatus. And the only fish I can think of that may hurt you would be a sturgeon but I recall seeing Al Lindner or someone grabbing one by the gill because of their sucker like little mouth.

    Banker I'm going to post a couple high quality pictures of chairman Kaga to my gallery just for you bro :D
  5. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    just grab the gill careful not to get hold of the gills themseves,which could cause serious injury/death(to the fish,not you,LOL).
  6. bronzebackyac

    bronzebackyac Crick Smallie Fisherman

    I learned the hard way on a 33'' musky in MI last year. I was fishing out of my kayak and it hit on a double bladed spinner. The thing towed me all over the creek and when i finally got it boat side I thought "Now what am I gonna do?'' I did not want the thing in the boat with me. so I just grabbed it by the gills. MISTAKE... Several of my fingers were shredded. It was worth it though b/c it was my first musky. At first I thought it was a pike and I have grabbed them by the gills without a problem. Live and learn I guess.
  7. Cat Mazter

    Cat Mazter Pro Catfisherman

    I grab all mine by the Bottom Lip, Unless it a Saugeye. Ill grab them by the Head & Body. I also keep a Gaf on the Boat in case we need it. If im keeping them to weigh in at a Tourney, Ill poke a Hole in the Bottom Lip & run a Stinger up thru the Lip, Never lost one That way.

    When you stick your hands up in the Gills you are possible doing great Damage to the Fish's Gill's. It would be like taking your Fingers & Holding yourself by your Lungs, You would Bleed too. ;)

    Cat Mazter
  8. There is a difference between holding the fish by the actual gill plate and having you hand in the gill slit. For most walleye i just grab them from the top of their head behind the gills but sometimes i'll hold them by the gills. I always make sure i slide my finger to the base of the gill slit and hook my finger in so that i'm holding it by the lower jaw and not the gill plate. Picture a lip grip just going in from behind. You avoid touching the actual gills, the gill plate only has to open as wide as one finger, and you don't bend the gill plate or the head. I've never lost a pike, walleye, or bowfin doing that and never had one bleed on me other than from the hook.