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Can you pick up salmon by their mouth?

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I am not a fisherman.

 

If you catch a bass, you can stick your thumb over his lower lip into his mouth and pick him up, dangling from his lower jaw. I have been told that this paralyzes him, and have also been told that it is safe to do this with freshwater fish because they have small teeth.

 

I have been told that one should not attempt this with saltwater fish, because they have large teeth and you will end up with huge holes in your thumb.

 

In a dream last night someone caught a salmon and picked it up by its lower lip. I woke up wondering if you could do that. They are born in freshwater, but grow up in saltwater, then come back in freshwater to be caught.

 

Would they have the smaller, freshwater, teeth? Or would they have the larger, salt water, bite your thumb off teeth?

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Use a net and hook your hand inside their gills to pick them up. It’s not some much they have lots of teeth but it’s almost like they have a sharp bill, like a bird, little tiny teeth in the rear with some gnarly teeth up front. 

Edited by Pat Riot, SASS #13748
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Saw a guy attempt to gill lift a snook before anyone could say something. One shake and he was cut to the bone on four of his fingers. His fishing trip ended up in the ER.

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Naw.  The jaw of a salmon is different than a large/small mouth bass.  Fish is too heavy, too slippery, and jaw too narrow to hold securely.  Slips against the side of the index finger the thumb opposes. 

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Just a few I would highly suggest NOT picking up with hand in mouth! :o

 

1064805_450_450_81393_0_fill_0_502eebf48e1af268d1373b7c954d73de.jpg.f2f09fc98c041659dec99c0be89293af.jpg

 

teeth-in-mouth-of-great-white-shark-andrew-holt.jpg.92862c82fce4c0197858643ad50f6bd6.jpg

 

 

Edited by Father Kit Cool Gun Garth
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1 hour ago, Cypress Sun said:

Saw a guy attempt to gill lift a snook before anyone could say something. One shake and he was cut to the bone on four of his fingers. His fishing trip ended up in the ER.

Yes, you have to be very careful. 
 

You are best off netting it then clubbing it to death then picking it up. 
 

By the way, poking one in the eye like a deer to see if it moves to see if it’s dead does not work. When in doubt hit two or three more times on the head. 
 

 

Edited by Pat Riot, SASS #13748

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Some folks like to bleed a salmon or Steelhead by sticking a knife into the gill opening , right next to the red gills

 and letting them bleed out before taking them to the fish box.  But a bonk on the head works wonders also. 

As far as lifting, a net seems to me to be a better choice for bass.  From the fish handling I see on TV and You Tube, 

Hero shots do not help the well being of the fish. Some of those fish dumped back into the water will perish due to mis-handling by Mr. Fisherman.  A fish can still be photographed while his gills are under water, then released. If you intend to eat him, a bonk is more merciful than letting him strangle in the air. 

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6 minutes ago, Badger Mountain Charlie SASS #43172 said:

 

As far as lifting, a net seems to me to be a better choice for bass.  From the fish handling I see on TV and You Tube, 

Hero shots do not help the well being of the fish. Some of those fish dumped back into the water will perish due to mis-handling by Mr. Fisherman.  A fish can still be photographed while his gills are under water, then released. If you intend to eat him, a bonk is more merciful than letting him strangle in the air. 


I had to look up "snook."  Other than one short excursion on a charter to do some fishing down off Baja, all my fishing has been in California, and haven't even done that for over a decade.  I guess they have sharp gill plates.  Wonder if the term "He got snookered" came from that?  Nah, more likely from the game.

Anyway, in my search I ran across this and, even better, this , both addressing BMC's comment about mishandling during catch & release.

Some of the stuff from the Florida Fish & Wildlife link (second link) seems as if it would apply to almost any fish.

 

Quote
  • "Limit your kill, don't kill your limit!"   Perhaps the most important guideline!
    Decide beforehand which fish are to be kept and immediately release all others.
  • Hook and land as quickly as possible fish you want to bring onboard for a short time and then release- extended struggle may lead to the fish's death.
  • Try barbless or circle hooks. Catch rates increase, and physical damage decreases.
  • Avoid the use of gaffs or 'hard' landing nets.
  • Leave the snook in the water, if possible, while dehooking it.
  • Cut the leader close if the fish is gut-hooked or if the hook is difficult to remove.
  • Wet your hands or gloves to handle fish. Remove as little slime as possible.
  • Control the fish as best you can. Dropping the fish could kill it.
  • Use a dehooking tool if the hook is deep in the mouth.
  • Do not hold large fish vertically by the lower jaw. In a study, 50 of 50 barramundi (a related species) died after being held this way.
  • If your fish is in good shape, release it immediately back to the water head first. If it is exhausted, attempt to revive it.  Move the fish into the shade, either alongside the boat, under the edge of a dock, or to the bottom. Cooler water contains more oxygen. If the fish is in good shape, merely hold it headfirst into the current. If it is severely lethargic, hold the bottom jaw agape and gently move the fish forward. No back and forth movements! (Have you ever seen a fish swim backwards?) Severely exhausted fish may require several minutes to revive.  At the first sign of attempting to swim away, let it go!  Some fish will swim a short distance, become disoriented, sink to the bottom and die, snook especially, so be observant.
  • If your fish dies despite your best efforts, you can add it to your creel if it meets all regulations. Otherwise, discard it.




 

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Personally, if I am not keeping a salmon or steelhead I follow BMC’s recommendation. It never leaves the water. 

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Here in Washington, I have often been critical of WDFW policies, but that said, their instructions about handling fish are spot on. 

Required  for fishing for Salmonoids are BARBLESS HOOKS. They work, fellows, but here again, the hook manufactures are lagging behind. Few manufactures make barbless, but some have seen the writing on the wall and carry them in larger sizes. I can usually get Gamakatsu hooks in barbless, sized from 4 to 2/0, Red, Black, or Chrome. 

 

WDFW also will not allow taking wild fish in the rivers and salt. You Can not use bait or scent to attract salmon. Not sure about that one.  Herring are used in Salt.  Here is the kicker. Hatchery fish are to be taken if legal size. Put and  take if you will. 

 

But the most restrictive one is you can not take a fish over the gunnel of your boat unless it is hatchery, legal size and in season. 

The most common way is to net the fish, keep it in the net and water, and take a look at the adopois fin.  If it ain't got one, and is legal size, and in season, you  got supper. 

Edited by Badger Mountain Charlie SASS #43172
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Know your freshwater fish.  A pike of any kind will lacerate your fingers/thumb.  A net is best.

 

Even with bass, if you have a lure with multiple dangling hooks, while you go to grab the lip it can flip and hook you.   You have a wriggling fish with a hook in its mouth and a hook in your hand connected by the lure. 

 

 I mostly used the lip method with single hooks when using bait.

 

 

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