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General Category => Articles, Fishing Stories & Yarns => Topic started by: Jamin Forbes on November 22, 2010, 09:12:06 PM

Title: From the Fishers Mouth
Post by: Jamin Forbes on November 22, 2010, 09:12:06 PM
From the Fishers Mouth

Fishing can be a hazardous activity with any number of ways to injure yourself or those around you. Hooks and knives are the two obvious choices for the most likely to cause damage, however falling over in the boat, falling out of the boat and actually the fish themselves can cause some nasty injuries if you are not careful.

Fish are armed with a selection of armaments with teeth, gill rakers, gill plates and spines along the dorsal (top) and anal (bottom) fins, and with catfish they also have spines in the pectoral (side) fins.

The main injury when handling cod are from the needle like teeth and gill rakers which remove skin from probing fingers with ease, whilst golden perch and redfin are not endowed in the teeth department, they have sharp spines and gill plates that will always find a way to make you bleed.

The most common injury is for a lure find its way into a finger or hand as its being detached from a fish. Anyone who watches the late Malcolm Douglas documentaries will know how quickly and easily this can occur as Malcolm always seems to get pinned by the lure when unhooking a fish.

There are a couple of ways to reduce the possibility of getting hooked, spiked or cut when removing hooks from fish. Number one is to let the fish calm down before you bring it in for unhooking. Once netted or on the lip grippers, leave the fish in the water for a time until it stops thrashing as settled fish are far easier to work on. Letting the fish calm down in the water will also increase its chances of survival on release, so itís a good technique to practice for the health of both you and the fish.

The second thing is to always use long, bent nose, pliers to remove hooks. Steel feels no pain, so always have a pair of pliers on hand to get the hooks out.

As the weather heats up boats decks are getting very hot, so be aware not to place a fish on a dry, hot deck as this will certainly hasten its demise.

One hazard more prominent this season is from lures snagged on partially submerged trees with leaves still on them. Leaves catch the lures and itís very tempting to pull hard on the rod, effectively ripping the lure free of the leaves. However, this can cause the lure to fly back at great speed. I have had plenty of close calls and already removed one hook from a cheek, so make sure you always wear glasses and are careful when your lure is snagged on or above the surface of the water.

Picture: Darren McDonald using lip grippers to release a Murray cod
Title: Re: From the Fishers Mouth
Post by: takrat on November 24, 2010, 08:21:07 PM
Good stuff Jamin, particularly the part about flying lures. Probably backcasts snag their share of anglers too as well as outboard motors, hats, and one case my mates ear. You're right about the catfish mate, in particular the fork tail variety we get up in northern NSW.