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Old 03-21-2014, 09:54 PM   #1
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Default vent tool

An article in Aprils Saltwater Sportsman says a vent tool is no longer required on a vessel when fishing for reef fish. The artical stated tat often times more harm than good is done when a vent tool is used
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:49 PM   #2
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I knew it was no longer needed. Did not know that was why. I have seen flipper do a lot of harm to struggling fish that were not fully / properly vented.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:17 PM   #3
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A fish with a wound from venting might not survive. A fish floundering on the surface with an inflated swim bladder will definitely not survive. But yet many fish caught in 100' plus swim down without venting, but how many are prey before reaching the depths.

Making the call to vent or not vent seems difficult and sometimes arbitrary. I can see reasons for doing it and not doing it. I still do it if it seems the bladder is distended.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:24 PM   #4
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I will still be venting
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:26 PM   #5
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Portion of an article released by the University of Florida last year:

Fish Descending
Fish descending devices may prove to be a more effective practice as they result in less injury to the fish. Providing anglers with a variety of options that are best suited to local fishing conditions and practices may be the best solution for improving survival of deep-water released fish.
As of April 2013, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is considering changing the regulation that requires anglers to vent reef fish caught in the Gulf of Mexico. Use of all types of venting and descending devices is currently permissible in the Atlantic.
And the FWC release later in the year:

News Releases

Return to News Releases
Venting tool requirement removed in Gulf waters

News Release

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Media contact: Amanda Nalley, 850-410-4943

(Back to Commission meeting news)

Soon Florida anglers will no longer be required to have and use a venting tool when fishing for reef fish in Gulf of Mexico state waters.

During its Nov. 21 meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) removed the requirement in Gulf state waters, making state regulations consistent with rules in federal waters. By removing this rule, anglers will now have the freedom to determine how to best maximize survival of released reef fish using devices they feel are appropriate, depending on the circumstances.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council removed the requirement to have and use a venting tool in Gulf federal waters earlier this year.

These changes will take effect as soon as possible. Another notice will be issued to let the public know when these changes take effect.

When fish are brought quickly to the surface from deep water, the change in pressure can cause gases within the fish’s swim bladder to expand. This condition is called barotrauma and can cause damage to internal organs and reduce the likelihood a fish will survive when returned to the water. Typically, fish suffering from barotrauma must be treated if they are to survive and swim back down to deep water. Venting tools are used to treat barotrauma by allowing gases to escape from a fish’s body cavity. Descending devices, which bring fish back down to deeper waters, are another, more recently developed option that can now also be used to increase survival rates among fish with barotrauma. Maximizing post-release survival of fish is important in marine fisheries management because it means more fish survive to potentially reproduce and be harvested in the future.

While venting tools can still be a useful way to increase chances of survival after being released, fish do not always need to be vented.

Venting tools were required in Gulf state and federal waters since 2008. This requirement was intended to increase survival rates of released red snapper, but applied to all species of Gulf reef fish. These tools are not required in Atlantic state or federal waters.

The use of non-stainless steel, non-offset circle hooks and dehooking devices will still be required in state and federal Gulf waters when fishing for reef fish. These tools minimize handling times for reef fish, which aids in survival of the fish upon release.

To learn more about recognizing barotrauma, and what to do, visit and click on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Catch and Release.” Information about reef fish gear rules is available under “Recreational Regulations.”
And of course our options are tools like the BlackTip and SeaQualizer catch and release devices.

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Last edited by badonskybuccaneers; 03-21-2014 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 03-22-2014, 05:14 PM   #6
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Make a simple release. Take a decent size J hook and file down the barb. Tie a loop on the eye and half hitch or snell the hook towards the bend then I put a big snap swivel on it so I can snap it to an existing rig. A 3# buoy weight works great. Hook the fish on the outside upper lip, open the bail or free spool and drop the weight. When you stop the weight and reel up, the fish will come off. No need for dead fish and flipper will leave the alone. Take the weight off when your done and keep it in your bag.
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Old 03-22-2014, 07:23 PM   #7
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Release weight system is the best. I have been using it for 3 years. 100 percent survival rate
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