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Squid technician
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Discussion Starter #1
I posted pretty much this same topic on the old forum but with a recent thread I thought I should bring it back up to hopefully prevent further derailing of a thread.

I read an awesome report yesterday afternoon. Chris ([email protected]) caught a trophy sailfish from his kayak within spitting distance of the shore. Great read and certainly motivated me to get some time off to get back on my kayak.

This morning I sign on and re-read the samereport only the tune went from positive to negative. The main reason being that the sail was removed from the water for what seemed like an over-extended amount of time to get some good pictures. The fish was a dark bronze color showing immense stress and apparently it was motivation enough for a couple members to speak up with what I felt was good advice; leave the fish in the water. Although this could have been settled with PMs it was probably better that it was done publicly so others may take the same advice in the future. Others feel differently.

So, is it OK to lift a 120lb tarpon by by his lower jaw for a good photo? Is it OK to remove a billfish from the water to show off later and if it is for what amount of time? I've got my mind made up but lets here yours.

EITHER WAY; Congrats Chris on a great catch thatI have no doubt you will top some day.

Chris
 

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Hey Tunapopper, thanks for the post, it should raise some GOOD discussion I Hope!

For catch & release<UL><LI>Big fish especally should never be hung from their Jaw and their mid-sections need to be supported horizontallyto avoid internal damage.</LI><LI>I fishmostly inshore so the fish are smaller, but the big bull reds are around the corner andneed careful handling for sure! They are the spawners that perpetuate the species.</LI><LI>fish should be touched with WEThands, gloves or ragsONLYto avoid removing the slime that protects them from disease. I use a wet towel often and grab them around the head...I'd like a heads up on that from a knowledgeable person!</LI><LI>It is also my opinion that reds are not as susceptiable to the slime issues as a Spec for example! I'd like a heads up on that too!</LI><LI>If a fish is over worked it can become exausted, it needs to be properly revived before release it will likely go belly up an die! This can be done by working water over the gills till its revived.</LI><LI>If your taking pics, make them quick and get the fish back in the water</LI><LI>I take a LOT of my pics in the water where there is little to no stress on the fish.</LI>[/list]

Here's a quick pic I found of healthy fish ready to be released. I pulled him around in the water a few times with the boca grip to get some water moving over his gills and off he went!

 

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Not to "stir anything up" but what if it were legal size and you are allowed to keep. kill and eat it? We make every attempt possible not to kill any fish, we even revived the sharks during the PFF shark tourney and let them go. But, (i am ignorant when it comes to these things, I'll admit it now) I may be missing a point that I shouldn't be??????
 

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Squid technician
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Discussion Starter #5
Good link Josh and a well worded article.

Realtor, I don't think you are missing anything. You stated that you do everything possible to release a fish and I'm assuming you mean in good condition. There are a few people that will state the same thing but on the water will do something different. I'll admit I have pulled sails out of the water for pics but it is quite literally for 30 seconds or less and I'm not exaggerating.

Whenever I pull a billfish from the water this is what I do:<UL><LI>Before pullingthe fish aboard have cameras ready and the angler in the spot he will have the pic taken which is usually right behind the wireman.</LI><LI>Be sure to letthe angler knowhow you are going to place the fish to avoid any injuriesand make sure the deck is clear.</LI><LI>When you pull the fish aboard, don't just snatch his head and use it to pivot his body over thegunwale, pull upon his bill with one hand and then cradle his body weight with the other hand once you can reach it.</LI><LI>Stretch the fish across your laps, snap as many pics as you can in 15 seconds and slide fish back in the water being careful to carry his body weight the best you can.</LI><LI>Take proper time to revive. This to me doesn't mean let go as soon as his tail kicks, wait until he is swimming well with the boat and his colors have started to show again.</LI>[/list]

I'm not an expert billfisher and will never claim to be, but this is how I've always done it with the bills I've caught and I would say they all have swam off in great condition without worry.
 
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