Thursday, October 23, 2008

Unhooking a fish

Yesterday I wrote about unhooking a fishing hook from your hand so I thought I would continue the trend today and talk about unhooking a fish. I have also previously written an article on releasing fish, which can be found at my previous post catch and release.

Unhooking fish can be a daunting task for new anglers. I actually know a few people who were put off fishing because of this alone! Get yourself a good landing net (knotless mesh if possible for the fishes protection), a set of long nosed and needle nosed pliers and a good quality garden glove.

  1. Firstly the most important part of this process is not injuring the fish or yourself. Stay away from any spines or sharp gills and remember than some fish have big teeth! Always support a large fish and treat it gently.
  2. Use the glove (wet it first) to hold the fish and use the pliers to push the hook back through the hole it originally created. 9 times out of ten the hook will pop out and the fish can be released/put on ice.
  3. If the fish has swallowed the hook deep, but you still want to release the fish cut the line off as close to the hook as possible and the hook will rust and come free in a few days not harming the fish. Never try to extract a hook from deep within a fish as you could harm the internals and injure the fish.
These two videos show the process and equipment quite well and even though they are based in Britain the same basic equipment and techniques apply around the world.