I think alot has to do with water quality too. I read once that 1 in 10 fish caught and released will die so it is an inevitable part of this. Kind of a weird irony, I feel bad about killing a fish but yet I didn't feel too bad about sticking a piece of steel into its jaw.
Man, that's a darn shame, that's a beautiful fish... And you know what? We've all been in your shoes at one point in our lives, so don't feel bad. I remember almost every fish I've accidentally killed, and the Fishing Gods know that I pay their memories respect, so maybe that's why they haven't punished me... Bad things happen to good people, it's just life
I don't feel bad at all. The fish was fine. I caught him and he was a bleeder, I put him back and caught him a year later (and an inch or two longer). So clearly he was no worse for the wear.
Location: Lake of the Woods/Rainy River Minnesota Canada border
Originally Posted by Poke 'Em
This fish was a bleeder when I caught him in July 2010.
He was not a bleeder when I caught him in September 2011.
That's really cool that you have proof a bleeder trout does not necessarily end up dead. There was a kid doing a school paper on catch and release that should be shown these photos. I'll find the post and move a copy of them there.
I thought I posted here yesterday but it looks as if that one got lost in space. That was way early in the discussion and I see that what I said has been covered now at great length. I'm pretty sure you'll agree with me that whether or not a fish is bleeding at the time of release there is another very important factor when considering post catch mortality. To encapsulate the thought I'll simply say this, use a heavy enough leader so that fish can be brought to net - hand - shore, whatever quickly. I have been practicing what I preach for many years, from the lower 48 to here. I've seen people fishing for huge steelhead with a 4 pound leader and nymphing trout in swift waters with 6 & 7 X tippets. I have reached the point where I feel that If I need to go to some extreme in light leaders or fly sizes just to catch a fish, then that fish was not meant to be caught and released.
Some may scoff at what I put forth but I can assure you that once you get past the 'I have to catch that fish no matter what' point, you may see the sense in what I suggest. While it is true that some fish may shy away from an 8 pound strand of fluorocarbon, when you do hook up you just reel the fish in. Of course the hook may pull out if you rush too much but what you don't worry over is the leader breaking because it's a 3 pound test or less, with a 5 pound fish attached. Some fish that are hooked badly will need to be killed or if released they may die due to the injury or an infection due to same. What I don't struggle with is the thought that I am somehow torturing the fish because of some long protracted 'fight' that we were raised to believe is the coolest part of catching fish. To me the cool part is catching them and being able to do so with very little in the way of theatrics.
I'm always impressed by how hardy fish can be. I hooked into a nice little 14"er a couple of months ago in a C&R area. Landed it quickly, but it took me a little while to figure out what was going on with that fish.
There was an extra fly attached to it that wasn't mine. The extra fly was attached to a line which was dangling from its poop shoot. When I pulled on the line that the fly was attached to, it pulled on its intestine. So, it seemed as though the fish ate a double fly rig and passed one of the flies and had another lodged in its belly or something.
I don't know, I trimmed the line off an let it go. It was healthy enough to be feeding, so not quite sure what the deal was. I'm just surprised how hardy they can really be.