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Dry fly magic 06-18-2008 01:38 PM

Best way to kill a fish?
I know not all of you keep your fish and I don't keep all of them either but sometimes I keep a couple trout for the dinner table. (Please dont flame me for this topic). Now for us who keep a few fish for the dinner table, what do you think is the fastest, easiest, and most eithical way to kill your catch? Usually with little pan trout I catch I hit the back of their head over a rock hard or take my thumb and push on their neck until it breaks. What would you do for bigger fish that you intend to keep? What do you think the best way to kill your catch is? Any thoughts and opinions are apprechiated.

FlyGal 06-18-2008 02:51 PM

Re: Best way to kill a fish?
Whack the top of it's head on a doesn't take much force.......If I mortally injure a fish, I quickly put it out of it's misery and do the right thing - eat it.

axle27 06-18-2008 03:41 PM

Re: Best way to kill a fish?
I will always consider my grandmother a saint (as most people do) but she dispatched a fish one time that scared the be-Jesus outta me (being all of 9 or 10 at the time).

I had caught some small sunfish and my grandmother said if I caught 3 or 4 to keep them because my grandfather loved fish. We were downstairs in her basement and she had scaled and cleaned 3 of the 4. The fourth was still kicking pretty good. He kept trying to get away, so my grandmother finally said, "That will be enough of that" and sent the filet knife right down between its eyes. Simply view of my grandmother was forever changed.

wfosborn 06-18-2008 05:21 PM

Re: Best way to kill a fish?
I have an old Abercrombie & Fitch knife that has a big metal ball on the end I use to bonk any fish I want to keep with. Then I cut their gills and bleed them out right away. Occasionally I've had a large fish that I couldn't seem to knock out so I just cut their gills and put them on a stringer in the water to bleed out. I don't know if that's the most humane way or not, but it's what we've always done . . .


MrEsox 06-18-2008 08:47 PM

Re: Best way to kill a fish?
there are a few ways...the humane thing is to take a bunch of ice and biologic salt add it to some water then put the fish in there. The salt calms down freshwater fish and the ice helps put them down in a calm fashin. Not everyone would take that time. Things to do is hammer to the head, cut the gill area, a nail to the back of the head (splits the spine), holding in no water, I can go on...point is there are many ways to take a fish out, but how you want to do it is up to you.

ACofOntario 02-27-2009 09:40 AM

Re: Best way to kill a fish?
YouTube - How to kill a fish quickly

I had a bad first try, but I didn't miss on the second thrust.

I've seen fish revive way too often after being struck on the head. How can you know if they're merely stunned or not? Drive a knife in their skull and you know they're dead. For Pickerel/walleye I break their neck using my palm on their chin... by the time the nose touches the spine the neck is surely broken.

MikeG 02-27-2009 11:03 AM

Re: Best way to kill a fish?
My grandfather, who use to work in a butcher shop/fish market use to fillet all our fish when we go to Canada. He filleted them alive saying they tasted better that way. I just crack their spine.

Rip Tide 02-27-2009 11:20 AM

Re: Best way to kill a fish?
Gamey fish taste much better if they're bled before they die.
For those, I slit the gills

Back in the day a 'priest' was commonly used to dispatch fish

BigNick 02-27-2009 11:44 AM

Re: Best way to kill a fish?
Ok, so what happens when you only catch one fish? Not enough to eat but you've already knocked this suckers brains out. I know you trout boys do things differently than we do down here in the deep south but what about a fish stringer? Keep them alive in the water and at the end of the days trip keep or release. Hey, at least you don't have to worry about keeping the snakes away from them while they are on the stringer like we do down here. :icon_bigg:icon_bigg:icon_bigg:icon_bigg:icon_bigg :icon_bigg

Frank Whiton 02-27-2009 04:09 PM

Re: Best way to kill a fish?
Hi Dry fly magic,

Nothing wrong if you want to kill some food once in a while. One problem that I see is you want to kill the big fish. If you are going to catch and release it should be the big fish. Catch the smaller fish to eat. Wouldn't you want to repeat the experience of catching a big fish again? It might even be bigger the next time.

Big Nick,

If you catch one fish take it home and freeze it. You might catch more the next time. I assume that you are fishing for Bass and Bream where you are located. A stringer is not a good way to store fish. If you are in a boat you should use the live well. There are a couple of problems with rope stingers where you go through the gills. Most times you will damage the gills on the fish. If you didn't damage the gills you may have introduced bacteria into the gills. I just think the rope stringer should not be used.

The chain stringers that have individual hooks might be a little easier on the fish. You don't have to go through the gills to add the fish. There is still a problem that you have the fish suspended in shallow water that may be very warm. The fish can't move around and find cooler water or shade. If you are on the water for a long period the survival rate will decrease. Releasing a fish and seeing it swim away is not a guarantee that the fish will survive. The really bad circumstances is when you catch the fish early in the morning and you fish most of the day. That fish is going to be so stressed that its chances of surviving are slim.


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