Holding up our large bass for photos

Dennis Huskins

I have read that the classic hold the fish up for the photo by the jaw is detremental to the bass and can hurt it's release survival. We all seem to do it, but should we? How is it best to get the photo with us in it and not harm the bass we all love?

Posted by Dennis Huskins Elite Member created over 9 years ago - last updated over 9 years ago
788 views - 7 responses -

Brian Shea

You can use the timer on your camera.

Posted by Brian Shea Elite Member over 9 years ago - Report Abuse

Ray N

I read a article about the same thing. I actually try to hold them properly. I also don’t want to take away their protective slim! I think it’s important to thumb them in the water pull them out and support them by the body somehow. I hate when people bring the fish on the boat and let them bounce all over the bottom! its a bass they can’t hurt you....seriously at least.

What’s funny is I read the article in Bassmasters! And if you check out all the pros they hold the fish wrong. You check out the lunkers page in the back of the magazine and its half and half!!!

I think its just something to keep in the back of the mind when fishing.

Posted by Ray N Elite Member over 9 years ago - Report Abuse

Joe Brown

I think holding them horizontal when you have them by the lip is the biggest no-no, other than grabbing them by the gills. Especially the fat ones because it puts so much torque on the hinge of their mouth. I'm guilty of holding them one-handed, but just to snap a photo, but I like Brian's suggestion. I'm just always so surprised that I actually caught a fish that I don't think ahead to the photo shoot!  I'm also always surprised by how some of the pro's on the fishing shows just chuck the bass back in the water like a bocce ball.

Here's a YouTube video I saw on how to land them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aVtxb3pC3M

 Good topic, Dennis!

Posted by Joe Brown Expert Member over 9 years ago - Report Abuse

Joe Brown

Ray, I wondered about the protective slime as well. I know it's a big deal for trout, but I assumed (probably incorrectly) that with scaled fish like bass you don't need to worry about it as much. I never thought about it with pickerel either because they just seem to be made of slime.

Posted by Joe Brown Expert Member over 9 years ago - Report Abuse

Ray N

Oh you know what? That’s probably where I learned that from. I used to fish trout for years. Once I learned how bad it was to remove the slime I would never net them, maybe I thought that’s how it was with all fish! I miss pickerel! Trying to learn how to fish for gar down here in Florida.

Posted by Ray N Elite Member over 9 years ago - Report Abuse

Henry V

Good topic. Actually, if you read  Howell Raines' "Fly Fishing through a Mid-Life Crisis," he describes how the first generation of B.A.S.S. anglers learned proper fish handling techniques from the Trout Unlimited crowd in the early 1970's.

Here's what I know: if you hold any fish vertically, the pressure is bad for their organs because they are supposed to stay horizontal. If you hold them horizontally without support in the middle, it hurts the fish's jaw. So the best thing to do is hold the fish horizontally with two wet hands and don't squeeze hard. Conveniently, I am demonstrating the technique in my profile pic at left, with the most rugged predator of all, the vicious Bowfin.

Posted by Henry V Elite Member over 9 years ago - Report Abuse

Felipe Micklon

Truthfully there is no safe way (for the fish) to actually handle a fish without harming it in some way. After seeing some of the bass that i have caught with lips torn off, broken jaws, split jaw, I find bass to be very resilient . I think a super man hook set and dropping the fish is more harmfull than a thumb stunner. just make sure to revive the fish on release and make sure it swims away under its own power with out pushing it away or throwing it back in( if it sounds like it hurt slapping the water..it did. dink or not).Be as gentle as you can. Fish are supported from all angles when in the water. We obviously can't do that so Be as gentle as you can if you are really concerned.

Posted by Felipe Micklon Expert Member over 9 years ago - Report Abuse

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