How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

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How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Postby petekd » Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:12 pm

Right, after another round of comps over the past couple of weeks, its amazing to see how many experienced anglers still cant carefully unhook flatfish to give them a fighting chance of survival when released. It is difficult if you dont know how, yet so quick and easy for you and the fish when done correctly. If you fish for flats you have a moral responsibility to learn how to unhook them properly. Reaching for T-Bars, Gemini disgorgers, hauling on hooks just isnt on, comp or no comp. So, here you are, this is as simple as I can put it. There are a multitude of other ways to carry this out with bits of bent wire and the like but for the uninitiated, just get a small pair of surgical forceps like in the pic, they are the best tool for the job.
Attachments
Unhooking1 reaching for snood.JPG
Carefully reach through gill plate and over the top of the gills and grasp the snood.
Unhooking1 reaching for snood.JPG (65.88 KiB) Viewed 18718 times
unhooking2 draw snood out and this will invert the hook .jpg.JPG
Draw snood out through gill plate, gentle pressure will invert the hook allowing for an easy unhooking.
unhooking2 draw snood out and this will invert the hook .jpg.JPG (69.59 KiB) Viewed 18686 times
unhooking3 draw hook back through gills and clasp inverted hook firmly before.....jpg.JPG
Draw the hook back through the gills, invert it and grasp it firmly before....
unhooking3 draw hook back through gills and clasp inverted hook firmly before.....jpg.JPG (74.22 KiB) Viewed 18616 times
unhooking4 carefully feeding hook back through gillcover and out mouth of fish, job done.jpg.JPG
carefully feeding it back through the gill cover and out the fishes mouth. Job done.... In seconds... :-)
unhooking4 carefully feeding hook back through gillcover and out mouth of fish, job done.jpg.JPG (70.64 KiB) Viewed 18621 times
Fluff chucking is the new black..... Rampant Wreckfish is a fly angler in denial :D

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Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Postby wilky83 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:56 pm

Brilliant pete i know you showed me before but those photos are brilliant :wink: :wink:
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Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Postby petekd » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:40 pm

That was Scotsman behind the camera, he will be delighted... :D
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Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Postby hugo » Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:37 pm

Excellent series of pix right enough, make the operation very clear. But I wonder what are the chances of delicate wee fish like that surviving such radical manhandling anyway. I suppose we can only do our gentlest and hope...
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Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Postby petekd » Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:33 pm

Thanks Hugo, as to your question, who knows? Its a sight better than having hooks wrenched out with T-Bars and the like, or plain hauled out. Personally, I find flounder are hardy enough wee characters, granted, once they swim off noone has a clue as to mortality rates however. Info above is enough to give em a fighting chance and prevent unnecessary death. There is always going to be fish killed when angling, we just dont have to add to it through ignorance. I appreciate a lot of fish can be horribly hooked and death is nigh on inevitable, however, when it comes to something as simple to unhook as a flatfish (and 9 out of 10 are hooked in the same spot) Its much easier and faster (5 seconds or so) to unhook a flat in this manner than any amount of hauling snoods, tbarring or just plain butchery that you see all too often.

Im no tree hugger who puts fish welfare above all else, I am an angler, its just plain annoying to see fish that are to be returned being treated as a nuisance rather than with a modicum of care when its so simple to get it right.
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Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Postby eric » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:01 pm

use this method all the time, dead handy and easy to do. nearly all the flats suffer no bleeding and for once im almost 100% sure nearly all of them make it.
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Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Postby corbyeire » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:56 am

excellent point pete - it amazes me how few experienced anglers take the extra 2 seconds to do the above

like eric says 99% of the time there is no blood letting and they seem to be in good nick going back

the only point to make on the above is make sure you bring the snood between the gill plate and the gills - it can take a while to get used to avoiding bringing it out between the gills themselves - the less maneuvering there the better and most likely to lead to bleeding
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Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Postby petekd » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:24 am

excellent point pete - it amazes me how few experienced anglers take the extra 2 seconds to do the above


Cheers Brian. Point I'm trying to make is its actually much quicker, and easier to just do it right. Problem is its a technique that takes a couple of tries to master and some people cant be bothered. I challenge anyone to unhook a flat faster with an alternative, "through the mouth" method.
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Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Postby Tanglerat » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:26 am

Or you could snip off your hook before you feed it back through, leaving just the line to be pulled free. Then retie your hook.

~wouldn't do much for speed in comps, though if you're fishing at your leisure and aren't in any hurry to re-bait and re-cast...

Just saying, like. Don't all you comp-heads land on me at once. :mrgreen:

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Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Postby jw » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:15 pm

i must admit i smiled a bit at the phrase "moral responsibility" above, but i do
agree with the general points.

i recently saw michael mcveigh unhook a gut hooked doggie very quickly
and with minimal harm. he used a twiddle stick, is that what is called?
its about a foot long, tapering to a point like a cone and by twisting the snood
round and round, eventually it tightens down on the hook and rotates it out
smoothly. Not sure if my description makes sense, but a highly effective
and not well known technique
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Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Postby petekd » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:34 pm

i must admit i smiled a bit at the phrase "moral responsibility" above, but i do
agree with the general points.


Why?
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Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Postby hugo » Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:39 pm

Ah lads lets not start tainting an excellent and useful thread. Good points made all round and I'll be adopting the method forthwith out of respect for the fish, and to distance myself from the butchers I'm meeting more frequently.
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Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Postby jw » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:07 pm

i think pete and myself are well able to have a sensibily discussion about this.

say i was out competition boat fishing, id be winding up tiddlers all day, if
i could catch them, as quickly as possible. they would be blown as a
result of the sudden pressure change and gobbled down by the waiting gulls.
so what i would say, thats just the way nature works, im not affecting
fish stocks in the atlantic ocean. I agree, put the flounder back if you
feel better, but its hardly moral responsibility?
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Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Postby twinkle » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:10 pm

i think jw has got so used to huge fish :lol: he doesent care about the small ones anymore :lol:
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Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Postby corbyeire » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:36 pm

jw wrote:i recently saw michael mcveigh unhook a gut hooked doggie very quickly
and with minimal harm. he used a twiddle stick, is that what is called?
its about a foot long, tapering to a point like a cone and by twisting the snood
round and round, eventually it tightens down on the hook and rotates it out
smoothly. Not sure if my description makes sense, but a highly effective
and not well known technique


ive seen guys apply the chop stick technique on the flatties with great aplomb - tried it myself and just could not get it out without rehooking - probably not patient enough!
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Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Postby eric » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:30 pm

jw wrote:i think pete and myself are well able to have a sensibily discussion about this.

say i was out competition boat fishing, id be winding up tiddlers all day, if
i could catch them, as quickly as possible. they would be blown as a
result of the sudden pressure change and gobbled down by the waiting gulls.
so what i would say, thats just the way nature works, im not affecting
fish stocks in the atlantic ocean. I agree, put the flounder back if you
feel better, but its hardly moral responsibility?


thats a pretty sad way to view things, so if they die whats the problem? is that what you trying to say? (not sure) its kind of is a moral responcibility we've gone out of our way to drag them unwillingly from their homes so if we're not going to put them to a worthwhile use then whats the harm in maximising their chances of survival.
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Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Postby petekd » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:47 pm

jw wrote:i think pete and myself are well able to have a sensibily discussion about this.

say i was out competition boat fishing, id be winding up tiddlers all day, if
i could catch them, as quickly as possible. they would be blown as a
result of the sudden pressure change and gobbled down by the waiting gulls.
so what i would say, thats just the way nature works, im not affecting
fish stocks in the atlantic ocean. I agree, put the flounder back if you
feel better, but its hardly moral responsibility?


With all due respect and as JW says, we can indeed debate sensibly, I think you are wrong John. Winding fish up from a depth resulting in death in pursuit of boat comp success is regrettable but unavoidable. Poor disgorging techniques are avoidable. You question the phrasing Moral Responsibility? I would suggest that if there are 2 options there, neither of which affect your style, the first one as pictured above results in a much easier release and higher survival rate, the second one is rough and results in UNNECESSARY casualties (there will always be a percentage that dont go back regardless) then to choose the latter option is surely immoral is it not? Unnecessary killing and all that? Im not one of the bleeding heart brigade by a long chalk, I am a match angler, both boat and shore and there are certainly aspects of that that dont sit comfortably with myself, let alone an outsider looking in. We catch fish, fish will die, there is no denying that. When it comes to a situation whereby you can take a better approach that doesnt affect your style/chances of winning or whatever in the slightest then surely that is a better approach? I dont care if the deaths of a dozen flounder in a small comp wont make the blindest difference in the grand scheme of things to the welfare of Atlantic fish stocks thats not the point, point is its needless.
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Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Postby jw » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:23 pm

i wouldn't disagree with what you say there, except perhaps give the amount
of fish, bait etc we go though the phrase "moral responsibility" about a flounder
is overstating it a bit. i think that just as hunting is a major driver of conservation
in africa and other places, angling, by providing an alternative *economic* reason
for the existence of fish, is their best hope
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Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Postby petekd » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:44 pm

JW, it isnt about a single fish, its about numbers of them. There were 76 fish caught on a 200 yard stretch of beach on Sunday. If they were all mistreated and died, surely that is going to have an effect in the immediate vicinity as opposed to the Atlantic? As I said earlier, if there are 2 approaches you can take that have zero impact on the results of your session and you take the one that results in unnecessary wastage, surely that is wrong.

I take your point about using bait etc and the like, my point is Im not trying to be a bleeding heart about it, Im not asking people to choose artificial bait to save the mackerel and the worms, I'm not asking people to take ten minutes retrieving a wrasse from depth mid comp so it doesnt get the blown swim bladder thing, what I am suggesting people do is to merely IMPROVE how they unhook their fish to reduce FURTHER casualties is all withour affecting how they do anything else or interfere with how they fish.

I agree totally with what you say
jw wrote:by providing an alternative *economic* reason
for the existence of fish, is their best hope
however, that has no place in this debate which is about people taking a better option to increase survival in the fish they catch and release. I know loads of people who hated catching flats because of the difficulty unhooking them that are pure amazed when shown, how easy it is to do properly. Just throwing it out there for all to see is all.
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Re: How to unhook flatties..... PROPERLY!

Postby R D » Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:03 pm

how do you get the hook out if its right down in their stomachs because you missed the bite or they just didnt bite??
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