The ethics of fishing and fish welfare?

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Grimbo
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The ethics of fishing and fish welfare?

#1 Post by Grimbo » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:36 pm

I found myself asking these questions this afternoon.

I was out on Lake Burley Griffin this afternoon chasing Redfin and Yellas on light gear 2-4kg rod, 2500 size reel and 6lb braid and leader. I was trolling a storm hot n tot along and bam, something big was on. 10 mins later I had a healthy 80-90cm cod yak side, I couldn’t net it as my net is too small, no lip grips either, thankfully I had a glove. I was attempting to mouth grab it when twang! My leader broke and the cod swam away lure still hooked in it’s mouth. A good number of expletives later and I was bummed! Not at losing the fish (without a pic), not at losing a favourite lure, but at the fact that that cod may now die prematurely due to my negligence.

The what if’s started, what if I bought the lip grips, tried netting it, bigger net, heavier gear etc?

I really enjoy catching fish for a feed, I also really enjoy catch and release and do things like squashing barbs, using single hooks for the fishes welfare.

But things like today, while mostly unavoidable, leave me feeling pretty crap and questioning why I fish, given I care about their welfare.

Sorry for the long winded post, that may seem a bit ‘soft’. I was wondering peoples thoughts.
Cheers Sam
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75cm Carp, 75-80cm Murray Cod, 48cm Yella, 38cm FL Redfin, 31cm FL Bass, 52cm Flathead, 41cm Bream

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laneends
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Re: The ethics of fishing and fish welfare?

#2 Post by laneends » Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:16 pm

hooks and the like soon rust out in the water to the point they fail before a fish starves

The number of fish recreational fishos actually catch is a minuscule % of stock there. More fish probably die from ingesting garbage in the water than hooks left in them

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Grimbo
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Re: The ethics of fishing and fish welfare?

#3 Post by Grimbo » Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:26 pm

I agree that rec fishos would have a minimal impact. I also think that rec fishing for a feed is way more sustainable than any other method.
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dinodadog
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Re: The ethics of fishing and fish welfare?

#4 Post by dinodadog » Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:09 am

Hooks in salt water rust out fairly quickly, but in fresh water it can take weeks. My mate lost his rod overboard and one week later I trolled over the spot and picked up his line, on one end was his rod and on the other was a 54cm bass with the lure still in its mouth and the hooks were in pristine condition.This is not meant to make you feel bad as accidents happen. A worse case another mate picked up line while trolling, it had a baitcaster on one end and a 35cm bass on the other, the line was wrapped around the bass nearly cutting it in half, lure was intact and hooks in good condition, bass swam away OK.

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Green Hornet
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Re: The ethics of fishing and fish welfare?

#5 Post by Green Hornet » Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:38 am

Another good reason to crimp the barbs on your lures. With good angling skills you won't lose any more fish and in situations like the one you have just described its much easier for the fish to reject the lure.
The bonus is quite often the lure will come out quickly and float to the surface to be reclaimed. :gu:

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Re: The ethics of fishing and fish welfare?

#6 Post by muzza111 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:44 am

A cod that big would probably barely notice a small lure once there’s no tension pulling on it. Also it’s mouth is so large it shouldn’t affect feeding. A good lesson though to be prepared for the largest possible fish we MIGHT encounter, because it will happen eventually. I now carry a large net after losing a metre ++ flathead in similar circumstances.

Circle hooks have almost eliminated deep hooked fish for me when bait fishing, so all the wrasse, small snapper etc swim away healthy. As a bonus I don’t have to tie on many new hooks either. I’ve upsized the hooks I use too, less chance of them being swallowed.
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Re: The ethics of fishing and fish welfare?

#7 Post by Geoff » Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:12 am

At least you care about the fish. I fish for Bass most of the time and regularly hook Eastern freshwater Cod. I use 10lb braid with a 10lb flourocarbon leader and never lose fish, even big cod,on this line. It also helps with snags being a bit stronger. THE extra poundage doesn't affect the number of fish I catch.

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Re: The ethics of fishing and fish welfare?

#8 Post by mouse » Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:34 am

Grimbo wrote:A good number of expletives later and I was bummed! Not at losing the fish (without a pic), not at losing a favourite lure, but at the fact that that cod may now die prematurely due to my negligence.
Hi Sam,
Don't beat yourself up to much mate.
Fish have an uncanny ability too remove hooks and lures in a remarkable short period of time. I recall one bass session where a wayward cast into vegetation over a banksia branch and back into the river causing the famous "T" bag. My surface lure (Sammy 65) bobbing away and me contemplating how to retrieve said lure a bass thought that breakfast was within sight and Sammy had a new friend attached. Knowing this was going to be almost impossible to retrieve without breakage of some form due to the Banksia line wrap, I supported the bass weight while attempting / hoping I could release the fish, unfortunately my leader let go through the tug of war and rubbing. Like yourself, I was quite upset at the fact I may have sent a bass too an early grave.
I continued fishing for several hours, on my return leg to my surprise Sammy was floating not far from our separation point. Knowing I hadn't caused a premature demise to my favourate species made my day.

All the best Sam, chin up mate. :wink:
Cheers,
Kym

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Re: The ethics of fishing and fish welfare?

#9 Post by Grimbo » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:40 am

Thanks for everyone’s thoughts/replies.

I’m hoping seeing as I had squashed the barbs and it was a fairly small lure, that the cod will somehow get it out and be ok.

Like Muzza said I have decided from now on I will take the be prepared approach. I have a heavier rod and reel combo that I use for cod, that I run 20lb braid and leader on. From now on I’ll use this combo when trolling anything that a cod might find appetising and leave the light stuff for flicking bream size lures. I also have asked Santa for a bigger net as back up.

Hopefully this will prevent this happening again, and allow me to land and photograph a potential PB (there’s no doubt the cod in question was mine).

Cheers
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75cm Carp, 75-80cm Murray Cod, 48cm Yella, 38cm FL Redfin, 31cm FL Bass, 52cm Flathead, 41cm Bream

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Re: The ethics of fishing and fish welfare?

#10 Post by flyonline » Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:45 pm

Yep, fish are pretty good at removing lures if they're de-barbed. I've lost a few still attached - mostly to my own fault (didn't check leader for scuffs etc.) rather than being busted off by a big fish. To date I've retrieved 4 lures from fish that have busted me off, including one that was further upstream than where I lost it! Two (I think) were retrieved very soon after, i.e. a day or two. I suspect without any evidence that if they're busted off with the lure in their mouth that they're more likely to be able to work it free rather than if hooked on the outside of the face etc.

I've seen a cod first hand swimming around with half a jaw missing so they're pretty tough.

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Re: The ethics of fishing and fish welfare?

#11 Post by Brez1 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:18 pm

I would’nt stress too much about it honestly . A cod like that has a big mouth and assuming it’s not deep hooked will either dislodge the lure or be still able to feed . I’ve seen pics of them taking lures while they still have a big fish in their gobs . Our native fish are pretty tough by nature , good on ya for caring

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Re: The ethics of fishing and fish welfare?

#12 Post by Ads22 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:02 pm

Have had that feeling a few times. Especially when a barra engulfed a vibe. They managed to shake off the hooks during a fight, I'm sure they manage much of the time if the line breaks.
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Re: The ethics of fishing and fish welfare?

#13 Post by Paulioq » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:08 pm

I have caught a bream and a tarwine on seperat occasions that both looked like they had a chomp out of ther row of top spikes but were old and grown over with scales and they looked alright put them ones back because they deserved another chance but usually fish I catch don't release well specially after the bara trauma they suffered from being pulled out of a deep 4m hole :lol: your cod probably shook the hook out of its mouth once there was no tension on it that's why you got to keep your line tight or a fish will spit a hook while swimming towards you and you cant wind in fast enough then theres no weight after you had a solid hookup.

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Re: The ethics of fishing and fish welfare?

#14 Post by Rory222 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:26 pm

I reckon that cod took your lure and hung it in his poolroom! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Probably got a whole collection of them!


Don't beat yourself up...sometimes shite just happens despite our best intentions. Think it would of shook the hooks soon after anyway.
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