Grayling post release mortality

Cap'n Fishy

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I’m with you on this Douglas, but, and there are some big “buts”here. Many barbless hooks have extended longer points and tend to have a long slim taper and finer wire and a lot of research was done by the EA Rivers trust etc bitd and I was a consultant on water sensitive catchment issues at that time and it was well researched that barbless hooks penetrated much deeper, than standard barbed and there was little to choose between them on resulting fish damage.
The conclusion was that a standard barbed hook, but with a well flattened barb, was the least damaging, as the steeper tapered and shorter points penetrated less deep.
It was also noted smaller hooks did far less damage.
personally I never fish larger than a 16 and down to a 28 and use narrow gape hooks, most fish are lip hooked and utilising softer tipped glass rods, I bump/break off less fish.

I wouldn't catch many loch seatrout on size 28s... or size 16s for that matter...






🤪
 

Hardrar

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I wouldn't catch many loch seatrout on size 28s... or size 16s for that matter...






The thread is about Grayling survivability so not really relevant buddy, but Salmon and sea trout flies are a fraction of the size they used to be also.
I’ve landed plenty of Snapper red fish Small Jack, blue runner, lady fish and pompano on size 16 klousers though and they make sea trout more and lake trout pretty lame.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I’ve landed plenty of Snapper red fish Small Jack, blue runner, lady fish and pompano on size 16 klousers though and they make sea trout more and lake trout pretty lame.

I've landed fish on size 16s too. My point, which seems to have been missed, is that you can't advocate the blanket employment of tiny flies as a means of better fish care, because lots of fish species require the use of large flies. Pike flies, anyone?



Col
 

airsprite

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Grayling and photography don't mix well, trying to keep them still for a photo is really difficult.
I do like to take some pictures of my fish from time to time, but don't tend to take any of the Grayling i catch.
However if i someday manage catch a real big one, the camera will come out ;)

Steve
 

boisker

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Grayling and photography don't mix well, trying to keep them still for a photo is really difficult.
I do like to take some pictures of my fish from time to time, but don't tend to take any of the Grayling i catch.
However if i someday manage catch a real big one, the camera will come out ;)

Steve
Grayling once settled and calm can sometimes surprise you, especially the bigger ones... I keep them in the net/water to unhook and then the bigger ones I always leave in the net just to make sure they have recovered... then get the camera ready and drop the net away and have them cradled in the hand still in the water but raised just a little bit so you can see them better... sometimes they’ll sit like that until my hand gets so cold you have to leave them to it, other times they kick and disappear the moment the net is dropped out the way... if you are on your own and it’s a large fish then it is the only safe way to photo them
i reckon it’s 50:50 whether you end up with a photo of the fish or just a blur of silver and some water splashing over the camera :)
 
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airsprite

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Grayling once settled and calm can sometimes surprise you, especially the bigger ones... I keep them in the net/water to unhook and then the bigger ones I always leave in the net just to make sure they have recovered... then get the camera ready and drop the net away and have them cradled in the hand still in the water but raised just a little bit so you can see them better... sometimes they’ll sit like that until my hand gets so cold you have to leave them to it, other times they kick and disappear the moment the net is dropped out the way... if you are on your own and it’s a large fish then it is the only safe way to photo them
i reckon it’s 50:50 whether you end up with a photo of the fish or just a blur of silver and some water splashing over the camera :)
Some very good advice there, i will try to do it that way next time i catch one worthy of a photo.

Steve
 

Hardrar

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I've landed fish on size 16s too. My point, which seems to have been missed, is that you can't advocate the blanket employment of tiny flies as a means of better fish care, because lots of fish species require the use of large flies. Pike flies, anyone?



Col
I’m old enough to remember what anglers used to use on Pike and today the hooks are a tiny fraction of the size that used to be employed.
A close friend of mine has a Sporting and rural museum just down the road from me, with many glass cased displays of spinners hooks traces etc from many great British companies like Alcocks Mullocks Hardy Millwards Eley Milbro and Youngs and the hooks were huge, back then.
Another friend of mine is one of the currant top UK pike Anglers with many 40+ specimens to his name and he uses pretty small hooks on his own made lures to avoid damage to his quarry, 12-14 usually, there’s just no need to use large hooks, even with large streamers, the hook can be small. I’ve used large streamer and crab flies on Saltwater Tropical and Big game species, but the hooks are now deliberately kept small to reduce damage, when the fish will be released.
I would say they are around a quarter the size I was using 40+ years ago on even large marine species. I shudder to think what I used to use on Tope blues and Skate back then.
 
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BobP

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I’m with you on this Douglas, but, and there are some big “buts”here. Many barbless hooks have extended longer points and tend to have a long slim taper and finer wire and a lot of research was done by the EA Rivers trust etc bitd and I was a consultant on water sensitive catchment issues at that time and it was well researched that barbless hooks penetrated much deeper, than standard barbed and there was little to choose between them on resulting fish damage.
The conclusion was that a standard barbed hook, but with a well flattened barb, was the least damaging, as the steeper tapered and shorter points penetrated less deep.

What research was that? When was it done and by whom? I'm EA Fisheries retired and never heard of that bit of research. I catch quite a lot of fish for myself - brown trout, rainbows and grayling, and as a guide I net a lot of fish for clients. I fish exclusively barbless and I would estimate that around 15-20% of the fish that end up in the net have shed the hook in the process so no handling required. Of the rest it is the simplest thing to just tweak the hook out while holding it in the wet net or in the case of the concrete banking at Farmoor have the fish in the water right in the edge. Wet knees are an occupational hazard! Also, having spent 35 years electric fishing, surveying and handling hundreds of thousands of fish and seeing some of the horrific injuries that fish exhibit sometimes and yet are still alive and going about their lives I am very conscious f the fact that they are a lot tougher than we are.
 

bobmiddlepoint

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It's interesting that no one mentioned the difference water temperature and time of year makes to grayling recovery after playing. In summer they are soft ad seem to want to fall over at the slightest excuse but once the weather cools they are much more robust and quicker to recover.

I once caught (trotting maggot) the same 2lb grayling four times from the same pool over a number of weeks from late August to mid October. It was easily identified by cormorant damage (and I tend to notice 2lb grayling, unlike some I don't catch them very often...). Caught in August it didn't have much fight and went belly up on release. Caught in October it was a completely different fish, firm and full of fight and needed no nursing before release.

Personally I wouldn't target grayling before October now.


Andy
 

Hardrar

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It's interesting that no one mentioned the difference water temperature and time of year makes to grayling recovery after playing. In summer they are soft ad seem to want to fall over at the slightest excuse but once the weather cools they are much more robust and quicker to recover.

I once caught (trotting maggot) the same 2lb grayling four times from the same pool over a number of weeks from late August to mid October. It was easily identified by cormorant damage (and I tend to notice 2lb grayling, unlike some I don't catch them very often...). Caught in August it didn't have much fight and went belly up on release. Caught in October it was a completely different fish, firm and full of fight and needed no nursing before release.

Personally I wouldn't target grayling before October now.


Andy
Agree with you Andy, but they are so common on some of our beck’s they beat the brownies to the dry fly, 40 plus in an afternoon session in Summer is not uncommon, occasionally more.
 

Hardrar

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It was back in the early nineties and was on the agenda at some of the water sensitive catchment meetings. Anglers Mail, S & T and Trout Fisherman ran articles on it at the time. When you consider it, it’s common sense. Some of the syndicates I’m in and a local Stillwater limit hook size to reduce damage too.
 

BobP

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It was back in the early nineties and was on the agenda at some of the water sensitive catchment meetings. Anglers Mail, S & T and Trout Fisherman ran articles on it at the time. When you consider it, it’s common sense. Some of the syndicates I’m in and a local Stillwater limit hook size to reduce damage too.

Early '90's was well before the EA was established, and also well before the use of barbless hooks and C & R became as popular as they are now. I seem to recall that anglers didn't like them because they felt they lost more fish. I also certainly remember some discussions in the carp world where anglers were convinced that barbless hooks did more damage to carp mouths than barbed to the extent that one or two carp waters in my area banned the use of barbless for some weird reason.

I have seen the damage that barbed hooks can do to carp mouths on heavily fished waters to the extent that the fish can hardly feed their mouths are so mutilated.
 

Hardrar

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Early '90's was well before the EA was established, and also well before the use of barbless hooks and C & R became as popular as they are now. I seem to recall that anglers didn't like them because they felt they lost more fish. I also certainly remember some discussions in the carp world where anglers were convinced that barbless hooks did more damage to carp mouths than barbed to the extent that one or two carp waters in my area banned the use of barbless for some weird reason.

I have seen the damage that barbed hooks can do to carp mouths on heavily fished waters to the extent that the fish can hardly feed their mouths are so mutilated.
Yes a lot of that was to result in the development of circle hooks, rather than traditional J hooks, I’ve noticed with the short point curved shank Tiemco and Hanak hooks, that I use, they don’t hook deeply, which makes unhooking very easy. Our local Stillwater has been c n r since 1980 with a “Sport only” ticket.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Yes a lot of that was to result in the development of circle hooks, rather than traditional J hooks, I’ve noticed with the short point curved shank Tiemco and Hanak hooks, that I use, they don’t hook deeply, which makes unhooking very easy. Our local Stillwater has been c n r since 1980 with a “Sport only” ticket.

Seems like the best bet for you is not to go fishing at all. That way, you will be sparing the fish from the pain and disfigurement they incur when they have hooks impaled in them. What about golf, as a more fish-friendly pursuit?
 

loxie

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I shot a graying of about 1 1/2lb once. It didn't go back well.

In fairness it was in serious trouble before I shot it as it was inside a cormorant's throat at the time!
 

Hardrar

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Seems like the best bet for you is not to go fishing at all. That way, you will be sparing the fish from the pain and disfigurement they incur when they have hooks impaled in them. What about golf, as a more fish-friendly pursuit?
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albacore

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I’m more interested in the considerations around heart-failure of fish than hook punctures or tearing. I guess because I don’t have a zoological background I struggle with questions of fish-mouths healing, pain-receptors and so on. I can grasp the idea of a fish becoming exhausted and overheating in warmer water though.
 

taffy1

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A bit on the subject, as proposed by the Wild Trout Trust.

 
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