Fish Handling Techniques

Good fish, But Bad Fish Photo's!

http://fishwrecked.com/node/2739

First I want to say, that the Mulla shown at link above is a heck of a fish, and I've never caught a mulloway of any shape size or description in my entire life. I admire a LOT any man who CAN catch one - let alone a beauty like that, and to do so from shore just makes it a doubly notoable achievement!
I know it takes dedication & study of tides, moon, weather etc to consistently catch good mulla, and I take my hat off to people who can do it!

For those reasons, if that was my fish, and I had a photo of it I would (and do) keep such to remind myself of such a momentous catch!

That said - likely as not, I wouldn't deliberately "publish it" in order to promote a magazine, website, or charter service etc - or fishing product for example.

It's not whats called a 'money shot', i.e. publishable quality for a magazine cover, in return for a cover shot fee etc...due to the depicted "eye pinch" handling!

I handle fish like that which I'm going to keep to eat - nuthing at all wrong with it - it's a very effective method! Probably it's not something we should be publishing tho, in terms of enhancing the reputation of anglers as folks who look after the resource, and release a large %age of their catch!

Were that fish released, it'd hafta barrack for East Perth (one eyed East Perth supporter) ;o)

So, with that said, heres one of MY personal "crappy quality fish photo's" of a damned good fish, that I keep to remind me of days gone by, that I wouldn't normally publish! (Except to show, that we ALL have these types of photo's and that generally it would be better of we didn't publish them!).

So, you see before you, a pic of a good sized sambo, but covered in blood from where Bro In law Flash gaffed it, and my fat gut poking out, shirt ripped to show my somewhat ample fat gut, and dark shadows across my face, and worse yet it wasn't even caught on a fly rod! :Shock / Horror:

Why keep it (the photo or the fish?).

It was one of the larger sambo's I'd caught at the Abrolhos, and during a "non fly fishing trip" with my "non fly fishing bro in law" - who up till then hadn't caught much anything bigger than a herring!

The skipper ordered that particular fish kept, as we needed extra cray bait for the pots, being the eginning of the 'island season'.

I deliberately left my fly fishing gear at home, and determined to fish Flash's traditional methods, to try and help him with gear, knots, rigs and more importantly "fish fighting" techniques!

He remains one of the toughest guys I've ever had to try and teach to fish...:rollseyes:

He would happily use a 12000 pound warn winch to land fish - to him the "skill" (plumb dumb luck) aspect of fishing - is entireley that (not whether) you get it into the boat, how you do so is totlly immaterial in his view!

He seems to think that if "You hooked it" & "you got a photo to prove it" then your indisputably a gun fisho, seems to be his rationale, toward fishing! :rollseyes again:

So on this trip - I tried converting him to 50 pound braid...to be a bit more sporting in his methods and have a little fun playing the fish.

He lost fish, after fish, after fish, day in, & day out, on braid and every one cut him off in a different way;- around coral, under the keel of the boat, around the props of the boat, you name it every single fish, I got him onto, he lost!

In the end he spat the dummy (as he tends to do, but he's 6 ft 7 inches and 250 kilo's - who's gonna tell him, certainly not me!) and unwound ALL his 50 pound braid onto a spool, then made me walk the length of Big Pigeon Island unrolling by hand our shank of 150 pound mono, we'd bought along to crimp for trolling lure leaders for spanish macs and big tuna etc.

Yep - you guessed it, he spooled up his Penn 330 gti overhead reel with 150 pound mono, about the diameter of fencing wire!

Quote:
I'll show you how to land fish
he says - and true to his word, he winches in smallish 70 pound sambo's on 150 mono, saying "come to poppa" like there is SOME kind of skill involved here???

I mean, I played every one of my fish on 50 pound braid and didn't lose one, but that didn't seemingly count as any kind of "skill"?? I
fought all of them away from coral, turned them with drag pressure and rod work (learned from experience playing big fish on spaghetti noodle fly rods), away from the hull, keel, duckboard, props etc etc..

Non of my knots failed - because I played the fish to the capacity of the gear I was using, whereas Flash just pulled on everything like it was a hi tensile herc alloy snig chain, untill something let go, - usually one of his coonazzed knots, or something equally stoopid!.

You just cannot teach some guys....some guys will always be just "catchers of fish" while others MAY one day aspire to be a "fisherman" in the true sense of the word!

And so - I keep such photo's to "remind me" of days of fun gone bye...and things learned along the way about fishing and fishers!

Generally speaking they shouldn't be published tho - they are just "keep sakes" of family fun fishing times!!

Take a look at the blue 150 pound mono comming outta the mouth a this fish! This took any skill?

My own kids have lifted fish by the eye sockets pinch method when they were young - I just don't generally publish such pics - but I keep them for their value to me as a parent, as a record of the raising to a fishing life, of my kids!

And this is the whole point of my long post here. Theres nothing at all wrong with sharing a few pics with ya mates that support a story or demonstrate a point, when your here braggin about what fish you caught etc...it shouldn't matter if the photo isn't National Geographic magazine standard quality, in terms of every technical aspect, as long as it brings back good memories of a memorable fish or outing for you!

Just try not to submit those type shots to magazines for publsihing or entering them into "fish photo comps" etc is my advice.

Cheers

"Piscator, non solum piscator" which freely translated means something like "A fisherman, not just a catcher of fish"


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OK we'll add some more info eh?

Thu, 2006-07-27 13:22

Seeing we are going to talk about "fish handling tecniques" as a separate subject / issue - lets add some more thoughts.

Anglers besides me might like to contribute, on subjects with which they are familiar, or on which they hold a particular point of view!.

I suspect we should be addressing things like:-

"Icky Jimi" brain spiking fish you wish to keep(and photograph).

Keeping fish in the water for C & R photo's.

Use of Boga Grips to lift / weigh fish

Tagging fish in and out of water

Preserving slime layers on pelgics and sports fish,

Protecting the eyes of fish with Tapetium layers (Mulla's & Barra's).

And perhaps even more issues - such as lifting billys aboard for photo's,

Length of time out of water

Using deck hoses over gills of fish, & wet decks.

And depressurising deep sea demersals species fish, use of release weight or swim bladder spiking methods!

Really this is almost a course in fish physiology!

It likely isn't something you can cover in a few thread posts.

Also issues about the health aspects of preserving the flesh of the fish you catch, to eat at some subsequent point.

So - maybe we pick off the issues one at a time and see how we go eh?

Cheers!

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Interesting - Flywest

Thu, 2006-07-27 14:10

Good points Flywest, when it comes down to it there is so much more we can do preserve and maintain fish which are to be kept or released.

I've only recently learnt the ikijimi technique, even after knowing about it for some time, but now realise that it is the humane way to kill the fish we plan to eat. I suppose its a bit like euthanasia for fish, you know that they are going to die but would you prefer them suffer in an icebox or be dispatched to a quick painless death. There has always been a debate about the extent of a fish's memory, even maybe intelligence. Having a tropical fish tank I know that they are creatures which are not as simple as most people think and it is my belief that they are damaged significantly as a result of our bad handling techniques. In days gone past I wouldn't have thought twice about grabbing them under the gills, eyes, tail you name it - as long as they're in the boat. My perspective has changed since then and I still find myself occasionally reverting back to bad practices of days gone by where there was little consideration for the health of the fish.

Another topic for that list is the speed of which a fish is brought to the surface when bottom bouncing. These days as long as I have a solid hookup and pressure on the fish then I'm in no hurry to get it to the surface and let it decompress on its way up. Thats if it doesn't have the trademark fight of a good fish, then more times than not it will be undersize and has to go back.

I just want to make it clear to whoever may be reading this that it is in no way an attack on your fishing methods or techniques, its simply a discussion on ways that will improve your fish's chance of survival if its to be released. If its to be kept, to increase its quality for the dinner table or if you want to freeze it.

This is just my opinion, please feel free to express your own.
Cheers,
Adam

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Speed to surface

Thu, 2006-07-27 14:28

I think the speed to surface thing was a big issue for me when I was just starting out doing deep water fishing. The excitement of any fish on the end of the line had me racing to get it onto the boat. Now that I am a seasoned veteran (Ha) I know my techniques are reasonably good and I can take my time bringing a fish to the surface. I enjoy the fight much more now that I am more relaxed about it and don;t panic as much as I used to(although I have been known to let rip a few "yee ha's" in my time....ok... every time). These days I know with experience that the fish is very unlikely to fall off the hooks, so I take my time and especially slow down if the fish feels undersize. Barotrauma is a big killer of released fish and I'd be a millionaire (maybe an exaggeration) if I had a dollar for every fish we have driven back to re-net and try to get back down before the introduction of the release weight. Funnily enough to this day I have never bought a release weight, prefering instead to make my own using a large sinker a couple of swivels and a hook with a crushed barb.

Cheers

Andy Mac

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The Eye Grapple Technique

Thu, 2006-07-27 14:37

I'm not a big fan of the eye grapple technique, my mate Greg uses it occaisionally (I think there is a pic of him holding a Dhuie like that in my photo gallery) and whilst it probably makes handling big fish pretty easy I think it detracts from the photo a fraction in my opinion.

Nothing wrong with doing it if you are keeping the fish, I would just try and remember to change grip for the photo so we get to see the whole fish. In my opinion the eyes give the fish some life and vitality. Obscuring them makes them a bit lifeless.

I guess everything is academic if the fish is destined for the table, other than to say that the more care we take with the fish the tastier they are on the plate. I've noticed big differences in taste test quality between bled fish and unbled fish. I have also noticed big differences between fish pre-bled in a bucket then placed in an ice slurry, compared to fish bled straight into the ice slurry.

Also the quicker the fish is dispatched (ikijimi) the less bruising to the flesh occurs when its slapping around in the bottom of the boat or esky.

Cheers

Andy Mac

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Release weight

Thu, 2006-07-27 14:48

You do know the release weight has been around for years , my old man bought one from Doug Klegg about 20 years ago .

Garry Lilly has brought it to the attention of the public and has got them made professionally and I applaude him for it and everyone that uses them .

I have been helping out on a charter boat I have been doing a lot more with releasing fish , tagging (over 3000 fish a year), processing samples for research ( Dhuie, Mulla's , Sambo's etc), there is so much out there to learn , also fish handling and humane ways of killing fish etc .

I have been fishing for over 35 years and one of the best things that I did was join a fishing club that was ethical , ie good fish not huge bags of fish , we had comps where the biggest fish won the prize not the heaviest bag , some clubs had biggest bag of fish won the biggest prize ( not nice that one , where every legal fish was kept and killed).

In 35 years of fishing my techniques have changed a lot but I still use some of the knots I learnt as an 8 year old , cathc and release is high and my son won't keep any fish unless they are top table fish we go fishin' for a good feed of fish not just a feed of fish .

MAV.

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You do know the release

Fri, 2006-07-28 14:36

"You do know the release weight has been around for years , my old man bought one from Doug Klegg about 20 years ago .
Garry Lilly has brought it to the attention of the public and has got them made professionally and I applaude him for it and everyone that uses them."
Bloody quote thing isn't working

Mav you care to add too this i am a good friend of the man in question, and I don't like too see his hard work been ridiculed by anyone, let alone you.

Fact Garry Lilley worked in Cleggie's ( spelled correctly) shop for years mate. in actual fact, near on 26 years ago winding on line for game reels .

When they were testing the release weight for many years, trial and error stuff. Cleggie was one of the biggest supporters, and this is way before the so called professionally made ones that you are dribbling on about

So maybe you have the wrong fishing shop or wrong bloke, cause what you are saying is crap, and well it isn't helping in anyway, in actual fact it is doing more damage then what you think.So if you could explain a little more about this 20 years ago thing, and to help clear it up, it would be appreciated

Wally

*EDITED* - LANGUAGE

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What Club

Thu, 2006-07-27 16:31

What club are you part of Mav out of interest?

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WAS

Thu, 2006-07-27 16:53

I was in a club , last one was Mullaloo angling club .

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We have some very good info here

Thu, 2006-07-27 17:28

Cool stuff so we have experienced folks here and some good info between us all!.

I happen to have some great info about bacterial action in fish flesh in related to temps etc - from a consultancy project I was involved in on disease transmission thru fish flesh for AQIS some years ago, some of which I could contribute.

So - who wants to write up, what bits?

The only "tagging" I've done was with Fisheries guys in Pemberton at the Fish hatchery on trout for releasing during our old Nannup trout competitions.

I'm happy to contribute whatever bits others don't have expertise in or want to go to the trouble of writing up!

Cheers!

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Interested

Thu, 2006-07-27 17:37

I don't know much about any of that sort of stuff Flywest and would be interested to know more about it. I would be keen to write it up or summarise points if you provide the info, can't gaurantee that anyone will read it or comment, but I'd like to know all the same.

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Yeah it is a good post

Fri, 2006-07-28 08:35

Yeah it is a good post here,

Myself and the old man have been brain spiking fish for years now. He learnt about the idea from over in Asia I think and it certainly is a lot better way of treating fish destined for the table. Doesnt take much to learn and once you know where to do it all fish are pretty much the same (except flathead, they can be bastards). ALL fish in my boat are spiked straight away and then bled into my live bait tank to wash the blood away, then they are put into a ice slurry.

That is another thing I was taught at an early age, my dad never went fishing without ice for the fish and he always just made it up himself in plastic milk bottles. The amount of times I have seen people with fish lying on the deck or left in the sun is unbelievable. Must say though it is happening a lot less these days.

Could go on forever with this thread but will stop for now

Gully

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Iki Jimi

Fri, 2006-07-28 09:32

if your into photography , when you spike the fish it really does bring out the fishes colours , I took a pic of a pinky just out of the water , then the fisher wanted some better shots and we spiked the fish and the colour went from pale pink to a full red with irridesent spots etc showing up real well even 5 hours later the fish had heaps of colour in it , not just a faded pink colour .

MAV.

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Iki and pigments

Fri, 2006-07-28 09:47

Just wondering, do you think the rush of pigments or the colour that is brought out from the spiking could have any negative side effects. I know that the fish doesn't taste any different, but does the fish release a chemical or something which stimulates the colour difference or is it purely a reaction to the gland or brain being damaged? Don't know much about it, but would like to know more.

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iki and pigments

Sat, 2006-07-29 12:29

Adam,

the colour of a fish is governed by pigment cells in the scales called chromatophores. these chromatophores are controlled by the nervous system and can be made to expand or contract, which effectively adjusts the physical area over which the pigment is spread. fish change colour this way, and in that sense they 'think' the colour onto their skin. don;t ask me how they know how to adjust the chromatophores so well to mimic ambient light or background colours.

anyway, when you brain spike a fish the nerves go crazy and you get repsonses such as fin twitching and colour change.

in answer to your question; does the rush of pigments affect flesh quality, i would say no, because it is confined to the chromatophores which are on the scales and not the flesh.

so, to iki, or not to iki, before taking pics? personally i donlt risk killing anything i photograph in case the pigment rush is too short lived and i don;t get a good pic in time. if i'm killing the fish i may consider taking pics either side of iki from now on in light of the 'pink baldie'.

in terms of baldie colouration. its a sex thing. like most wrasse, baldies are protogynous hermaphrodites. in english, they start life as females and then turn into males. most often this is under social control. wrasse have a harem type social structure where a beefcake male will tend to a group of females. if the male is removed the next largest female will turn into a male to take its place. in that sense, size alone isn;t the indicator in sex determination since a female will stay such until there are insufficient males. females are generally light in colour, orange, light brown, cream, pink while the males are generally a darker blue/grey. again, since they can change colour via the chromatophores this should be taken with a grain of salt.

re; holding fish for pics/handling, i reckon the eyeball thing just looks bad whether you want to eat the fish or not. i agree that having a vivid eye in view adds to the shot. gaffs, will hopefully become a thing of the past. they are unnecessary from a release perspective, as well as a flesh quality perspective. even the carefull lip shot can sever arteries. nets or boca grips are the go.

for large pelagics like marlin, i reckon high volume deckhoses (not the piss weak squirty ones) should be a mandatory part of a billfishermans arsenal especially if the fish is brought aboard for pics. deckose can even be left in the mouth during photography. apart from oxygenating the fish, it tells a story in the picture.

anyway, thats probably too long a post already.

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Hmm, Brendan, you'll have to

Fri, 2006-07-28 10:44

Hmm, Brendan, you'll have to show me how you iki jimi fish if your on board when I'm out...

Up in Exmouth I thought I was doing it right for Tuna, and fine, no probs with a screwdriver, clean in, twist, shake, clean out, and the fish would sort of shiver and then no probs for lifting or handling. However a couple of seconds later the fish will still give a couple of slaps, catching me and the person holding it up by surprise.

In the end the deckie reckoned the old 'smash the shit out of its head' stick was the way to go, but not necessarily for pictures.

BTW killing flathead is... not fun. I literraly smashed a stick through the top of its skull once, to exit through its lower jaw, and the prick still tailshaked enough to prick me. dammit.

p.p.s. big cod are not easy to kill either

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Ikijimi and colour changes

Fri, 2006-07-28 10:51

Adam,

In that Two Rocks Bag photo you posted last week was one of those Baldies Ikijimied and the other not? One is green and the other red. Or do they come in both colours naturally? Fresh out the water they are usually green and after ikijimi I think they turn reddish. I have a couple of old photo's of Baldies with the ikijimi mark clearly visible and the fish are red.

Hmmm interesting topic indeed.

Cheers

Andy Mac

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iki

Fri, 2006-07-28 11:09

Kletch said that 'pink' baldie wasn't actually iki'ed yet, which suprised me as I thought it had been. So I think that was the natural colours of the baldie, there was an old forum post ages ago that came to the conclusion it was the different maturity levels of the fish that determine their colour. But i'm not exactly sure to tell you the truth.
A lot of the orange baldies are actually venus tuskfish as well, a different species but looking very much the same that are easily confused.

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Venus Tusk Fish

Fri, 2006-07-28 11:27

Now that makes a lot of sense. I think you are right about the confusion between a big Venus Tusk Fish and a small Baldie as they are very similar indeed. In hindsight I too may have been guilty of incorrect nomenclature in the past. I find the Venus Tusk fish tend to be a fair bit smaller than the Baldies so they go back over the side quite often rather than being kept for the dinner plate.

Cheers

Andy Mac

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Iki Jimi

Fri, 2006-07-28 12:48

Not sure how relevant or useful the following is but when I lived in Exmouth in the early 1970's we commenced a fishing and spearfishing club, eventually hosting the Australian spearfishing championships. A few of us spearfished using 'free shaft'. that is no cord attached to the spear. We speared for food not just to kill indiscriminantly and being able to see what we wanted we were selective. Most good eating species were reef fish not pelagics and we very quickly learnt that unless you killed the fish instantly they would retreat into the coral and caves and by the time we recovered the spear and the fish the spear would have been bent beyond further use.
Our target for iki (usually from above) was the point of an equilateral triangle (towards the tail) with the base line being the distance between the eyes. Later on as a professional fisherman (for 1 year) fishing for spaniards I found that spiking with a sharpened screwdriver and wooden mallet had the same effect.
Cheers Bruiser
ps I don't dive any more and I only fish for fun :)

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Baldies

Fri, 2006-07-28 13:10

This one about the colouration of baldies comes up quite a bit. All are in fact baldchin groper and could be confused for venus tuskfish but we actually dont get them over here and the venus tuskfish doesnt have the white chin. If you look at the photo of the baldie Kletch is holding you will notice the white patch under the chin.

Am not sure why they are coloured different but it could be due to a huge range of things such as diet, sex, size etc etc.

Gully

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release

Fri, 2006-07-28 15:43

well this is interesting
on my last trip to coral bay i was ripping fish to the surface as fast as i could.due to bities ,there a pretty smart fish sharks. if the fish was good for the taaste buds then the shark factor seemed to increase.seems they are resonably selective on what they would chew.so when i got a small red emp up and released him he would bolt staight for the bottom not a problem.no stomach hanging out the mouth .no bulging eyes.and yet the very next fish ,like the pearl perch [man they look like dhui] would come up with all the signs of a fast retrieve from depth bulging eyes ect.and then two 24 oz sinkers lip hook and down to the bottom he would go. has anyone else noticed that some fish seem to handle the change in pressure alot better than others and what is the resoning behind this
cheers mitch

always in it just the depth that varies

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End of Wally

Fri, 2006-07-28 15:43

As much as I appreciate your comments in trying to clear up the release weight matter Wally, your attitude and continual attacks on members and myself aren't welcomed here.

I have read many of your posts on Western Angler and think you are trying to do the right thing for anglers, but do it in a pathetic manner by attacking people on different Western Australian websites for little reason apart from stroking your own ego.

This is a constructive topic regarding fish handling and all you do is dumb it down by your dribble on 'who is da man.' The release weight is now popular, becoming more popular, which is a great thing for the successful release of fish, if only you could have informed us more about how to use it correctly or the benefits of having one aboard.

Now, back to the topic, which will not be hijacked anymore and I would ask Maverick not to return fire as this matter is dealt with.
-------------------------

Adam

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Decompression

Fri, 2006-07-28 15:52

I agree totally Mitch. I find that fish like pink snapper come up and release better than lots of other fish brought up from the same depth at the same speed.

I will send a message off to the guys from Murdoch in a day or two to see if they can't give us some more definitive answers. I too would like to know the reasoning behind it, if it is the sturdyness of the fish, some biological factor or ?

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In all likelihood

Fri, 2006-07-28 16:17

In all likelihood - we will find out from the scientific boffins that fish which regularly traverse the various depths of the ocean as a normal part of their activity are adapted to allow them to vent excess pressure from their swim bladder (literlly Phart bubbles) at a quick rate! (Sampson fish are a case in point - I've seen photo's posted at WAngler of sampson fish doing this!).

Some other fish, which normally reside at depth and rarely if ever visit the surface unless dragged there on a hook, may not posess this same adaptation,and as a result suffer decompression bloat.

The Americans have been using weights with barbless hooks attached to re compress and release demersals for many years - presumably they also worked at Cleggies at some point in the past as well! ;o)

With regard to ice - yes it's imperative that ice be taken to keep fish fresh - but even moreso, a seawater ice slurry gets temps BELOW zero degrees (down to -4C at times), which when we look at bcterial action in fish flesh (yet to come) we will see thatthis vastly improves the taste / structire and longevity you can store the fish flesh without it deteriorating!

Saltwater + Ice Slurry is the only way to keep fish!

Removing the two Blood sacs in the underside of the head (inside the cavity) of a dhufish ALSO helps prevent rapid decay / spoiling of the flesh, and should be practiced as a matter of course on this species!

We will learn more, I am sure, as this thread progresses about good fish handling techniques!.

Yes lets keep it in a constructive manner please - this is not about personal ego's it's about putting together a definitive Fish handling "guide" for possible use by any of the authorities ort fishing clubs organisations etc.

Cheers!

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Blood Sac's

Fri, 2006-07-28 16:34

I haven't heard of that before Flywest, can you elucidate for us a little more on that one for us... where exactly are they and what do they look like? Assuming I catch a Dhufish on my next trip out I will be looking for these blood sacs and maybe take a pic of them so everyone can see.

Anything to improve the flavour of a magnificent species such as Dhuies (taste bloody good already) is a must do for me. If you are going to take the trouble of catching it to eat it, you may as well take the trouble to treat is as best you can imho.

The seawater temp issue is spot on from a scientific standpoint (-4 deg is far better than 0 deg for inhibition of bacterial growth.) I also think it is important to take a bucket or container of fresh seawater back home to the filleting table so you can wash your fillets in seawater rather than tap water, which has clorine and fluride etc in it.

Cheers

Andy Mac

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ICE

Fri, 2006-07-28 19:09

If I am going out for a full day or weekender , I put a handfull of salt ( pool salt) in 3 litre juice bottles and freeze them , they last A LOT longer than normal ice , I have put this ice in my esky and put beer and juice in it and the juice froze in the ice slurry , I got the ice out of my freezer at 4 am and the juice was still frozen at 4.30 that afternoon , and the juice was put in straight out of the cupboard , not chilled before hand , 1.5 l tetra packs .

I didn't think salt in the ice would do much but am a convert now thats for sure .

I hope it's allright for me to comment on this observation .

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Gully's picture

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venus tuskfish

Sat, 2006-07-29 13:04

Here is a photo of a venus tuskfish caught off Coffs Harbour by my dad years ago.

[img_assist|fid=30096|thumb=1|alt=Venus Tuskfish]

As you can see there is a fair bit of difference in the colouration between them and baldies.

Gully

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Venting

Sat, 2006-07-29 14:14

Quote:
like the pearl perch [man they look like dhui] would come up with all the signs of a fast retrieve from depth bulging eyes ect.and then two 24 oz sinkers lip hook and down to the bottom he would go. has anyone else noticed that some fish seem to handle the change in pressure alot better than others and what is the resoning behind this

The reasoning behind this, at the simplest level, is due to their different DNA. ;)

Quote:
I will send a message off to the guys from Murdoch in a day or two to see if they can't give us some more definitive answers. I too would like to know the reasoning behind it, if it is the sturdyness of the fish, some biological factor or ?

That should probably give you a more elaborate and better-explained answer.

And yes,

Quote:
In all likelihood - we will find out from the scientific boffins that fish which regularly traverse the various depths of the ocean as a normal part of their activity are adapted to allow them to vent excess pressure from their swim bladder (literlly Phart bubbles) at a quick rate! (Sampson fish are a case in point - I've seen photo's posted at WAngler of sampson fish doing this!).

Samsonfish have a (nickname) 'Drew valve', for 'pharting'. Other fish may not have such adaptations (down to DNA and evolution). "Sturdyness" is pretty hard to define... so I think the answer to your question adam would be 'biological' =)

BTW you can see the Samsonfish vent while fishing as soon as you bring them up and see colour.. you'll notice the bubbles =)

I hope my post sorta makes sense? haha... =/

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Yep, makes sense

Sat, 2006-07-29 14:48

Yep, got a hold of it! Flywest sent me this document from an AQIIS study which is pretty full on, but covers some important information re handling, temperature, processing, ph, bacteria, etc. Worth a scan through.

Download "'Fish Spoiling - Extracts from AQIIS Study'"

If this is a bit complex, check this website out, some excellent information on it!

http://www.info-fish.net/

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I'll have a go Andy

Sat, 2006-07-29 17:54

The Blood sacs Andy?

I'll have ago at this - dang hard withoyt a photo! This is a technique that was shown me by a Crayfisherman in Lancelin who used to dropline for Dhui's! It's not something my family had ever done with ours up until I was shown this some years back during my fish consulatncy days for the rock lobster industry!

How much difference it makes, for a fish in a ice slurry, I don't know, but I don't think it can hurt any!

What I do know is the cray guys in those days just don't usually take ice to work with them on the boat as a matter of course, in the hope they will get a nice dhui in a pot each and every day to make the ice necessary!

On the occasions when they do get one - they use this method, then put the dhui either on the wet deck under the deck hose back under the cabin overhang so it's outta the sun, or in a lobster tub connected to a manifold with a hose that has fresh seawater running thru it!.

A lot of these guys are home early these days in their big fast boats so - preservation of fish flesh at sea, is sufficient using the methdods they employ - it would likely be different for rec anglers who may stay out longer, into an increasingly warm day, with less waterflow thru the smaller deck hoses and over the decks etc to keep temps down, so use of an "seawater ice slurry" for us is a much better proposition IMHO but combining the two methods cannot hurt any.

In the situation where Cray guys are on the verge of acceptable temperature regimes, - the removal of these two blood sacs helps slow down the rate of onset of decomposition of the surrounding flesh!

When you cut the dhui's throat, and gut it, if you look inside the cavity alongside the backbone, right where the head joins onto the backbone, just back a whisker is like the largest vertebrae (Just like you have one on the base of your neck where it joins your shoulders)

Either side of this large vertebrae, is a slightly darker colour almost "purple" patch covered by white skin membrane which underneath, is a sac that contains blood. Theres one on each side of that vertebrae. You puncture the skin covering it with a pointy knife, and push your thumbnail backwards down into the sac, and you'll be surprised at how deep that sac is - about the depth of your thumbnail bed from the top of your thumb ona big dhui 10 kilo+

It is LOT of blood to leave inside the flesh - which is the first place that bacterial decay will start, which under the right temp conditions will spread quickly to other nearbye parts of the flesh around the fishes shoulders (i,e some of the best eating flesh yeilding portions).

If you manually empty these two sacs with the thumbnail, and wash them out clean with the deck hose - that will help preserve the flesh around them and reduce the rate of bacterial breakdown of the surrounding flesh!

Thats the method the pro cray guys use!
I don't see that it can hurt for us to do likewise?

With regard to the scientific report that Adams posted up - it is pretty heavey going. It's part of a disease transmission thru raw imported fish flesh study done back in 1998 for AQIS.

If i were to try and "summarise it for the layman" a few intersting things come out of it that might have application to us as rec anglers in our fish handling at sea and subsequent fish processing!

What it des bring out is this!

Usually - the microrganisms (bacteria) that cause decay in fish flesh are from the same environment the fish was caught in!

This means for example - say you catch a dhui - in waters off Augusta on a cool day in winter! Now because the bacteria present are from that same cool water environment, they have probably evolved a temperature regime tolerace similar to that in which the Dhui was caught. This means that the bacteria which if given a chance will spoil your fish flesh, might be MORE cold tolerant, than say - the same bacteria associated with a Dhui caught up off the Abrolhos in warmer water temsp in say March!

So - for the guy down south catching a dhui - IF he wants to use cold temps as a method of preservation - the importance of using a saltwatter ice slurry of -4 degrees is most important because the forms f bacteri present MAY be able to olerate pretty cold temps and still be viable due to the fact they originated in the southern ocean and have a different temp tolerance range (max and min) than the equivalent bacteria associated with a Dhui from the indian ocean at the 30th paralell.

Does that makse sense?

Someone from up north, would be tempted to think logically that down south in Winter, with cold water temps - and cold ambient air temps that maybe ice isn't necessary for a offshore fishing trip, - just keep the fish in a bucket of cold seawater and get home early and all will be apples!

But - We as anglers need to realise that the bacteria from down there are cold adapted and operate just as efficiently as warmer water bacteria do at elevated temps further north, so decay times may NOT be all thatmuch different!

This makes the use of a seawater ice slurry even MORE important down south than normal logical reasoning might dictate.

Maybe you'd think - heck it's so cold down here just ordinary ice will do, no need for the seawater as well to drop thiose extra 4 degreees - but we are dealing with cold adapted bacteria so the importance is actually greater down south if that makes sense!

Now, another interesting thing is - that salt and salt water themselves are pretty good preservatives! Salt in high concentrations has been used for thousands of years to preserve various foods including fish, for human consumption.

As a generalisation - bacteria aren't particularly fond of hyper saline environments!

So putting running seawater over a fish is a better way of preserving it than leaving it in the sun on a hot deck!

Is the same true tho - when we put a fish into a saltwater ice slurry?

The job of the salt - is to kill the bacteria, the Job of the Ice is to slow down the reproduction rate of bacteria, such that the production of new bacteria is slower than - the rate of death of bacteria exposed to the saline environment!

Sadly - the cooling effect of the ice ALSO slows the rate of death of the bacteria exposed to salt water!!!

The net effect appears to be that the fish is better preserved in the saline ice slurry than in a pure freshwater ice slurry...but it's a generalisation..and there may well be certain salt tolerant bacteria that defy the odds for example.

For general "rule of thumb" we rec anglers should probably just put everything into a saltwater ice slurry at -4 degrees and be done with it, as a matetr of course no matter where we are - but being cognisaant of the fact it isn't as efective on colder water fish species, in the southern ocean is a handy thing to know - making it even MORE impprtant taht we practice that mehod - when 'commonsense reasoning' might have suggested it was less important in colder environments!

Theres heck of a LOT more on preservation methods techniques in the paper - but you need to read it a bit at a time and digest it in small chunks to get a understanding of what it says!

Hope this helps - probably all clear as mud now - eh? ;o)

Cheers!

"Piscator, non solum piscator" which freely translated means something like "A fisherman, not just a catcher of fish"

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and she said oh my god, you

Sat, 2006-07-29 20:01

and she said oh my god, you must be a famous rappa

wow, thats a serious post flywest whoever you are.

with repsect to your statement: "Either side of this large vertebrae, is a slightly darker colour almost "purple" patch covered by white skin membrane which underneath, is a sac that contains blood. Theres one on each side of that vertebrae"

those sacs you are referring to are the kidneys. found on the dorsal side of the vertebral column as you have described. i can't see how rupturing these kidneys while attempting to clean the fish could affect the flesh flavour, maybe you can elaborate there.

in terms of the saltwater vs freshwater slurry, the salt isn't to kill bacteria as much as it is to lower the temperature of the liquid surrounding the fish in the slurry. from what i remember from first year chemistry (gull can correct me if i'm wrong here), a salt dissolved in a liquid will lower the freezing point of that liquid. so if you add salt to a water and ice combination, the freezing point of the water drops, but the melting point of the ice stays the same. so, the ice melts, but the water doesn;t freeze. when the ice melts, it absorbs heat from the fish in the slurry.

the lower temperature is more aimed at reducing enzyme activity in the fish flesh rather than bacterial attack. lower temps lower enzyme activity and stop the break down of flesh.

just some thoughts

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Ice slurry

Sat, 2006-07-29 20:20

Some of the mulies that are IQF are done in an ice slurry at about 40 degrees below freezing as the salt stops the water freezing solid at that temp , the mulies are quick frozen then bagged up for us to use .

Sometimes I clip a couple of gills of the fish to let them bleed out then onto an ice slurry (or bleed into KC's lap if we can).

doesn't matter how you kill a fish , you should ALLWAYS do it humanely and get the fish on ICE ASAP.

you spend too much money getting the fish to spoil them because you couldn't get ice , I make my own in my deep freeze as I like block ice but bagged ice is just as good and a lot better than no ice.

MAV.

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flywest whoever you are.

Sat, 2006-07-29 20:52

Quote:
flywest whoever you are.

Hi Matt,

It's not hard to find out who I am, - you just follow the links at the bottom of my posts to my web page, and bingo - theres your answer!

As it happens, I was a co author of the paper from which the excerpt above posted by Adam to the link he provided above, was taken, along with about 8 or 9 other guys including Starlo et al!

It was during my time working as a Forestry, Fisheries & Environmental consultant, some years ago after I left CALM.

The Paper was entitled:-

Quote:

CONSULTANCY ON ROUTES FOR EXPOSURE OF AQUATIC ANIMALS TO AQUATIC ANIMAL PRODUCTS INTENDED FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION

December 1998

Prepared for the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service

by

Aquaculture Development and Veterinary Services Pty. Ltd.
329 Allens Rivulet Road, Allens Rivulet, TASMANIA 7150

in association with:

Food Factotum
Unitas Consulting Pty. Ltd.
Australian Water Technologies Pty. Ltd.
Enviromental Biotek Pty. Ltd.
Water Ecoscience Pty. Ltd.
River and Sea Pty. Ltd.
Mr. Shann Low
AusVet Animal Health Services Pty. Ltd.
Dr. Richard Callinan

As it happens I think that particular section:-

Quote:

5. FACTORS AFFECTING PATHOGEN SURVIVAL THROUGH PROCESSING, HANDLING AND CONSUMPTION PATHWAYS 37
5.1 INTRODUCTION 37
5.1.1 Philosophy of Quantitative Risk Assessment and Problems in Application 37
5.1.2 About this Section 37
5.2 THE ECOLOGY AND PHYSIOLOGY OF MICROBES IN FOODS 39
5.2.1 Introduction 39
5.2.2 Microbial Death 40
5.2.3 Microbial Stability and Mechanisms of Inactivation 41
5.2.3.1 Mechanisms of Inactivation 42
5.2.3.2 Temperature 42
5.2.3.3 Freezing/Drying/Reduced Water Activity/Increased Osmotic Potential 44
5.2.3.4 pH and organic acids 45
5.2.4 Relative Effects and Combinations of Factors 45
5.2.6 Microbial survival and limits to growth 47
5.2.7 Microbial Growth 47
5.2.8 Rate of growth 49
5.2.8.1 Temperature 49
5.2.8.2 Water Activity 51
5.2.8.3 pH and Organic Acids 51
5.2.8.4 Combined Effects on Growth Rate 53
5.2.9 Conclusions 54
5.3 SITES OF INFECTION, INAPPARENT INFECTIONS, AND POTENTIAL FOR CROSS-CONTAMINATION 54
5.3.1 Sites of Infection 55
5.3.2 Inapparent Infection 55
5.3.3 Cross-contamination, Transient Carriage 56
5.4 THE PHYSICO-CHEMICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF FOOD PROCESSES 56
5.4.1 Temperature 57
5.4.1.1 Cooking 57
5.4.1.2 Canning 58
5.4.1.3 Chilling and Freezing 58
5.4.2 Brining and Salting 59
5.4.3 Smoking 60
5.4.4 Marination 60
5.4.5 Fermented Fish, Fish sauces etc. 61
5.4.6 Surimi, Sushi and Minced Fish Products 61
5.4.7 Fish Protein Concentrates 62
5.4.8 Caviar 62
5.5 TOLERANCE OF ASPS TO FOOD HANDLING AND PROCESSING CONDITIONS 62
5.5.1 Rates of Inactivation 62
5.5.2 General Physiological Factors and Levels of Resistance 63
5.5.3 ASP Viruses 63
5.5.3.1 Temperature 64
5.5.3.2 pH 64
5.5.3.3 Chemical and Other Disinfectants 65
5.5.4 ASP Bacteria 65
5.5.4.1 Temperature 65
5.5.4.2 pH 67
5.5.4.3 Chemical and Other Disinfectants and Processes 68
5.5.5 ASP Other 68
5.5.5.1 Salt 68
5.5.5.2 Freezing 69
5.5.6 Conclusions 69

was from memory probably the work of Dr Richard Callinan (from memory but don't quote me - I'd have to go trawl back thru the various drafts to tell for sure).

All I've done above, is a brief read, and attempt to put some 'interesting info' into 'laymans terms' to help other anglers maybe better understand some of the processes involved in better handling their catch.

Whether removing the sacs does or doesn't improve the flesh taste, or slow the flesh's rate of decay, is debateable. It is a common practice on pro boats who've been catching and selling said dhufish for generations before I was a shag in my dads bag without the use of ice on board, so I see no harm in passing it along for what it's worth!

Your welcome to discuss / debate it, or even contribute your own thoughts on it! That is after all the whole idea of the forum and the thread, as I understand it! (To seek a synergy where the end product exceeds the total input of the individual authors is it not?).

The same with the info about microbial processes...please be my guest to extract whatever from it you feel might benefit anglers and summarise it into a workable fish handling guide format!

Theres a wealth of information about many pickling and other preservative methods that are of relevance!

Me - I prefer to stick with Greta's secret cray pickle recipe and trust to luck! It hasn't let me down so far!

There is plenty of room for members to bite off a "chunk" of the sizeable topic and write it up as part of the whole, if they have aparticular area of interest or expertise - microbial activity on fish flesh isn't one of my favourites - so by all means have at it and see what you can do for us!

Cheers!

"Piscator, non solum piscator" which freely translated means something like "A fisherman, not just a catcher of fish"
http://www.flywest.com.au

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Ok then, Hello Mr Low, i'm

Sat, 2006-07-29 21:26

Ok then,

Hello Mr Low, i'm assuming you are the skipper, yes.

thanks for your reply.

with the kidneys, i was genuinely curious as to what effect cutting them out would have on flesh quality.

re; the paper, i haven't actually read it, i was just replying to your summary of it, and thought i would throw some ideas in.

don't get me wrong, i'm not a microbial guy, i'm a fish ecology guy all the way.

i welcome your stance on providing a summary of the facts of the paper for the 'layman', i guess i just felt some of the points were not entirely correct.

i guess i have no excuses for giving it a read now

cheers

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Boga Grips

Sat, 2006-07-29 21:35

So what of the use of boga grips. I was speaking to Terry Fuller and he mentioned that they may not be a very good way of handling the fish at all. Mainly because when you lift a fish by its mouth it has to deal with its entire weight stressing its internals. The fish has never experienced this amount of weight before in its own environment and suffers significant damage as a result?

Any thoughts?

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talking to the beaver

Sat, 2006-07-29 21:39

talking to the beaver eh?

you are quite the cyber slut gallash!

yeah, i hear what you are saying, but it just requires supporting the body while using the grips. personally i would go the net option, but would rather see people use bogas than gaffs

say hi to you missus for me

Adam Gallash's picture

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Yup

Sat, 2006-07-29 22:02

Yep, wealth of information from the beaver. Actually trying to keep a leash on you Western Angler hounds, if I'd mentioned the Klench, well, god knows where the conversation could have led!

That was one unlucky esky hawt stuff, we'll see next time. The missus says hi, she liked your pinkie photo, said it was a bit small thou and would have thrown it back. ;)

Oh yeh, back to the point. Anything else relevant to fish survival/preservation that should be covered in this thread?

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yeah, tell her i'm far more

Sat, 2006-07-29 22:23

yeah, tell her i'm far more beautiful in real life.

i would have let that pinkie go, but the cave man look on yours, and gulls face precluded any such act and you know this. staright in the knap sack that one, no questions, gaffs, nets or bocas. i'm glad i could single handedly contribute to your protein intake.

speaking of releasing fish though, it seems as though most people are savvy to the techniques so i won't re-iterate those here.

i guess, all i can offer is what i strive to do with the personal objectives i have. my priority is a photograph, and it always has been, since i started this craziness when i was at the tender age of 12.

given that photo's are my priority, my approach to fishing is quite different to the norm. i have my camera set up, and ready to fire. all the settings including, fill flash, aperture, metering, and focus are set up a priori. i make sure my fishing partner knows where my camera lives on the boat, and how to turn it on, and use it. seems like a bunch of obvious things to say, but those crucial seconds are everything. i take at least 5-7 shots of a capture at varying angles, positions (nothing suss) so i really need to be organised and work quickly to ensure succesful photography and subsequent release.

being organised in terms of photography is all i can contribute to the already knowledgable base of posts here.

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Tailing fish

Sat, 2006-07-29 22:52

Haven't used boga's before, if its a good demersal I'll use a large landing net. Pelagic's on the other hand are usually tailed and lifted into the boat, with my other hand supporting the fishes midsection. Need to be careful with macko's etc but the fishes colours make for great photo's (release rates are also very successful using this technique).

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Boga's

Sun, 2006-07-30 01:29

Boga grips,

I'll tackle that one too, if no one else will.

Before I do - Matt - My names Shann - just as I refer to you as Matt, if thats OK? ;o)

I think the kidneys question might be worth some research maybe, I know, with the conviction it was shown me and the number of generatons that family has been practising it, there must be a basis in it somewhwere, quite possibly outside of this country!

It was shown to me by the second and 3rd generation skippers - but I grew up knowing their dad (Erik) whose now long gone - and he was a whaler from Norway - escaped the Germans in WW2 sailing a open 16 ft boat to England, where he enlisted & served out the war as a merchant navy man. At the end of the war he got a job here in Oz researching whaling for our govt and sailed with crews down into the antarctic etc before eventualy taking up crayfishing at Lancelin!

This idea about the sacs removal came from old Eric no doubt about it, and having known the guy, he never did anything for no reason, he would have known something from the old country (Norway) that likely we don't know! (He was a meticulous sort as old time sailors were!)

Sadly he's dead, so I can't ask him, one of his boys, is still fishing in Lancelin and one of his grandsons as well. If I see them anytime soon, I'll be sure and ask if they know the full background to it. They may well do, he was a great old skipper and invested a LOT of time into his boys, and I've learned a great deal from him & them while working on their boats (another consultancy project for Fisheries WA & FRDC on use of artificial lobster baits in the rock lobster industry).

I'll do what I can to get to the bottom of it, I seem to recall one of Fisheries Depts researchers was working on the boat at the same time as me (Jim Christianopolous, Zorba th' Greek), and he MAY know a little more about it - at the time we had a lot of work to do, and not a lot of time for idle chat, so I didn't get the chance to get into the nitty gritty of the whyfore - it was just shown to us and stressed how important it is to do it, when one of the dhuis came over the side one day! I am sure it was claimed to slow down the rate spoilage! Why, I have no idea, yet!

By all means take a peek at the paper,and see what you can get from it for us - mine was just a cursory glance!

Boga grips.

This goes backaways.

Boga's used to be made in 3 sizes 5 kilo, 15 kilo and 30 kilo, from memory! Then there was a outcry about lifting fish by their jaw, they would need a chiropractors visit to be healthy again etc etc afterward and it caused so much angst the co stopped making the larger size (30 kilo) for fear of adverse publicity killing off their business!

For anyone wanted them - to use in a charter business etc, they were like hens teeth to get hold of. I seem to recall at one stage offering Peter "Peculiar" Pakula, something like $600 to sell me his second hand!

Anyway - it all seem to come from guys catching big fat impoundement barra, who had never had to fight for a feed in their lives, in these new dams / impoundements in Qld, where they were stocked..and regularly growing to over 50 pounds in very short spaces of time.

It was claimed releases weren't being successfull and the boga's were at fault!

Well, I guess If I hauled a fat unfit guy around the trotting track behind my ute for a few laps, and then hoisted him up by his jaw - he mightn't fare too well either. But the question begs did the lactic acid build up and heart attack kill him or was it lifting him by the jaw that did it?

Really I think Poor fish handling techniques on fat lazy unfit fish was the problem not the boga's.

You ever see these circus sheila's who grab a mouthguard thing attached to a rope and bite down on it then they get hauled up to the top of the big top and twirl around etc before they get onto the flying trapeze?

Do their heads pull off?

Do their necks break, killing them and permanently maiming them like when you hang a man and his spinal chord is severed??

Answers NO - they don't!

Why?

Coz the BEST structure to suspend the body weight from is a skeleton and the jaw etc is just a natural part of that skeleton located at one end!

Did you ever die as a kid coz someone lifted you by your ankles and spun you round (in my day it was called a "flyin wizzy wizzy" but I digress!)..answers probally no (unless they let go!) - and why not? Coz your feet are the opposite end of the same skeleton - the obvious lifting point opposed to the jaw!

Same with fish - jaw & tail are the obvious skeletal lifting point!

Answer me this - would you prefer I lift you by your jaw, your ankles, or your ol fella?

Thought so! ;o)

And thats what this crapola about Boga's was all about, crapola!

So - now the co are again making the 30 kilo Boga's!

And, yes I like to support the fish I lift for a pic on the boga's and swim them, on the boga's to release them too - and if I want to weigh them for a breif moment while hanging bye the jaw I do and I've never lost a fish yet that I could attribute to the boga grips!

Yeah a landing nets good too! Hell I chased a dolphin fish around in a 14 ft hornet trophy, bout 8 miles off the abrolhos, for about 3 hours one day on a 6 wt trout fly rod and 4 pound tippet - with a damn landing net and I'm telln ya I'd a give my left leg for a bloody gaff or a .303 at the end of it! :rollseyes:

Theres horses for courses, people IMHO. Some landing (yes even the enviro) nets, do remove slime layers on fine scaled pelagics / sportfish like the Tuna family (That be Ike n Tina Tuna) ;o) (That right thar was a joke folks - it's OK to carck a smile occasionally) where IMHO it would be prefferable to lift by boga grip and retain the slime coating to keep fungal infections at bay and from spreading fish to fish etc.

Just touching a tuna with your hands is a death sentence!.

This has been learned with the tuna farms - where a couple days after being handled, you'll see em swimming around in the net with a hand print "burned into their side" with fungal growth all round it and a couple days later that fish is dead!

They just don't handle well is all, you need to keep that slime layer intact to keep pathogens etc out from infecting the fish! That means not touching the damn thing!

Likely the same applies to a lot of the Billies / sails etc IMHO - you take the slime it's dead, you just aint there to see it, but thats just my opinion and I must be wrong, because tagged fish get recaptured! Hey, maybe they're the ones tagged in the water with a taggin pole and let loose! ;o)

I've tagged and released and re-caught a few fish in my time (trout) and they too seem to suffer from being netted and handled! Quite afew on the Donnelly that I'd recapture would have my net marks still on them 6 months later! (Fine scaled slime covered sportsfish, just like the tuna's)!

I can only guess the ones I used the boga's on never suffered any scars!

Hope thats of some help!

Cheers!

"Piscator, non solum piscator" which freely translated means something like "A fisherman, not just a catcher of fish"
http://www.flywest.com.au

mitch's picture

Posts: 1285

Date Joined: 14/08/05

i agree

Sun, 2006-07-30 07:11

yep the slime is a very important to the survival and SALE of fish.a good mate who might even comment on this once he gets back from a fishing trip use to work on the live trout boats on the barrier reef .theyed be out there for a few weeks catching coral trout and dropping them into live holding tanks on the boat.problem was if you touched them within days you could pick them out in the tanks .they would be the ones with a bruise like blemish on there skin and were no good to sell live on the asian market.i think he said it was almost like a welt and you could see the finger marks where theyed been handled.didnt seem to worry him much.fresh trout for tea!!
also explains why theres not as many trout on the reef over there.two or three weeks hauling in trout .half a dozen boats all doing it in the same area
always in it just the depth that varies

Posts: 489

Date Joined: 11/08/05

Handling and Survival of Released Fish

Sun, 2006-07-30 10:45

Great topic and some great contributions!

My comment on the boga grips was mainly about weighing large fish hanging by the lower jaw.

To weigh a fish it has to be completely suspended by the grip (obviously) and that's when I have the concerns about damage to the fish if the lower jaw is used. Also possibly when pulling a large fish out of the water for a photo.

It is self evident that hanging a large fish from it's lower jaw risks injury due to stretching of bits never intended to take such weight.

Good handling is about minising risk to the fish. Doesn't mean damage will always happen, but the risk is real and is always there.

Active fish which thrash around would increase the risk of injury or damage much more than passive fish which sit/hang quietly.

Obviously boga grips have a really good use for controlling fish as part of a complete package of "good handling practices" and for smaller fish, so don't take my comments as saying they don't have a place.

Good practices is about informing people what/when it is OK and what/when it is risky or clearly not OK.

The National Strategy for the Survival of Released Line Caught Fish at http://www.info-fish.net/releasefish/ covers a lot of these "best practices" issues in Fact Sheets covering many specific topics, some based on a lot of research and experience.

It's a website dedicated to Fish Survival, and deserves to be recognised more and publicised and improved because it can be a great long term, easy to use reference source for Fish Survival things like this.

It's easy to miss the transparent scroll bar in the middle of the screen and miss seeing all the fact sheets. Look carefully.

The "Practices that need to change" fact sheet part way down the page on
[www.info-fish.net/releasefish/browseTopics.asp?
mode=viewdetail_sortdate&name=Best%20Practice%20Issues]
covers the use of boga grips and says "When using fish grips do NOT hang the fish vertically by the grip. The body of the fish should be supported at all times." and "Fish intended for release should NOT be weighed by hanging vertically from scales."

Many "best practices" are motherhood stuff to those who know or think about it. "Best practices" are never fixed, but get improved progressively as more or better or different information, research and experience comes along.

Bill Sawynok is very keen to promote and improve and add stuff.

Anything from this thread can be suggested as updates/changes/additions to the fact sheets on that website.

Bottom line:- end up with simple, easy to understand info on when to use boga grips, when not to use them, when to use (informed) judgement, all for the best chance of survival for the fish to be released.

TerryF
=====

Beavering away in the background......

Posts: 485

Date Joined: 04/02/06

Good contribution Terry

Sun, 2006-07-30 13:17

Thats a great addition to the knowlege base we are building here Terry, thanks indeed.

THis response is in now way aimed at you Terry, please accept, it's just me thinking this issue thru 'out loud' as it were based on the info in the links above.

I'll go take a peek at the site.

I guess my question - will relate to the treatement of those fine scaled / slime protected fish & suggested method of use of boga grips.

What I'm thinking is - if we obey the advice when using the grips with these fragile fine scaled slime protected species like the tuna's and "support the fish" with a hand underneath etc, hence taking away some of the protective slime layer, then the fish may be as good as dead.

This can of course be minimised with wet gloves - like those the guys at trout farms and the Pemberton trout hatchery use, but these aren't 100% and CAN be responsible for transferring the same fungal pathogen to every fish we handle.

So in that case - if, as I suspect, the lower jaw ends up being, the very BEST place to lift fish from - and we deliberately "support" such fish (tuna's mostly I guess), in order to comply with a suggested best practice, then we might in fact be "killing them with kindness"..as it were, over "possibly" motherhood sentiments that don't apply to species across the board but moreso to a specific fish like the Barra's mentioned in specific circumstances.

SO say we suggest "keeping the fish in the water" for a photo, and then release, without lifting to weigh (or measure length / legal length against a Fisheries Dept Ruler on the boat) - theres no way for example for the fish to be part of a tagging and recapture study, or to be submitted for example for a IGFA record, or even know if it is legal or not to keep BEFORE we take it outta the water and basically sentence it to death by handling it!

The very act of Fish rulers could therefore be considered "responsible for needless fish deaths" just by encouraging people to pull the fish into the boat to see if it is legal, to the same extent maybe as Boga Grips are, when we are talking about these susceptable fish with fine scales and slime layers!

Should therefore the rulers even have the tuna's lengths and bag limits etc on them? Are they killing more tuna's thru the Fisheries laws, and use of sid plastic legal length rulers, than what Boga grips do annually?

I know in some places, a measuring tape is used for the length and girth measurement of Billfish - before tagging them, from which the weight can be estimated for comps and records etc - which is probably a good idea, but again - in the process of handling the fish to get those measurements are we sentencing a proportion of the susceptable species to a certain death, despite our very best intentions otherwise?

How hard do we pull on a fish when we, for example - "lift fish" over the side of the boat using the leader? Isn't this EXACTLY the same thing as lifting a fish for a few brief moments with a boga grip to weigh it?

Do we start regulating to only allow boats to be licensed for fishing out of, if they have a flooded swim cute, for fish to be swum into the boat, with the fish ruler stuck to the bottom of the swim ramp..

Swim the fish into the chute - measure it still in the water and push it back out, still wet, if it's too short?

I can't see anglers down at the north mole giving up their right to lift their herring up onto the rocks or jettys all over the state for that matter!

I mean they lift fish up by the jaw to measure if they are legal or not before they throw them back if they are undersized? ALL land based anglers are going to net land every herring from now on?

If boga grips are a danger to fish then so is every fshing platform in the state! Crikey we'd have to dynamite all the rock platforms to protect the fish from a stretched neck/jaw. (Joking people, lets not send someone into apoplexy over this!!)

I think anglers need to see past this silly motherhood stuff about Boga Grips - they are a great invention, used properly, and I suggest in the most policially correct and humble way - that we need to be a little more rational (logical / common sensicle, hey is that even a word?) in our willingness to "adopt new idea's" in order to be seen to be interested in fish welfare, in order to promote our sport as being socially acceptable, to basically rabid green fringe groups.

Imagine the feild day PETA groups would have with us - if we make rules outlawing the lifting of a fish by it's jaw.
Suddenly hooks are banned - they pull on a fishes jaw, and people lift the fish into the boat by the jaw using hooks.
So PETA start demanding fish hooks be banned under the cruelty to animals laws - and they use our own laws about lifting fish by the jaws with boga grips, as justification for their claims?

We'd have to go back to netting our fish with square hooks! (But were saying thats no longer an appropriate method in the 3rd millenium!).

This is where I think the "kindness to fish people" are perhaps going a little overboard, without much scientific justification, for the claims and little thought for the longer term implications for our "blood sport" (because like it or not thats what fishing is!)

Heck, I've had these very discussions, with well respected anglers, while chewing on blue bone grouper we pulled into the boat with a hook - telling me we shouldn't use Boga grips, because they read it somewhere.

Really speaking angling is still a blood sport - we raise their lactic acid levels in their blood - we lower their dissolved oxygen levels at the same time exhausting them, then we lift them outta the water at the end where they then cannot breath, in order to measure weigh photo and then kill or release them!.

Should we not be allowed to do that unless we have Royal lifesaving quals, St Johns first aid cert, a defibrilator and oxygen bottle on standebye to revive each and every fish after it's epic battle for freedom?

I am all for "best practices" in handling and releasing fish which is why we are here discussing it in this thread. Should every boat be required to have a "recovery tank" containing water with clove oil to sedate the fish while its having hooks removed, under cruelty to animals regs, - then being recovered with artificially oxygenated water, before being released!

We can go to extreme lengths if we wish, and some seriously academic research type ships dealing with rare and endangered or highly regarded fish species, might indeed go to such lengths.

We are talking about angling in all it's forms - by moms n pops n kids all over the country sometimes only once a year!

I think we need to keep that need for simplicity in mind, in terms of the practices we come up with at the end of it is I guess what I'm saying!

I'm off to read the links thanks Terry and see what I can glean from it!

Cheers!

"Piscator, non solum piscator" which freely translated means something like "A fisherman, not just a catcher of fish"
http://www.flywest.com.au

Posts: 485

Date Joined: 04/02/06

I don't know

Sun, 2006-07-30 13:56

Maybe I'm too sceptical.

Look I've been just briefly perusing the site and I initially came away with an impression.

It is this - the majority of the reports appear to be "opinions" of just one author, whos experience and qualifications, I have no idea about, I'll have to research that a bit better!

(Specifically I'd be researching 1stly the authors name and Berkley Tackles listed directors & shareholders, followed closely by the Authors name and PETA membership lists!).

I specificaly went looking for the info on grips and found it in a pdf file showing a couple pics of right and wrong methods to use a grip on fish and suggesting to avoid grips that employ a weigh scale???????????

I believe this is WRONG, of a person, in order to, in effect endorse one product, (Lip grip) over a Boga Grip without just comming out and saying so and being blunt about it.

I've seen both instruments and own the boga grip.

The patented part of the boga grip is it's integral IGFA Rated weigh scale in the handle, which is why the Lip grip (Berkeleys cheap knock off copy) is made without such.

This in my opinion at least is the major failure of thre lip grip - due to the fact the grip has no scale - the jaws as a result don't rotate thru 360 degrees when a fish struggles!

A fish lifted on Boga's that does struggle and hence spin thru 360 degrees sufferes no jaw flesh or bone damage as a result of the grip because it rotates with the fish, while the handle stays firm & stationary in the hand.

Conversely the Lip Grip Jaws are fixed to the handle there is no ability to rotate - a fish that sruggles on the lip grip WILL sustain both tissue AND jaw bone damage from the fixed jaws of the cheaper lip grip IMHO.

To effectively suggest (in essence recommend) one deficient in design brand prodduct, over another, in such a thinly veiled way, makes me highly suspicious of the author, or that the whole site and basically single author of all it's support papers, aren't in some way involved fiscally with Berley tackle co???

I could be wrong - I'm just commenting on my initial impressions..based on the first thing I read at the site.

We lift fish over the gunnel of the boat on a leader - but avoid any grip device with a scale in it?

The two pics depicted, both I believe contained the lip grip I think - I don't see a boga grip depicted. Why cannot a boga grip be used WITHOUT weighing the fish - (I certainly don't weigh every fish I use the boga grip on) and still supporting the fish under it's stomach?

In this case both grips ostensibly would be "equal" so why discriminate against one (the design deficient one most likely to do permanent read fatal) damage to the fishees jaw???

I find it hard to take the author seriously, I'm sorry Terry on an initial read! Undoubtedly there were some other interesting research papers listed there, that I will have to read more closely to have a truely representative opinion.

I just question I guess the veracity / impartialness of the very first suposed expert advice I read there which seems to be entirely commercially driven andwithout basis in fact or made by someone without the experience of the prodcts to know or realise the weakness in his opinion.

Maybe I'll revise my opinion based on what else I read at the site subsequently! So far it's two thumbs down, from me - but thats unfair judgement, based on just the little I've read so far!

In regard to grips, however, I'd declare the guy don't know jack at this stage IMHO! ;o)

Cheers!

"Piscator, non solum piscator" which freely translated means something like "A fisherman, not just a catcher of fish"
http://www.flywest.com.au

Kasey L.'s picture

Posts: 1390

Date Joined: 02/03/06

Hi, In between all the

Sun, 2006-07-30 16:15

Hi,
In between all the unneccessary verbosity and waffle (to me anyway, because I haven't been able to pick out anything practical for me since the word 'boga' popped up; I never use the things), here's my advice to you:

NEVER DUNK FRESH MARINE FISH IN FRESH WATER AND LEAVE TO SOAK. ever. If you have ever had sashimi that has been left to soak in fresh-water you will understand. For those who don't, go to wikipedia.com and search 'osmosis' and 'diffusion'. This goes to other marine life, unless its a specific process that requires fresh water.

Brought back fresh frozen raw Exmouth prawns for a friend, only to discover to my horror, she soaked it overnight before cooking to 'clean it'. Turned to mush, and I won't ever be bringing back prawns for her again. Serves her right.

Secondly,
Jeezus, lifting a herring lip-hooked by handling the line out of the water isn't the same as say.. trying to lift a 30kg Sambo out of the water. Some common sense here, which would you think would cause more damage?

Oh, fine, bring back science... physics? sure why not. Lets say the damage and ripping of flesh, cartilage and bone occurs due to pressure. Define pressure? It involves mass. So, perhaps the mass of the herring (0.2kg perhaps?) would involve less pressure than the mass of a sambo (30kg). Fine, yes the structures of the different fish are different.. Lets not go into detail? Visualisation = hang 0.2kg of your finger or... any other appendage by string (or hook if anyone's so inclined..) and increase weights to 30kg until the appendage becomes permanently damaged or detached. Possibly, we could do this experiment on fish, but don't tell PETA.

As for handling fish... well, when they're released through my stomach... I guess thats the least of a fish's worries =)

Otherwise, until someone can teach me better, wet hands or gloves, quick in, pictures, quick out, release weight where applicable, drop line in and catch next fish. I guess the next step up from that would be to wear separate sterilised rubber gloves for each fish, but those are squelchy when wet.

Just my 2 c.

Posts: 485

Date Joined: 04/02/06

Back to Kidneys

Mon, 2006-07-31 11:04

So getting back to the kidneys issue...in Answer to Matt's question,
I am beginning to think there's a possibility that the removal of the kidneys (Blood Sacs near the backbone) may wel be related to the effects of barotrauma on that particular organ.

When we think about it - the kidneys job in fishes is to filter out poisons from the fishes blood stream and eliminate them from the body.

In the severe effects of barotrauma (in fishes caught from Depths exceeding 20 meters and most ceratianly below depths of 45 meters) it is quite likely that whatever toxins ahve been filtered out of the blood system into the kidneys - would THEN be expelled from the kidneys back into the bloodstream, due to the effects of pressure!.

So perhaps this removal of the kidneys (blood sacs) in Dhufish isn't as silly asit at first might sound!

I bleieve work was carried out on the effects of barotrauma on fishes mainlly Snapper Pagrus auratus (but also including Dhufish Glaucosoma hebraicum) by Ashby 1996; Longbottom2000; St John and Moran 2000; St John unpublished data, that might support such a contention.

I guess maybe time will tell - maybe these old guys knew a lot more than they let on! ;o)

Cheers!

"Piscator, non solum piscator" which freely translated means something like "A fisherman, not just a catcher of fish"

http://www.flywest.com.au

Fly West

Posts: 485

Date Joined: 04/02/06

Quote:I also think it is

Thu, 2006-08-03 02:27

Quote:
I also think it is important to take a bucket or container of fresh seawater back home to the filleting table so you can wash your fillets in seawater rather than tap water, which has clorine and fluride etc in it.

Cheers
Andy Mac

Hey Andy,

I'm not disagreeing with you coz I've always done the same - wash my fish fillets in saltwater, but i read the following today and couldn't help remembering this little bit.

Makes me wonder how we are both still alive!
(Sometimes I think I'd sooner not KNOW what the scientists latest discoverys are!) LOL LOL

Source:- BBC UK
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5232928.stm

Quote:
Thousands of microbes in one gulp
By Louisa Cheung

One litre of seawater can contain more than 20,000 different types of bacteria, scientists have found.

The extraordinary number has been established by an international project attempting to catalogue all ocean life.

It suggests microbial biodiversity is much greater than previously thought, say Mitchell Sogin and colleagues.

Their research, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is part of the Census of Marine Life (CoML).

It was undertaken using a new technique that allows for the rapid identification of distinct organisms by probing just small snippets of DNA.

"Microbes constitute the vast majority of marine biomass and are the primary engines of the Earth's biosphere," said Dr Sogin, from the Marine Biological Laboratory's (MBL) Josephine Bay Paul Center for Comparative and Molecular Biology and Evolution, located in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, US.

Density range

In the PNAS study, microbes were fished up from eight sites in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans at depths of 550-4,100m (1,800-13,500ft).

The locations included extreme environments, both hot and cold, such as the North Atlantic and a hydrothermal vent located on an underwater Pacific volcano off the coast of Oregon.

The scientists expected to find about 2,000 species per litre of seawater. They were shocked to discover 10 times more biodiversity.

"These observations blow away all previous estimates of bacterial diversity in the ocean," said Dr Sogin. "The number of different kinds of bacteria in the oceans could eclipse five to 10 million."

He told the BBC News website: "It really points to our lack of knowledge and how much more there is to learn."

The powerful new identification technique used by the microbiologists is called "454 tag sequencing".

It enabled the team to identify thousands of unusual types of microbes, some of which were present only in small numbers. They could easily have been overlooked by previous studies.

'Rare biosphere'

"Peering through a laboratory microscope into a drop of seawater is like looking at the stars on a clear night," said Victor Gallardo, vice chair of the CoML.

"The 454 tag sequencing strategy increases resolution like the Hubble Telescope. We can see marine microbial diversity to which we were blind before." A "rare biosphere" is how the scientists described these low-abundance background populations.

The unusual microorganisms are thought to contribute to an enormous range of novel genetic diversity in the ocean.

The researchers believe that they might serve as a gene pool to preserve genetic innovations.

If environmental changes wiped out a dominant species, the low-abundance ones with a more suitable genetic makeup would be ready to take over.

"We know there will be major ecological changes on our planet. The microbial world has to survive the changes and one way is to have a lot of novelty in your genome so that you can cope with different environmental conditions," explained Dr Sogin.

Global reach

The census keeps a record of the distribution and numbers of the microbes. Scientists can then trace how the organisms adapt to changes and also, in the long run, understand what evolutionary driving forces might be at play.

"These rare, ancient organisms are likely to prove a key part of nature's history and strategy," explained Dr Gallardo.

Human beings are dependent on microbes for continued survival.

"The photosynthesis in the ocean is carried out by microbial life forms, and that is the major input in terms of capture of energy from the Sun," explained Dr Sogin. "The microbes are a significant input into climate parameters."

The project will scale up to 1,200 marine sites, including different conditions such as surface waters, waters near methane emissions from the sea floor, and deep-sea sediments.

The study forms part of the International Census of Marine Microbes (ICoMM), a component of the Census of Marine Life, a 10-year global initiative started in the year 2000.

The CoML now involves more than 1,700 researchers in over 70 countries in efforts to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of life in the oceans - past, present, and future.


The project will extend its sampling of ocean waters

If you believe all that like we should both be dead already cobber!

Cheers!

"Piscator, non solum piscator" - "A fisherman, not just a catcher of fish"

http://www.flywest.com.au

Fly West

Adam Gallash's picture

Posts: 15108

Date Joined: 29/11/05

Yikes

Thu, 2006-08-03 09:17

Thats crazy stuff! Wonder what happens when they start sampling our drinking water.

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