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Since we can't keep trout, I struggle with targeting them right now, but I love to fish for them.

I want to maximize their chance of survival. I know handling them is bad- any tips on that?

I thought about filling a litter box with an inch or two of water and laying the net down in that box for hook removal. I use a rubber net, so that helps.

You could then release the fish directly from the net without ever picking it up directly. Any thoughts ? Am i overthinking this (I do that a lot - or so she says)
 

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Unless you have the fish out of the water for more than a couple minutes, hook it deep, or get a hook in a gill the fish will be just fine for the most part. While what you are suggesting is overkill IMO, if it makes you feel better and allows you to enjoy your trip that much more, then go for it.
 

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Fur gloves. Actually FAKE fur gloves. Rubber, round point hooks. Cut the line when the fish is 20' from the boat and it just might still live. Don't stare at it or give it dirty looks and absolutely do not direct any insulting language toward it. A litter box? Really? If you are really THAT concerned about hurting these fish leave the boat at the dock/driveway.
Sorry-just "pickin". Checked out Carolina Outdoorsman yesterday. They were catching some decent size, pre ban, trout and actually dropped one or two on the deck. They didn't use wet hands although they did use a fish friendly net material. I think the net material, barbless single hooks and a little common sense is as far as one needs to go in order to keep from harming a fish.

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I crimp all the barbs on the flies i tie, but need to start crimping barbs on all my lures for spin fishing. Anyone notice much of a difference in their catch ratios when crimping barbs for salt water species fish? When fly fishing, I don't notice any difference at all unless a fish goes under an obstruction.
 

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Haha, I deserved that.

I guess I got a little discouraged by the fish I caught on topwater recently. There were more than one "fouled" hooks and I'm not the best at dehooking 93,000 trebles in short order.

Will replacing my trebles with single hooks on my lures significantly reduce my hookup rate? What about just crimping all my treble hooks?
 

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My hat is off to you for thinking more about the victim we hunt vs yourself. Changing the back hook with a Siwash hook is a nice thing but you must add marabou or some sort of flashabou to maintain the action and presentation. My personal experience in doing this (which is not saying much) my hookup ratio in the sweetwater went down, where as doing this in the salt seemed to do the reverse. For this reason I feel it is better to use a good pair of pliers to crush the barb's to keep both parties happy instead of getting frustrated and going back to trebles with barbs on. Only change the trebles in the back of the lure.

In the beginning I did loose fish who jumped out of the water and threw the hook because I did not maintain pressure on the hook. With experience I have learned to feel/think the fish is going to jump and sweep the rod to the side to maintain that pressure. Yes from time to time I do loose a fish because I did not keep the pressure when they jumped or swam towards me and I did not keep up, but in the small ponds I fish in it is more important to me that the fish is probably there next week than having my picture in the Post newspaper with fishzilla.
 

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If the proper size & type of hook is used to replace the treble then I doubt you will see any difference in catch ratio once the fish is hooked. If there is a difference I would say it will be on the the plus side for singles. IMO the hook up to hit ratio will drop a bit. Treble hooks can be leveraged out of a fish mouth. If the fish has a hook set in its mouth and shakes its head the other two hook loops can bear against the inside or outside of the mouth and pry the hook that is set out by tearing it out. I don't want to sound like an expert. These are things I've learned by reading opinions of those that are experts and I think it is accurate. Another big reason to get rid of treble hooks is that they get impaled in fisherman so easily. I'm no expert here either but last year another kayak fisherman's hand got impaled with a treble hook and he was screaming and yelling like he was going through a knee replacement without anesthesia. He really turned off the bite.


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If your intention is to release the fish which at the present time you have to with specks, there is no reason to aver take the fish out of the water and handle it. The right dehooking tool will remove the hook. Heck, the secret with specks is getting them to stay on the hook not getting off.
 

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I use a dehooker too for letting trout/reds go after I catch a few in the kayak, liek it and I only ever lift the head out of the water. Good on you for caring about fishing handling.
 

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Im pretty sure iv never had a fish die that wasint gut hooked regardless of how i handled it. so yes indeed you are over thinking it. but there's nothing wrong with being gentle.
 

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Im pretty sure iv never had a fish die that wasint gut hooked regardless of how i handled it. so yes indeed you are over thinking it. but there's nothing wrong with being gentle.
But you do not know what happens to that fish as it swims away. A lot fish mortality from angling comes after the fish is released. Stress from the fight and handling. That fish may swim away fast but its adrenaline is still pumping. And not every fish that dies becomes a floater.

Another thing you can do to reduce mortality is up the strength of your rod so you can bring the fish in quicker. I would be reluctant to this, since the fight is why I fish.
 

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+1 for the dehooker. Leave the slime on the fish instead of your paws. I also crimp all the barbs on my hard baits and havent noticed any drop off with hook up's / loosing fish on the RARE occasion I actually get something to bite.

I've put away the net all together and use the dehooker exclusively for the trout and whip out the Fish Grips for anything else I would like to get a closer look/picture with.
 
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