Jump to content





Photo

Do hooks dissolve in fish's mouth?


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 goteeboy

 
goteeboy

    Almost a Guide

  • Members
  • 192 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Toronto
 

Posted 17 June 2008 - 11:52 AM

I was at Little Lake (Barrie) yesterday going after the lake's ubiquitous hammer handle pike. So i got into one and as it neared the boat i thought it was a decent size, until it got closer and i saw that it was incredibly emaciated (huge head, skinny body). Once it was landed, i saw that it had a bass-size spinner bait lodged in its throat. Looking at the location of the lure, it most definitely snapped off right at the knot. I removed my lure (a jig spinner w/ grub) and then I began what I was called to do for my whole life, minor surgery on an emaciated pike (haha). The hook was lodged near one of it's gill rakers, so i pulled the hook through, clipped off the barb and pulled the lure out, (which is still in the back of my boat) and then released the fish. Hopefully this fish will eat again and live to a ripe old age.

So a couple of thoughts related to this incident. Break-offs will happen but perhaps some precautions can be made.

1. When targeting pike or other toothy critters, you should use a leader. Not only do you save your lure, but you also can save the fish in the case of a break off. Also make sure you tie good knots and check your line for frays and retie when needed.

2. Do hooks dissolve? Put it this way, I'm convinced this pike would've starved to death before the hook would have dissolved. (I'm assumming that at longest this lure was in its mouth since opening day in mid May.) In this case, the spinnerbait hook had a silver coating and had just begun to rust, not to mention that the rest of the wire, weighted head, and skirt, were all pretty much intact and looked practically new. Possible suggestions: use uncoated or thinwire hooks?

Well, that's my conservational input for the day. I'll wait for the rest of you to chime in.

#2 Pachone

 
Pachone

    Almost a Guide

  • Members
  • 294 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pickering
 

Posted 17 June 2008 - 12:32 PM

Good move. Ive often wondered about that happening. Im glad you took it out and that fish we know what its like to feed again.

#3 Joey

 
Joey

    Fishing Queen

  • Captain
  • 10,422 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Richmond Hill
 

Posted 17 June 2008 - 12:40 PM

Good for your goteeboy. I'm glad to hear the pike survived.

As for the hooks dissolving, they probably do, but not fast enough to save a fish's life IMO. I could be wrong tho.

Joey

#4 j ace

 
j ace

    Guide

  • Members
  • 529 posts
 

Posted 17 June 2008 - 12:48 PM

this is where hooks made of stainless steel and corrosion resistant alloys are a bad thing. In fresh water, i think the idea that they fall out after a few days is way off the mark. In saltwater, lures don't last very long at all, i have boxes of garbage lures that are no good from a season of use in salt.

#5 ccmt

 
ccmt

    Fish Whisperer

  • Members
  • 8,376 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Durham Region
 

Posted 17 June 2008 - 12:51 PM

Good on you gotee for tending to that pike! Hopefully it has a chance now.

I agree with others here....by the time a hook like that had a chance to rust out, it would likely be too late....the condition you found that pike in supports that.

#6 Blaque

 
Blaque

    All Knowing Angler

  • Members
  • 2,089 posts
 

Posted 17 June 2008 - 12:53 PM

i think this is a great post........even though we may never get a studied answer to the question from this thread.
I certainly dont have the answer thats for sure. I do know ive always been taught to snip and let the hook "rust out' if a fish has taken it deep, or at least deep enough that a pair of hemostats and hook removal is going to kill the fish for sure. . Ya either play that hand, or just harvest teh fish as it is a hopeless thought sometimes to think the fish will survive. And just make sure that the fish doesnt go to waste if you know it wont make it. I dunno, im not a doctor or veterinarian so its hard to know what the right call is sometimes. Its gotta take a heckuva long time for a hook to degrade...........i would think a rusty hook in the flesh would probably not do well for the fish either. EIther way, im all for what is best for the fish if im not keeping that day.........whcich i rarely am.

#7 Headhunter

 
Headhunter

    Fishing God

  • Members
  • 5,421 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Squeezing worm guts in FnS's boat!
 

Posted 17 June 2008 - 12:56 PM

Years ago I was Carp fishing and hooked a small Perch. Once I got it in, I noticed there was some mono sticking out of it's bottom... ever the curious one and half expecting it to be like the draw string on a kids toy, I gave 'er a yank... and slowly I pulled a half rusted hook out the Perches' rear end!
No idea how long it was in there, but the Perch seemed ok and there was nothing else lodged in it's mouth, that I can recall... I think I'm wit the rest here and suggest that the probably don't rust out, most of the time... unless it's a PERCH! :whistling:
HH

#8 Dabluz

 
Dabluz

    Fishing Icon

  • Members
  • 1,011 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chicoutimi, Quebec
 

Posted 17 June 2008 - 01:01 PM

I have run across a couple of very emaciated fish too. One was a very long pike who should have weighed about 20 lbs but was about 7 lbs. I caught him on a jig. There was a clip from a fishing chain punched through upper and lower jaw. This was on the upper Ottawa River during the pike and walleye opener in may so this fish had this clip in his face since the previous season. He still managed to have enough of an opening to grab my jig. I removed the clip and released the fish.

Since I often use 2 lb test mono and baited hook for brook trout, I usually retie my hook after every fish....especially when it's a brookie over 16 inches long. Most of the time, I just cut the line and put the brookie in a large metal mesh bag hanging in the water beside my canoe and then retrieve my hook when I get home. This way, the trout stays lively all day in the bag. I usually find the hook quite far in the stomach even though I could see the hook in the trout's gullet after I have caught it. Surely the hook does travel to the stomach. The red finish on the red Gamakatsu hooks really takes a beating from spending a few hours in the fish's stomach. I'm sure that the further away from the stomach the hook does not dissolve as quickly. I often check stomach contents when cleaning fish and I've very rarely ever run across any hooks or lures in the stomachs of fish unless it was a fish that I or somebody had hooked and lost due to a break off a bit earlier in the day.

Since I have run across recently hooked fish and yet have never encountered an old deeply embedded hook there can be only 2 conclusions. Either the hooks do rust away quickly or the fish eventually dies. But, if an embedded hook is so fatal, why do I often run across fish that had been submitted to quite a bit of damage and yet have healed and lived to bite again? I even caught a trout whose whole upper jaw was missing....right up to between his eyes. Everything had healed up, the lower jaw was bent up until it almost ended up between the fish's eyes and the eyes were bulging outward.

I'm sure that someday, a future biologist will make his thesis on this subject.

Edited by Dabluz, 17 June 2008 - 01:05 PM.


#9 timmeh

 
timmeh

    Guide

  • Members
  • 619 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:fishing
 

Posted 17 June 2008 - 01:06 PM

I've always heard that hooks will fall out on their own, but obviously that's not always the case. Good job on saving the fish (hopefully)

But one point I'd like to make about fish not eating when they have a hook in their mouth. Clearly since you caught this fish, it certainly was trying to feed and likely had been doing so since it was hooked. Whether or not it was actually able to eat anything because of the lure stuck in it's mouth is another question that we'll never really know. I've caught fish before with hooks in them, so clearly it doesn't always stop a fish from feeding. However I do agree that taking precautions such as using leaders and strong knots are beneficial for both fish and fisherman.

I guess I'll continue to release fish with hooks deep in them. I don't really like doing this, but if I'm not going to keep the fish, I'd rather give it a chance to survive. Just my 2 cents. Interesting topic.

Tim

#10 anders

 
anders

    Fishing Icon

  • Members
  • 1,183 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Superior, between the lake and the bush
 

Posted 17 June 2008 - 02:19 PM

I've always heard that hooks will fall out on their own, but obviously that's not always the case. Good job on saving the fish (hopefully)

But one point I'd like to make about fish not eating when they have a hook in their mouth. Clearly since you caught this fish, it certainly was trying to feed and likely had been doing so since it was hooked. Whether or not it was actually able to eat anything because of the lure stuck in it's mouth is another question that we'll never really know. I've caught fish before with hooks in them, so clearly it doesn't always stop a fish from feeding. However I do agree that taking precautions such as using leaders and strong knots are beneficial for both fish and fisherman.

I guess I'll continue to release fish with hooks deep in them. I don't really like doing this, but if I'm not going to keep the fish, I'd rather give it a chance to survive. Just my 2 cents. Interesting topic.


those were my thoughts exactly....if i know i will do damage to a fish that i am intending to release, i cut the line as close as i can and hope for the best

#11 Musky or Specks

 
Musky or Specks

    Older and Crustier Everyday

  • Members
  • 2,423 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:kitchener-waterloo
 

Posted 17 June 2008 - 02:23 PM

From Minnisota DNR page

Ask the DNR
Q. In its statements on catch-and-release, the DNR says it's better to leave a deeply im-bedded hook in a fish's mouth and cut the line than to rip the hook out. The hook will supposedly dissolve. But how do biologists know this? en

A. There is no existing scientific research on the topic, but DNR fisheries biologists have observed fish surviving with hooks in various stages of "being dissolved" in their bodies. And many anglers have caught fish with a partially dissolved hook in its gut.

Many variables determine how fast the hook will dissolve, and if the fish will survive at all. These include hook location (throat, stomach, mouth, etc.), hook size, fish size, temperature (most reactions occur faster at higher temperatures, so a hook would probably dissolve faster in the summer than in the winter). A hook in the mouth may dissolve, but it could also work loose and fall out. A hook in the mouth might hamper feeding behavior, but only temporarily.

A hook in the gill, however, will almost always prove fatal because it interrupts the respiratory process before it gets a chance to dissolve. Hooks in the stomach will nearly always dissolve, if internal organs have not received life-threatening damage from the hook (such as during a fight between fish and angler).

How long does it take for a hook to dissolve? Again there are lots of variables, such as hook size and fish size. DNR fisheries biologists estimate that it would take roughly two to three weeks for an ?average? hook to be dissolved by the ?average? fish?without too much indigestion.

I often will kill a fish because it is gut hooked and bleeding. Stainless steel hooks of coarse will not rust out. Of coarse any fish deep hooked that is kept has no chance for survival.

#12 Beats

 
Beats

    Guide

  • Members
  • 558 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:London, On
 

Posted 17 June 2008 - 05:03 PM

As a kid I remember being told or many occasions that hooks left in fish would rust out. In later years I realized that in most instances this simply wasn't true and that people are told this so that they stop worrying about if they just killed a fish or not. Tell an upset kid that the fish they just caught with the hook lodged in its stomach will rust and fall out and watch how soon that kid forgets about the suffering of the fish and just buys into the story that the fish will lose the hook on its own in the near future and be just fine.

A few years back I read a good article in a magazine, perhaps Esox Angler, on this subject. I believe the author was a taxidermist and had worked on multiple large pike/muskie with old hooks still in them. He showed pictures of the stomach contents of a few of these huge fish and some of them had multiple lengths of line with rusty hooks in their stomachs. In the end the fish weren't killed by the mono and rusty hooks but its kind of disturbing that fish are living on in this certainly unpleasant way. I recall that the line and hooks in these fish were definitely worn and the hooks were rusty but they were no where near dissolving.

#13 Nemo

 
Nemo

    Fishing Icon

  • Members
  • 1,682 posts
 

Posted 17 June 2008 - 05:36 PM

Semi Scientific Article from an Experiment in Salt Water..

http://www.worldwide...on/hookrust.php

My 2 cents is that you can get it out get it out. If it is one of those questionable cases where removing the hook will kill it I would harvest it.

Happy Reading

#14 JerseyDog

 
JerseyDog

    Almost a Guide

  • Members
  • 195 posts
  • Location:Toronto & Honey Harbour
 

Posted 17 June 2008 - 05:50 PM

I went barbless a couple of years back for precisely this reason. My thinking was at least a fish would have a chance to shake an unbarbed lure if there was a break off.

#15 cram

 
cram

    Fishing Icon

  • Members
  • 1,420 posts
 

Posted 17 June 2008 - 07:37 PM

at hte very least try to cut the hook so that only a little bit is stuck in there.

ANd no, they don't rust out. Not a chance.

#16 DanC

 
DanC

    Fishing God

  • Root Admin
  • 6,459 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Thunder Bay
 

Posted 17 June 2008 - 07:43 PM

Manitoba is 100% barbless. Most of my fishing is done in a barbless area. I think that Ontario should jump on board.

#17 lunkerbasshunter

 
lunkerbasshunter

    All Knowing Angler

  • Members
  • 3,737 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:oakville
 

Posted 17 June 2008 - 07:44 PM

everytime i get a break off i winder if the fish will make it. i usally try a week or to later to recatch the fish if its possible but that really only works in river fishing pools.

i just cant see it disolving in time for the fish to survive.

cheers!






View My Stats
Skin Designed By Evanescence at IBSkin.com