Returning Bloated Rock cod Or Other Deep Caught Fish

DaPerrin

Newbie
Mar 22, 2018
23
18
3
53
La Habra
Name
David Perrin
Boat
Kayak
So I was out fishing in about 200ft of water yesterday and from a far, I noticed a guy catching small rock fish. Good for him. Then I see literally a trail of small, floating, bloated fish, thrashing on the surface down current behind his kayak. This is not the first time I have seen this.

Probably all of us who fish deep, have found ourselves in the position of pulling up Jr. size fish, bloated from the decompression. We try to release it, but the little guy just can not overcome the air pressure in its stomach or bladder. What to do?

Personally I hate to unnecessarily kill any creature, including fish. After all, fishing quality continues to declined in this country, especially here. In CA we pay a fortune for the right to catch a few meager sized fish. So we need to do what we can to maintain or INCREASE the fish population. Especially since kayakers have a limited range, we should be eager and willing to preserve our fishing grounds for next years outings.

Seeing a fisherman who throws back fish after fish, knowing they will all die makes me feel a bit irritated (on a good day). Of course, catching an undersized fish is not necessarily our fault. but not taking the initiative to be ready with a solution to return the fish is. So with that in mind I decided to create a little video. As I was out there fishing, I show how easy it is to release just such a fish. In fact I sent down a few of the other guys dying fish as they floated twords me.

The hope of this post is not to accuse but to educate and encourage all who are willing, to take the extra step and preserve our limited resources.

The little tool I use in the video cost literally 50 cents and took me 5 min to make. You just need to keep an extra rod available for the task. There are many other more sophisticated tools but this is the most simple and cost effect one that I know of. Best of all it works. If you have other ideas please share them. Thanks.

 

plj46

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 7, 2008
6,998
7,006
113
Socal
Name
john
Boat
24 ft grady white
You should see the trail of floaters our 1/2 day boat leaves here in San Diego.The last trip trip i went on i counted over 50 floaters ! Pathetic.
 
Sep 24, 2019
39
18
8
49
Mariposa, CA
Name
Wade Knupp
Boat
Kayak & Kickboat
I like to go with option #2: Don't reel up anything that doesn't put a good bend in the rod. Assuming I am over structure that should hold good size fish, little guys like that make great live bait. If you get a tap-tap -tap hit, set the hook and reel up 3-4 cranks. If it's worth reeling to the surface, it'll bend the rod over. If it's a dink leave it at that depth. If it shake off, reel up and rebait or drop your lure back to the bottom and work it. If it stays on it will try to get back to the bottom and attract the attention of anything in the area big enough to eat it, which will double the rod over!
 

AKSalmon

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 15, 2006
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Juneau, Alaska
Name
Bill Brown
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Sold my Parker. You can find me on the Red Rooster.
A few years ago, I saw a long liner tossing yellowed rockfish overboard because they were out of season (he was fishing halibut). There must have been 50 floating fish, and many were 10# or better. I scooped up one to take home but had to leave the rest to die because the sport limit was one pr day. (It is now zero per day. Why?)
 
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DaPerrin

Newbie
Mar 22, 2018
23
18
3
53
La Habra
Name
David Perrin
Boat
Kayak
I like to go with option #2: Don't reel up anything that doesn't put a good bend in the rod. Assuming I am over structure that should hold good size fish, little guys like that make great live bait. If you get a tap-tap -tap hit, set the hook and reel up 3-4 cranks. If it's worth reeling to the surface, it'll bend the rod over. If it's a dink leave it at that depth. If it shake off, reel up and rebait or drop your lure back to the bottom and work it. If it stays on it will try to get back to the bottom and attract the attention of anything in the area big enough to eat it, which will double the rod over!
Hummm, get freebait and catch a huge lingcod all at once... I like it.
 
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DaPerrin

Newbie
Mar 22, 2018
23
18
3
53
La Habra
Name
David Perrin
Boat
Kayak

Reel 007

Well-Known "Member"
Jun 12, 2006
1,367
493
83
Glendora Ca
Name
Leon
Boat
28 Wellcraft Coastal "vagabond'
So I was out fishing in about 200ft of water yesterday and from a far, I noticed a guy catching small rock fish. Good for him. Then I see literally a trail of small, floating, bloated fish, thrashing on the surface down current behind his kayak. This is not the first time I have seen this.

Probably all of us who fish deep, have found ourselves in the position of pulling up Jr. size fish, bloated from the decompression. We try to release it, but the little guy just can not overcome the air pressure in its stomach or bladder. What to do?

Personally I hate to unnecessarily kill any creature, including fish. After all, fishing quality continues to declined in this country, especially here. In CA we pay a fortune for the right to catch a few meager sized fish. So we need to do what we can to maintain or INCREASE the fish population. Especially since kayakers have a limited range, we should be eager and willing to preserve our fishing grounds for next years outings.

Seeing a fisherman who throws back fish after fish, knowing they will all die makes me feel a bit irritated (on a good day). Of course, catching an undersized fish is not necessarily our fault. but not taking the initiative to be ready with a solution to return the fish is. So with that in mind I decided to create a little video. As I was out there fishing, I show how easy it is to release just such a fish. In fact I sent down a few of the other guys dying fish as they floated twords me.

The hope of this post is not to accuse but to educate and encourage all who are willing, to take the extra step and preserve our limited resources.

The little tool I use in the video cost literally 50 cents and took me 5 min to make. You just need to keep an extra rod available for the task. There are many other more sophisticated tools but this is the most simple and cost effect one that I know of. Best of all it works. If you have other ideas please share them. Thanks.

Not trying to be sarcastic, do you have any proof that fish survived, I have a tool giving to me by DFW with instructions on the proper rate of descent, have used it a few times, don't know if the fish survived or not.
 

DaPerrin

Newbie
Mar 22, 2018
23
18
3
53
La Habra
Name
David Perrin
Boat
Kayak
Not trying to be sarcastic, do you have any proof that fish survived, I have a tool giving to me by DFW with instructions on the proper rate of descent, have used it a few times, don't know if the fish survived or not.
If it doesn't end up floating next to me in the next few minutes I have to assume it was successful. And a few have ended up back on top, but that's the exception in my experience. I think it's been proven well enough that for the most part fish will survive.
 
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heatsource

Member
Mar 28, 2018
124
230
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40
nevada city, ca
Name
dave
Boat
north river
Not trying to be sarcastic, do you have any proof that fish survived, I have a tool giving to me by DFW with instructions on the proper rate of descent, have used it a few times, don't know if the fish survived or not.
Im happy just to know I was probably feeding a ling and not a seagull
 

plj46

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 7, 2008
6,998
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Socal
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john
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24 ft grady white
I think the survival rate for this type of release is much better than the other option,floaters definitely don't survive.
 
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stairman

......
May 16, 2009
5,133
3,069
113
ramona /ca/usa
Name
doug
Boat
yak and lowe duck hunting skiff but they identify as sportfishing crusiers
use much bigger hooks
dont set the hook on tiny taps
but when the inevitable happens you can just add a fine wire hook and find a fleshy area to barely hook them and drop them back down then a quick yank and the fleshy airstrips and they swim off...usually half as deep as you hooked them and they can swim back down
 

Mnico

Well-Known "Member"
Dec 1, 2014
114
272
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38
Encinitas, CA
Name
Mike Nicoletti
Boat
pending
Does puncturing the swim bladder and tossing them back kill them? They usually swim away fine when i do that, always wondered if they just died later.
 
Sep 24, 2019
39
18
8
49
Mariposa, CA
Name
Wade Knupp
Boat
Kayak & Kickboat
There's some anecdotal evidence to suggest puncturing the swim bladder, while saving their life, causes their recovery time to be greater than sending them down to depth with a weight.
Freshwater tourney bass have been observed sitting on the bottom for up to 4 days after "Fizzing" which is using a hypodermic needle to put a small hole in the swim bladder going in from the side of the fish.
 
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Rusty123

Yep
Mar 7, 2019
61
68
18
Long Beach
Name
Rusty
Boat
Bayliner cuddy
“Video unavailable”
I cant see the vid for some reason?

make or buy a fish descender (inverted barbless hook). Very simple to make, upside down hook with a swivel on each side. Sea Qualizer makes a depth activated release tool. I prefer to use the modified Fish Gripper method.
 

AKSalmon

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 15, 2006
1,640
864
113
69
Juneau, Alaska
Name
Bill Brown
Boat
Sold my Parker. You can find me on the Red Rooster.
A few years ago, I saw a long liner tossing yelloweye rockfish overboard because they were out of season (he was fishing halibut). There must have been 50 floating fish, and many were 10# or better. I scooped up one to take home but had to leave the rest to die because the sport limit was one pr day. (It is now zero per day. Why?)
 

John McKroid

Newbie
Apr 24, 2018
52
31
18
Fort Lauderdale
Name
John McKroid
Boat
Hobie Pro Angler 14
In Florida, FWC stopped recommending the popping of the bladder because of a reduced survival rate. Now they recommend hydrostatic releases, and methods similar to what David recommends -- good stuff, I made a donation and received one, will use it next time grouper are out of season.