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Thread: Releasing small trout

  1. #1

    Default Releasing small trout

    I released a couple of 10-12" trout today that had completely swallowed the hook. I cut the line as close as I could and was just hoping that the hook would rot away without harming the fish. After the fact, I started thinking maybe there would be issues with the hook puncturing the stomach or intestines from the inside killing the fish anyway. What do you all think? Will trout live if released this way or should I simply keep them in the future?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Eagle River, AK


    I usually keep them if I can in that case. Any fish biologists out there that might have some useful info?

  3. #3
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Valdez, Alaska

    Default Hooks and rust

    If the hooks are not stainless then they will rust out in no time. Pretty common practice back east.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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  4. #4
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    I've always heard that hooks would rust out quickly but have my doubts. Put a hook in the water and see how long it takes to rust away. Maybe the fish produce juices that eat the hook away quickly, I don't know. Has anyone seen any research done on this?

  5. #5

    Default well for one thing

    What kind of hook did you put in the water? Little cheap brass hooks are the hooks to be used if you want to release fish while using bait. Stainless hooks just dont rust off in time. To go one more step aheaduse a barbless hook and if you cant honestly get the hook out. Your probably better off keeping it.

  6. #6


    I was using super cheap no-name brand brass colored hooks. I found some hungry trout and the right bait and they were swallowing it to the point that I couldn't see the hook at all anymore. It seems that the stomach acids in the fish would eat away at the hook pretty fast, but I just don't know if it is fast enough to keep from hurting the fish?

  7. #7
    Member big_dog60's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    between wasilla and palmer


    I actually talked to a fish and game biologist about this cause I wasnt sure. He said that it doesn't kill the fish and the fish will actually grow around the hooks. In sampling apperinty it is common to find fish that have had hooks in them for several years.

  8. #8
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Aberdeen WA


    Fishing bait for trout in the typical fashion carries a very high risk of inflicting a mortal hooking wound. I've come up with a novel technique that virtually eliminates the chance of a mortal hooking wound when fishing bait for trout in flowing water.

    Check out the latest edition of Salmon-Trout-Steelheader Magazine pg 70-73.

    If you're going to C&R trout, fish a barbless single hook and carry a de-hooker device.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    The KeenEye MD

  9. #9
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Eagle River/ Juneau


    I don't use bait for trout unless I am fishing for lakers and plan on keeping them. I also always use a very large hook and a barbless hook in case the fish I catch isn't a keeper. If I'm fishing for rainbows, grayling or dollies I'm using flies, because I'd rather not catch and fish and not kill fish than kill fish.

    P.S. You did the right thing
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.


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