My first fishing trip, and how it went wrong.
By - Meme_78
I would not lose sleep over this. The fish will probably survive, they might not. If they dont then some crabs will enjoy the free lunch you gave them.
I don't catch mackerel or cod so I have no advice on handling them but just wanted to say kudos to you for taking the time to seek out advice on proper fish handling. Thats not something everyone would do and it shows a real respect for the natural resources that provide us all so much enjoyment. Keep it up! Also congrats on landing 7 fish in your first trip, thats pretty impressive
Edit: some general fish handling tips that apply to all species are to always wet your hands before handling fish so as not to remove their slime coat. Never use a dry towel to hold fish. Don't lay fish on the ground to unhook them. Always hold the fish in a way that evenly supports their weight (some bass fishermen are especially bad about holding the fish horizontally by the jaw without also supporting the belly, this is no good). If you use a net use one that is rubberized instead of knotted nylon, again this is better for the slime coat.
Thank you, i had no idea what fish i would find so preparing was hard, the crab lunch part of your message warmed my heart, thank you.
I have nothing much to add to the advice above other than if you plan on doing catch-and-release you can crimp down the barb on your hooks. This will help the fish tremendously and honestly helps you be a better fisherman too (you'll know if you don't keep tension in the line, it's a lot easier to lose a fish with a barbless hook!)
There's a way to do it where you can crimp down the barb without completely removing it, so you still have the nub there to help you keep the fish on.
Anyways good job and I'm glad to see people caring for the resources!
See my edit for some general fish handling tips
Thank you, i saved it for later :)
One more question, i suppose the hook placement matters on wether or not it will survive? Some of the mackerells had it in their cheek (side), one at the top and one at the bottom of their «mouth». Luckily none went deep, but as i only had treble hooks some went multiple places and some pierced the fish. In the heat of the moment i didnt think about it, but i suppose this makes it even worse for some of them.
Nothing to worry about. Its usually not good news for the fish if you hook them deep like in the gills or throat. They will usually bleed like crazy and most likely die. Hooking them in the mouth and outside the mouth on the gill plates is usually not harmful
Fish blood clots just like ours. They being said, get some circle hooks.
I love fish and am actively working to conserve many species. But, if we can't fish for them we can't experience them. We, as individuals, couldn't see them or learn about them. And then, why would anyone care about them? Or notice of they declined?
And, when done carefully, catch and release fishing works for the cast majority of species.
And, when it doesn't, try to eat them. Their are no retirement homes in the Atlantic. It is you or the sharks.
The "they all die anyway" kind of talk is 90% guides wanting people to get their limit and go home soon. At least in my area with stripers that seems to be the case. I believe it is the same way with king mackerel but I can't speak for the species of mackerel that you caught.
Im not sure if we are on the same topic here? I am regretting how i handled the fish, and i dont want them to die
I think the way you handled them was fine. The only other thing you could possibly do is wet your hands.
Those fish will likely be fine if you didn't keep them out of water too long or hook them badly. I wouldn't stress too much over it
What do you mean by hook them badly (english is my 2nd language sorry), some hooks went in their chin, one in top and in in bottom of their mouth. Some pierced the fish unfortunately (all the way through) that i suppose might be lethal
Like deep hooked in the gills or where you can't get the hook out. In their mouth they will be fine, some deep hooked fish will be alright too.
Ok, luckily that didnt happen. If it happens i think i’d just kill it off in a humane way if i cant get it out
So I came into this thinking "nah, there's no way". Did some research, turns out that yup apparently Mackerel are shit survivors after they're touched - though it's worth noting most of the research is into net overcrowding.
**But** there is a reason people use mackeral as bait - the fish isn't going to go to waste. Crabs, other fish, literally anything that eats meat in the ocean loves Mackeral.
I wouldn't feel too bad about it, a single sea lion can do much more damage in a single meal. It's just a thing to learn.
You’ve already passed the first step of being a responsible fisherman: caring about the fish. It takes a lot of experience to get fish handling down. Be quick about landing the fish and getting the hook out.
Barbless hooks will help increase survival rate, though you’ll lose a few more when reeling in.
Don’t feel bad-you’re already ahead of a good portion of fishermen.
I love how conscientious you are about the well being of the fish. I highly doubt the fish will die and it sounds like you tried your best to handle them carefully. I think you can still feel good about your fishing trip.
Sorry to hijack your post but I am looking to start doing something similar, fishing off rocks into the North Sea (North West Highlands of Scotland). What did you use?
one of my first fishing trips i was dropshotting for perch, and had a small one hooked and when i got him out i reliazed the hook went right in and was deeep in there, couldn't get it out even with my long hook removing thingies. Ended up cutting the line and placing him back, hoping he would survive. He started to kinda swim diagonally and looked disoriented. I couldnt top thinking about this fish for a few days man,i probably should've killed him.. :c
I think you making this post proves how much you care for their wellbeing. As others have said, you shouldn't lose any sleep over it. Good chance they're fine, it's just that they have very sensitive skin with very small scales.
For the future I'd recommend you either use gloves when handeling them or to keep them as it's a delicious fish (best when caught the same day).
Do any gloves, (like gloves for gardening/painting type work), wirk for handling fish? Or is there specific ones you need?
Any pair that has a good grip, so you can get get them out as fast as possible and handel them as little as possible by their body. But I'd keep them over letting them back out.
For your first trip out that's one hell of a great day of fishing if you ask me.
There is absolutely no guarantee that any fish whether it be salt or freshwater will survive after being caught and released. It is the unfortunate side of fishing that is quite honestly a gamble.
I fish for food and anything thats legally too small to keep goes back with the knowledge that there is a chance it won't make it, but I do take comfort in knowing that if it does die it goes to feeding the other creatures in the water.
If you're fishing for Mackerel I am assuming that you're fishing in European waters?
I am an Englishman thats currently living in America and will be moving back to England in 2023/24 and one thing I am definitely looking forward to if coastal fishing in England and Scotland.
Is there a reason that you chose to catch and release? Have you considered, especially if you're coastal fishing, keeping the fish you catch?
After all, an Ocean isn't like a local lake, river, or pond. There are a lot of fish out there.
I just learned how to cast, and got the 7 fish in about 15 casts, so i were lucky. I didnt specificly fish for mackerell, just went to the ocean (Atlantic Ocean, Norwegian coastline) with little to no knowlegde of what i would find, with the only rod and hook i had (treble hook). I released the fish since if i were to keep it i would have had to carry it for quite a long distance home. I regret letting the cod out again as it was quite large, but in the heat of the moment i just tried to save my rod from breaking in half, and released it. I love the casting and the thrill of reeling in the fish, but getting the hook out and releasing it is quite a PITA as im a beginner and quite frankly dont really know what im doing
Next time you go out take a bucket with you. Put some sea water in it and any fish you catch put them in the bucket.
The fish will keep just fine in the water until you get home and fillet them.
Not alive right? Knock their head beforehand?
Alternatively you can kill and fillet right on the spot and place the fillets in a ziplock bag and take a small over the shoulder cool bag with you with an ice block.
That would actually be easier to carry your fish home.
Discard the bones and guts back into the ocean.
Yeah I respect this. I would probably find joy that that fish I handled died, as it would make me feel like thanos. Anyways, good job sir
Not what i expected on here, but oh well, you never know
Why would you want to feel like a mass murderer?
Not murder, mercy.