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If you are fishing in a length restricted fishery and you hook a fish in the gills that is outside of the legal limit, do you re

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  • If you are fishing in a length restricted fishery and you hook a fish in the gills that is outside of the legal limit, do you re

    If you are fishing in a length restricted fishery and you hook a fish in the gills that is outside of the legal limit, do you return it to the water knowing it won't survive, or keep the fish so that it will not be wasted and hope to be able to explain if necessary?

  • #2
    Release it. Game wardens etc. do not care if it was gill hooked or what...too short is too short.

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    • #3
      Throw it back. People can always claim a fish was fatally hooked as an excuse to keep over/under size ones. The warden should always write the ticket.

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      • #4
        I’d let it go. It’s not worth the ticket and if it does die, something will use it.

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        • #5
          Depends on the likelihood of a game warden showing up. If I was in a remote area with nobody else around I would likely keep it - I hate to see any fish or game go to waste (I know something would likely make use of it, but as far as I'm concerned, the otters, coons, herons, etc. have enough to eat).

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          • #6
            Send it back to the water, I've seen some gnarly fish with some serious wounds scarred over. It may be bleeding a lot, might not look like it will make it, but if you take it, you can be 100% sure it won't make it. Plus there is the legality of keeping a short fish or one outside the slot, not exactly ethical.

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            • #7
              I hate having to do it but I always let them go. Like Yoda, I have seen fish recover from some crazy injuries.

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              • #8
                Hi...


                Yes, I would release it. However...with all of the fishing I've done over the years, I don't remember any that I've caught by the gill(s).

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                • #9
                  Bob Hanson, I can't tell you how many fish I have caught that have taken the live bait deep and the hook wound up in the gills and yes occasionally lures. Once the gills are hooked, it has been my experience, that the fish has little chance of survival, especially if it is difficult to extract the hook.

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                  • #10
                    The circle of life says that it will go to good use. Whether to feed a snapping turtle or a gar. It's not worth it to me to get on bad terms with any Wildlife Officer. An ethical sportsman cannot be a hypocrite. It's up to us to set the example, not be the example. Semper Fidelis ladies and Gents.

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