Saturday Shoutout / Know When To Hold ‘Em

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Some interesting perspective on Grip and Grin photos from the folks at orvis News.

There is always controversy around hero shots of angers with their catch. While I personally support responsible grip-and-grin photography, not everyone is on board. Not everyone is responsible either. This piece by Phil Monahan takes a thoughtful look at the issue and calls on some experts for advice. It’s conclusions are hard to argue with.

Take a look and tell us what you think in the comments section.



Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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3 thoughts on “Saturday Shoutout / Know When To Hold ‘Em

  1. An awful lot of opinion and conjecture and virtually zero science to draw an accurate conclusion. However common sense dictates that squeezing fish, laying them on the ground, dropping them on rocks, or holding them in the air for more than a few seconds can all contribute to delayed mortality. Those who suggest that anglers hold their breath while posing for a grip-and-grin photo do not understand fish physiology. A trout cannot hold it’s breath; anglers would be better served holding their breath until they start to asphyxiate – and then removing their trophy from the water – now you and the fish can both asphyxiate together – practice that would certainly limit time out of the water.

    It is understandable why guides need to take photos and I would never begrudge them the opportunity to promote their business and fishery. The majority of fish are caught by non-guided anglers and I meet to many who seem to want to turn their smart phones into their personal bragging boards. If we limited our photos to only a personal best, this would save a lot of mishandling.

    Of greater concern should be how fish are handled prior to photo taking. The effort to remove barbed hooks probably inflicts more squeezing and gills out of the water time than anything. Measuring a large trout accurately also requires actions that can inflict serious harm. And watching some drift boat anglers swing a netted fish into the boat for unhooking and photos makes one wonder what their priority is.

    Thankfully this whole discussion is focused on catch-and-release and not a debate about fish mounts and fish fries.

  2. Fish are so much more than just trophies that exist to boost human egos. And a fair number of them are going to die after release regardless. I looked up hooking mortality in Walleye one time and it was right at 15-20% across several studies. Yes, that is a different fishery, but still…

    A comment by a guide in the original post had it right: If on shore/wading, stay/get in in the water, wet hands, grip the caudal peduncle, support the fish under the pelvics, raise it from the water shoot, right back into the water. If you are on a boat, get a net shot. Pinch the barbs unless you are going after dinner (nothing wrong with that in many places).

    IMO the best shots are under water as the fish is recovering.

    With all respect for Dr. Grossman, dry hands do peel away more slime. The fact that nobody has examined this is simply one more thing on the long list of things that nobody has examined. But if you fish for a few decades, you pick up on a thing or two and this is one of them.

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