Ok, so I don’t really like to get preachy when I post articles for you folks.
However, I feel that the bass angling community needs to be a little more responsible. It’s not your fault; you have been led to believe there is nothing wrong with what you’re doing by the top-tier anglers on TV. But it is those folks and folks like me that need to set a better example for the budding bass anglers out there.
So here goes; my list of what NOT to do:
Jaw- Jacking – The act of holding a bass horizontally by it’s jaw
Don’t ever do this. Never. Ever.
The bigger the fish, the more likely you will do some serious damage to the jaw of that fish. If you are going to do a photoshoot with your fish and you are going to lip it, be sure that you have one hand under the belly to support the weight of the fish.
Otherwise, just plain DON’T hold your fish horizontally. Hold the fish vertically, and don’t hold it any longer than you have to.
We all want a record of our great catch, but remember you break that fish’s jaw and it is a death sentence.
The Jaws of Death – Using a lip gripper/grabber
Guilty as charged…
I used these previously, but I will not use them any longer. If you have used them previously, you know that they do a great job of holding the fish when you have to take a hook out, or when you want to land a fish without taking a hook in the hand.
However, like the previous section, you are putting a lot of pressure on the fish’s jaw. Further, these not too friendly clamps can rip the delicate membranes of the lower jaw which can hinder the fish’s ability to feed properly.
Do the right thing; buy a landing net for bringing in that trophy catch, and release her to the wild in pristine condition.
The Pin-Cushion – Using a culling system or culling beam with pins
Ok, this is almost a repeat of the other two, but it is import that all of you tournament anglers out there understand the consequences of your actions.
Many culling systems and pretty much all culling beams use a safety pin to attach a fish to it. These again will rip that super thin membrane in a fish’s mouth and aside of possibly affecting their ability to feed, any injury can lead to infections and bacteria.
Try the clip on versions of culling systems, and avoid using culling beams with safety pins. Look for an alternative to these that will not do damage to the fish.
Ok, so I am done with the lecture for now.
Please, do your best to be a good citizen. Folks like you and I who go that extra mile and care about sustainability will ensure that the water bodies we love can be enjoyed for generations to come.
Stay safe on the water!
Cliff Van Kempen – Bass Fishing Ninja