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Jay Hanson

Release Tool Question?

20 posts in this topic

Does anyone know of a tool that could get a large throat hooked muskie free of the hooks. I am looking for a tool that would be skinny, very long, able to cut hooks, not having to stick your hands into the teeth. I have knipex now, but cannot get it all they down to the back of the fishes throat (large fish) when a bait is swallowed (happend once this yr). Is there such a tool, it would probably have to be around 20+ inches long for a big fish, skinny, and powerful, to cut those hooks. The back hook would be starting to go down the fishes throat towards the soft tissue down there. The tool would have to be skinny and nimble to be precise in getting at the hooks. Its a long ways on a big fish from the front of the mouth to the back of the throat. Thank you!!!!

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Hey there, and welcome to FM.

There's really not anything that will do that in a single tool. The Knipex is hands down the best cutter, by looking at them and feeling you see why. You can't really replicate that with a long skinny type tool.

Best alternative is the hook pick. Probably about 16 inches long, and gets down to the deeply hooked fish and backs a hook out.

Those situations are tough, no real one size fits all way to handle. Sometimes a pick can back a hook out, sometimes you can sneak a cutter in there.

Knock on wood, haven't had to do any of those on a muskie.

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I've never had a deeply hooked muskie, would the "through the gills" trick work on them I wonder like it does for walleye? Hmmm.

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I've never had a deeply hooked muskie, would the "through the gills" trick work on them I wonder like it does for walleye? Hmmm.

It works for pike, I do it all the time. Never had to try it with a musky but I would venture to guess it works.

I would think you could sneak in through the gills with the cutter as well?

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I have the hook pic too and doesnt work cause the hook is in the meaty part of the throat and stuck there, only possible way is to start cutting the lure and hooks. Tried to go thru the gills, was very difficult w/ thrashing fish, going thru the gills would probably be the best bet. The absolute best would be a tool like i was describing, but maybe there isnt anything?? Thanks

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Check at a local hardware store or something along those lines. They have a variety of cutters, that is where I got my mine and I have not complaints.

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To be honest I dont know who makes it. It is at home with my dad.

I brought in a hook to the hardware store asked them if I could test a couple of different cutters out and found one I liked, haha. Just make sure it has a spring. That is pretty key I found.

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It should be pretty simple to fashion some handle extensions for a knipex out of some pvc or some wire conduit.

It will take two hands to operate them, but so will anything else that is as long as you are talking about.

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When the hooks are super deep, I just unhook my swivil and let the fish go with my bait. They say that the hooks will rust out in a few days and the fish will be fine. It's tough to let a 20+ dollar lure go but I think it's worth it. It takes a trip to Reeds or Thorne to buy a Lure, It takes $5000 and over 10 years to grow a quality Muskie.

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I don't think the fish would live with a huge muskie lure in its mouth. If they did, it would sure be nice to know for sure.

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When the hooks are super deep, I just unhook my swivil and let the fish go with my bait. They say that the hooks will rust out in a few days and the fish will be fine. It's tough to let a 20+ dollar lure go but I think it's worth it. It takes a trip to Reeds or Thorne to buy a Lure, It takes $5000 and over 10 years to grow a quality Muskie.

This is sarcasm, right? I certainly hope so.

Hooks will not rust out in a few days, and the fish will definitely NOT be fine.

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Quote:
This is sarcasm, right? I certainly hope so.

Hooks will not rust out in a few days, and the fish will definitely NOT be fine.

Ditto......hooks will not rust out, this scenario will result in 99.99% delayed mortality. Jaw spreaders (only for situations like the deeply hooked fish) are a must. Do what can be done to use the tools to give the fish a chance at making it.

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I always try to get the hooks out as best as possible then cut if I have to but I have had to do it twice. Both fish were bleeding and I couldn't get at the hooks to cut them. Both fish weren't going to make it so I thought that they had a better chance in the water than out. I have heard from a few people that figgure that the hooks will become dilodged and the fish will be ok.

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I always try to get the hooks out as best as possible then cut if I have to but I have had to do it twice. Both fish were bleeding and I couldn't get at the hooks to cut them. Both fish weren't going to make it so I thought that they had a better chance in the water than out. I have heard from a few people that figgure that the hooks will become dilodged and the fish will be ok.

Tough call. The hooks most likely didnt dislodge. Live and learn. Take your time. work the fish

in the water. Cut hooks.

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Snap-On makes an 11 inch diagonal cutter(Dikes) that's the longest Ive seen, I would also get a Hook Pick for the deep hooked fish.

11snapondiag.JPG

Hookpick1.jpg

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i know a guide in florida on the gulf through my brother and i asked him about hooks rusting in saltwater one time. according to him somebody or an orginization did a study about hooks. the one he remembered was black nickle coated hooks( mustad if i remember right) because he uses that type alot.

what he said was it takes a good two months for a hook to rust through enough to be considered 90-100% gone. around these parts we use bronze coated mostly and it's fresh water. so givin the high corrossion rate in saltwater i'd say at least as long in fresh even with bronze vs nickle. at least it seems logical to me. also a fish can encapsulate a hook in it's tissue and these fish it is suspected may be stunted as a result. why? i don't know. a fishes tissue ph level can also affect the time it takes. ph is acidity... makes sense i guess. there was a bunch of other stuff he was saying. too much for me to type out, lol. some say leave a leader. that study said no!!!! cut as close to hook as possible. leave as little as is feaseable.

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You could get a pair of long-handled bolt cutters... similar to those used to cut padlocks. I have seen these get up to 24" or larger. They would require two hands and would be very unweildy. They would also not fit into the mounth of any fish smaller than say 30", but it sounds like your predicament is with the deeply-hooked big girls anyway. Something to consider, perhaps...

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I have had good luck using the X-tool hook pick. It floats and I have even put my jaw spreader on the lanyard and it still floats.

I also had very good luck with the threw the gill removal on my bullies and catfish. It really came through on my bigger bullies I caught for the bait tank. I know some lived for months that where gullet hooked. I think it relaxes the stomach muscles when a forceps is placed threw the grills. It also minimized the bleeding by at least half.

I have never tried of heard of it being done on Muskies though.

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Hiya -

In addition to the compound bolt cutter Knipex, I also have a long-handled set of dikes that are very narrow so I can reach down into a fish's mouth if I have to. I've also had to go through the gills quite a few times when fish have engulfed a bait from behind (one case comes to mind - a fish that ate a 9" Suick so deeply you couldn't even see the snap in the leader...). Hate to do it but sometimes it's the best of a list of bad options.

As far as hooks 'rusting out,' they don't - even when they've been ingested completely. Fresh water just isn't a corrosive enough environment to corrode bronzed hooks. I think yo uhave to do everything you can to get the hooks out, even if it means handling a fish in a way would would normally never do, because whatever the case, its odds are better with the hooks out, especially if they're deep in the fish's gullet.

Cheers

Rob Kimm

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