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SkunkedAgain

The Best Way To Hold A Fish

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I've heard that holding a fish vertically is detrimental to its health. I can understand the logic behind this. I was also taught to grab toothless fish (like bass) by the lower lip because it immobilizes them.

How bad is the vertical hold? Is it instantly bad, or just bad do to for an extended period of time?

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I've heard the same, however, I believe it applies mostly to fairly big fish. I don't believe lipping a bass is a big problem.

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the best way to hold a fish in general is however you can hold it to minimize stress to any area of the body, while at the same time making the hold both secure(so you don't drop the fish, that's bad) and safe for the holder.

Verticle hold is fine on many fish, but can damage large fish, especially of specific species.

bass are just fine for a verticle hold by the lip. If you happen to run into one of those 8+ pounders(do those exist in MN?), and especially if you happen upon a huge largemouth like the 20 pounders they can get down south, lip him to immobilize and support his belly with a 2nd hand to reduce stress on the jawbone, hold horizontal or at a slight angle. I don't think you'll have a problem with a quick lip and verticle hold for a picture with the bass you will catch in MN.

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It isn't instantly bad. While the logic that the spine isn't made to support weight is true, the muscles of the fish will support the weight until they grow tired (very large fish are often tired when you grab then). Generally it's large pike and muskies that should be held horizontally.

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I would say hold all of your pike/musky horizontal, it is good practice for the big ones.

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If you are interested in doing as little harm as possible to the fish the best way to hold it is to not hold it. Use a cradle for larger fish, unhook and let it go. If you must net them then use a knotless net bag. Remember, just because a fish swims away dosen't mean it lives.

Realistically, I have read/heard that the horizontal hold is much better than a verticle hold and I can buy that.

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If you look at mt avatar this is the way i hold my fish not saying its right or wrong but the most important thing is get a pic and get her back in the water as soon as possible.

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Best way to hold a fish for me is over the frying pan, grin but in all seriousness, I try to hold them horizontal, smaller bass and crappie I will lip 'em though

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On bigger fish a vertical hold is best and with the off hand support the weight of the fish.

Cant say it any better myself.

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Are you guys confusing the terms vertical and horizontal?

Vertically is up and down.

Horizontal is side to side, the way a fish naturally is in the water.

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Bass and panfish by the lip for me for the most part unless taking a pic, anything bigger horizontal.

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Are you guys confusing the terms vertical and horizontal?

Vertically is up and down.

Horizontal is side to side, the way a fish naturally is in the water.

I was wondering the same thing...

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Originally Posted By: MuskieJunkie
Are you guys confusing the terms vertical and horizontal?

Vertically is up and down.

Horizontal is side to side, the way a fish naturally is in the water.

I was wondering the same thing...

I like to hold them longitudinally and not in latitudinal orientation... grin

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I like to hold them longitudinally and not in latitudinal orientation... grin

Or, meteorlogically speaking, zonal as opposed to meridianal... gringrin

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I've heard that holding a fish vertically causes the gut and bladder to get out of whack.

and I know that if a beer is in the other hand the gut and bladder are definitely going to get out of whack.

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I think there's a correct way to hold it either horizontally or vertically. I agree with Deitz, a nice gentle but firm grip on the jaw bone along with supporting the majority of the weight with the other hand is my method of choice, vertical or horizontal and remember not to touch the gills or twist the jaw bone.

I would imagine the “Vertical” hold you guys are talking negatively about is the, one handed – jaw twisting hold, you see once and a while?

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The key is...hold the fish away from your body as much as possible to make it look HUGE. What is best for the fish is secondary.

Just kidding, of course....

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