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View Full Version : How to hold crappie?



LA_poorboy
06-13-2007, 10:47 AM
When I catch a crappie that I'm not going to keep, how do I hold it so I can get my hook out without damaging their slime layer? They're usually too small for me to get my thumb in their mouth so I've been holding the line and using pliers to pull the jig out but this gets to be awkward when they're trying to bounce around.

Thanks,

joejv4
06-13-2007, 11:24 AM
I generally hold them like I do a bream.. fingers holding down the dorsal fin, thumb across belly - gap between palm and side of fish. Use forceps to remove the hook. Very little slime comes off that way, and it gives enough grip to quickly remove the hook and get the fish back into the water.

Barnacle Bill
06-13-2007, 11:50 AM
I generally hold them like I do a bream.. fingers holding down the dorsal fin, thumb across belly - gap between palm and side of fish. Use forceps to remove the hook. Very little slime comes off that way, and it gives enough grip to quickly remove the hook and get the fish back into the water.

That works plus I don't think crappie are as sensitive to that as bass.

Ragfly Jig Man
06-13-2007, 11:50 AM
If they are too small to put your thumb in their mouth you must be catching some dinks or you have ham hocks for hands. I agree with joejv4 in the way he holds them.

GRIZZ
06-13-2007, 01:19 PM
As a general rule with all fish you can't lip land you should wet your hands before you handle them. It keeps you from rubbing slime off with your dry skin. It also helps to not grip them like your shaking someones hand, but lay them sideways in your hand and curl your fingers up around them without gripping after wetting your hand. Even when your lip landing fish it helps to wet your fingers. Fish can grow fungus even on their jaws and lips. Also have some kind of hook removal tool handy so that your handling them as little as possible. I often keep a small stick with a small Y at the end in my pocket when I don't have pliers or forceps on me. With a tool to remove the hook you can lip hold almost any size crappie unless you have sausage fingers.

If your really concerned with getting fish back healthy you might consider folding down the barb on your hooks. If you do it carefully there is still a sizable hump on the hook that helps hold fish. You will probably lose a few more fish, but removing the hook will be a breeze and you'll hardly have to handle the fish at all.

FishnLine
06-13-2007, 01:31 PM
I generally hold them like I do a bream.. fingers holding down the dorsal fin, thumb across belly - gap between palm and side of fish. Use forceps to remove the hook. Very little slime comes off that way, and it gives enough grip to quickly remove the hook and get the fish back into the water.

ditto

joejv4
06-13-2007, 01:34 PM
^^^ YES, what GRIZZ said!

LA_poorboy
06-13-2007, 01:45 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. I'm new to the idea of not handling the fish too much. I've been reading this "catch & release" stuff and started feeling guilty about how I had been handling fish.

As for size, I've caught some bait sized crappie and bream for sure. I could get a finger, or at least the tip of my finger, in their mouth easy but I've heard that crappies have "paper mouths" and I figured the smaller they are the more delicate their mouths would be?

GRIZZ
06-13-2007, 02:19 PM
Actually its the other way around. Because they have delicate mouths its the larger fish with some weight to them that you have to be careful of, but really unless they are kicking around really hard you are almost never going to damage a crappie by lip holding them. The smaller fish would be next to impossible to damage by just lip holding them, so you don't need to worry about that.

They call them papermouths because the structure of their mouths are paper thin and can tear out hook easily especially with larger fish. Its one of the aspect of crappie fishing that make it challenging. Getting the biggies in without tearing the hooks loose.

Buffy
06-13-2007, 02:33 PM
I think someone needs to post this underwater so the fish can read it!! Some of the bream I've been need to I know, Just barely lip hooked, and will NOT cooperate.
"Do you WANT to be my dinner??"
That's the way my father taught me, wet your hand etc. Another guy tht fishes around here told me I should not take them out of the water.....

slabmaster09
06-13-2007, 02:48 PM
I usually just lip em if.

LA_poorboy
06-13-2007, 03:03 PM
Actually its the other way around. Because they have delicate mouths its the larger fish with some weight to them that you have to be careful of, but really unless they are kicking around really hard you are almost never going to damage a crappie by lip holding them. The smaller fish would be next to impossible to damage by just lip holding them, so you don't need to worry about that.

Ohhh.... That clears things up a bit, thanks Grizz!

Baditude
06-13-2007, 03:30 PM
I generally hold them like I do a bream.. fingers holding down the dorsal fin, thumb across belly - gap between palm and side of fish. Use forceps to remove the hook. Very little slime comes off that way, and it gives enough grip to quickly remove the hook and get the fish back into the water.


i do this as well , but one other thing - I hold the fish upside down , it seems to calm them and keep them from wiggling /fighting/thrashing til you get the hook out.

crappie10
06-13-2007, 11:23 PM
don't touch them by the body, only the bottom lip. Those crappie you catch that have fungus on them is from improper handling. very rarely do I use pliers to remove the hook. I hold the fish with my right hand and wrap the line around my left index finger to get it tight and just pop or twist it out. Dad used to stock ponds, years ago and always said he could put a spot of fungus on them anywhere he wanted. all he had to do was rub his finger on them. we always used a net in the tanks. At the very absolute least, wet your hands.same thing about using a bump board, wet it first, especially when it's hot.

Glowgood Jigster
06-14-2007, 03:17 AM
We really like using these gadgets, not only for removing hooks while the fish is in the water, but for grabbing a fish out of the water if you plan to keep it.
My wife really likes it for handleing bluegill so she don't get spined! Me too.
All you do is reach down with it and grab the hook if you plan on releasing the fish, with the fish in the water, and just twist the hook a bit and shake off the fish. If you're keeping the fish, get it by the lip and clamp down hard. It's going into the basket, cooler, or livewell just as soon as you want it to, after you get the hook out. We sure like ours. Here's a tiny.url link from BPS: http://tinyurl.com/26edlq
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v469/Duggunitt/10-21-06hc5.jpg

gahunter
06-14-2007, 09:25 AM
Don't catch small crappie. :D

Cane Pole
06-14-2007, 08:28 PM
I hold them any way I can. Don't matter. They always manage to stick a fin in me and bring some blood no matter how careful I am. Ticks me off. I usually take "basket shots" at the live well with the rascals too.

joejv4
06-15-2007, 06:39 AM
I usually take "basket shots" at the live well with the rascals too.


three pointers, turn-around jump shots, or lay-ups? :)

Cane Pole
06-15-2007, 01:50 PM
three pointers, turn-around jump shots, or lay-ups? :)

Overhead grenade lob..sometimes with a bank shot........