We all know that Bass are tough fish. They can withstand low oxygen, higher temperature water much better than Trout. They can be out of the water a little longer, and their tough mouths can handle bigger hooks. However, this is not an excuse to purposely cause injury to the fish. Damage to Bass is most often caused by anglers holding the fish in an improper manner. On most TV shows, and in the majority of hero shots, the angler can be seen holding the Bass by the lower jaw, with one hand (Photo below). This is where damage to the fish can occur. By holding only the jaw, the weight of the fish will put extreme stress on the jaw and possibly break it. Holding a fish in this manner can also cause the fish’s organs to shift, damaging the fish internally. The correct way to handle a bass is to use both hands and hold the fish horizontally, just as if the fish were swimming (Photo above). This removes all the pressure from the jaw that would occur if the angler was only using one hand. Holding the fish horizontally prevents the organs from shifting unnaturally. This isn’t rocket science and will definitely improve the survival rate of the fish you catch. The more fish that survive, the more fish will spawn, which is better for all of us. Thanks for reading.
This is not the way to handle a Bass, or any fish for that matter.