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Tony Locke

When can you say you have caught a fish?

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Seems like a stupid question, but see if you feel the same way by the end of this story.

Of course the obvious answer  is when you land it, but even that is not a given, at least for me. I fish pretty much exclusively barbless hooks...or microbarbed if I have trouble keeping a bait on. So when I have a fish that is nothing special, I will try to shake it off rather than go to the hassle of netting and unhooking it.  I do this especially with trout as they are so delicate and how I HATE catching them out of the 'Hooch here in Atlanta.

What about foul hooked fish? I tend to count them as caught if the hook is around the mouth, but not if it isn't. However I have never landed even a half way decent foul hooked carp and so the moral dilemma remains unanswered. 

Now onto the events of last weekend, Saturday to be precise. Barry ( needsmoretimetofish) and I were at Twin Bridges paylake  in Lawrenceville GA. Things had started off as usual as we were pestered by catfish...and me by turtles, which is why I rather dislike lake fishing in the summer. Then one of my rods shot round and I was into what was clearly a very decent fish...and then the other rod did the same thing and I was into 2 fish, the 2nd of which was indeterminate in size. So, as I couldn't fight both fish, I gave the 2nd rod to Barry and went on fighting the big fish. The thing went out into the middle of the lake , but steady pressure brought it back slowly to me. The fight was normal and I had no reason to doubt I had hooked it in the mouth. When it surfaced, it was clear I had hooked into a very decent small mouthed buffalo, but as it came slowly towards the net it was also clear that there was a whole heap of rubbish around its mouth, which also included my feeder. In its mouth was a large rusting hook attached to strong line which was attached to weights that were snarled around my feeder. So I extracted the large hook and cut the old line to free mine. Then I went after my  size 12 barbless hook, but it wasn''t in the fish, it was  underneath it.

The fish looked all the world like a pb GA buff to me( My pb stood at 24lb 8oz caught in the same lake...and possibly even, is the same fish. Luckily it only weighed in at 21lb 12oz but did I catch it? Having barbless hooks come out in the netting process is not unusual, as the tension on the line is suddenly decreased, but was my hook ever in the fish? As I said, the fight was normal...but if my feeder snagged the line that was attached to that big old hook in the buff's mouth, then the fight would be normal.  If it had been a pb, should it have counted?

Tony with a definately caught 20lb + buff

IMG_20160429_125158330_HDR.jpg

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IMHO, if it's on the mat or in the net, it is caught.  I have foul-hooked a couple of trout that way.  If you bring it in and unhook it, it is considered caught.  Case in point- if you hole out a shot from the tee or fairway, it counts whether you use a wood, iron, or putter.  You don't have to use a putter on the green for it to count.

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Last weekend I landed a 18+ lb ghostie, only to realize I had snagged it behind the pectoral fin. I honestly felt I was pulling in a flathead catfish in against the current until I netted the carp. The hook popped right out and the fish swam away. I would like to consider that fish as being "caught" .

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In my mind they count when they are in the net or in my hands. I don't count fish hooked anywhere but the mouth.

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Cannonball... For me,  the point  of our way of fishing is to get the fish to take a baited hook and thus catch them.  I would not for example aim to snag a large carp in the way that people fish for paddlefish. I suppose  you could say that as long as I am  trying to  get the fish to take a baited hook then any foul hooked or snagged fish  are fairly caught and thus count as caught. The fact that I am not sure that my hook ever entered that buff sort of takes away from its capture.

Tony

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Franky...I am with you on this. What makes the events of last Saturday sort of frustrating is I dont know if I snagged that buff or hooked it fairly. Luckily, as it wasn't a pb then it doesn't really matter!  

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The ghostie I snagged was probably feeding on the loose boilies in the pva mesh when it made a wrong turn. At least it helped me to figure out what they wanted to feed on since the hookbait wasn't really worked. 

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I'm trying to think of the salmon that is snagged as they don't feed during spawning.  The fly is cast out and the tippet is allowed to be caught in the jaws of the salmon and the hook is set.  Sort of a way of snagging.

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5 hours ago, chayathecat said:

Last weekend I landed a 18+ lb ghostie, only to realize I had snagged it behind the pectoral fin. I honestly felt I was pulling in a flathead catfish in against the current until I netted the carp. The hook popped right out and the fish swam away. I would like to consider that fish as being "caught" .

:D so we both tied ..

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22 hours ago, Franky said:

In my mind they count when they are in the net or in my hands. I don't count fish hooked anywhere but the mouth.

agreed with this but at some tournaments because of the way carp feed they count it as long as its between a 1/2 inch from the mouth 

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