Worst bonefish handling ever. This is Addictive Fishing fishing off Key Largo (the bone badness starts at about 8:30).
Worst. Handling. Ever.
A reminder… here is how to handle bonefish.
If you’d like to email Capt. Blair, his email is email@example.com.
This is what I wrote him this morning…
Hi Capt. Blair,
I just watched a video of you, I think, fishing in Key Largo. You caught a bonefish, a really nice one. What happened next really shouldn’t have happened. You put that bone on a Boga grip and had it out of the water for a long, long time.
Odds are fair to good that the fish didn’t survive it’s encounter with you. When handling bonefish you need to do two things… minimize handling and minimize air exposure. You should never, ever put a bonefish on a Boga.
From the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust:
Minimize handling of all fish; slime and scales can be removed or damaged with excessive handling, thereby greatly increasing the risks of infection. In addition, recent research has shown that mechanical lip-gripping devices can cause damage to mouth tissue if the bonefish struggles against the device, so their use is best avoided.
- If you have to handle a bonefish, use clean, wet hands and gently support the bonefish from beneath the head and belly. Nets, mechanical lip-gripping devices, and wet cloths can cause injury to the bonefish.
- Use hemostats, pliers, or a hook-removal tool to quickly remove the hook while keeping the fish in the water, and have your pliers ready and available to facilitate a quick release.
- Avoid exposing bonefish to air, even when taking a photo. If you must remove the bonefish from the water, limit it to a maximum of 15 seconds.
- Touching the gills can cause damage and impair the ability of a bonefish to breathe.
- If a lip-gripping device is used, it’s best to use them only to restrain a calm fish in the water while removing the hook. If a fish’s weight is desired, attach a sling to the device, and cradle the bonefish in the sling rather than hanging the fish vertically by the jaw.
As a public figure you need to set a better example. I, myself, will be making an example of this video to show people how not to do it.
I hope the next bonefish you catch has a better shot at survival.