There are many ways fish can be safely held. We rarely catch fish with dangerous parts. While teeth, sharp fins, and bills can cause injury to your hands, other fish will react violently to being held.
It is essential to be a captain or a fisherman to understand how each fish should be handled in order to either get it in the cooler or release it unharmed.
- Sharks – All sharks can be dangerous to handle. The smallest and most dangerous sharks can inflict the most damage. The tackle can overwhelm a small shark and cause him to come in fast. He is still full of energy. It is not a good idea to grab him by his tail as most sharks will turn around and bite your hands or their own tail. It is best to allow sharks to settle down before you use a long hook extractor to remove the hook. We don’t recommend that you cut the line and leave it in the shark. A 3-foot hook extractor is a great investment.
- Toothy fish – Sharks are definitely toothy. However, I am referring to mackerel and barracuda as toothy fish. They have a remarkable grill that will take your finger off of you if they put it in their mouth. Their mouth can cut bones in half, so it’s fine for your fingers. If they want to be kept, the fish can be gaffed behind their heads or grabbed by their tails and held under their belly to remove the hook. If you are able to avoid the gill-rakers, you can also use the gill plate to handle them.
- Billfish – Although they have a long sword on their faces, billfish are easier to handle than smaller fish with teeth. They can leap into boats or into the chests of those handling them. This is why it is important to ensure that the bill stays downrange while the tail is in water. You should make sure the bill does not surge or jump if it is. Although it is dangerous, the bill can be handled well. The billfish bills can be rough and sharp, so gloves are recommended.
- Spiny fish – Anglers should be wary of any fish with sharp spines and fins. Snappers are included in the category of spines and teeth. Steve, holding a Mutton snapper by his eyes, received a lot of attention. You can use the eye sockets as handles for larger Mutton. Avoid the anal fins and sharp dorsals by holding the Mutton by the eye sockets.
The article was written by a professional charter captain at Salty Knots Fishing Charters with 15+ years of experience in the Gulf of Mexico. Salty Knots Fishing Charters is a local fishing charter service based out of St. Pete Beach, Florida. “We know what it takes to catch a giant trophy fish!” Salty Knots Is the Best Fishing Charter St Petersburg FL.