2017 Jul 18/ By / 0 comment

Often deep trolled fish come up experiencing a version of the bends, or barotrauma. This happens when the fish is brought to the surface faster than its body and swim bladder can adjust resulting in the fishing getting “gassed up”.  The body can be visibly bloated and sometimes the swim bladder might be visible in the mouth or the eyes bulge.

Some fish, like pike, trout and salmon, have their swim bladder connected to their gut and can burp out excess air, other fish can’t do this. but even those fish that can burp are unlikely to be able to equalise the pressure fast enough to safely return to the depths they came from on their own.

Anglers can help fish caught from deep water recover faster by returning them to the depth at which they were caught using a tool called a descending device. A DIY version can be made from an inverted barbless hook with a weight. With this device, secure the weighted hook in the lip, allow the weighted hook to carry the fish to the desired depth, and release the fish with a sharp tug on the line. Big fish need more weight – allow about 8oz per lb of fish.

For more see: Let em down easy returning a fish to deep water