How To Safely Hold & Unhook Catfish Without Pliers [VIDEO]
By: Luke Simonds on November 8, 2018
Want to know the safest way to hold and unhook catfish without pliers?
Want to make sure you don’t get spined next time you have to get a catfish off your line?
If you are an inshore angler, at some point you will most likely catch and have to release a catfish.
If you already didn’t know this, catfish have barbed fins on their sides and top fin. These bards are venomous and can cause inflammation and severe pain.
Once these barbs are in your skin, they are also hard to get out and it is not a fun time for anyone.
I put together this article to show you how to safely hold and unhook catfish without pliers.
You can also see a video tutorial on how to unhook catfish at the bottom of the article.
How Do People Get Spined By Catfish?
Many anglers are scared or do not want to touch catfish after they catch one for fear of being spined.
The most common way many anglers get spined is for this reason. Instead of controlling the catfish to unhook it, they use pliers to shake the catfish off their hook. This is not recommended!
By shaking the catfish off the line, you have no idea what direction the fish is going to fly off at. Many times, people get hooked this way when the catfish comes flying at them and spines them where it hits.
Another way people get barbed is stepping on the catfish to stop them from flailing. Catfish spines are strong and sharp and can penetrate the sole of a shoe like nothing.
The best way to hold and unhook a catfish can be found in the next section.
How To Hold And Unhook Catfish
In this section, I tell you the four steps to unhook and release a catfish safely. The steps are:
1. Secure The Hook
The first step is to secure the hook or jig so it doesn’t move. You can do this by pinching the hook eye between your thumb and index finger.
2. Put Two Fingers Below The Spines
Go from underneath the spines put your middle finger under one and your thumb under the other on the opposite side. Put your index over the top of the base of the spine and hold the fish tight enough so that it cannot shake its upper body.
3. Twist The Hook Out
Remove the hook from the catfish’s mouth while maintaining a strong grip on the fish.
4. Release The Fish
Twist the catfish upside down in your hand and allow it to flick off away from you and into the water.
How To Hold And Unhook Catfish Video
In this video, I show you each step to hold and unhook catfish safely.
Getting spined by a catfish is not a pleasant experience and some common practices can end up getting you spined.
Using the tips above, you can safely hold, unhook and release catfish without getting spined.
If you have any questions about this post or another way to safely unhook catfish, let us know in the comments section.
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