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jontain

Snagged up

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Hi all,

 

I was just wondering what you fine folk do when a fish manages to snag up around a tree but cannot free itself? I have always been lucky enough that the fish either gets off or I can free the line (so far) but my first thought would be to wade in to help free the fish (I even debated this when I had a fish snagged up mid winter, frost on the ground and no waders, luckily after some work I un-snagged the line)). However I have got a mate who has started getting into fishing but I am struggling with his mentality when approaching this problem and it got me to thinking what is the safest way for the fish to deal with this problem.

 

A couple of weekends ago my mate had a run that immediately ran him into a fallen tree. I suggested that as the fish was still on he should strip down and walk his way out into the water a bit until he could get the angle to free the line. Needless to say he stood there umming and ahhing over this and left me with no choice but to strip down myself and do it for him (I wanted to get it done asap so that the fish could be unhooked and on his way). So I stripped down to me pants and slowly walked my way out to the snag, untangled the line and the fish then managed to free the hook and was happily on his way.

 

As he is still quite new to this I just put it down to helping out and left it at that. However this weekend we went up the same lake, he sets up in the same place and right at the end of the day while I am having run after run I had to reel in as he was once again snagged up with a poor fish well and truly nailed on his rig and unable to free itself. Now I was hoping at this point he would lead by my example and just wade into the water to free the fish and be done with it, I didn't really feel I should go in AGAIN for his fish. However he decides to find every reason not to just go in and starts try to climb the tree, making a real hash of things and the poor fish was tethered for a good hour. Finally he manages to snap the branch (pretty much all his clothes soaked now anyway) and the fish managed to get off, I then retrieved his rig and left the lake feeling a bit miffed that my evening of catching went down the pan to help him as he wouldn't just get in.

 

Now as I myself am still new to the sport I am presuming that wading out is in fact the best thing to do if you have a fish snagged up on your line, at least until you can be sure the fish is free! So waders will have to go on the list of things to buy.

 

So what do you guys do when your snagged up, the fish can't shed the hook or take any line (tethered)? People say 'pull for a break' but I would never want to put that much force into the rod if there is a fish on?! Also what would be done if the fish snags itself in an area too deep for waders?

 

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Jontain you'll get plenty of advice but never be tempted to swim out if it's too deep to wade. You'll be putting your own life in danger. If your foot gets tangled in weed or just the cold of the water could see you drown.

 

Never believe that you can manage it and always take a landing net pole or similar to prod in front of you to check for any drop offs or sudden changes in depth.

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Never believe that you can manage it and always take a landing net pole or similar to prod in front of you to check for any drop offs or sudden changes in depth.

 

That is a really good shout, hadn't thought of that at all. So if there is no option to wade out to aid the fish how would you go about it? Just cut the line rather than 'pulling for a break'? Ideally I never want to be leaving a lake unless I am as sure as can be that I havn't left any fish snagged up!

 

Although at this lake the deepest point is about 5-6ft so was confident I wouldn't have many troubles, still going bare foot into a fishing lake I did take my time as to not snag myself up or step on any old rigs!

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I'm waiting for the replies as fortunately never found myself in that situation.

 

I'd rather pull for a break then cut the line. Cutting the line will see the fish left snagged for sure. If the line is solid physics would suggest that pulling will only apply pressure at the snag.

 

Wrap some line round a tree and pull from one end. There will be no pressure exerted at the other end, only on the tree. If you cut the line it's still wrapped round the snag with a load of line that has to be pulled round an almost impossible task.

 

But I'm bas eager as you are to hear what's best.

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Tim I agree but sometimes regardless a fish can make it to hidden snags that you aren't aware of. Not all are visible and even those that are fish can make them whether we like it or not. You can be fishing open water with snags near your margin and a fish can run quicker than you can keep up at times and make it.

 

I'd think it better that experienced members share the best way to deal with it as we could all find ourselves in that situation inadvertently.

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Yeah you will struggle to find many swims on this lake without snags as it is surrounded by willows. The swim I have been taking my mate to is actually the clearest of trees and snags on the lake but the problem comes from an over hanging tree that is part submerged, 80% of the fish run for the island which is away from the snag but some really scream off and cart round the other way toward the snag.

 

As much as his lack of enthusiasm to free the fish doesn't sit right with me I don't think the advice should be never fish if there are snags, we've all got to learn how to deal with these problems somewhere rather than just avoiding them?

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If it keeps happening and it's a productive spot look for a different swim that gives you a better angle to prevent the fish running into them. If he's letting the fish take line on the clutch to make it then it's probably best if they kite towards it to tighten the clutch and walk backwards away from the snaggy spot to keep pressure on the fish and turn it.

 

I've even read ken townley suggest that opening the bail arm can make a fish suddenly turn away from snags if they're heading for them but that takes some balls in my eyes.

 

Pulling for a break would be the last thing I'd do but having tried what I've read as ideas on how to get fish out and if it was impossible to wade out and free it, it may be the best option.

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Thanks for the replies guys, hopefully will be able to pass on some of the info and it will sink in, although fingers crossed he will now know that in future he is better off taking 10 mins getting wet than an hour farting about and getting wet anyway!

 

Although to be fair to him guys (as much as he wound me up with this) this was only his 4 or 5th time fishing and he had 8 fish last time and 9 on the bank this time just fine before having one snagged up, as I said it seems most will run for the island in the middle where as the odd one will dart for the margin snag. So its not that he is casting right next to a snag and just being too dim to see why it keeps happening, more that he was just caught out by a faster fish. Its hard to explain the spot without knowing the lake but he was fishing mid water but closer to the island than the snag on our bank.

 

Either way hopefully once we have both got a set of waders to hand this wont repeat itself! On that note has anyone got any recommendation on chest waders? I figure I will go for chesties as they should cover most bases, is there anything decent for 30-50 quid? Neoprene or PVC?

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Personally I have been known to swim out, with rod.  Playing a ruddy angry carp whilst swimming is an experience.

 

This is another case of shake and bake carper.  Straight into carp fishing, no skills learnt before hand and more fish + sport in jeopardy.  This is what happens when you make something that was once quite specialised accessible to all.  Any numpty can buy all the gear and sling it out into a lake or river.

 

Suggest to your friend that he needs to learn how to actually fish.  That he is responsible for anything that he hooks.  He needs to get his hands dirty and deal with situations.

 

Or

 

Prevent them all together and take up golf.

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I see what you are saying, however I cannot comment as I too was/am a 'Shake & Bake carper' as I only just started last year and before then all I had caught before was a few roach on a whip years ago. I guess it comes down to how us 'Numpties' or 'insert your preferred derogatory term for a new angler here' are wired up and approach things.

 

However I think your comments are not going to be exactly helpful for him, it is not a new anglers fault that his old man wasn't into fishing and there to show them how it all works from a young age. I know because I am trying my best to get my head around what is good advice and what is bad coming into the game late and friendly advice is always preferable over being told to give up and take up golf (its the second time I have heard this said on threads concerning new anglers questions/queries).

 

I know that he was in the wrong, I said so myself and tried to guide him to the best of my ability, but people have to learn somewhere and I don't think berating people for their mistakes is ever going to effectively teach them. It obviously seems to be a common frustration for seasoned anglers though, gauging the 'style' of responses. I don't think any new angler with their head screwed on ever WANTS to cause a fish harm or grief as much as they may get things wrong?!

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Reading that back it comes across a bit argumentative, apologise that was not intended. I guess I just struggle as I know coming into it without any knowledge it is very hard to know if what you are doing is right in the eyes of more seasoned anglers.

 

But you are right, I need to instil respect for the fish if I am going to try and help other anglers less experienced than myself, and like you I would be more than happy to strip down and swim out to free a fish then know that my hook that I put in the lake has caused an issue. I'm a state enough as it is if I ever loose a rig, always trying to make my setup as fish safe as is possible with what I know.

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I really don't see how someone can recommend swimming in British waters and putting their lives at risk.

 

Get snagged on weed and you're potentially a goner..spend to long in cold water that's below body temp and you'll become exhausted and drown. Even water temps of 26 degrees which we never get this happens. More than 1 person dies every day in the uk due to drowning.

 

There are much more sensible ways to do it.

 

Wade if possible.

 

Phone the fishery management and explain what's happened....can they come and help?

 

Use a boat - don't have one, phone the fishery management, they don't have one phone friends see if you can get an inflatable.

 

If there is no option but to swim make sure you have something buoyant with you and tie yourself to a rope. Don't have one go get one. Make sure someone is with you and the other end is tied to a tree.

 

Don't have a life vest available empty your water container and take it with you.

 

Exhaust what options you have...a snagged fish isn't going anywhere and jumping in, in haste is a huge gamble.

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I see what you are saying, however I cannot comment as I too was/am a 'Shake & Bake carper' as I only just started last year and before then all I had caught before was a few roach on a whip years ago. I guess it comes down to how us 'Numpties' or 'insert your preferred derogatory term for a new angler here' are wired up and approach things.

 

However I think your comments are not going to be exactly helpful for him, it is not a new anglers fault that his old man wasn't into fishing and there to show them how it all works from a young age. I know because I am trying my best to get my head around what is good advice and what is bad coming into the game late and friendly advice is always preferable over being told to give up and take up golf (its the second time I have heard this said on threads concerning new anglers questions/queries).

 

I know that he was in the wrong, I said so myself and tried to guide him to the best of my ability, but people have to learn somewhere and I don't think berating people for their mistakes is ever going to effectively teach them. It obviously seems to be a common frustration for seasoned anglers though, gauging the 'style' of responses. I don't think any new angler with their head screwed on ever WANTS to cause a fish harm or grief as much as they may get things wrong?!

 

 

Reading that back it comes across a bit argumentative, apologise that was not intended. I guess I just struggle as I know coming into it without any knowledge it is very hard to know if what you are doing is right in the eyes of more seasoned anglers.

 

But you are right, I need to instil respect for the fish if I am going to try and help other anglers less experienced than myself, and like you I would be more than happy to strip down and swim out to free a fish then know that my hook that I put in the lake has caused an issue. I'm a state enough as it is if I ever loose a rig, always trying to make my setup as fish safe as is possible with what I know.

 

 

Don't backtrack, I respect you more for your initial response. :wink:

 

My annoyance/frustration, comes from the fact that it is possible for "shake n bake" carpers to put a hook into a large fish, yet have no idea what to do when they succeed. Any way that you look at this, it is wrong.  An apprenticeship has not been served, respect has not been taught or learned.

 

I was not taught by anyone other than myself.  My Dad never fished, but took me when I wanted to go.  I learned my skills from books, tv and being on the bank outwitting smaller fish.  Where I also learned to unhook, care and return fish.

 

Of course mistakes are made, we all need to learn and the learning curve can be steep.  Jumping straight into carping is fool hardy to be honest.  Worse would be piking.

 

I do believe that we need to learn to walk before we run, and that as dedicated anglers, we all need to promote this, along with its good practice.

 

 

Quick edit:  I didnt recommend nor condone swimming out to a fish.  It was my choice.

Edited by Phil
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Phil...you might not have condoned/recommended it but other people may read it and think it's safe/suitable to do.

 

People should be aware of the dangers and make their choice accordingly.

 

That in itself kinda sums up the nanny state we are in.  Anyone, reading anything, is or should be responsible for their own actions there after.  Folks need to take responsibility for themselves and the things they do, whether that is casting out a baited hook or swimming out to free a snagged fish.

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Reading that back it comes across a bit argumentative, apologise that was not intended. I guess I just struggle as I know coming into it without any knowledge it is very hard to know if what you are doing is right in the eyes of more seasoned anglers.

 

But you are right, I need to instil respect for the fish if I am going to try and help other anglers less experienced than myself, and like you I would be more than happy to strip down and swim out to free a fish then know that my hook that I put in the lake has caused an issue. I'm a state enough as it is if I ever loose a rig, always trying to make my setup as fish safe as is possible with what I know.

Jon , you may well have been a " shake & bake " as you put it at one time but you have learnt over time how important it should be that fish care is of paramount importance and your friend will too.

 

If you look up the word apprenticeship in the search engine you'll find out how old skool anglers such as phil and i are .

 

However i do realise that everyone has to learn somewhere .

I just wish people would get more experience before they fish for animals that WILL tow them all round the lake if they are not prepared for it .

 

Float fishermen hold their rods and it doesnt happen jon

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If I can't get it loose I give it some time to wiggle free (works sometimes) then pull and it breaks at the knot. I only use simple running rigs so the lead hits the bottom. It either isn't practical or possible to wade in most of my venues. At one place we catch past the weed line at 100 yards then play them in over 80 yds or so of produce on the bottom, but first you have to steer them away from the old broken bouy cables anchored out there. I think that's about 12' deep.

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