Here is something I thought I would share, it's from In-Fisherman, but it's a trick I've used for years to safely remove swallowed hooks from a basses gullet, it also works on stripers and some other fish. As I release most every fish I catch, I do not like leaving hooks in a fishes mouth if I can help it. Hopefully this will help everyone some day as we all are bound to catch a fish who swallows a hook on occasion. Some of you probably already know this method, its called the Through The Gills Method
Step 1: With the hook in the gullet, note which side of the fish's mouth the hook shank is toward. (Note: For illustration sake, the line is eliminated here in steps 2 through 5. In reality, the line stays connected as this technique is performed.)
Step 2: With a finger or two, reach in through the last gill arch on that side of the fish and push and pull down on the hookeye so the hook turns and . . .
Step 3: ...rolls out below the gill toward the side of the fish. At that point, amazingly, the hook, barb and all, almost always pops free from its hold in the fish's gullet.
Step 4: Reach into the fish's mouth and grip the bend in the hook (which is now up) and . . .
Step 5: ...lift it free! If the fish's mouth is too small to reach in with your hand, use a needle-nose pliers to grip the hook bend.
Sometimes the line gets in the way a little, i suppose you could always cut the line out of the way, but this method works really well and isnt harmful to the fish. Also, allows the fish to continue feeding as normal without a hook stuck in its throat.
Last Edit: May 16, 2018 15:02:04 GMT -5 by Red Bear
One of best things I ever learned. Taught to me as the "Reverse Hook Out Method" and I shudder to think of all the fish I killed growing up before I learned it. With the line still connected and out through the gills a little downward pressure pulling the eye towards the tail and then "popping" the hook with the pliers seems to help also. Just gotta watch as line feeds back through it doesn't damage gills.