That’s what Pop always said when a farm pond bass, bluegill, or catfish swallowed the hook. Turns out, it’s good advice.
New research suggests near-total mortality when anglers tried using disgorgers and similar tools to remove hooks from the gullet of smallmouth bass. Mortality was so high, they actually had to suspend the study.
So catch and release, keep ’em wet, and if you have to…cut the line.