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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently I have observed a number of boaters on a local river without coolers ,dragging their catch in the water outside the boat. ( this is really small still water by the way).
I seem to remember my wife speaking about how fish can sense/ smell the blood in the water and it puts them into a self defense mode. ( she took some fisheries biology classes) I have noticed this " dead fish in the water " for the first time this year and coincidentally the bite went to crap after the fish were left hanging in the water.
We bleed our hens so the eggs wont have blood, ( fish wont bite them) Do I have a point, or just superstition?
Should I confront the boater next time so the bite doesnt stop
 

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Wally02,I guess that's one way to look at it. But your using salmon eggs for bait. Wouldn't they have blood in them? The fish I catch don't seem to mind. Besides fish are cannibals,they will eat their own kind.
 

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yes.

I have seen fish go off the bite when someone else cleans fish in a small small stream.

If you are in a large body of water it probably doesn't matter.

I never let fish blood get on my stuff and I would throw away eggs that had blood in them. The eggs themselves don't have blood in them, there are veins that supply nutrients to the eggs but if a fish is properly bled almost all this blood will leave the eggs.
 

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I have wondered about the same thing.

I typically put the fish over the back and bleed them before putting them in the cooler. Usually this is about ten minutes on the stringer. In the last two weeks we have gotten a second fish on before I got the first fish was out of the water and into the cooler. So for the Columbia my experience says that it doesn't matter. I would have guessed that in smaller water it wouldn't be a good thing to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for the response. It sounds like there might be something to this subject. Particularly with tidewater rivers, I am curious if it makes a difference. Now comes the tuff part of asking someone not to get blood in the water. Thursday there was a good bite in the hole, Friday a nice fish hooked in the morning, boat across from me had a bleeding fish hanging in the water out of the boat. The bite was non-existant. There were alot of fish evidant from the line bumps that the corkie fisherman were getting. They just weren't biting............Things that make you go Hmmmm

Thanks again for the responses
 

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Since most new sleds, and nearly all guide sleds, have self-draining fish boxes, it shouldn't matter whether or not someone is hanging a single fish over the side. The boats catching the most fish (guides) have the most blood seeping into the river.

Maybe fish are attracted by blood?
 

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I've always bled the fish on a small line tied off over the side.
Haven't ever had issues with "lockjaw" happening after bleeding a fish in the water near where fishing.

:grin:
 

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ahh the smell of the blood of one's own. it would definitely put most species into fight or flight mode. use it to your advantage. spinners, hot shots, wiggle warts, flashy bright colors. leave that finesse stuff for the first fish or fresh water. if it is true that blood in the water sets 'em off, switch to something that sets off their defenses. i'm no pro, i'm just working the info the way i see it.
 

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Sunday.... fish number 2 came just after fish number 1 got put over the side to bleed. Number 2 goes on rope and number 1 in cooler....fish on again...number 3 hits while number 2 is bleeding...

We were in the gorge in 33 feet of water fishing near the bottom.

I don't think that blood will sink and or be concentrated enough to be a problem down there....

I don't think I would be concerned much about this one.

Or did it trigger number 2 and 3....I don't think sooooo!

SG
 

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I have seen it turn the bite off on small rivers in Alaska. During high water flow's it didn't seem to be a problem, but when the water was low, it did make a difference.

I never bleed my fish over the side of the boat anymore because of what I experienced in Alaska. On big water like the Columbia, it probably won't be a problem. But tidewater bobber fishing on the coast, I just hope I am above the people who choose to bleed there fish over the side of the boat.
 

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I saw the movie "Jaws" the other night on tv. I would say blood in the water definitely helps the bite. :wink:

Mike
 

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Wally02, You were fishing the Salmon river weren't you. This is a practice that all the locals do for some sort of reason. I don't know if they just don't want to buy a cooler or there concerned about it taking up space? Some of it I think is kinda like bragging without saying anything, yuh know, look at what we caught kinda deal.
I mean some of these guys take there boats out, have it on the trailer and still haven't put the fish inside the boat. I mean really, there driving thru the parking lot like that.

Just my .02
Later Geoff
 

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Many years ago old man Wilkes used to row you across the Trask for 50 cents for the best fishing around for steelhead. If you got caught bleeding a fish You were banned for life, as He swore that blood put the steelhead off the bite
 
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Seen it "kill the bite" many, many times in tidewater holes, especially after a few are ripped up by the tight liners, bleeding and thrashing all over the hole.

I think all the bottom ripping and blood freeks them, like maybe a seal is in the hole or something, so they exit the area fast, maybe more so than the blood actually "kills the bite."
 

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ODF&W hatchery workers used to bleed fish on the oppisite side of the river frome where they wanted the fish to go. That is how the early hatcheries got their fish. Either forced into a feeder creek or " stopped to one side " and netted. Blood in the water will stop migration in some waters even during high water events. Oregon Historical society has some photos showing this practice dating back to the early 1900's.
 

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The fokelore that I grew up with concerned the fish in Alaska. It being that if bears were tearing up fish, the bloodflow would alert their downstream brethren that peril lied ahead. Whether there is any truth to this matter I have no experience first hand, but I will admit to only bleeding my fish DOWNSTREAM from the hole or drift I'm working.
 
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