If you are of the mind that catch and release is the best method of fishing, then you probably have some concerns regarding situations where fish completely swallow hooks. A common belief is that the fish, once it swallows the hook, will eventually die. Surprisingly, fish are a lot more resourceful than most people think.
The Hook Isn’t There to Stay
A number of studies have found that fish with hooks stuck near the back of the tongue are actually able to dislodge it within a few days. Surprisingly, they are not as urgent with hooks that are caught through their upper or lower jaw. The theory is that swallowed hooks are more irritating for the fish, but they do not affect the animal’s ability to swim, eat, or otherwise function in a normal way.
Don’t Be Afraid to Cut the Line for Catch and Release
If a fish has swallowed your hook, then it would be a good idea to simply cut the line rather than work it out with a pair of pliers. As always, it’s going to be your call, but the chances are that the fish is already planning ahead.