In my quest to get over the whole “injuring fish” notion that I have, I start a lot of conversations with John about the experience from the fish’s point of view.
The first piece of information John ever gave me that he thought might help was that around a fishes mouth is cartilage, so basically he is trying to tell me that the fish doesn’t feel the hook. Like a piercing.
I was ready and quite able to argue this point. I referred to this as being the same as getting a piercing on the top part of your ear. I have personal experience with that, and believe me, I felt it.
This doesn’t even cover when the fish swallows the entire hook and John tells me it’s better to leave the hook than to pull. He says if I pull the hook, I could rip organs and kill the fish. Then he tells me the hook will rust out over time. That process didn’t make me feel better at all.
Moving on to my questions concerning the intelligence of the fish. I have considered that if fish has a boat load of intelligence going on and it was painful, they wouldn’t put up such a fight and continuously yank on the string.
In the end, I asked John one last time, “Do you really think fish are stupid?”
He answered, “They eat things with hooks in it, so yes, I think they’re stupid.”