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handling different species safely


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Hi Guys,

I'm a fishing newbie and I've got a question about handling a few different species in regards to safety:


squid and octopus: I've never caught one before but just got a squid jig so I'm going to start targeting them. Are they safe to handle in anyway? Is there a certain size where they have enough teeth to hurt me? Do they have teeth or mouths and require those areas to be avoided?


Leather jackets: Is that spine on them dangerous/poisenous? I almost never use my pliers to take  the hooks out, I just grab the fish next to the eyes and use my hands but that spike on the leather jacket always has me cautious


puffer fish: Are those spikes sharp/poisenous? I always use pliers with them as I'm too freaked out by all those spikes. Am I just being a wuss?


yabbys/nippers from pump: I've never caught them before, I see people pumping them out and they're tiny, about the size of my finger. I assume they're harmless and those claws don't do anything?




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Hi mate,

I'm no expert, but as far as I know:

Octopus and Squid: Grab them by the head or mantle. Their beaks are on the underside, where the tentacles attach to the body/head.

Leatherjackets: Not sure about poisonous, but you can grab them by the belly. They're usually not slippery, and easy to keep a good grip on.

Pufferfish: Use pliers for safety, most (if not all) have poison in the spikes.

Nippers: The claws can hurt on the bigger ones. However if you grab them from behind, in the midsection, they can't get you.

Hope this helps, maybe someone with more knowledge can correct anything I'm wrong with, or has a bit more knowledge!



Edited by Wellzy94
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Squid are fairly easy to handle, as are Cuttlefish. Grab them both by the mantle. The main problem with Squid is the ink making a real mess so best to try and encourage them to get rid of most of it before bringing them into a boat.

Octopus also have ink but are much more agile than a Squid. The bigger ones can latch onto you with their tentacles giving a good bruise. Both Squid and Octopus have their mouth in the middle of their tentacles, but you'd be unlucky or careless to get a nip.

I don't believe the Leatherjacket spike is poisionous but will stand to be corrected. Generally very easy to handle, just don't get the spike through your palm!

Ditto with Puffer Fish - the flesh is poisionous to eat but I don't think the spikes are. Their min area of concern is the teeth, on a larger specimen they can bite through a small hook so don't get your finger in there! Best to handle the big ones with a glove if you need to.

Pink Nippers can definitely give you a nip, but can't do any real damage. Those with two little nippers are female, one large and one small are male. The small nipper won't bother you. The big nipper on the male is capable of a strong pinch and possibly drawing a little blood but that's about it. I prefer to leave it on but if you are worried, grab the nipper by the head in one hand, grab the big nipper with the other and twist it off, very easy.

Hppy fishing!

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38 minutes ago, robertye112 said:



So the basic answer is yes, they will all hurt me. hahaha - awesome. :)


Thanks guys

Well anything can hurt you if you're not careful!

I'm always weary of bream and bass, those buggers seem to get me every time!

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Lol, even worm can bite.

I just keep long pliers from Bunnings in the tackle bag in case I have to unhook something that I really do not want to take in my hands. And antiseptic for bream and flathead spikes.

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