2039- Old cars had these mounted on the dash board so you could see the
traffic light if you were to far into the intersection to see the light.
Mostly salt water here, plus one river, a lot of creeks, and lakes. I only
do fresh water fly fishing now, and have a glow in the dark fish whacker
made of some heavy plastic. In the lakes, the fish feed at dawn and dusk, so
it can be very dark. On moonlit nights they can feed for most of the night.
Still have my old saltwater whacker, it looks like a small baseball bat,
just what is needed for a 50 pound salmon!
Would such an item "a priest" be likely to be in full-time
contact with salt water -- even if the fishing were being done in salt
water, not fresh?
For something in full time contact with salt water -- especially
underwater fittings on a boat, yes. Something which occasionally gets
splashed (as this would be if it is indeed a fisherman's "priest") is
not going to have enough exposure to make this a problem.
And I believe that I was replying to a suggestion which was that
its use was for removing, installing hub spinners for wire wheel
equipped sports cars. (You trimmed too aggressively to make it easy for
me to verify this.) For that -- either brass or bronze would be too
hard, and likely to mar the spinners. Copper or lead would be the
For what? Given the relative hardness of a fish's head, I think
not. For removing a hub spinner on an automobile -- softer is better,
since the tool is replaceable at low cost, while the spinner is a rather
It's specifically a brass trout or salmon priest. Trout ones are usually
about 8" long and salmon ones 10" and heavier obviously for the larger fish.
Yours at 9" is in between. My own has an aluminium end which isn't the ideal
material being fairly light unless you use lots of it but my grandad bought
it for me 40 years ago and it's done the job perfectly well so far. For sea
fish you'd want something at least a foot long and much more robust or
you'll just annoy them when you hit them on the head with it.
BTW it's certainly not for "stunning" the catch as your answer says. It's
for "killing" a fish as quickly and painlessly as possible. The last thing
you want is for the poor creature to only be stunned and wake up later in
the creel and suffocate slowly in air.
Yours may even be a Hardy as it has the same turnings on the head as this
Do the engravings say anything?
Don't assume it's torment for them--I recall one guy catching the same
trout four times in the same day (he marked it somehow the first time--I
forget how). Perhaps its the way fish are programmed, or perhaps it's
that fish have a different idea of "fun" from humans.
Guy probably clipped a fin. Trout might just have been real hungry and/or
the fisherman did an excellent job of matching the hatch.
Never could get into catching more than I was going eat or give to friends.
Quit completely when when my balance went and standing upright in a river
was near impossible, never mind playing a fish.
There is an ongoing debate between fishermen and others about the
'inhumanity' of fishing, based on the assumption that fish must feel
the pain of the hook, since they kick and fight so hard. Or at the
very least, that it's harmful or traumatic bringing them into the air
and supporting their bodies outside of the water.
The debate rages on. Many fishermen (myself included) have caught a
single fish repeatedly, and released it repeatedly, which seems to
suggest that the whole experience isn't traumatic enough to make them
change their behavior. I have heard of scientific studies that suggest
that fish lack a certain structure in their brains that would enable
them to feel pain.
In any case, whenever I see those National Geographic images of
grizzly bears catching salmon, dragging them onshore and ripping their
skin off while the fish kicks and twists, I figure it could be a whole
lot worse for the fish than to be pinched in the lip, quickly brought
to hand, held underwater lightly while the (barbless) hook is removed,
and then positioned gently so that the current flows over its gills
and it is revived enough to swim away.
--riverman (who doesn't use a priest, but raps them on the head with
his knuckles instead)
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