There is a recent blog post on a fly fishing site about grip & grin shots and the proper handling of fish before they are released, and whether or not they are harmed depending on whether they are kept in the water or held up for a hero shot. Like every other subject in America, there are tons of experts on this and most of them are very confident in what they don't know. Or they just want attention, thus they will remain anonymous here. I'm not an expert, but I believe a little common sense goes a long way. That's all I have to say about that, but if you want to read more, do a search on your favorite browser and feel the outrage.
What I am really interested in, is that on that same blog post, a so-called guide commented that he has "seen more than his fair share of fish with hand shaped fungus on them." That folks, is a new one to me, and perhaps to you as well. I have been fishing for trout for over 45 years in waters from Maine to California. Some (many) are fished very heavily with the majority of anglers practicing catch and release. And in all those years, on all those rivers and streams, I have never caught a trout that has hand shaped fungus on it. Have you?
So, my question is; was this guy exaggerating (bullshitting) to make his point? Or does this really happen and have I just not seen this phenomenon on one of the thousands of trout I have caught over the years?
I have caught trout with discolored skin, that may possibly be fungus, no doubt. Usually it is whitish and was found on their head, or fin(s), or back, but always it was without form and never resembling any part of a hand; or human, for that matter.
Angler 1: Hey, did you see that lip shaped fungus on that big brown trout I caught?
Angler 2: Yep, another idiot kissed his trophy before he released it......
I'm skeptical on this one, so much so that I would like to hear from anyone that has unedited photographic proof showing a fish with hand shaped fungus on it. Now I realize that it is possible, and may perhaps occur in rare instances, but I seriously doubt that any angler has seen even a small "fair share of fish with hand shaped fungus" on their sides.
Sure, I'm a little grumpy tonight, but I don't live or fish in a vacuum and this one kind of irks me.
Sharpen your hooks!