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Trout tickling
By Victoria Johnson
Posted: 2019-05-14T14:25:00Z
On a recent fishing trip with Mark Crawford, Patty Greer and I were introduced to the topic of catatonia in trout.  Called tonic immobility, it has some resemblance to thanatosis or “playing dead”, which o’possums use to avoid attracting predators.
It has been used in trout fishing and is called “trout tickling” which is a method of immobilizing trout by using your fingers to rub across a trout’s ventral side.
It causes them to go into a trance-like state.
Poachers in the past used this technique to immobilize fish then would throw them up on to dry land. They thus had no nets, rods, hooks or bait that would attract the interest of game wardens.  They would find a trout resting near rocks or under logs and start rubbing their fingers gently under the rear of the fish’s ventral side then work their way to the area under the gills.

Trout tickling is definitely an alternative method of catching fish!   
On the occasion of this trip we only handled the trout with a net and released all fish.
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