Skip to main content

Killing Fish with Alcohol?

Can splashing a heavy dose of alcohol to the gills keep a fish from tearing up the boat?

Cobia can rip a cockpit to pieces in a heartbeat. So can a fair sized dolphin attached to a gaff. No one wants to get anywhere near a wahoo when it's flailing around. So how do you get that crazed fish to settle down, and quickly?

Apparently, there's a fairly easy method to put “lunatic” fish to sleep. But it involves delicious spirits that some fishermen hold in high regard. Alcohol should never be drunk by the boat driver while on the water, but borrowing a couple shots of your fishing buddy's Tequila or rum just might put that fish to rest.

“Vodka (or any other spirits) splashed a few drops from a squirt bottle into the gill slits (will settle a fish),” says Florida Sportsman member Frisbee. “The gills absorb such a high concentration in a short time that the heart stops when the vodka blood pumps into it.”

FS member Capt M Brennan agrees: “When I was skippering in the Antilles, I carried a spray bottle of rum with me to kill fish with. I was running a charter sailboat, no fish box. We'd put a towel on deck, jerk the fish up on the towel, cover them up and reach under the towel and spray rum on the gills. One or two quivers, they're dead. There's no blood on deck to clean up and can be cleaned right away without worry.”

Rubbing alcohol is also claimed to work the same way. Check out the conversation and include your own thoughts on the subject. Is it a load of bologna? Or is there some truth to this liquid logic?

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Florida Sportsman Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Subscribe Now and Get a Full Year

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now