5 Tips for Catching and Releasing Fish

Posted on Jul 06, 2017

5 Tips for Catching and Releasing Fish

Any good fisherman should know how to catch and release fish. Doing so is important for conservation and to help preserve fisheries populations. With so many fish species having rules and regulations regarding the size and number of fish you can catch, catching and releasing fish is a necessary skill for every angler. Here’s how to do it right.

  1. Use appropriate tackle. You want to land your fish fast because the more exhausted it gets, the less of a chance it has of surviving. If your tackle is too light, it will prolong the battle. Make sure it’s strong enough to reel in your fish fast.
  2. Use circle hooks with bait. Many styles of hooks often lodge in a fish’s stomach or gills. But circle hooks used with natural bait reduce fish deaths because the design allows the hook to slide out of the fish’s throat and lock around the jaw hinge as the line tightens.
  3. Use single hooks with lures. A single hook on an artificial lure usually causes less damage to a fish than a plug with two or three treble hooks.
  4. Keep your catch in the water. Keeping your fish in the water allows its skin to stay moist and provides oxygen to its gills. If you handle a fish, make sure your hands are wet, as dry hands can remove a fish’s protective mucous coating.
  5. Don’t use a net. A scratchy fishing net can remove the fish’s protective mucous coating, as well as scales. A net also increases the chances your fish will get tangled. If you must use one, stay away from nylon nets. Use a shallow net specifically designed for catch and release.