Catch and Release: Tips for Safely Releasing Your Fish

For many lovers of nature, there is nothing as fun and relaxing than going fishing. Although the act of fishing is simple enough, one skill that all great anglers must have is the knowledge of catch and release. There are few feelings more fulfilling than catching that big fish and then knowing that you did nature right by releasing it safely back to its home. If the safety of the fish is your priority, then follow these simple tips from Outdoor News.

Catch and ReleaseBe Gentle Around Hooks

When releasing your catch, you want to be sure not to harm them, especially when it comes to removing those dangerous hooks. The care begins when you actually catch the fish. When you feel the fish bite on your line, keep the line tight and set the hook quickly. When the fish reaches the surface, be sure not to pull it out of the water by the line, as this can set the hook even deeper. Use a net to help bring the fish aboard or keep it in the water instead. These steps are crucial, as fish have a vastly greater chance of dying soon after release if hooked too deeply, causing a fatal wound.

Unhook with Caution

Now that you have the fish safely in your boat, unhooking the fish should be done very carefully by either holding the fish in a net or keeping it at the water’s surface. Take your time extracting the hook. Don’t make any sudden moves or sharp gestures or you could cause the fish immeasurable harm. In the case where the hook is embedded too deeply, the safest choice is to cut the line close to the animal’s mouth and then let it go. The fish is better off with the embedded hook than with an open wound that could kill it.

Different Methods for Different Hooks

The care needed to remove hooks from a fish’s mouth all depends on the type of hook you are using. If it’s a barbed hook, you will need to support the jaw while removing the hook with needle-nosed pliers. If your lure has two treble hooks, then consider removing the forward treble hook, which helps to prevent potential eye damage to the fish. When holding most fish, try to avoid handling them with dry hands, as this can damage their skin or remove the protective slime layer on the fish. You also should avoid squeezing the fish, if at all possible.

When you are at Watson’s Kaby Lodge, you can rest assured that we have the most experienced experts on staff that can answer any questions that you might have during your epic fishing expedition. If you have questions about a prospective trip or just want to book an unforgettable getaway, give us a call at 877-484-1672.

This entry was posted in catch and release, conservation and fishing, Fishing, fishing for sport.