Catch and Release Fishing

Catch and release was first started in the 1960’s as a way to conserve fish when the fisherman had no plans to use it for food.

It caught on slowly but today is used widely in sports fishing.
To be able to release your fish, it must be as unstressed a possible.
Handle it as little as possible, and avoid holding it with dry hands at all so that the protective slime coat is not removed from the fish.

If you don’t have a fish with very sharp teeth, you will be able to grasp the lower lip between your thumb and pointer finger and hold the fish vertically. Make sure that you support a larger fish under its belly.
Hold the fish with sharper teeth around the back of their heads, holding the gills closed.

A salmon being released after the catch

Try not to keep a fish out of the water any longer than you can hold your breath, and don’t tear out the hook but rather, gently slide it out.

If the fish hook is deeply embedded, cut the line and release your fish. Contrary to what you’ve heard, the hook will rust and dissolve, or will in fact come out itself without doing any harm to the fish, but ripping it out, will in fact many times kill the fish.

If you are finding that the lures or bait that you’re using is being swallowed or that deep hooking is taking place very often, cut your hooks so that they no longer have barbs, or buy barbless hooks.
Removing these is a lot easier and much healthier for the fish.

If a fish that you want to release becomes unconscious, attempt to revive it by moving it back and forth in the water so that water will flow through the fishes gills.

When it begins to move and struggle, then you can safely let it go.

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