The first thing you should know about catching and releasing fishing is that each river, lake, or ocean that you are fishing in will have different regulations and laws in regards to how the fish you catch should be handled. In reality, you could kill a fish by accident and even the regulations on how to correctly dispose or keep the fish may be varied by the state or country that you are fishing in.
Some of the items that will be mentioned below are ways to ethically fish so that you minimize the possibility of accidentally injuring or killing your catch and steps in between hooking the fish and letting the fish go.
These are the best handling practice tips in regard to catching a releasing a fish.
The important thing is to enjoy fishing and appreciate the privilege of enjoying nature. If you are practicing the guidelines that are discussed on how to fish, the chances of harming or killing fish will be reduced drastically.
Tips to Remember When Handling Fish
The main points to remember are:
- Have wet hands when you are handling a fish or use a rubber net. This will ensure that the protective mucus layer of the fish is not harmed.
- Handle the fish so that it is horizontal as much as possible. Horizontal is the natural position of a fish in the water. You must take care to not knock or drop your catch onto any rough, pointy, or hard surfaces.
- Never put your fingers or hands in the gills of a fish to hold it. It is important to remember to not touch around the eyes.
- Attempt to remove the hook the fastest and easiest way possible. The best way to remove the hook from the fish is to use a pair of pliers or a specialized dehooking tool.
- Minimize the time any fish is out of water as much as possible. If you have experienced a long fight with the fish to catch it, you can help the fish recover by swimming it in the water until it is ready to leave. Place one hand under the belly and the other hand on the tail and begin to slowly swim the fish to aid in the recovery process.
- Be up to date with the fishing regulations in the area that you are fishing in. Be sure to know the size, bag limits, and fishing techniques that are allowed in the specific area where you are because the rules and regulations differ from place to place.
It is important to remember the basics of preparing for any kind of fishing starts with paying attention to the regulations that are required in regard to how many fish that you can catch and what sort of can that you are able to use. In some places, the laws and regulations may be more specific than others in different regions. The variety of laws that are used universally are for all fishing techniques and are done in order to protect fish species through rebuilding overfished stocks in order to increase long term social and economic benefits.
To learn more about the proper way to handle and release fish, contact Cape Cod Bay Outfitters so we can assist you.