Catch and release fishing is a popular practice in the boating and fishing world. It’s a way for anglers to enjoy their sport without causing undue harm to the fish they catch. But how exactly does catch and release fishing work? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the techniques involved in this method of fishing.
The first thing to know about catch and release fishing is that it requires some specialized gear. Your hook should be barbless, or you can use a tool to crush the barb on your hook. This will make it easier to remove the hook from the fish’s mouth without causing unnecessary damage. Additionally, you should use a net with knotless mesh to avoid harming the fish’s scales or skin.
Once you’ve caught a fish, the first step is to handle it carefully. Wet your hands before handling the fish, as dry hands can remove the protective slime layer that covers the fish’s skin. Use your hands or a pair of pliers to remove the hook gently. If the hook is deeply embedded, you may need to cut the line rather than attempting to remove the hook.
Next, you should minimize the amount of time that the fish spends out of the water. A fish needs oxygen to survive, and prolonged exposure to air can be harmful. When you lift the fish out of the water, hold it horizontally and support its weight. If you need to take a photo with your catch, keep the fish in the water as much as possible and take the photo quickly.
Finally, release the fish back into the water gently. Avoid tossing it back in, as this can cause injury. Instead, hold the fish upright in the water and gently move it back and forth until it swims away on its own. The goal is to release the fish in as good a condition as possible so that it can continue to thrive in its environment.
Catch and release fishing is a great way to enjoy your sport while minimizing harm to fish populations. By using the right gear, handling fish carefully, minimizing air exposure, and releasing them gently, you can fish with a clear conscience and help keep aquatic ecosystems healthy. Happy fishing!