Catch and release is a popular technique among fishermen who want to enjoy the sport without harming the fish they catch. However, when done improperly, it can lead to a high mortality rate among fish despite your best intentions.
To make sure fish are unharmed from the time you reel them in to when you release them from the hook, follow these three easy tips.
Use the right gear
One of the most important things you can do to ensure the safety of the fish you catch is to use the proper gear.
It is suggested to use circle or barb-less hooks as they cause less injury and make hook removal much easier.
You can even use a soft, rubberized or knotless net to catch your fish, greatly increasing the fish’s chance of survival.
Be an efficient fisherman
Another key to being successful at catch and release fishing is to have a quick transition from the time you catch a fish to the time you release it.
There should be no more than 2 minutes in between the initial catch and the eventual release. To accomplish this, it is suggested to use heavier tackle so you can land fish quickly and get them off the hook.
Handle with care
Once you have made a catch and are getting ready to release it, there are several things to remember to keep the fish free from harm.
It is suggested to avoid handling the fish too much, and when you do touch them, make sure to wet your hands first to avoid removing any protective coating. It is also essential that you avoid putting your fingers in gills or eyes.
Before placing the fish in the water, give it a few seconds to regain its normal breathing patterns, and make sure that the fish is upright and can swim freely before releasing it.
Should you be an avid fisherman that enjoys catch and release fishing, we invite you to come see us at Mattice Lake Outfitters.
Our outfitter is located along the Ogoki-Albany river system in Northwestern Ontario and offers fully furnished cabins, outpost camps and wilderness lodges for your convenience.
For unforgettable fishing, hunting, canoeing and more that the whole family will enjoy, make sure to give us a call today at 1-800-411-0334 to book your stay!