Catch-and-Release programs have been around for years. The idea behind it is that we be mindful of the limits of our resources. Keep the fish you can eat and return the rest to the wild.
What Dry Hands You Have!
Think about the slimy feel of a fish, fresh from the water. That membrane on the fish’s body protects his skin from infection and disease.
If you handle the fish with dry hands, you can send the fish into shock because of the reaction between the germs on your hands and the fish’s skin.
“When even a small portion of the slime coating is removed, the fish will bleed electrolytes from its body into the surrounding water.” *
Have You Fixed Your Hook?
As I mentioned in a previous article (How Sharp is Your Fishing Hook?), bend down the barb on your fish hooks.
This process makes the hook kinder to the fish … and it is easier to unhook the fish and put it back in the water.
Another option is to use barbless hooks. Check it out at your sporting goods store.
3 More Tips
- Return the fish to water as quickly as possible.
- Don’t toss the fish back. The fish is already disoriented enough without the shock of hitting the water without warning.
- Release the fish gently by hand. Place the fish in the water facing upstream, holding it under water. It will move out of your grasp as soon as he is able.
Catch-and-Release is becoming a more popular option all the time. With a little advance planning, you can become a master at the technique!
* from “The Slime Coat is one of the Fish’s Main Defenses Against Infection and Disease,” on the website Fish Slime Coat
‘The Prize’ is used by permission of Restyler’s Choice Graphics
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