A Few FishingTips on Catch-and-Release

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.

Catch-&-Release requires some preparation. Here are some tips!


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.                        

Planning on catch-and-release? It is important to use pliers to mash down the barb. That part of the hook is what keeps your fish from sneaking away.

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


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on June 13, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments Off on A Few FishingTips on Catch-and-Release  
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Fishing & Kids II

Recently, we covered safety issues with kids and fishing. Now,  let’s talk about the “how” of fishing with kids.

Getting a Life-Long Fishing Buddy

Remember that the goal is to get a life-long fishing buddy! Making sure the first few trips are “all about them” will ensure their continued participation.

You will need to show patience  while you are untangling lines and baiting hooks.  If it is hard for you to split your time between your fishing and theirs, this may be the time to leave your rod at home.

Limit fishing time; kids are not going to enjoy fishing for a whole weekend (at first).

It’s All About Kids and Fun

Choose a place that is easy to get to, safe and offers other diversions. A fishing spot near a park is ideal; if the fish aren’t biting – kids will enjoy a swing ride or two — and then return when the fish get hungry.

Choose a place with plenty of action. Kids would prefer to catch lots of little fish versus a couple of large ones. If possible, use live bait. Children find this much more fun than lures, spoons, etc.

What if the kids decide to toss stones or chase around? Remember that this is their outing and take it in stride. The idea is that fishing is fun! 

Fishing Can Be Fun for All Ages!

Fishing Can Be Fun for All Ages!



Hooking Your Kids

Use simple tackle: a hook, split  shot, night-crawler and bobber.

Alternately, use an old rig (in working order) from the back of the garage. You will feel better about losing this rather than watching your child accidentally drop your new graphite rod  in the water.

Another choice is to buy a “kid’s sized” tackle set. It’s the right size and fairly inexpensive.

Teaching Conservation

Teach conservation: Show the fish’s eyes, explain how they see. Let them feel the layer of “slime” (that protects them from bacteria).

Teach them only to catch what they can eat. Also, teach  ‘catch and release.’ Explain that releasing this fish today will allow the fish to reproduce many more for the future.

Being Prepared

Besides tackle and bait, be sure to bring some snacks, drinks, sunscreen, insect repellent and some basic items of  first aid.

Even with you hooking their bait and helping them cast, kids will make mistakes. Leave your temper at home! Calmly explain why it is wrong and how to do it correctly.

Lavish praise and take photos!


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com