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Catch and release fishing tips

Releasing the fish you catch can help sustain and build the population of wild fish. Here are a few tips for ensuring fish have the best chance of survival.

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Use barbless hooks or flatten the barb on the hook before using a fly for the first time. This makes the hook much easier to remove and lessens the potential injury to the fish’s mouth.

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Use either needle-nose pliers or forceps to gently remove the hook from the fish’s mouth.

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If the fish has swallowed the hook, or if the hook is set too deeply, cut the line and release the fish. The hook will dissolve over time without harm to the fish.

If the hook is in the gills, the throat or an artery, the fish’s chances of survival are greatly reduced. If it’s legal, keep the fish. Also, if a fish is bleeding, keep it if it’s legal to do so.

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Minimize the amount of time the fish is out of the water. Once the hook is removed or the line is cut, gently hold the fish in the water, pointing upstream, until it can swim away on its own.

71 Comments on Catch and release fishing tips

  1. Pack21 dude // March 24, 2009 at 10:04 pm // Reply

    I love fishing with my grandpa and I’ll bet he will love this tip cause he loves nature and tries to make the fish feel no pain at all.

  2. my bro cought a brow on a fly the other day

  3. and a 2 pound brown the day befor!!!

  4. i just cought a 17 pound king on lake Ontario yesterday!!!

  5. twedle dee // March 21, 2009 at 5:56 pm // Reply

    I think that these suggesttions are only for beginners really, I go fishing quite often, but, I would not follow these rules, but that is just my opinion.

  6. tyrell1111 // March 3, 2009 at 9:48 pm // Reply

    to stop it from wiggiling squese its gills together

  7. you NEED gloves when handling sunfish

  8. Instead of using gloves, just wet your hands.Circle hooks also help because it hooks on the side of the mouth.

  9. one kind of fish buries and starves itself if you release it

  10. this is about sport fishing isnt it for eagle scout i need to know how to prepare it to eat

  11. A tip for fishing is even if you don’t catch anything have fun.

  12. bob with an oboe // January 20, 2009 at 4:42 pm // Reply

    If the hook gets caught in the gills or eye and the chance of survival is low, break the fish’s neck. If you do it right, it is a quick and un-painful way to put it out of it’s misery.

  13. I love to go fishing and I caught about 13 fish.

  14. I have only caught 4 fish but I still like it a lot anway.

  15. thats cool……….. i caught a 7 pound fish one time and it loocked like it should of been like 25 pounds….

  16. THank you for the good tip

  17. bass master4444 // September 25, 2008 at 2:27 pm // Reply

    I love fishing!!!

    I always catsh and release.

    The biggest fish i ever caught was an 18 inch largemouth bass!

    (I’ve also caught some 14-16in. pickerel)

  18. awesome! i love thispage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. thats nice oh yes

  20. it kinda hard to get it out of the eye trust me on this one guy

    you’ll have kill the fish

  21. oakway vol.fire dept // August 17, 2008 at 1:47 pm // Reply

    what if you pay 6.50 for your fishing lure nobody would do that.

  22. mustangfisherdog2400 // August 12, 2008 at 5:13 pm // Reply

    fishing is fun. i have never kept a fish that i have caught, but i have only caght seven fish i think and they were all 3 – 4 inch bluegill

  23. thats cool i just getting into fishing

  24. Ghostrider13 // July 19, 2008 at 11:34 pm // Reply

    I been fishing at Lake Ontario for 3 years now and have only caught 9 fish.

  25. I think these tips are very helpful

  26. If you dull the tips enoughf to not seriously injur the fish you wouldn`t catch any thing!!!!!

  27. i think they need to tell you how to hold the fish without its gills cutting you.

  28. my dad needs to know this !

  29. whats the easiest way to catch a fish?

    Have some one throw it at you

  30. People need to wear gloves

  31. fishing is part of survival

  32. I hope all people know this fact

  33. fishin is my favorite hobbey im down at the pond at least twice a day

  34. The last time i went fishing my great grandmother was hooked in the thumb, but i caught baby bass and a normal bass.

  35. outdoor guy 75 // June 4, 2008 at 3:54 pm // Reply

    Fishing is great I love to fish rivers lakes ect. sometimes its easy to get the hook out with your hand but sometimes if its hard don’t hesitate use a tool

  36. the big one // May 29, 2008 at 9:06 am // Reply

    wearing gloves can still remove the slime. so that you dont remove the slime you need wet hands. if you are affrade to touch them then wear gloves that have been soaked in water.

  37. why put the fish back keep it and eat it

  38. i like fishing i cought one two days ago

  39. I like fishing

  40. Mr. Myesterious // May 27, 2008 at 4:13 pm // Reply

    When you catch a fish always be gentle, and don’t hook yourself!

  41. fishin' 152 // May 16, 2008 at 6:56 pm // Reply

    Use gloves so u do not remove the slime , it is the fishes way of protecting its self from harmful parasites . If u don’t have gloves get your hands wet before handling fish please.

  42. another good way to get hold of a fish:

    use a washcloth/ something like it to grip it

  43. Fishing is FUN!

  44. wolf 2 eagle // April 28, 2008 at 9:23 pm // Reply

    if u’re in a lake, gently pull the fish back n forth till it swims away. and don’t toss it in the water; put it in the water gently.

  45. one who makes white smoke // April 27, 2008 at 8:27 pm // Reply

    In the title of the passage, it doesn’t say if the tips will work for all fish species or for just one species.

  46. I still think catching fish is mean :(

  47. lok et meh // April 23, 2008 at 4:31 pm // Reply

    use gloves if you are holding a fish with stingers

  48. actually dont use gloves, just make your hands wet it doesnt take the fishes slime away from it

  49. If you want to now how to hold a fish without getting hurt then hold your thumb and your finger on the fishes mouth.

  50. you half to use gloves

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