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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.


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.


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


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.


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.

11 Comments on Catch and release fishing tips

  1. I whent one time at steals creek park and caught 89 blue gill.

  2. if you want a BIG FISH put a lot of bate on the hook like worms,bread,mealworms,sasage,cheese,corn,and lures

  3. carps are awesome // June 18, 2009 at 2:14 pm // Reply

    a few days ago i caught a 3 foot and 35 pound grass carp

  4. The spikes on a catfish’s dorsial fin hurt. Rub the spine to make it go down.

  5. peanutbrittle 33 // June 1, 2009 at 6:22 pm // Reply

    ive only been fishing twice but ive got like 8 fish 😛

  6. i had to release it.

  7. I fished for a long time my first cath was a bullhead but my biggest catch was about 30 years old but because it was injured by many other fishermen/fisherwomen.

  8. Scout for Life // March 26, 2009 at 9:21 am // Reply

    Hi I have been fishing a few times with my father and all I ever catch is blue gills any tips on how to catch a whopper?

    • Born 4 Eagle // May 22, 2013 at 5:10 pm // Reply

      Well if you’re fishing in a deep lake, don’t put a bobber on it, just put heavy weights on it and let the hook sink to the bottom, then start reeling it in.

      (trust me, this works, I caught a footlong catfish with this method)

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

    Bassmaster444 I think you got a great fish. Where did you catch it?

  10. Pack21 dude // March 24, 2009 at 10:07 pm // Reply

    One time I was fishin I caught somthin big, my grandpa thought it was just a large bunch of seaweed but he was wrong, it was actually a 7 pound 19 in. largemouth bass!

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