Whether you are fishing in a privately stocked pond or you are just interested in fishing for sport, you want to be familiar with the best way to safely catch and release fish. Of course, there are some things to keep in mind so that these fish can be returned to the water in the same shape that you caught them. Make sure the fish you put back thrive to grow and see another day by following these tips.
Watch the Hook
When casting out, be sure to keep a tight line and set the line as soon as you feel a bite to ensure that you don’t hook the fish too deep. When you get the fish to the surface of the water, don’t pull it up on the line; this will put too much stress on the line, potentially causing the hook to dig even deeper. Instead, use a net to keep the fish stable to avoid hurting it.
In the case that you find that the hook has dug in so deep that you increase the chance of hurting the fish, do not try to remove the hook as this could leave the fish with a fatal wound. Instead, cut the line close to the fish’s mouth, says Outdoor News. This won’t leave the fish in perfect shape, but it avoids possibly killing the fish.
Keep the Fish Safe
While on the subject of keeping the fish safe, it is important to use caution when handling them. When you get the fish out of the water, be sure to handle it with care and avoid squeezing. Hold the fish in such a way that you avoid touching its gills, too, as they are incredibly fragile, and the slightest touch could be damaging.
It is also important that your hands are wet while handling the fish. Not only is the fish used to a wet environment, but most fish are also covered in a layer of protective slime. Handling a fish with dry hands could cause you to accidentally remove that film, which could cause the fish harm later on.
Be Proud but Careful
Of course, you are not only out on the water to unhook fish, but you are also mainly there to enjoy the act of fishing, so don’t be afraid to show off your fishing skills – just do it with caution. If you want to take a picture of yourself and your prize catch, simply take the photo while the fish is still partially in the water to avoid harming it. If you wish to take multiple pictures, remember to return the fish to the water between each take to prevent any damage to your catch.
Remember that whether you are building your own pond, need to stock your lake, or need products to keep your private water body looking clean and clear, Kenneth Henneke Fish Hatchery is at your service. Give us a call today at 361-798-5934 and let us help you reel in what you need.