Catch & Release and how to take good care of the fish

There are a lot of relevant tools to brind along and lots of useful tips to note, when you want to try out catch & release fishing. In the following you will learn how to take good care of the fish as you release it back into the fjord. 

More and more fishermen practice catch & release, and they can luckily see the wisdom in releasing even a big beautiful fish back into the water. When the fish is released back into the fjord, others can experience the same joy by catching it again, but most importantly, the fish is more likely to be able to contribute to the continually thriving fish population in the fjord.

Fish are living beings and, therefore, they must be treated with care, especially if the goal is to release them back into the water. Thus, those of us who fish have a responsibility, as taking good care of the fish is crucial for its survival. It is of course important that the fish that are returned to the fjord survive, so they can increase the number of sea trouts in the fjord. Fish that die shortly after will not contribute to a thriving environment for the fish in the fjord.

How to take good care of the fish

Basically, the main goal should be to return the fish to its natural habitat as soon as possible! Unnecessarily long periods of time on land will stress the fish and reduce its chances of survival. The same goes for unnecessarily long fights. Therefore, one should aim to reduce the time out of the water and minimise the number of times you touch the fish. Touching the fish too much could damage it and reduce its immune system.

Catching the fish with a hook

Here are a few tips about how to return the fish to the fjord and thereby improve its chances of survival. A great deal of the enjoyment of fishing comes from the moment, when you feel the hook catch on the the fish and the fight that follows it. During the fight it is important to know that to long fights will drain the fish completely and increase the amount of acid in the fish’s muscles. So the fight should be as short as possible. This requires some tools that are tough enough to handle the type of fish you are going for.

The landing is often a nerve wrecking experience, where the head must be kept cold and where a lot of stuff is on stake. Regarding the fish’s well-being then there are a lot of other landing alternatives to consider. Depending on the size of the fish and the situation in general, you can choose to either land the fish by hand or with a net. Use your own hands when you are wade-fishing. Then you can land the fish and take the hook out in the water. Actually, you can also do this on a boat and with smaller fish. If you are trying to catch a large fish, then a net is advisable. The net actually has a few advantages. Firstly, it allows you to cover a larger area, which means that you will land the fish much faster. The net is also good for keeping the fish in place while you are finding all your measurement tools etc.

If it is possible, you should always remove the hook in the water. If this is not possible, you can do so in a soft and wet surface. This is especially important for this fishing competition as you have to both measure and take photos of the fish. Remember to make the net and your hands wet before you touch the fish. It is important not to spend to long time measuring and taking pictures of the fish, so it can quickly be returned to its natural surroundings.

Hooks are easily removed with hook loosened tools. It is important to be careful in order to avoid making large wounds in the fish. This is done most effectively by pulling in the opposite direction of the hook.

Releasing the fish back into the water is easy, if the fish has been fought quickly and no additional damage was made while removing the hook. Then all you need to do is return the fish into the water. If the fish is tired and stressed, then it might be a good idea toll to hold the fish and lead it back and forth in the water, to renew its energy. Let go of the fish when it shows willingness to want to swim out into the water.

Document what you have caught quickly and efficientlt

If you want to document what you have caught then measure it and take pictures of it and you. But make sure to know where your equiptment is, so it is nearby and easily accessible. Thus, the fish will have a good chance of survival.

10 quick Catch & Release tips

  1. Fish with equipment that is tough enough to handle the size of the fish you are going for.
  2. Have a net nearby for landing
  3. Remember hook loosened equipment.
  4. Avoid placing the fish on surfaces that may be damaging for it.
  5. Avoid touching the fish to much.
  6. Have the fish under water as much as possible.
  7. If you cannot remove the hook in the water then place the fish in a damp surface and remove it.
  8. Make sure not to place to much pressure on the organs of the fish or to damage its gels.
  9. Be sure that the fish is energetic before releasing it again.
  10. Use the circle hook when appropriate.