This is Proper Catch and Release Fishing [The Best Practices!]

Catch and release fishing

For decades, catch and release fishing serves as an essential part of recreational angling. However, this practice has received critical mass in recent years.

Many anglers today value fish species for their quality in sports and recreation rather than eating, including; carp, grass carp, bass and trout.

The popularity of releasing fish after catching them has significantly increased.

Here's an exclusive insight into this unique method of fishing where the fish are released after being caught.



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What is it Catch and Release Fishing? [Meaning]

So, have you ever wondered about the meaning of this unique method of fishing (C&R)?

C&R is a descriptive term of a situation where a fish that has been caught is released unharmed with the aim that it survives and goes back to exist naturally in its environment.

So, in practice, this means that the fish may be momentarily fished out of the water for unhooking, or conversely, the fish in the water may be freed from the hook without being removed or handled.

But for more about all that keep on reading ...

What is Catch and Release Fishing - Meaning

What is the Point to Land the Fish and After that to Release a Fish? [Circumstances]

There are several reasons why catch-release fishing is practiced.

One of the circumstances is when a captured fish is smaller than the legal minimum landing size. In such a case, it is mandatory to release the fish.

Some of the angling organizations indorse that members should abide by the minimum or maximum size limits for ethical and conservation reasons.

Consequently, those who comply with these recommendations release several fish captured voluntarily.

This mode of fishing also applies to incidents when you catch a fish species that you do not want to eat.

More so, if the circumstance in which you have caught the fish cannot allow retaining or storage for consumption, you can use this fishing technique to take the fish back to its habitat unharmed.

There are also additional reasons why this form of fishing is practiced.

How to Properly Handling Your Catch and Remove the Hook?

Handling your catch carefully is essential.

Firstly, it is imperative to use a landing net in order to securely bring the captured fish onto the bank or boat.

After that you should ensure that your wet hands prior to handling the fish to avoid removal of the protective fish mucus also ensure to hold the fish correctly while you avoid squeezing it.

Gloves might be useful in larger fish too help you to hold on to them as you remove the hook.

Make sure that the fish does not batter itself against the ground or boat.

More about that how to properly and safely handle fish you can check in this video ...

What Fishing Tackle Angler Need for Effective Catch and Release?

Anglers need a few essential tools (fishing tackle) and techniques for effective catch and release to ensure the fish has the best chance of survival.

First and foremost, it is crucial to be familiar with the fishing regulations in the area to avoid any illegal practices.

  • Using barbless hooks can greatly increase the chances of releasing a fish without causing harm.
  • Landing nets are essential to properly handle and release fish. Using a net helps minimize stress to the fish by avoiding extended periods of time out of the water.
  • To further protect the fish, it is recommended to have a fishing mat or a soft surface to land the fish on. This prevents any damage to the fish's delicate scales or injuries.
  • Lastly, it is advisable to carry antiseptic spray for fish in case a fish is hooked deeply. Applying this spray can help prevent bacterial infections and aid in the fish's recovery after release.

By employing these tools and techniques, anglers can ensure the fish's well-being and contribute to sustainable fishing practices

What is Catch and Release Fishing - Landing Net

Is this Fishing Methode Really so Cruel?

This practice, often perceived as cruel, involves capturing fish and then setting them free. Those who oppose it argue that the fish, left in a state of shock and unable to swim away, can suffer injury or even death.

In contrast, supporters believe it to be the most humane way to fish, as the fish aren't harmed during the process. They argue that this method allows the fish to live a long life and reproduce before they die.

And what is your opinion? Do you think this fishing practice is cruel or not?

To help you decide, I suggest you read on ...

Does Catch and Release Kill Fish? [Survival and Mortality Rate]

Many anglers ask me: "Does Catching and after that Releasing Kill Fish?" and "What is Survival or Mortality Rate?"

So, lets talk about that ...

Several scientific research projects worldwide for both freshwater and marine fish shows enormously varying survival rates.

The dependent factors that have a significant effect on the fish survival rates during fishing include;

  • water temperature,
  • air temperature,
  • fishing methods,
  • fish species,
  • the depth of water they are caught,
  • and how you handle them.

Fish with massive scales like bass, carp, and grey mullet exhibit a higher survival rate when captured and then set free.

This is proven by the fact that bass fish caught by a rod and line have been tagged for research over a lot of years.

At the end of the spectrum, some of the fish species, such as mackerel, have a higher death probability even when handled lightly and immediately returned to the water.

According to research studies carried out in Australia, angler captured grey mullet reveals that the fish has a mortality rate as low as four percent (4%).

Elasmobranch fish family has also been subjected to several tagging, and there is a small percentage of subsequent deaths.

Gadoid fish families such as cod can undergo catch-release fishing successfully as long as they are handled minimally and brought to the water surface slowly.

It is undoubtfully that although more research is the need for different fish species under different circumstances, there is sufficient research to prove that the C&R fishing practice should not result in a high mortality rate.

However, this fishing promotes economically and socially valuable aging activity.

If you are looking for more info about all that, here is my detailed article with title: "What Percent of Fish Die After Catch and Release?"

What is Catch and Release Fishing - Kill

The Fishing Debate About Catch and Release

The belief of recreational anglers, that the survival of the fish they let go can significantly contribute to conservation and future fishing enhancements, establishes the degree of voluntary compliance.

It is essential for anglers to feel that they are making a difference by carrying out successful fishing.

In most places around the world, marine fishery resources have a management framework that accepts both commercial and recreational fishing.

These fishery resources should have a well-integrated management system.

This system puts restrictions on both recreational and commercial fishers to achieve the optimum social, economic return.

In such incidents, restricted minimum or maximum landing sizes and recreational angling bag limits often results in increased levels of fishing.

More so, the quality of the angling experience has been enhanced due to restrictive management.

More anglers are willing to practice catch and release fishing, and more fisher is developing high confidence in managing fisheries.

The development of marine fisheries policy has overlooked recreational fishing in Europe. The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) has grown into a mindset of only considering commercial fishing, which paints it as a core failure for being industry-centric rather than a society based.

Today, the organization has stocks that are far less abundant as compared to the past four decades.

Consequently, the recreation catch-release fishing and angling quality have significantly reduced with most of the publicly-owned fishery resources being overexploited commercially by a framework of the management that gives priority to short-time survival commercial fishing.

The European fisheries management is leaning towards failure with an increased decline in the C&R fishing sea angling experience.

This is attributed to the shortcomings of CFP and lacks recreational sea angling as a way of improving commercial fishing. This has contributed to a perception of continuous decline in the sea angling experience and quality.

Several recreational anglers are less willing to accept the fishing.

They tend to believe that the fish they catch and after that release have a lower probability of being captured commercially, resulting in a little or no benefit to the long-term improvement of angling quality and fishery resources.

However, you should not confuse the European marine fish management restrictiveness for commercial and recreational fishers with the restrictive management in other parts of the globe.

For instance, restrictions for the striped bass fishery on the USA east coast are very different in magnitude as compared to EU restrictions.

What is Catch and Release Fishing - Safely


In conclusion, the majority of the anglers have incorporated other methods and practices to increase the survival rate of the fish released after being captured.

Some of these methods include the use of circle hooks, striking the bites early to avoid deep hooking, and minimizing unnecessary use of treble hooks.

All of this will significantly contribute to promoting the practice of releasing fish after catching them.

About Me

Slo-fishing - About Us


I am Siniša Pintar (friends call me Sina), the guy behind and eBook writer. This site is base camp for fishing enthusiasts from all over the world. I love fishing and want to share all my stories, knowledge and my experience with any and all potential anglers. Read more ...

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