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]

Catch and release fishing 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.

What is Catch and Release Fishing - Safely

Gear Selection for Effective Catch and Release

Anglers need a few essential tools (fishing gear) 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.
  • Rubberized 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

Concerns About Catch and Release Fishing

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.

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


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.

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