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Thoughts on catch and release - best practice

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johnnybg
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Thoughts on catch and release - best practice

#1

Post by johnnybg » Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:58 pm

In continuation of my questions regarding "Barbed vs Barbless hooks", what are you thoughts on catch and release in regards of handling the fish?

I rather sure that the fish doesn't like being hooked and fought, but if we disregard that fact, what do you do to ensure minimal stress and injuries to the fish?

I have seen a lot of poor examples and I believe that many fishermen simply aren't aware of what hurtful to a fish and what isn't.

Barbless hooks and hook size play an important role, but how about topics like:
- rubber covered landing net
- fighting the fish hard and short
- wetting your fingers before handling the fish
- supporting the fish in the water and ensuring it's ready to swim on its own before letting it go after a long fight
- and so on..

What are your do's and don'ts when in comes to c&r and handling the fish? I'm curious :oh:

Cheers
Johnny

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Lasse Karlsson
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Re: Thoughts on catch and release - best practice

#2

Post by Lasse Karlsson » Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:42 pm

Your list

Rubber mesh net
Short and hard fight, rather loose a fish during the fight than having a fish I didn't want to keep die between my hands.
If handled, wet hands, a net and a peang reduces the reasons to handle the fish significantly.
Making sure the fish is ready to be released, it was fought short and hard so no long fight 😉

On top of that, do I have to get the fish out of water,I exhale and I hold my breath, and if I have to breathe, the fish goes back in the net again. Might sound stupid, but I figure that when I just ran a 100 meter dash, I need to breathe, and if I can't it's very frustrating and stressful. A fish that just fought is probably in the same condition...

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Lasse
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Paul Arden
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Re: Thoughts on catch and release - best practice

#3

Post by Paul Arden » Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:28 am

I like the idea of the hold the breath thing but unfortunately trout would fare far worse than us. 20s is bad news for trout. 40s is near fatal in many instances from what I’ve read and seen. It should only be 1-2 seconds air exposure max. That’s why a big net is great - the fish once netted swim around as in a cage and can be unhooked in the water. Bringing fish into a boat to unhook with regards trout for me is unacceptable, as is bringing them up the bank to unhook. Big soft net and keep the fish in the water. If the net is large enough it’s a cage and the fish start recovering the moment you net them, not later when you release them.

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Lasse Karlsson
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Re: Thoughts on catch and release - best practice

#4

Post by Lasse Karlsson » Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:22 am

Try and exhale then hold and see how fast it becomes uncomfortable 🙂 then imagine how short it is for someone in poor shape 😉

And yes, it was you in Croatia that made me go back to having a net when fishing 😊

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Re: Thoughts on catch and release - best practice

#5

Post by queenfish » Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:27 pm

I don't know about fighting the fish hard and short.
Once I hooked up a mack tuna about 7 to 9 kg, using 10kg leader locked up to breaking point.
The fish took out 100m of line, after skull dragging the fish to the boat the fish was dead.
Now I wonder.
I agree with the rest, although some fish are hardier than some, still should be treated gently.

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johnnybg
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Re: Thoughts on catch and release - best practice

#6

Post by johnnybg » Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:40 pm

Much appreciated guys! I might be mistaken, but believe it's an area that hasn't got much focus. And honestly there's probably a lot i don't know and this would be a good forum to ask more experienced anglers.

How about hook size (both hook gap and wire diameter)?
And if lifting the fish up for a quick photo do you support it "strategic" not harmful places?


BR
Johnny

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Fla
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Re: Thoughts on catch and release - best practice

#7

Post by Fla » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:26 pm

I became a huge fan of this hook remover tool when grayling fishing last autumn:
Screen Shot 2020-02-04 at 23.14.12.png
Screen Shot 2020-02-04 at 23.14.12.png (141.07 KiB) Viewed 253 times
Using this tool, it was easy to unhook the fishes fast and without touching or netting them. I caught grayling up to 40 cm - I can imagine that netting first is more efficient with bigger fish though.

Now I got some larger hook remover tools from stonfo which I couldn't test yet - the middle size intended for troutfishing and the larger for bonefish (or just perch, more realistic anytime soon).
fliegenhakenloser-stonfo-z-966-96601.jpg
Does anyone else have experience with such tools?

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Re: Thoughts on catch and release - best practice

#8

Post by Boisker » Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:27 pm

Mmm... you’re definitely fitter than me, I need to get in shape. If I’d just run a mile hard, then exhaled and asked to hold my breath 20 s would definitely be ‘uncomfortable’

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Paul Arden
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Re: Thoughts on catch and release - best practice

#9

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:03 am

Very similar to a tool called Ketchum Release. I worked for the UK distributor of them. Work well but you do need various different sized ones (would be the only real drawback I would think). The image above looks maybe to be an improved design.

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Bernd Ziesche
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Re: Thoughts on catch and release - best practice

#10

Post by Bernd Ziesche » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:57 pm

johnnybg wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:58 pm
- fighting the fish hard and short
Hi Johnny,
I have heard a fair number of fly fishermen saying so.
At the same time they still using exactly that method of angling usually making for quite long fights and enjoying this. Then we have all the extra soft rods not really helping to shortening the fight for most.
Personally I love to fly fish and don't feel sorry to the fish. If I would, I would stop fishing!
I also love to have a picture for memory of a fish I caught. Of course I know that the fish would prefer not to have been caught and not to have been pictured as well.
I try to keep em out of the water short time within those my preferences. A net I like a lot for making a picture. Helps to keep the fish wet, if I need to prepare something.
It also depends on the species of fish.
Anyway releasing Atlantic salmon for example often is critical. Fights can take a serious while easily.
I once caught one of over 15Kg in September in Mörrum. I had to release that fish after a 20 minutes fight (female). I believe the fish died. Was holding her for 15 minutes. No picture taken. All quickly handled. But the water was 19 degrees C. Never fished again that river at that time of year.
I leave it to everyone him/herself what is best. I only decide for myself. I dont feel to be in a position to point fingers.

About hook removers for grayling.... I have never fished for grayling without having that tool with me. Also I give one to all my clients on all my hosted trips. Still they are uncommon among fly fishermen. Why? I dont nearly know! For me its a must have when talking about how to improve hook removing time. Much more important than barbs or no barbs. Good point, Flavi.

Regards
Bernd
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The first cast is always the best cast.

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