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Thoughts on catch and release - best practice

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


Post by Paul Arden » Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:17 pm

I remember skimming a fish across the water that ate a cicada that immediately had a heart attack - or at least died - on me. However I do think that playing them fast (not always the same thing as hard by the way, since often there are opportunities to net them before fully played out) is certainly preferable than playing them too long.

I would actually rather get broken off than play a fish for longer than necessary. Foul hooked fish spring to mind here; best of course is to lose them and still keep your flies).

It’s very important to hold the fish correctly. I’ve seen photos of fingers in gills of live fish FFS. Or being squeezed at the belly. Or suspended by a boga grip. I really don’t like seeing photos of fish on the bank either.

In Germany they actually have an examination before you can get your fishing license. I have the German license as a foreigner and so never actually took the test. But something like that with a real preference for C&R and good handling skills (technically C&R is illegal in Germany so this may not have been the best example :p ) I think could actually be an excellent thing.

The only problem - and it’s a big one - is that it might cause problems for us because ultimately there are people who think fishing is cruel and should be banned and you certainly don’t want anyone like that involved in the licensing scheme!

Handling fish properly, gently and confidently is quite a skill. I’m such a strong believer in large knotless soft mesh nets, particularly if you are fishing for big fish.

You can tell a lot about the experience of an angler by the way he handles fish!

Cheers, Paul
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