Catch and Release Tips for Summer Fishing

By: Terry Tomalin


When the water is a little on the warm side, fish can get a little stressed out. You can do your sure to help everything from snook to sea bass survivie by following a few basic rules developed by the National Marine  Fisheries Service:

-Whether you fish with artificials or live bait, start by pinching the barb down on your hooks.

-Use non-stainless hooks. If the fish swallows the hook and you must cut the line, the fish's digestive juices will cause the hook to deteriorate quickly.

-Tighten your drag and use a line in adequate strength to land the fish quickly. Don't fight a fish until it is exhausted.

-Leave the fish in the water if possible. The fish will be less traumatized if it stays in its natural environment.

-Don't use a net if possible, because it damages the thin membrane that protects the fish from disease. If you must handle the fish, use a wet towel.

-If you bring the fish inside your boat, don't let it thrash around the deck. The fish usually will calm down if you turn it on its back.

-Don't throw or drop the fish back in the water. Gently place it in the water. If the fish responds slowly, hold its mouth open and move it back and forth in the water to move water through its gills.

-Watch the fish swim away. If it doesn't look healthy, try again.

And following are a few useful tips for anyone who lives and plays around the water:

-Properly dispose of all trash, including worn lines, leaders and hooks, and help keep fishing sites litter-free.

-Take all precautionary measures necessary to prevent the spread of exotic plants and animals, including live baitfish, into non-native habitats.

-Learn and obey angling and boating regulations, and treat other anglers, boaters and property owners with courtesy and respect.

-Respect property rights and never trespass on private lands (including docks) or waters. Keep no more fish than can be eaten. Never wastefully discard fish that are retained.




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