Proper catch and release techniques save a fish’s life. Using a bad habit or unknowing using a bad method causes death. Learning proper release is one of the first skills anglers need. New anglers watch a video or look at pictures online. The picture does not tell the whole practice. Also, A few experienced anglers have bad habits and do not realize them.
slime layer leading to disease and death in many instances. Taking Pictures and Handling Fish
Holding a fish the wrong way hurts them also. Grabbing the lip of a bass for a photo is cruel. Lipping the bass breaks or dislocates the jaw if done incorrectly. All the fish’s weight is on their jaw. Place a hand under the belly on smaller fish. Bigger fish one hand near the head and the other near the anal fins. This supports the fish without harm.
A fish uses a swim bladder for stability. A vertical hold causes an imbalance in the bladder. The fish ends up unable to swim upright upon release. This often results in delayed mortality. A fish can swim away looking okay but it is in shock. Once away they turn over or sideways. Granted some fish are able to handle stress but many game-fish are fragile. A catfish is able to take a lot of abuse but pike and bass will die with little poor handling.
Hold the fish the right way and have someone take a picture. The removal of the hooks, weighing and picture needs to be done in 2-3 minutes. Keep the fish in a net underwater until ready. If hook removal takes that long release the fish without a picture so it can live. The
future of fishing needs fish to reproduce. Proper handling ensures a fish has the chance to breed. Mishandling of fish is a waste of our natural resources.