The Reality Of Fish Handling Mistakes (That Kill Trout & Redfish)


Fish handling mistakes are extremely common and often lead to further harm or even death of fish that have been mishandled by the angler that caught it.

What is the proper technique for the safe catch and release of inshore game fish?

The reality is, if we want to sustain the futures of our fisheries, we must handle fish with care so they are released back into the ocean unharmed.

We’ve got it all covered below!

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Fish Handling Mistakes [PODCAST]

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Related Podcasts:

Here is a timestamped version:

  • 1:17 – THIS is killing more redfish and trout than anything else
  • 3:30 – What are the correct ways to handle fish?
  • 5:42 – Preparation is CRITICAL
  • 7:55 – Differences in handling fish depending on species
  • 11:14 – Trout and Tarpon
  • 12:08 – Consequences of using the wrong type of net
  • 15:53 – The RIGHT way to safely handle a fish you’ve just caught
  • 19:54 – Fish Lip Grippers
  • 23:20 – Keep the fish in the water as long as you can
  • 24:35 – What is safest for me and safest for the fish
  • 25:28 – Fish Revival & Release
  • 26:34 – Working out built-up Lactic Acid
  • 27:40 – How do you take good fish pictures?
  • 30:52 – Single Hooks VS. Treble Hooks
  • 33:25 – Nobody is perfect
  • 34:10 – Control the fish’s tail
  • 34:52 – Always practice good fish handling (even if you are harvesting fish)
  • 36:28 – Join the Insider Club TODAY!

Fish Handling Mistakes [VIDEO]

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As anglers, we want to enjoy catching the fish in our waters today and ensure the sustainability of fisheries for tomorrow.

Make sure you are always prepared for any type of scenario and before you go out to cast a line, have everything in check and within arm’s reach so you and the fish are safe!

Be sure to spread the word and encourage safe fish handling practices in your local fisheries!

Do you have any more questions about the biggest fish handling mistakes?

Let us know down in the comments!

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David Bruderly
1 year ago

good info, I would add wet hands especially with trout to minimize removing the slime. Slime is basically defense shield against bacteria, parasites, pathogens etc.

Michael Barquin
1 year ago

So how would thandle a fish if you r fishing from a pier ?

Dave Mousseau
1 year ago

Great information. Any tips or suggestions on releasing fish when you have 2 or 3 cormorants hanging around your boat waiting for an easy meal?

Luke Simonds
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave Mousseau

The only way to save the fish in that situation (and with dolphins too) is to quickly move away from that area and release the fish near structure like dock pilings. When the cormorants or dolphin get 1 easy meal, they’ll continue being a pest so you’ll have to move anyway… might as well save the fish.

Jelani Thornton
1 year ago

Good information. Thank you, SS

Xavier Muniz
1 year ago

Great info!

Commenting for my virtual hug 🤗 lol

Pablo Diaz
1 year ago

I often hear that fish grips are harmful to the fish. I like to place the fish in the net for a bit after being caught, wet my hands, remove the hook and slowly release the fish when ready. Nice discussion – This would make an awesome video step by step to ensure consistency – even a cheat sheet.

Jordan Vollmer
1 year ago

That gill grab will get you. Got my finger temporarily stuck in a big walleyes gill raker last summer. I was already taking it for dinner but it’s still unpleasant. I like the tail and belly grab as much as possible.

Leonard Tylenda
1 year ago

Some folks might want to consider this (I got idea from a stellar angler years ago)
*** Tie off the grippers to kayak, 2-3′. Once you land fish (esp if they’re quality size), IMMEDIATELY put them on the grips, even tow them a bit, to help speed recovery and improve survivability. Also gives YOU time to recover, set up camera, whatever.
> I use the plastic grippers (not metal), as I see the metal one invariably damage/pierce the membranes, esp with trout.
> Also, I very-slightly wallow out some of the pin-holes in the gripper linkage, to provide a softer fit, to hopefully lessen damage to the membranes. You can experiment by gripping down on the membrane between your own thumb and finger…keep wallowing out those holes until it’s ‘barely comfortable’ for you.
> Finally, I’ve also installed a heavy-gauge insulated copper wire loop, thru the gripper handle. Once I’ve got the grip closed, I swing this down over the opposing arm…it’s a tight fit, but once it’s on, it locks in place, for an extra measure of security. This way, if the fish decides to thrash, they can’t accidently pop the gripper open without first throwing that security loop.

I’d recommend not lipping or hanging its weight by the jaw for ANY quality sports fish. Keep horizontal, and well supported from below. Win-win.


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