Top 5 Worst Fish Handling Mistakes (Avoid These)!


It’s painful to see someone post a picture of their new personal best redfish on Facebook…

But they’re holding it up by its jaw (most likely giving the fish a death sentence).

Some people don’t realize how important it is to properly handle and release fish, while others just don’t know how to do it.

So to solve both of these issues, I have Salt Strong Fishing Coaches Luke and Wyatt on the podcast with me today to talk about it.

You’ll learn:

  • The right way to hold a fish
  • Which landing nets are ok to use, and which ones hurt fish
  • Which types of circle hooks are actually illegal
  • How to properly revive a fish (most people are doing this wrong, and actually killing the fish)
  • And much more

If you want to catch fish for the rest of your life, and leave our fisheries in an even better state for our kids and grandkids, then you’re going to love this episode.

You can watch the video version of this podcast below (which I recommend since we show some of the right and wrong types of equipment), listen to the audio version by clicking the play button underneath it, or listen to it on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify and leave us a review!

Worst Fish Handling Mistakes [VIDEO]

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Worst Fish Handling Mistakes [PODCAST]

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Here’s a timestamped table of contents from my conversation with Wyatt and Luke about how to properly handle fish:

3:09 – The misconception about fish slime and it’s effects on fish mortality

4:30 – The biggest issue that really kills fish

5:50 – Why circle hooks save fish lives

6:10 – Why you should change your treble hooks for single inline hooks

14:13 – Right and wrong types of landing nets (and how to use them correctly)

22:08 – Why it’s important to set a good example (even if you’re keeping a fish)

25:07 – Biggest mistakes anglers make when it comes to holding fish

31:26 – The two types of circle hooks (one is NOT safe for the fish like the other one is… and is illegal in some instances)

33:00 – How to properly revive a fish (there’s a right and a wrong way to do this)

36:45 – What to do when you see a picture of someone mishandling a fish online


fish scent test

The thing about properly handling and releasing fish is that it’s easy!

You don’t need to study and get lucky and practice a lot, you just need to properly support them when you take them out of the water (see the picture above), use the correct net (if at all), and use the right types of hooks.

Have any questions about handling and releasing fish?

Let us know down in the comments.

And if you know someone who needs to see this episode, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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MIchael Scherer
2 years ago

When you change out a treble to a single, is there a size menu or single brand that one can use as a resource?
Love this conversation about handling fish.
After posting, I found the info in your product info about OWNER Hooks… 🙂

Last edited 2 years ago by
Travis Beswick
2 years ago

That net has massive holes lol I would never buy that kind

Travis Beswick
2 years ago

Barramundi and Trevs are really good at straightening trebles. As to rapala only one lure I’ve come across in Australia has a single hook. A lot of Aussie made lures have a single hook

Brian Hunter
2 years ago

Thanks for taking on this critical and sensitive subject! What about fish grips, guys? I assume that’s a “no”. I’m gonna use the “tail and belly” from now on and see how that goes…also this method so I can cut down in using a net when I can. And, yes, Capt. Deeks is a great teacher! Tight lines friends!

Last edited 2 years ago by Brian Hunter
Roland Courtois
2 years ago

Gentlemen, very balanced presentation on an important subject. You often mention that having a plan is important and I would suggest that using barbless hooks should be part of that plan if you intend to do catch and release fishing. I’m not certain, but I think the circle hook Wyatt was showing was barbless, so no doubt you are already onto this.

Marc Wisniewski
2 years ago

Great advice no matter what you fish for. I like for everyone I am with to have a pliers ON them so we are never looking for a pliers, or a tape measure, or a camera, etc. And if a picture is needed, someone is getting their phone ready as we are unhooking. Whoever’s phone… it doesn’t matter… share the photo later if its not your phone. Let the person taking the photo use THEIR phone because they know how it works. I see the successful angler hand someone their phone and that person isn’t familiar with that model or it times out and you need to get back in. This all wastes time. It should look like a nascar pit stop if you are prepared. And I agree 100%, I’d like to see single hooks become standard on all hard baits some day. They are not only safer for the fish but for the fisherman! Great topic and well presented.


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