How To Properly Land, Handle, Revive & Release Fish
By: Tony Acevedo on July 31, 2019
Do you want to catch fish for the rest of your life?
Do you want future generations to have the same fishing opportunities you do?
If you do, then this might be the most important article you’ll read all year…
If we want there to be fish in the future, then we need to take care of the fish we have today.
Of course, we can’t keep all the fish that we catch, so safely releasing the fish we don’t keep is incredibly important.
This video will show you the proper way to land, handle, revive and release fish so that they can live to reproduce and fight and another day.
And this is especially important for larger fish because they fight longer, and the longer they fight, the longer they’ll need to be revived.
There’s a lot of useful tips in here, and most people actually don’t handle fish correctly, so be sure to watch the entire video.
P.S. There’s some pretty gnarly bull redfish action in here that you’re not going to want to miss.
How To Properly Land & Release Fish [VIDEO]
Note: That monster redfish was caught using a Slam Shady paddletail. Get yours here.
When we catch fish and bring them aboard our boat or kayak, we’re literally taking the fish out of their element.
There are several things that could go wrong when we do this, as well as several things we need to keep in mind.
Keep reading to see what you should never do, and what you should always do when handling and releasing fish.
What To Never Do When Handling Fish
Fish are usually laying horizontal in the water, with the water supporting their bodies.
What you should never do is hang a fish vertically (either tail up, or head up).
When you do this, their internal organs are being pulled down by gravity, which is not natural and could cause damage.
And if you hang a fish up by their tail, that’s putting pressure on the tails’ bones, joints and muscles that’s not normally there.
If you damage their tail, it could be lethal for the fish.
If you hang a fish vertically by their jaw or gill plate, you could hurt their ability to eat or breathe, which is also possibly lethal for the fish.
What To Always Do When Handling Fish
When you’re handling a fish, make sure to always do these four things:
- Support the fish’s body by placing a hand under their body.
- Have a way to secure the fish so if it wiggles you don’t drop it on the deck of the boat.
- Plastic fish grips are great because they don’t put a hole in the fish’s mouth. You can get them here.
- When reviving them, you need water to flow through a fish’s gills. Here’s how you can do that:
- Move them in a figure eight to get water flowing through their gills
- Position the fish into the current so water is flowing through their gills
- Motor or paddle your boat or kayak and keep the fish in the water next to you
- When releasing them, you can move the fish’s tail to help get rid of the lactic acid buildup and entice them to start swimming.
Also remember this: warmer water has little dissolved oxygen so it will take more time to revive a tired fish in the summer.
Be patient and give them time.
Whether a fish is too big, out of season, or you’re just having some catch and release fun, it’s important to know how to properly land, handle, revive and release a fish.
Keep these things in mind:
- Never hold a fish vertically
- Support the fish’s body when they’re out of the water
- Secure the fish so they don’t flop around and hurt themselves (I use these fish grips)
- Revive them by having water flow through their gills
- Move the fish’s tail to get rid of the lactic acid buildup and entice them to start swimming
Have any more questions about proper catch and release tactics?
Let us know in the comments below.
Most people don’t properly handle fish, so please share this around so that we can have higher survival rates and more fish for future generations.
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