Catch and Release: Let my Granddaughter Catch the Big One
Catch and Release began in 1952. The state of Michigan was experiencing high costs stocking hatchery raised trout. Michigan designed catch and release to reduce the cost. Fast track to 2013; Catch and release is largely promoted to avoid over fishing and ensure the sport of fishing for generations to come.
The ESKNIVES compound is on Guntersville lake. Bass fishing is a big deal here on the lake. From early spring to late fall we have a Bass tournament almost every weekend. If we did not practice catch and release Bass fishing would become a very boring sport.
If you plan to catch and release then learning proper techniques to reduce damage to skin, to scales, and slime layers that make fish vulnerable to fish fungus and skin infections, is essential.
Here are some fast simple rules:
1. Before handling your fish make sure your hands are wet. Dry hands remove the protective slime on fishes skin. Never use gloves or a rag. Gloves and rags can be death sentences for fish.
2. How long can you hold your breath? That is about as long as you should keep a fish out of water. This usually leaves plenty of time to remove your fish from the line, take pictures and return your fish to the water.
3. Be careful removing the hook. Tearing the hook is a sure way to start a fungus. You can purchase a hook remover. I use a pair of thin needle nose. They seem to work better than manufactured hook removers. If the hook is hard to remove the best bet is to push it through and cut off the barb. The hook removes safely and hooks are easily replaced
4.When releasing your fish move your fish backwards and forwards in the water. This moves water through the gills and helps revive your fish. When the fish begins to struggle and starts to swim let the fish go. Most fish are ready to go when placed in the water.
My Granddaughter is not yet old enough to fish. But when she is I want her to have the same thrills I have had landing that big one. It is good to be part of the solution giving us all the chance to enjoy fishing.
That is all I have for now,
One Arm Don