CATCH AND RE­LEASE

Boating NZ - - The Catch -

As some­one who fishes reg­u­larly for re­cre­ation, I prac­tice catch and re­lease all the time, re­leas­ing both un­der­sized fish and fish I don’t need for the ta­ble. I sel­dom keep my limit and I might re­lease dozens of fish in a day when the fish­ing is good, so I need to be happy those fish are go­ing to sur­vive. How­ever, when I fish deep wa­ter, I keep what I catch and stop when I’ve caught enough.

Since most of my fish­ing is done with lures in less than 20 me­tres of wa­ter, baro­trauma is sel­dom an is­sue for the snap­per, king­fish, ka­hawai and trevally I rou­tinely catch. I’m well-prac­ticed at han­dling and re­leas­ing fish at the boat, so I’m con­fi­dent they live to fight an­other day.

Han­dling fish sym­pa­thet­i­cally is im­por­tant, in­clud­ing small fish, which an­glers of­ten treat too ca­su­ally. Where pos­si­ble, don’t han­dle fish at all other than to re­move the hook (use pli­ers to squeeze down the barb and make hook re­moval easier). Big­ger fish can be un­hooked in the wa­ter be­side the boat, in the net (you

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