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Best Practices for Catch and Release Fishing

Catch and Release Fishing

release ruler fish_billfishFishing is an incredible sport, hobby, and way of life for many people. In recent years, it has become less about survival and more about fun. There is an issue of fish becoming depleted and many anglers are now employing the practice of catch and release fishing. Catch and release fishing is a great theory, but many people are doing it incorrectly and as a result many fish are dying.  A few steps should be followed when trying to catch and release a fish. This is at the heart of our Release Ruler product.

Once you get the hang of how to do it correctly, you will be able to enjoy your hobby and keep the population of fish full in your favorite stream, lake, or ocean.

The best place to start is with the hooks you use. A fish that has a hole through its mouth is going to be more likely to survive than a fish with a hole in its lung or gill. If you happen to hook a fish in the gut, the best thing to do is to cut off the hook as much as you can then release the fish. Many times the hook will dissolve and the fish will spit it out, but they can also live with a rusted hook hanging from them. Whatever you do, do not tug on your line to pull a hook out or you will severely hurt the fish. If you are able to easily remove the hook, use a pair of needle nose pliers. The process of pulling the hook out is easier if you remove the barbs from the hooks, but try not to wiggle while you pull the hook out. Offshore folks love the circle hook.

Fish are obviously unable to survive outside of the water. Therefore, the longer that it takes you to release them, the more it becomes as if you are suffocating them. The way that a fish is gripped when out of the water will make a big difference. For instance, avoid touching a fishes body with your bare hands. The most ideal place to grab many fish is inside the gills. This way makes it very easy to take the hook out and it enables the fish from biting you. The fish have a slimy protective coat that will be stripped if you touch them with your hands. If you have to touch a fish, make sure that your hands are wet. You may want to wear gloves to protect your hands from cuts or permeating fish smells.

Part of the fun in fishing is to play out the fish. The struggle can be what some anglers wait all day to do. Fish are like humans; when they work out, they build up lactic acid. When you are fighting a fish, they are fighting too. Just like when someone works his or her body out and it feels sore, a fish experiences the same thing. The build up of lactic acid can be toxic to a fish even days later. Therefore, if you are going to practice catch and release, try to keep the struggle to a minimum.

Try not to let a fish flop around when you catch them. A fish that flops around can bruise or damage its internal organs, causing them to die later from the injuries that are incurred. You can also revive a fish if you need to do so. A fish is likely to run out of oxygen and pass out, so to speak. In order to revive a fish, you place the fish in the water with their belly down and gently grasp their tail. Start to slowly move their tail back and forth until they give you the signal that they are ready to take off into the water. Sometimes you will need to repeat the process more than once, but don’t let a fish go until they are ready. A fish that is not ready to swim could get carried away and swept into rocks or embankment and cause serious injury.

More than anything, when you are practicing catch and release, have everything ready to go. Make sure that your camera, pliers, gloves, and Release Rulers are in reaching distance. Try to take the precautions necessary to preserve fish and one of America’s favorite pastimes.

Have you seen the Release Ruler Fish Gripper yet? It’s a great tool to hold your fish safely.

Have tips and best practices for catch and release fishing? Let us know in the comments!

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Do I need a license to fish?

Fishing is just one of the many forms of relaxation people do these days with friends and family, and often while on vacation. It is a time for bonding and a great escape from the pressures of daily life.

If you are planning to fish, please check and follow local laws and regulations. Obtain the proper licenses, and always ask if you aren’t sure. Requirements by law and the regulations regarding fishing varies from one state to the other.

In some states, 2 licenses are needed. One is called the Conservation license which is a prerequisite before one can obtain a fishing license.

Getting a license to fish is quite different from the time a person needs to get a drivers license. You do not have to take an exam or attend classes.

The fishing license allows a person to fish or possess any aquatic creature as long as it is authorized by the states fishing regulations. This license is neither non-transferable nor non-refundable and is usually only valid for one year or season. Lifetime licenses can also be bought in some states.

Since fishing licenses vary from state to state, a fishing license can either be a resident license or a non-resident license. For one to qualify for a resident license, that person usually must have resided in that certain location for a period of time such as 6 months, should be a local tax payer, must be a registered voter, purchased a vehicle and have a valid drivers issued from that state. In addition, one must not possess or apply for any resident hunting, fishing, or trapping privileges in another state or country.

There is no age limit for anyone to acquire a fishing license. People both young and old can obtain it, and if you are a senior citizen, discounts might pply for you. Usually a person who is below 11 years of age can get a fishing license for free. People who are older than that have to pay a certain fee to acquire it.

With your fishing license, you can now just grab the proper gear and start having some fun being close with nature.

The Release Ruler is the perfect solution to obtain an accurate length measurement of your fish, and an estimation of weight to aid in your following of laws and regulations. Click links for more information about Custom Release Rulers, or our 20+ species specific Release Rulers.