Interclub Bluefish Tournament
Improving saltwater catch and release fishing techniques
Always use a circle hook.
Never use a gaff to land a fish you plan on releasing. Don't stick a gaff in the mouth of
the fish to lift out of the water. Use a Boga Grip
to land fish if you can
Reel the fish in with steady pressure and try and make the fight last as short as you can.
Steady reeling reduces the stress put on the fish. This, combined with shallow water fishing, keeps lactic acid from building up in the fish, which in turn, makes the survivability of the released fish greater.
Using a dehooker is the best way to avoid hand contact with the fish. If you do have to touch the fish, always keep your hands moist with seawater or use a wet rag when handling fish. Dry hands touching a fish can remove the slime that protects the fish from harmful bacteria.
Minimize the time the fish is out of water. Try and get the fish back in the water quickly so he will survive.
Try and avoid putting your fingers up into the gills to hold the fish up. This can damage the fish and keep him from being able to process oxygen in the water.
Always release the fish with their heads toward the water. You want them to enter the water where they can make a quick descent to where they came from.