Why Catch and Release?

By adopting just a few simple habits, recreational anglers can greatly increase the chances that the fish they catch and release will survive. Practicing catch and release helps anglers to preserve marine fisheries while enjoying their outdoor fishing experiences.

catch and releaseHandling Fish Properly for Catch and Release

By adopting just a few simple habits, you can increase the survival rate of fish you catch with proper handling during the landing and release. This means you can positively influence the future of Florida’s saltwater fish populations, so strive for 100% survival of the fish you release!

  • Decide beforehand which fish are to be kept, and immediately release all others. • Release a fish while it’s in the water whenever possible. Large fish such as tarpon can injure themselves and anglers.
  • The protective slime on a fish is important, so handle fish as little as possible. If you must handle a fish, only use wet hands and never use a towel.
  • It is best for the fish to take pictures of it while still in the water.
  • Avoid lifting a fish from the water by the line. If you use a landing tool such as a Boga-Grip® to control the fish, support the body of the fish with your hand if you have to lift it into the boat.
  • If a fish needs to be taken out of the water to measure it, vent it, or to remove the hook, this is a perfect opportunity to quickly take a picture of the fish.
  • Avoid lifting a fish by its jaw, especially large fish. This can injure the fish so it can’t feed normally and may harm its internal organs.
  • If a hook is deep in a fish’s throat or stomach, cut the line as close as possible to the hook. The hook will eventually dissolve or pass.
  • Once you are ready to release the fish, gently release the fish head first into the water. If a fish is exhausted, revive it before releasing it by passing water over the gills. Move it forward in the water with its mouth open or hold it facing into the current, allowing water to flow through its mouth. Be cautious of predators while reviving fish.
  • Only gaff a fish when you intend to keep it.
  • Never hold a fish by its gill cover and never put anything in a fish’s gills or eyes.Explore the pages at this site to learn more about successful catch-and-release fishing. Share the many valuable print and video resources with your fishing friends.

Here is an interesting technique to return fish brought up for depth.

Explore the pages at the Source site below to learn more about successful catch-and-release fishing. Share the many valuable print and video resources with your fishing friends.

Source: Florida Sea Grant  Catch and Release brochure

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