Without people practicing catch and release these days, many of our overcrowded fisheries would be in jeopardy. By learning a few tips, you can do your part to ensure the trout’s survival after you release it. Follow these tips to keep your trout in great shape after the catch.
Wet your hands prior to touching the fish
Moist hands will keep the protective slime on the trout and prevent any bacteria or diseases from invading the fishes delicate skin. A simple dip of your hand in the water will increase the likely hood of your trout successfully surviving by 2x or more.
Using a Soft Net
A soft catch and release style net will be much less abrasive on the fish than some of the cheap department store nets. Those nets are not suitable for using on any fish let alone the delicate trout.
Keep the fish in the water
If you are going to take a quick picture of a fish that is a good thing, but don’t keep it out of the water for a long period of time. 60 seconds is too long for you to have a stressed trout out of the water. Better yet, keep the fish safely in the soft net until the moment you are ready t0 take the picture.
Use flies or artificial lures only
The odds of a trout surviving after a hook is pulled from it’s gills are almost 0. Using lures and other “fake” baits will prevent the fish from swallowing the hook.
If you do hook a fish deep and want (or have) to release it your best course of action is to cut the line near the hook as close as possible and leave it in. The natural rusting action of the hook will eventually cause it to fall out. I have seen many fish caught with deep hooks in their stomachs and throat and still successfully feeding.
Following these simple tips will ensure your trout catch and release efforts don’t go in vain.