Catch and Release Tips …… Perchmaster

Land fish quickly. Handle fish as little as possible and avoid holding with dry hands to prevent removal of protective slime coating.

Don’t let fish bounce on the boat deck, carpet or on shoreline rocks and gravel. When using a landing net, soft knotless nylon or rubber nets are better than hard, knotted nylon.

Grasp most species of fish by the lower jaw and keep fish in the water if possible. Hold them vertically and support large fish with a hand under the belly.

Grasp toothy fish across the back of the head, with fingers and thumb holding gill plates closed. Watch out for sharp edges. Try not to grasp the gill plate area too hard so you don’t harm the fish. I know that’s easier said than done sometimes. If you must hold a fish by putting your hand through the gill opening, avoid touching delicate gills if at all possible. REMOVE HOOKS QUICKLY. Don’t keep a fish out of water longer than you can hold your breath. Use long-nosed pliers or a de-hooking tool to remove deeply embedded hooks. If this fails, cut the line a few inches above the hook and leave it in the fish, but avoid this if at all possible. If you find you are often hooking your fish deeply, consider changing your methods to something less harmful.

Here are some diagram pictures to follow on how to remove gut hooked fish.





Diagrams are compliments of In-Fisherman MAGAZINE.

5 thoughts on “Catch/Release

  1. Hello:Perchmaster
    Great topic, Release methods . I remember seeing those diagrams in In-Fisherman MAGAZINE.
    Please, consier the copyright on the artwork or at the very least give the source for the artwork.
    Chuck in Toronto

  2. Last June we were fishing smallmouth bass and ended up using 6″ wire leaders. Why? The big pike were eating way too many lures and it didn’t seem to impact the catch rate for bass. I think this is one technique that would work well and be a little kinder to the pike and musky that inhale too many baits. I’m going to be trying a new product called surflon-micro supreme wire. This stuff looks incredible. It’s a 49 strand stainless steel wire that you can get down to 13 pound test (.013 diameter) that you can tie just like fishing line. Search Cabelas on-line.


  3. Let’s not insult the artist. Charles has a good point regarding copyrighted art. I think we should have our own original photo’s using Charles as a model this summer. Can you say “ah” Charles?

  4. You are correct on those diagrams Charles as I was not finished with it and had made myself a note to put that in but Gord posted for me as he checked it out.
    I edited it and gave the proper compliments to our friends at
    Those were the only diagrams or photos I was able to come up with and I am no artist so that was the best I could do to support my tip.

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