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Tackle Tips for Catch and Release Fishing

 

More and more anglers today are releasing their catch back into the water to fight another day. To increase the odds of these fish surviving, it is important that all anglers have some essential catch and release tackle at their disposal, whether they're fishing on shore, or in a boat. Here are some tips on tackle to keep on hand when fishing.

First, I strongly recommend a good landing net. This means going tangle-free! More time untangling hooks, lines, lures, and fish from nets means more headaches for the fisherman and more time out of the water for the fish. The longer a fish is out of the water, the more stress and the greater the possibility of causing harm before releasing it. Loki tangle-free nets (with the treated mesh and stiffer bag) and Lucky Strike rubber nets are two of the most popular nets on the market today. These nets minimize the amount of slime that you take off the fish. The chances of gills, gill rakers, and fins getting caught in the mesh or fin-splitting are considerably reduced. This decreases the chance of infection and helps ensure the release of a healthy fish. Although theses nets are slightly higher priced than conventional ones (nylon, kurlon, and poly), they are justifiable in that they will make your fishing experience virtually tangle-free. Also, landing cradles are becoming increasingly popular. Not only Musky hunters are using them. They are being used more and more by anglers going for catfish, lake trout and pike. These cradles allow you to weigh big fish horizontally (the natural way) with very little stress rather than vertically (unnatural), which can be harmful.

Second, a good pair of long needlenose pliers is an indispensable tool for releasing deeply hooked fish. For example, you don't want to put your hands into a toothy pike or musky's mouth and trust that you'll have all your fingers intact when you remove the hook! If the pliers have side-cutters built into them, these can be used to cut deep treble hooks off of crankbaits, spoons, or spinners. Over a short period of time, the deep treble hooks will gradually dissolve without harm to the fish. One of the hottest items on the market this year is the new Rapala long needlenose plier. These pliers are made of high quality stainless steel that will last for years, and come with belt-attachable sheaths. Also commonly used are long hook removers, such as Baker Hook-Outs, which allow you to remove deeply imbedded hooks and are very popular for catfish, bullheads, and freshwater drum (silver bass). Forceps, once mastered, are another excellent tool that will allow you to remove small hooks without harming delicate fish like trout or perch, or live bait rig hooks from walleye and sauger.

Third, a pair of jaw spreaders is a dandy tool to have in the fishing box. This tool holds a fish’s mouth open so that you can take the hook out. They are most commonly used by pike and musky fishermen. If the ends of the spreaders are slightly sharp, a handy tip is to melt some wax into a ball on the ends to prevent them from penetrating into the sides of the fish’s mouth and possibly causing an infection.

Fourth, a landing glove is a good idea for firmly holding fish and protecting your hands at the same time. Many fishing tackle companies have gloves designed for such a purpose. I use full-fingered rag wool gloves. When wet, these gloves afford me a good grip and minimize the amount of slime that is removed from the fish.

Overall, these tools should allow you to have a more pleasant catch and release fishing experience. See you on the water!

P.S. Don't forget your camera for that trophy of a lifetime!


Previous Fishing Tips & Facts

(1) The Roll cast

(2) Fly-fishing for Pike

(3) Walleye Tip

(4) Mountain Lakers

(5) Hints For Dry Fly Success

(6) Survival Strategies For The Silly Season

(7) Local Advise

(8) It's A Pink Year

(9) Ice Fishin Safety

(10) Third World Travel

(11) Casting Angles

(12) The Rocky Mountain Whitefish Rig

(13) Using Sinking Leaders

(14) The Pike Fisherman's Vest

(15) Walleye Tips

(16) Trophies Are In The Eye Of The Beholder

(17) The Right Tool For The Job

(18) Respect The Weather - Expect The Weather

(19) Approach

(20) Gearing Up For Ice Perch

(21) Do It Yourself Excersions

(22) Shots

(23) Atlantic Salmon Fishing Techniques

(24) Fishing Etiquette In Crowded Conditions

(25) Swinging Caddis Flies

(26) Selecting a Fishing Rod

(27) Pike Angling Retrieves

(28) Detecting The Strike

(29) Unmatch The Hatch

(30) Off The Grid Air Travel

(31) Practise

(32) How Deep Are They Biting?

(33) Netting and Landing Your Fish

(34) Texas Travel Tips

(35) Quick Tips for Triggering Strikes

(36) Be the Last Man Standing

(37) Water Temperature & Trout

(38) Visiting Reindeer Lake

(39) Stillwater Stratagems

(40) Those Crazy Cohos!

(41) Leaders & Tippets

(42) Big Water Strategies

(43) Small Stream Stealth

(44) DO I GET UP EARLY?

(45) ACCESSIBLE PLACES TO FISH

(46) Travelling Angler Tips

(47) Choosing The Right Fly

(48) They come out at Night - Our Friends that is

(49) Fishing at Night

(50) Having Troubles Catching fish?

(51) Having Troubles Finding Fish?

(52) Stay Skinny To Catch Fish

(53) Tips For Fishing With Kids

(54) The Wonderful Woolly Bugger

(55) Wading Safely

(56) Double Your Fun

(57) More About The Red River

(58) Rookie Rod Buying Tips

(59) Hook Sharpening

(60) Going Light

(61) Hopper - Dropper Rigs

(62) Tips For Buying A Pontoon Boat

(63) Fishing Tips and Facts for Sturgeon

(64) Three Flies to Live by

(65) Reading Rise Forms

(66) Tips and Facts for Early Season Success

(67) A Fly for All Seasons

(68) Ice Shelters – Seeing is Believing

(69) Effective approaches to working small streams

(70) Unburdening the Travelling Angler

(71) 5 Flies for Anyones Fly Box

(72) Road Trips

(73) Dry Flies for High & Dirty Water

(74) Tips For Dealing With Biting Bass

(75) Summertime and the Fishin’ Ain’t Easy

(76) Depth and Light

(77) Rigging Large Dry Flies

(78) Best Rod for Spring Angling

(79) Stream Etiquette for Floaters

(80) Tackling Whites Through the Ice

(81) Angling Tips for Finding Books

(82) Winter Smart Open Water Angling

(83) Fall Primer for Pike

(84) Packing Tips

(85) Tips and Tackle for the High Country

(86) Hunt them Shallow

(87) Polarized Sunglasses
The smart anglers’ advantage.

(88) Fishing Tips for Early Season Flyrodding

(89) Know Your Knots

(90) Alternative Thoughts about Ice Fishing

(91) Tips for Mexican Bonefishing

(92) Techniques for Tantalizing Grayling

(93) Understanding Fly Leaders & Tippets

(94) Catfish on the Fly

(95) Get Your Backswimmer On

(96) Reading the Sonar

(97) Insect Identification Made Easy

(98) The Sinker and Floating Plug

(99) GADGETS & GIZMOS for "OLD GUYS"

(100) Fishing Drop Offs

(101) Stay On Fish

(102) Landing The Big One

(103) Fighting Fish on a Fly Rod

(104) North Saskatchewan River - Be River Aware

(105) Backswimmer Pothole Trout Frenzy

(106) Hunt for Suspended Fish

(107) Reading Your Waters Before You Cast

(108) Setting Up Your Bait Casting Reel

(109) Fishing Journals

(110) First Casts of the Season are at a River Near You

(111) The Crazy Whitefish Days of Last Ice

(112) The Bait of Choice

(113) Shallow Water Jumbo Perch

(114) Getting Started on the Ice

(115) Plan an Ice Fishing Getaway

(116) Brookie Season

(117) River Fishing is Heating Up

(118) Become a Better Angler

(119) The Forgotten Pike

(120) Get Out Your Plugs and Spoons

(121) Slip Bobber is King in Spring

(122) See You at the Show

(123) Red Hot Whitefish

(124) Staging Walleye

(125) The Lure of Lake Whitefish

(126) Great Rainbow Fishing At First Ice

(127) A Simple Approach to Ice Fishing

(128) Big Pike Combo Approaches

(129) Gearing up for Fall Whitefish

(130) River of Gold

(131) Bottom Bounce Your Way to Success

(132) Small Stream Fun

(133) Consider the Spawn and Water Temperature
for Early Season Fish

(134) I Believe - The Glow in Glow Jigs

(135) Tricks to Improve Your Ice Fishing

(136) Trout Fishing is Red Hot

(137) Dealing With Fishing Pressure

(138) All I Want For Christmas

(139) Staying Warm on the Ice

(140) Hunting Big Browns in Lakes

(141) Where Did All Those Walleye Go?

(142) Keep an Eye on the Weather, Fury of a Storm

(143) Great and Affordable Fishing on the West Coast

(144) Lake Whites in the Summer? You Bet

(145) Prime Time for Lakers

(146) A Slip Bobber is so Much More

(147) Ice Fishing for Pike and Walleye

(148) Catching a Big Pike

(149) Purchasing a Rod

(150) Catching Rainbows through the Ice

(151) Gearing up for the Snow and Ice

(152) Gearing Up For Pike

(153) Getting the Most out of Your Fly Fishing Set Up

(154) The Bottom’s Up in Fishing

(155) Fish Where They’re Biting

(156) Three Standard Walleye Presentations

(157) Two Early Season Presentations for Pothole Trout

(158) Tackle Tips for Catch and Release Fishing

(159) Keeping Your Head Above Water

(160) HEALTHY BAIT CATCHES FISH!

(161) Beginner Baitcasting Tips