Catch and release is just the beginning to taking care of a fishery. How you handle the fish from the time you catch it to the time you release it can still kill the fish. By practicing safer catch and release practices we can all make our fisheries better.
While I am not a biologist, I have heard enough to know there are good and bad ways to handle fish. Here’s five tips to practicing safer catch and release.
1. Keep the fish off the boat carpet or ground. Whether you are fishing on a boat or from the bank if you lay the fish on a dry surface you will harm it. Fish have a protective slime layer and laying the fish on the carpet of a boat or on dirt, concrete or grass will remove that layer and make the fish more susceptible to disease.
2. Keep the fish in the water as much as possible. I wouldn’t recommend keeping a fish out of the water for more than a half a minute at a time. Even 30 seconds can be too long to have a fish out of water. If you plan to get a photo of a fish. keep the fish in the water as much as possible while you get the camera ready. Once you are ready, snap the photos and get the fish back in the water. Read more »
When it comes to choosing the right rod there is a lot more to consider than simply reading the manufacturer’s label. What it really comes down to is understanding the bait, the size of the fish, the size and type of line you plan to use and the cover and structure you will be fishing near.
I use Megabass rods which, in my opinion, are the best rods made. Aaron Martens, Shin Fukai and myself have worked with them extensively over the last few years to develop what I think are the best rods available. They aren’t the cheapest, but not everyone is looking for a cheap rod. If you want to fish the best rods made check out the Megabass Orochi XX rods and the Megabass Black Jungle rods.
Here are five quick tips to help you choose the right rod, no matter what brand you choose to use.
1. Targets: Are you making long casts or target casts? For long bomb casts a longer rod is generally the best option. Of course, the action will have some effect on the distance as well, but in general longer rods cast further. If you are fishing in close-quarters, such as around docks under overhanging trees etc., than a shorter rod is a better option. For vertical fishing, length of the rod won’t matter as much, but a longer rod (something over 7′) is my preference. For flipping’ a long rod, over 7’10″ is my preference for improving the distance of the flip and accuracy of a pitch.
2. Bait: What type of bait are you throwing? If you are using a single hook bait like a jig, Carolina rig, Texas Rig, then you’ll want something with a little more backbone to help get a good hookset. A good medium heavy or heavy rod is usually the best option for these applications. Read more »