Catch and Release

The practice of catch and release in recreational fishing is one of great debate. Many anglers believe that releasing is important to help conserve species and save money on stock fish. However, opposing anglers believe that fish, much like humans, feel pain and that catching and then releasing a fish could cause irreversible trauma.

I am one to release, mainly because I can’t stand the thought of killing a living thing, but also because I am never going to eat all of the fish that I catch (sounds like I catch a bounty of trout right?).

It is true that research shows fish do have pain perception, but it isn’t as big of a deal as some make it. Fishes’ mouths are made out of cartilage so a hook entrance is a lot like a pierced ear. There is little pain or bleeding to the area. If the practice of releasing is done carefully and correctly, the fish shouldn’t suffer much trauma at all.3378018991_3783c396db_z

Using barbless hooks is a very proactive way to lessen the pain inflicted on the fish. A barbless hook makes it much easier for a fisherman to slide the hook out of the fishes mouth with little struggle.

Another thing to keep in mind is that fish need to be in the water. So don’t keep the fish out too long measuring it and taking pictures. Be quick and gentle when releasing the little guy.

Here is an awesome video on how to perform the most gentle catch and release as possible. Plus, the narrator’s accent is positively dreamy.

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8 thoughts on “Catch and Release

  1. This blog inspired me to follow the Great Outdoors Twitter account. 🙂 My family has always enjoyed spending time together outside, and sometimes that entails fishing. We always end up with way more fish than we plan on eating, mostly because most of my family doesn’t have a taste for it. I don’t think we’ve ever practiced catch and release before, but it sounds like a great alternative to taking more fish than we need, and is a little better for the environment. My family will have to give it a try next time we go fishing. 🙂

  2. I can see how there would be a debate with you, and I’d say releasing is just fine! It isn’t like hunting merely for sport if the death of the creature you are catching is going to happen no matter what. If you can release it without causing trauma then do! I agree with you! However, I am also a big fish fan. It’s my favorite food (hence the nickname). While I would probably eat most/all of what I caught (mostly because I’m a bad fisher) doesn’t mean that every fisher is the same way. Way to go, Jaycie. :3

  3. I couldn’t agree more! I do keep my limit of fish, but I enjoy eating them. But the fish I keep are all in a healthy slot limit set by GF&P. Any trophy fish I catch I snap a quick picture with a release for a couple reasons. 1. Most big fish are healthy females that are full of eggs to reproduce. 2. When fish get that big they generally don’t taste as good. 3. And finally I get so excited catching a big fish, it is nice to release it and let someone else experience it as well.

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