How to Practise Perfect Catch and Release 

  1. If possible don’t even touch the fish. It is sometimes possible to angle the hook in the fish’s mouth without grabbing the fish’s body in order to let gravity pull the fish back into the water. It is important to touch the fish as little as possible since touching it results in the fish losing its protective slime. If too much of this coating is removed by the angler then the fish may die since it is much more susceptible to bacteria. 
  2. To avoid removing too much slime the angler may want to wet his/her hand before handling a fish. This just makes the hand remove less slime. 
  3. When holding a fish by the jaw it is imperative that the angler doesn’t wrench the jaw into an awkward position. To avoid this mistake hold the fish at the tale and keep its body horizontal and parallel to the water or ground.
  4. Make sure to not hold a large fish vertically from the jaw since it causes stress on its vertebrae. If this is the only position that the fish can be held in to remove the hook put the fish’s body in the water in order to relieve some of the weight.
  5. If taking a photo of a fish make sure to make it quick and not spend too much time with the fish out of water.
  6. If a fish looks like it may be dead or close to it, grab it by its mouth and run it back and forth underwater in order to get water through its gills. Most of the time this technique helps a fish recover from their fatigue. 

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