New Fishing Quotes and Sayings–17 Jan 2011

Three new fishing quotes are up now – numbers 113 – 15.

My pick of the trio, and one likely to get me in a heap of fertiliser with the catch and release dogmatists…

“It’s easy to forget your place in the food chain when death comes disguised with Saran Wrap in a stainless steel grocery cooler. Eating what you kill is the ultimate reminder to respect life, the difference between ownership and stewardship, a serious reminder not to take things too seriously because you might be next.”

– Dave Ames – A Good Life Wasted

5 More Fishing Quotes and Sayings – Nov 22, 2009

Have just up-loaded 5 more quotes and sayings, numbers 896 – 990. Three of them, on the subject of ‘catch and release’ may stir up some flak from some quarters.

My pick:

“Catch and release is not merely an art of fly-fishing, not necessarily learned or suitable for some fishermen, but it is one that should be used only on waters where it makes real sense and not simply imagined sense. Where and when it is practiced, it should always be for the sake of the trout, not for the sake of the angler. If any benefits accrue from its employment, then these are due to the fish alone. If not it become an act of selfishness.”

– Bryn Hammond

Securely handling trout without causing stress or damage

One of New Zealand’s best known guides, Tony Entwhistle, writing in the New Zealand Fish & Game Magazine, has one of the best descriptions I have read on the proper handling of a trout.

Securely handling a trout without causing stress or damage is a matter of a gentle touch, not a tight grip.

To pacify a landed trout, simply place a hand vertically in front of its nose to prevent it  from swimming  forward and fold the palm to cover both eyes. This acts as a mask and immediately calms it down. Trout relax quickly when their eyes are covered.

Next grasp the fish’s tail with the other hand, without excessive force. Some anglers use a piece of stocking for grip, but with good technique this isn’t necessary. Securing a trout needs only gentle pressure between the thumb and forefinger, applied directly over the base of the tail, applied where it joins the body (hypural joint).

Apply pressure top and bottom through the first joints of the forefinger and thumb, rather than along the sides. The mistake is grasping the tail too far forward and using too much hand in doing so. Squeezing hard does not help as the fish slips more easily.

Now test the grip by lifting the fish slightly by the tail, keeping the other hand over the eyes for the moment. If the grip is secure the trout will not slip, but if it does resist grabbing at it with both hands. By quickly slipping a hand in front of the nose, and covering the eyes again, a lot more fish will be saved from premature release.

With a positive grip on the tail it is now possible to begin lifting the trout safely for a photograph or release.

Avoid squeezing the fish around the soft belly area behind the pectoral fins because this causes discomfort and can potentially cause serious damage to internal organs. Instead slide the free hand under the pectoral fins, orientating the hand so that the trout’s head rests along the index finger, with the pectoral fins spread out between thumb and little finger.

The trout will be nicely balanced and the soft tissue in the belly area will no be supporting any weight. Lifting the trout this way, and returning it to the water between photographs minimizes any distress which could reignite its struggles. Turn the fish belly up when removing the hook.

Handle trout gently and with respect and they won’t panic or stress, ensuring their revival for release without damage and a minimum of fuss.”

© Reproduced by permission – ‘New Zealand Fish and Game Magazine’

Prompt Release Critical to Fish Survival

Catch and release is promoted as a way to enjoy angling for years to come. Catch one, take a picture and set it free. But two recent studies, including one by researchers at the University of Illinois, concluded the practice works only if fish are released promptly.

In the journal, “Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A,” researcher Cory Suski suggests that keeping a fish out of water for even 4 minutes might be too long to ensure its survival. Variables include the length of time it takes to land a fish, Suski said. The longer it takes, the harder it is for a fish to recover from even short periods out of water.

Water temperature also determines whether the fish lives or dies. The warmer the water, the longer the recovery, he said. Meanwhile, the fish is easier prey for predators looking for a meal.

I go along with the ‘hold your breath’ guide to how much time a fish should be out of the water – as you lift the fish out of the water hold your breath – when you need to take a breath put the fish back in the water.

For more on releasing fish see this.

New Article on Catch and Release Dogma

A bit of a rave on one of the more prevalent bits of dogma that pop-up too often in fly-fishing.

Some Catch and Release dogmatists act like C&R is an absolute truth – I have news for them, there is only one absolute truth and that is there is no absolute truth.

Read my views on catch and release dogma, how I agree with C&R in principle, but not in all waters, all the time.

5 Rules for Releasing Fish for Maximum chances of Survival

Most thinking fishermen will be aware of the need to release at least some fish – those that are undersized, or surplus to immediate requirements spring to mind, and for some anglers, releasing fish as a matter of course. But there are ‘rules’ for releasing fish that will ensure the fish has the greatest chance of surviving.

Rule 1: Speed Does Not Kill
The faster you can get a fish to the boat or shore the better its chances of survival. The longer the fight the less chance the fish has of surviving.
It is likely that the survival rates decrease exponentially as fight time increases. That is as fight-time goes up, survival chances decrease at an ever increasing rate. If you fish on a catch-and-release basis you should use gear that will minimise the fight time.

Rule 2: Get Wet
Lifting a fish out of the water, decreases its survival chances. The longer a fish is out of the water its chances of survival decrease expotentially. Try and remove the hook while the fish is in the water…

For all five rules plus a bonus rule – go here