Tips for a Humane Fishing Trip
Do you have someone in your family who feels uncomfortable about fishing? Would you like to share your fishing hobby with them, but they worry about harming a fish?
Many people dislike fishing because they wonder if the fish experiences pain when caught. As a result, loved ones might feel reluctan t to go with you on fishing trips, even if you love fishing yourself.
However, fishing doesn’t have to be a negative experience for humans or for fish. Responsible fishing practices minimize the impact your angling has on fish and on the environment.
In this blog, we explain what you can do to prevent stress and harm to the fish you catch. Read our points to help your loved one f eel more comfortable joining you on a fishing outing.
Does Angling Harm Fish?
There is a long debate about whether or not fish feel pain. While some studies disagree with each other, many different studies sho w fish don’t feel pain like humans do. Their brains react differently to stimuli. As a result, most fish can survive being caught and return to their normal life without much dif ficulty.
While fish may not feel pain as we do, they still feel. Bad fishing practices cause fish unnecessary stress. This stress can kill a fish even if you release it. Examples of bad practices include:
- Keeping fish out of water longer than necessary
- Using J hooks
- Fishing near birds
- Leaving behind garbage or pollutants
If you avoid these behaviours, you can minimize your impact on fish. You can further prevent harm to fish if you use some of the fol lowing suggestions.
Release Fish with Care
Fish experience a lot of stress when you reel them in. However, the stress that actually causes them harm happens when you pull th em out of the water. Use the following tips to keep fish safe as you release them:
- Keep them in water as long as possible: Fish can “hold their breath” for about as long as you can. If possible, tr y to unhook the fish in the water rather than in the open air. Remember to only take the fish out of the water for a few seconds when yo u release the hook or if you want to take a picture.
- Hold the fish properly: If you do take the fish out of water, hold the fish by the tail with one hand and then place your other hand a few centimetres behind the gills. Don’t hold the fish by the eyes or gills.
- Let the fish go gently: Fish need careful replacement in the water to avoid injury or trauma. When you release the fish, slowly let it down into the water in an upright position. If the fish doesn’t immediately swim away, slowly push it in the water to revive it.
Prevent Deep Hooking and Other Injuries
Traditional barbed hooks can cause severe trauma to the fish. Hooks can pierce eyes, tear gills, and rip jaws.
In addition, a barbed hook can lodge itself deeply into a fish’s mouth or throat, which is called deep hooking. Use these common pr actices to protect fish against these types of injuries:
- Use circle hooks: Circle hooks actually catch fish better than traditional hooks. They don’t rely on the strike time as mu ch as “J” hooks and give you an advantage with many species of fish. Crucially, circle hooks prevent deep hooking and other complicatio ns that threaten released fish.
- Bend the hook: If you don’t have circle hooks, use pliers to bend the barbs so they aren’t as sharp. While this modifica tion isn’t as effective, it removes any danger to the fish.
- Cut the line: If you do deep hook a fish, it’s better to cut the fishing line than to remove the hook. If you remove the hook, you could cause damage to the fish’s organs. Many fish shed hooks after a few weeks, so this method causes less damage in the lo ng run.
Fishing can give your family a unique and memorable experience. You can help someone in your family feel more comfortable by ex plaining to them how you would keep fish safe on your excursion. Use our points to show exactly how you can prevent harming the fish you catch.