Handling Your Catch
KEEP OR RELEASE
The first decision is "Do I keep the fish?" or "Do I return the fish?"
1. Can you keep any fish, or is the law totally catch and release?
Ask yourself these questions:
1. Am I going to eat this fish?
It is our duty to protect our fisheries and the fish in them so that our sons and daughters can enjoy the fishing that we have enjoyed. A decent photograph is a good memento of a successful trip; a dead fish is not.
We at Rapala VMC Corporation support "Catch and Release".
On other occasions you may use a landing net to lift the fish from the water. Lay the fish on a soft surface such as grass. Do not lay fish on rocks or stones. Purpose designed unhooking mats are the best solution.
Wet your hands. Dry hands remove the protective slime from the fish. Alternatively cover the fish with a wet cloth. The fish will lay still if you cover its eyes.
Remove the hook as gently as possible, carry the fish back to the water on the unhooking mat or in the landing net, and release it as quickly as possible.
Fish can be kept in a specially designed keep net or fish sack. Make sure that the fish has a large enough area to swim about, and do not overcrowd the net with too many fish. If possible peg the net or sack out in the water to maximize the available space for the fish. Do not keep fish in a keep net for too long, keep the net in the shade, and make sure that there is a good flow of water through the net.
Set your camera up before you take the fish from the water. If you have a friend with you, they can take the photograph, but get everything arranged before handling the fish.
If you are on your own you can set your camera on a tripod with a remote cable release. Look through the view finder to work out where you will stand with the fish. Remember to leave enough room at the top of the photograph for your head. Lift the fish from the net, and get into position. You can operate the remote cable release with your foot. Take two pictures if your camera has a motor drive, otherwise be satisfied with one picture. Return the fish immediately to the water.
You must now keep your fish in perfect condition until you get home.
1. Wrap it in polythene to retain the moisture.
We would however suggest a policy to all fishermen.
Reproduced by kind permission of Rapala ©Rapala
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