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Catch & Release
As a child I was always aiming for the big fish, the one that would decorate my wall...
Many years ago, when I first came to New Zealand, still a bit under my European culture I walked into a tackle shop in Turangi, Sporting Life, and asked the guy in charge (who has since became my friend and my mentor) how much he would sell the brown beauty that was on the wall (caught by Ian Jenkins).
His answer still echoes in my head: If you want such a fish wall mounted, you'd better catch it yourself. We do not sell this in New Zealand.
From that day my view on fishing changed. I understood what fishing in this country was all about. This is also why I recommend to my clients and friends anglers to take a photo or two and to put back the fish into the water.
Lets fish for the future generations, hoping that our kids, grandchildren will be able to enjoy the same way we do our fishing.
Here are some tips for the next time you wish to release a fish.
Carry a net with you. Fish with the stronger tippet possible. Shorten the battle with the fish. Use barbless hooks.
Avoid to drag the fish on rocks or sand. Net the fish as soon as possible, knotless mesh is best. Try to keep the fish into the water as much as you can . Wet your hands before touching the fish.
Hold the fish in front of the tail and turn it upside down. The fish should then settle down and will not damage itself. Remove lure or fly as soon as possible.
If you wish to take a photo, do it promptly, and replace the fish into the water.
Releasing the fish
Place the fish facing the current.Choose a spot where the current is not too strong. Hold the fish in front of the tail and maintain it under his belly as well.
You must not let the fish go until you get the kick from the tail which is generally the sign that the fish has recovered. It can take few minutes , important time, that you need to dedicate to the fish you want to release in optimum conditions. Enjoy the scene and wish him well !!!
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