Fishing Tip: Caring For Fish

There have been many posts about how to catch fish, but none about how to care for fish. Of course, in fishing, there is no way to not harm the fish in some way or another. As you become more addicted to the wonderful sport of fishing, you will think about ways to care for fish to let them fight another day and hopefully preserve fish stocks for our kids and grand kids to enjoy as well. I have two quick tips to improve a fish’s chance of survival after catching them.

Crush your barbs

Crushed Barb

The “barb” is the sharp point near the end of the hook to prevent it from coming out once hooked. Of course, what this means is, if you hook up a fish, even when releasing it, you will need to reverse the barb through, hence creating a bigger lip hole. Use a pair of pliers to crush the barb and you will find that not only does it save the fish any more damage, but it is also easier to get the hook back out, which will help if you happen to hook yourself deep one day!

User Circle Hooks

Circle Hooks

Circle hooks have been a relatively new type of hook on the market, but is a simple yet effective type. The hook is designed so that there is no need to “strike” the rod as soon as they see some bites. The fish can safely swallow the hooked up bait and even swim around with it. When the fish turns around the hook will go straight up to the mouth and lip hook it, which increases the chance of survival for the fish as opposed to a gut-hooked catch. As more and more people take up fishing in Sydney, my hope is that more people will take up the idea of catch and release, and in keeping their catch, only take what they require.

Fishing Tips: Bait Rig – Sliding Snell

Here’s a rig I always use for fishing with larger baits. It is called the sliding snell. It involves two hooks, one that is set (bottom one) and one that can be adjusted (ie. slide) along the line to the required length (top one). The sliding snell has numerous advantages over a single hook:
– For larger baits, weaving a single hook through it will generally curl up your trace. Furthermore, if you are using a relatively softer bait like pilchards, it will more likely break up if you weave through it.
-Adding a second hook also increases the chance of a hook up. It also enhances the stability and presentation of the bait, an essential for the more finicky fish like jewfish.

Sliding Snell Rig