BONEFISH CATCH & RELEASE: A DEMO ON THE ABACO MARLS


BONEFISH CATCH & RELEASE: 5 COUNSELS OF PERFECTION*

1. FISH BARBLESS (OR FLATTEN THAT BARB)

2. WET YOUR HANDS BEFORE TOUCHING THE FISH

3. KEEP THE FISH IN THE WATER AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

4. MINIMAL TOUCHING OF THE FISH – ITS PROTECTIVE COATING IS EASILY REMOVED

5. DO IT ALL AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE

This post follows on from my recent one BONEFISH RESEARCH: THE IMPACT OF HOOK RETENTION Here’s an example of swift C&R by my boat partner Martin of a small bonefish caught on the Abaco Marls. I say ‘small’ because it was his fish, not mine, so I can! Release is achieved, barely touching the fish, by twisting and loosening the barbless hook while the fish is in the water, and quickly flicking it off the hook without touching the fish’s sides. This preserves its protective coating, which if removed makes it vulnerable to predation and disease. He has in fact omitted Counsel 2 (above), because he has needed no significant contact with the fish. Apologies for the inevitable accompaniments to using Youtube – ads, 20 other vids on offer etc [Later: Mrs RH has spotted that my reef fish Blue Tang movie is amongst them. So have a look. It’s a bit iffy, frankly, but the music is nice, and helps drown out my snorkel-wheezing]

* I have avoided the dread words ‘GOLDEN RULES’ in recognition of the fact that the lofty ideals don’t always work out in practice. The fish itself can dictate the proceedings…

(And apologies for yet another ‘premature release’ (a bit like much of my fishing) of a nearly blank document. I’ve got the ‘Save’ and ‘Publish’ buttons yips)

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