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Thread: Dry hands or wet hands for catch and release?

  1. #1
    Member Buck Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Dry hands or wet hands for catch and release?

    If there's one principle of catch and release that I try to follow it's to always wet hands before handling fish to minimize damage to their delicate slime layer, which helps protect the fish from disease.

    I was really surprised when I saw this from the Department of Fish and Game:

    Donít wet your hands: it makes the fish more difficult to handle

    OK, possibly you could make that argument for salmon that will soon die anyway, but for trout? I don't buy it and I think it's very poor advice.

    What do you think?

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    Wet hands always. If possible I try not to even touch the fish when practicing catch and release, some exceptions would be a fish that needs some rest/revival time, a very spirited fish not cooperating for hook removal, and of course a photo op. I am also a huge fan of smashing barbs if barbless hooks are unavailable.

  3. #3
    Member kenaibow fan's Avatar
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    wet hands always.......doesn't matter if they are hard to handle...........if they are only a few inches out of the water. If they get away they get away, plenty more were that one came from.

  4. #4

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    I try to not take the fish out of the water in the first place. It would be a cool trick to keep my hands dry underwater. It seems strange they would recommend dry hands at the same time as saying you should never remove the fish from the water if you are releasing it.

  5. #5
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Wet hands if you're going to handle them.

    Best if you can do it with no hands... i.e. they are not handled at all. An elegant no-touch quick-release can be achieved with a simple homemade de-hooker tool explained in this link...

    http://www.ifish.net/board/showthread.php?t=100185

    Video of its on-the-water application here....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kinYKR35UzU

    If you would rather purchase a ready made model, here's one put out by Moffitt...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTcvrdA99j8

    If you like to chase bigger fish, try this one from ARC...

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ARCdehoo.../0/0igfJpSab-g
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
    The KeenEye MD

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    I second FNP's dehooker, I have made and been using one since he first posted is vid/photos of his kids using them. Much easier on the fly or hook than a forceps or pliers. Handles made out of wood will float should one drop it.... I even use my icefishing pike gaff to dehook pike with out getting close to the teeth...

    George

  7. #7

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    Always wet hands. (and that is a CAPITAL period!!!)

  8. #8
    Member Derby06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier View Post
    I try to not take the fish out of the water in the first place. It would be a cool trick to keep my hands dry underwater. It seems strange they would recommend dry hands at the same time as saying you should never remove the fish from the water if you are releasing it.
    Kinda what I was thinking...lol

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buck Nelson View Post
    If there's one principle of catch and release that I try to follow it's to always wet hands before handling fish to minimize damage to their delicate slime layer, which helps protect the fish from disease.

    I was really surprised when I saw this from the Department of Fish and Game:

    Donít wet your hands: it makes the fish more difficult to handle

    OK, possibly you could make that argument for salmon that will soon die anyway, but for trout? I don't buy it and I think it's very poor advice.

    What do you think?
    A bunch of desk jockeys writing suggestions. This comment defies logic.

  10. #10
    Member kenaibow fan's Avatar
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    I can see where they are going with this.....it is more geared for people taking pics in a boat, if they drop the fish well it is way not good. But the thing is if you know how to hold a fish your not going to drop it. Hold the net under it so it wont hit the boat, or rocks............
    turn the thing on it's back for a few seconds.........it works for me don't know if there is any logic to it.

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