Catch-and-release fishing tips

In recent years, many anglers have adopted the practice of catch-and-release fishing. The idea being to participate in the fishing sports for recreation and enjoyment rather than as a food source. As the name implies, catch-and-release fishing involves catching a fish and then letting it go to fight another day.

“People catch-and-release for a variety of reasons,” said Ivy Santee, angler education coordinator for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. “For some, it is the knowledge that another angler will one day enjoy reeling in the same fish. For others, it’s the opportunity to keep fishing on those days when the fishing is really good.”

Whatever the reason, it’s important for those who practice catch-and-release fishing to use the right technique so the released fish have an optimum chance of survival. Anglers who practice catch-and-release fishing should always use single barbless hooks. And if a fish swallows a hook, it’s much easier on the fish to cut the line and tie on a new hook rather than fight to get the hook out. The fish will either dislodge the hook or it will dissolve over time.

It’s also important to keep the fish in the water as long as possible or retrieve the hook without taking the fish out of its environment, Santee said. This is easy to do with single barbless hooks. In those instances when the fish must be taken from the water, anglers should wet their hands before handling the fish and never use a rag or towel to hold the fish. Doing so may remove the slick coating on a fish’s body. This coating helps the fish swim easily through the water and protects the fish from disease.

Revive the fish before releasing it. Hold the fish gently with your hands under the belly and slide it slowly back and forth in the water for it to receive oxygen. Eventually, the fish will swim away. Simply throwing the fish back in the water without reviving it may kill it.

Something else to keep in mind is that if you catch a fish and release it, that fish still counts in your bag limit. Giving it to another angler does not erase the fact that you caught and kept a fish. Once your limit is caught, you are done.


Anglers can share information online

Anglers are among the ultimate story tellers. They love to tell stories about the one that got away, but even more so about the one that didn’t. While it is always fun to share those stories around the tailgate, Nevada anglers can now share their stories with an even wider audience, and they can do so online at NDOW.org.

NDOW.org is the official Web site for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. Anyone wanting to share their fish stories can do so by going to the Web site and clicking on the word “fish” at the top left corner of the page. Doing so will bring up a submenu. Clicking on “Fishing Report” will take visitors to the agency’s fishing reports. At the right hand side of the page, story tellers will see a link called “Your Hot Spots.” That will take anglers to the fishing hot spots page where they can share their stories.

In addition to giving anglers a place to share their stories, the hot spots page has the potential to become a resource with information on fishing around the state. The more anglers there are who share their fishing stories, the better the information will be.

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