Increase the fish's chances of survival

Anglers do not throw caught fish on the beach. If you do not intend to take home to eat, you return the fish alive.

A couple of tips!

  • Release them quickly to avoid hurting their sensitive gills – never put the fish down on the ground.
  • Unhook the fish carefully. Fishing with crushed barbs or barbless is recommended if you plan to release the fish.
  • Handle the fish carefully so as not to damage their protective layer of mucus, scales or skin. If they are hurt, they are at greater risk of succumbing to parasites, bacteria and viruses.
  • Lift the fish carefully. Grab it by its tail fin, if possible – and support the belly whilst unhooking. Never squeeze the fish.
  • Help the fish recover by moving it forwards through the water, to help it absorb the oxygen-rich water which will then pass through the gills. Do not jerk the fish back and forth, this may damage the gills. Let go of the fish as it begins to twist and turn.
  • Avoid injury from cold temperatures, splash water on the fish in cold weather. Freezing damage to the eyes will blind the fish.
  • Fish are sensitive to dehydration. Try to make the fish’s time out of water as short as possible.