Once you’ve caught your fish you can do one of two things: one, you can throw it back in the water (catch & release) or two, you can take it home with you to eat. (Note: it is often desirable to preserve your catch to have it later mounted by a taxidermist. We will talk about the correct methods of preserving trophy fish in our next edition).
Catch & Release. If you are going to use the ‘catch & release’ method of fishing, you will need to use hooks without a barb. Make every attempt to never touch the fish, and leave as much of the fish’s body in the water, as possible. If you do touch the fish, make sure your hands are wet. Don’t use live bait because the morality rate sky rockets. Cut the line close to the mouth of the fish. Respect the catch limit even if you catch and release. A high percentage of your catch will die regardless of your efforts to keep them healthy and living.
To eat your catch. The first thing you need to do after you catch your fish is kill it. Don’t let the fish slowly die, and thereby suffer a long death. Hit the fish between the eyes with a fish club to kill it instantly. If you have salmon or steelhead fish bleed them out by cutting the gills, and holding them upside down (for approximately 1-3 minutes). Cover the fish in ice. Don’t ever take more fish than you can eat or exceed your limit.
You can leave the fish on ice for up to 12 hours. Freeze at your earliest opportunity. Eat your frozen fish within six months. Enjoy!
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