Circle hooks are made so that the point is turned perpendicular to the shank to form a circular or oval shape. Other gear, such as venting tools or descending devices, can also be used to aid in the release of fish suffering the effects of barotrauma, which is the expansion of gases in the swim bladder when a fish is pulled up from depths greater than 50 feet.
Releasing a fish safely with minimal harm is key to helping it survive. Adopt just a few simple habits using proper handling techniques to help increase the survival rate of fish you release.
How-to Videos Handle and release sharks in a way that increases their chance of survival. Large species such as sharks, billfish and tarpon should be brought alongside the boat within 20 minutes of being hooked.
If you are consistently landing exhausted fish that require extensive efforts to resuscitate, consider using heavier tackle. Never hold on to or tow a fish not allowed to be harvested to a different location to weigh or measure it.
This minimizes handling time when determining whether you can keep the fish you caught. Use tackles heavy enough to bring the fish in quickly and avoid using multi-hook rigs or lures.
Capturing a catch on camera is a great way to share your experience with others and to create lasting memorabilia. It is okay to take a picture of a fish that is not allowed to be harvested while it’s in the process of being released, but it still must be let go immediately after.
A fish should not be held out of the water for long periods of time just for the purpose of taking a picture. Remember, when taking a picture of your catch, hold the fish horizontally and support its weight with both hands.
Fish that struggle intensely during capture are usually exhausted and stressed from the accumulation of excessive amounts of lactic acid in their muscles and blood. Circle hooks are designed so the point is turned perpendicular to the shank to form a circular or oval shape.
They are best used with natural bait (live or dead) and are 90% more likely to hook fish in the mouth instead of in the esophagus or stomach. And the less time you spend handling a fish and keeping it out of the water, the greater its chances of survival.
A pair of pliers or small hand crimped should work to flatten a hook’s barb. You’ll provide the greatest conservation benefit when you use barbless circle hooks that are non-offset and non-stainless steel.
Also cutting off one of the three points from the remaining sets of trebles makes it easier to recover the lure from the fish. Hooking tools come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit the need of the angler.
Remember, even a pair of needle nose pliers is considered a hooking tool. If an angler is fishing from a boat with a high gunwale, the hooking tool may need to have a longer “shaft”.
If targeting fish with large teeth, spines or sharp barbs, use a long hooking tool to keep hands and fingers out of harm’s way. If the fish doesn't immediately swim away or it is lethargic or erratic, some “resuscitation” may be needed.
If the vessel is anchored, point the fish head-first into the current to gently force water through the mouth and over the gills. If the vessel is not anchored or there isn’t a current, hold the fish in the water alongside the boat and gently nudge the boat into gear, forcing water through the gills of the fish.
Fish that are caught in deep water and released may face additional challenges to survival. When fish are pulled up from deep water (typically depths greater than 50 feet), the change in pressure can cause the gas in the swim bladder to expand and in some cases burst.
Damage to the swim bladder or other internal organs that is caused by such change in pressure is called barotrauma. When a fish suffering from barotrauma is released, it is unable to swim back down to capture depth making it difficult to survive the elements and avoid predators.
Knives or an ice-pick are not venting tools because they do not allow the expanded gases to escape from inside the body. Gently hold the fish on its side and insert the needle into the body cavity at a 45-degree angle under a scale.
The area to insert the venting tool is approximately 1 to 2 inches behind the base of the pectoral fin. Venting helps release gases that may over-expand in the body cavity when fish are brought to the surface from deep water.
Remember to only use a venting tool or descending device when one or all of the signs of barotrauma are present. Although more research is being conducted, there are indications that use of descending devices can increase survival of released fish.
If you are unable to locate the device you want from a local store, you can also find various models for sale online or by clicking the following links: Roles,, These links are provided to help anglers find a descending device and do not constitute an endorsement of any product.
Mouth clamps are attached to a rod and reel and use a pressure sensor (releases fish automatically at a predetermined depth selected by the angler) or a weighted spring release mechanism (lets go of fish after the angler gives a sharp tug on the line). A fish elevator, such as an inverted milk crate with a rope attached to the top and weights at each corner, creates a bottomless cage which allows the gases to recompress while the fish is brought down to capture depth.
Learn about the tools available to treat barotrauma, a condition that occurs when fish are brought up from deep waters. Knowing how to and using venting tools and descending devices can help fish survive after being released.
Watch VideoExpand All | Collapse All Many of our most popular recreationally targeted species are regulated and sometimes must be returned to the water. Most anglers would agree that anything we can do to minimize harm to fish being released will benefit the resource in the long term.
They have helped to restore or sustain several valuable fisheries, including shook, red drum and spotted sea trout. As the number of anglers continues to grow, it becomes more important than ever to release those fish that cannot be harvested in as good a condition as possible.
Can identify most of the species commonly caught in their area and knows the current regulations for each. Protects habitat and wildlife by following safe boating practices such as knowing the waterways, keeping a slow wake when necessary, and poling through seagrass beds.
Keeps trash out of the water, disposing of monofilament fishing line, napkins, food containers and other waste in a proper receptacle ashore. Teach your children and inexperienced anglers these few simple procedures to help ensure abundant fish populations for the future.
Rowing a john boat or paddling a canoe can be both pleasant and easy enough to do, but the benefits of owning a trolling motor become very apparent as soon as you utilize one! This model from Newport Vessels is built with excellent quality hardware in order to be saltwater rated and features an impressive 55 pounds of thrust for its size and price point.
The Rod vault is built with aircraft-grade, anodized aluminum rod tubes and a heavy duty, glass-reinforced, nylon reel case for complete and total protection. This carry system utilizes universal mounting hardware that fits all Thule crossbars and a wide range of roof racks, so installation and removal are a piece of cake.
Owning a pair of neoprene booties that both drain and keep your feet safe from punctures and scrapes is a beautiful thing. They are super comfortable for long treks, easy to take on and off, ultralight, and surprisingly tough against even the gnarliest coral and abrasive wading environments.
The bass tones and mid are super full and robust, and the trebles are impressively crisp and clear. It’s an awesome portable outdoor speaker, but would also be a killer option for more permanent mounting into a fishing kayak or vessel.
One of our top picks within our list of the best electric fillet knives, this cordless option is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to working through even the thickest scaled, the toughest fish. This package furthermore includes several interchangeable blades of varying lengths and flexibility from 7 to 12 inches, so you’re equipped with all the necessary edges for filleting pan fish to tuna.
Featuring an ergonomic handle, trigger guard, and an LED battery life indicator, this tool is exceptionally easy to operate with just a little of practice. The brand even includes an extra battery for swapping out during those particularly intensive, long filleting sessions, as well as an EVA hard case for easy storage and transport of the whole set.
There is also a spring-loaded stand and a set of 7.5-foot ratchet straps for some further assistance securing your boat for overland transport. A removable and adjustable webbing neck strap furthermore allows you to either wear this device on your person or set it down somewhere within reach.
If you’ve lost something at least partially metal in the water and you have a pretty good idea of where it is, this is the best way to get it back without diving in yourself. It’s the perfect size to gather some twigs, leaves and limbs and get a little fire going in order to warm everyone’s feet and hands.
There is conveniently a grill-grate that fits right on top of the fire pit, so grilling up some burgers and dogs is made easy. Not only does this brilliant gadget provide you with a reliable dual-arc lighter, but it also features a built-in 100-lumen LED flashlight with three working modes.
Without a doubt one of the best available options when it comes to high speed, low drag fishing backpacks that can keep up with any angling style! The brand recently sent me a Boundary Pack to field test, and it carries beautifully compared to my alternative waterproof bags.
The brand’s Hydro shield closure furthermore utilizes a waterproof gasket and magnetic strip for an easy to access yet totally sealed system that you can reach into with one hand, and then dunk below water without issue once closed. With outside dimensions measuring 11 ¾ by 7 1/8 by 3 ¼ inches, this is a streamlined, low profile waist pack or gear tote option that wears slim, yet offers fairly extensive storage potential due to the lack of interior dividers.
For the cost, you won’t beat this level of quality when it comes to small scale submersible storage- no doubt an excellent buy from YETI. The Boulder Creek Pack features multiple interior pockets, a zip-down work-station with an integrated tippet tender and fly patch, and D-rings for securing a net and additional gear externally.
Wilson’s renowned 100% cotton, oil finish Tin Cloth is built to be rugged and water repellent, and is undoubtedly the coolest aspect of this unique fishing waist pack. This pack will only look more and more attractive as it breaks in and ages over time, making it a real hit with folks who take pride in their gear.
The bag features a zippered main compartment, front buttoned sleeve, internal polyester organizers, a water bottle side pocket, and both lumbar and shoulder strapping. Brutally handsome and brilliantly functional, the Wilson Fishing Pack is well worth the price tag despite its higher than average cost for any avid fly fisherman seeking a lifelong on-the-water companion.
If you or the person you’re shopping for appreciate a classy, vintage aesthetic when it comes to fly-fishing gear and apparel, Wilson is perhaps the best brand in the industry for satisfying the aforementioned style. Not only does the brand build exceptionally sharp packs, vests, and apparel, their gear is engineered for a lifetime of heavy use, and highly equipped with innovative and practical features.
The low-profile design and inherently slim build goes on to keep your gear load close to the body, so it’s effectively engineered for maximum range of motion. The fabrics used are tough as nails for long term durability, and there is ample interior and exterior storage for strategic packing and organization.
The bottom, separate compartment is ventilated for storing wet waders and boots without soaking the rest of the Duffel. Perhaps the best feature of this Duffel, there’s a flip-out changing panel that unfolds out of the bag bottom for putting on and taking off your waders without abrading your neoprene soles on the bare ground.
Built from puncture-resistant 100% PVC Tarpaulin and featuring stitch-free, high frequency welded seams, anything you store in this bag will remain totally safe from moisture. A 60-liter capacity provides room for quite a bit of gear, so equipment-heavy anglers will be able to accommodate all of their essential items that require dry storage.
Rather than a zipper, the brand has utilized secure Velcro fastening and a roll-down closure in order to provide a truly watertight design, as well as a wide-mouth opening for easy access. Reinforced haul-handles at both ends of the bag promote easy and ergonomic carrying, while 4 external D-ring attachment points enable you to effectively tie down or secure the pack during bumpy boat rides.
Perfect for stashing tackle, apparel, camera gear, gadgets, and more, the Race Team Dry Bag from Gill will remain a reliable on-the-water storage device for many years to come! The Orris Waterproof Boat Bag is a brilliantly designed tackle and gear storage system that’s been engineered to provide you with a highly coherent and organized workstation for enjoying yourself on the water, or guiding fellow anglers onto fish.
Eight adjustable interior dividers allow you to customize how you want to arrange your reels for travel, and can of course also be utilized to accommodate other pieces of fishing gear or gadgets. UV glue is a miracle substance, capable of fixing and mitigating all sorts of issues at home and in the field.
Both should work well for most general purposes, but for bonding things like shoe soles and rod tips, consider picking up a tube of clear, thick fly finish. It’s built from anodized aerospace aluminum in order to hold up through many fishing seasons and even features a replaceable razor blade line cutter.
If you enjoy capturing some exciting moments you experience out on the water, the GoPro HERO9 Black is a must-have camera kit for fishing ! The Hero9 is a seriously equipped camera for its compact size, remarkable durability, and surprisingly low price tag.
It’s perfect for instantly communicating with your fishing buddies from miles downstream, from separate kayaks, or from way down the beach while surf casting. Box can operate independently of Bluetooth, line of sight restrictions and wireless network ranges because it is, in fact, a cellular-network-based voice-activated group communication.
More simply described, the device connects to a smartphone app allowing you to instantly communicate with anyone in the “chat-room” literally anywhere in the world. When you’re at home trying to prep your gear for a big day on the water or re-spooling all your hardware for the season, you need an extra pair of hands.
It’s a slim, 10-ounce flask that fits nicely in a fishing vest or waist pack that comes at a more than reasonable cost. Hydro flask, Neogene, Camelback, and Clean Canteen are all compatible with this set, so you can likely filter water using your existing bottle/vessel.
The moisture-wicking band is remarkably comfortable and the housing is waterproof rated to IPX4 meaning it’s splash and rainproof (just don’t submerge it). Rest assured this headlamp won’t quit on you when it’s time to turn your kayak around and paddle in, or re-tie your boot laces and hike back to camp.
Alternatively, these gloves are a brilliant safety measure for filleting and cleaning fish due to the cut-resistant construction. The brand recently sent me a pair of these versatile, rock-solid gloves, and I’m impressed with the quality of construction and the dexterity you retain while wearing them.
Featuring a memory function (great for tournament fishing), battery life indicator, and 360° rotatable handle, recording the weight of your trophy catches has never been made easier! Just keep in mind it’s a bit cumbersome to carry for wade fishing due to the long length and large hoop.
The good news is, the carbon fiber construction of this net makes it ultralight at just 1.2 pounds, and it furthermore floats like a cork if dropped in the water! Yes, the price tag is quite high here, but you’ll instantly see it’s well worth the cost as soon as you wield this featherlight, ergonomically designed fish snatching machine.
The Sushi Roll Streamer Storage is a unique and highly effective way to stash your biggest, most cumbersome flies. The exterior fabric is super tough for long term durability while the inside is designed with foam spacers to ensure your streamers don’t get crushed and can furthermore dry out properly.
No doubt an awesome solution to storing large and in charge tackle that will make a great thoughtful gift or addition to your personal gear locker. If you’re shopping for a fly fisherman or you yourself love to toss a loop, then make sure to give this classy piece of streamer storage a look.
This is a “good of’ days” kind of product that would make a wonderful gift for the purist fly fisherman in your world, or yourself! It has a clip for easy attachment to your fishing vest or waist pack and is as simple as pressing your rod into the foam notch.
Keep your hands free for managing your anchor, taking a photo, lighting a smoke, or eating a sandwich with this simple but game-changing fishing gadget and up your float tube game this season! You can easily remove the stabilizers on calmer days when you don’t want to utilize them, so this is not a permanent installation.
If you fish with shiners, chubs, shrimp, eels, mackerel or any other killed bait then they will stay far healthier and therefore more lively by using an aerator. This bubble box will clip to the side of your bait bucket or live well and is powered (up to 40 hours) by two D batteries.
This is a particularly great tool for fishermen who use more than one rod and can’t watch all their bait at once, or for night fishing when visibility is low. The non-marking sipped gum rubber outsole won’t damage boat decks, and provides exceptional grip on any terrain or surface.
The brand recently sent me a pair of Deck Boss Ankle Boots to field test, and I wear mine religiously while kayak fishing from my stand-up boat. While these boots are a bit heavy for extensive walking or hiking, the thick insole provides excellent shock resistance and cushioning, so they’re great for fishermen who remain on their feet all day long.
Remington sent me a few of these casting shirts to run gear trials on, and I’ve been quite impressed by their performance. These fishing shirts look and feel great, but more importantly, they provide excellent UV protection and dry out super quick when wet.
There are even thumb holes in order to shield the back of your hands from the sun, a part of our bodies we too often neglect when it comes to sunscreen. They wear wonderfully underneath a pair of waders, bibs, or regular fishing pants and will ensure your bottom half is never anything short of totally toasty.
This is the type of gear commercial offshore fishermen utilize to endure the brutal weather and swells characteristic of the high seas! Owning a garment like this might be a bit overkill for use recreationally angling, but not if you’re like me and you prefer to stay BONE DRY while enjoying yourself.
Aside from the absolutely rock solid and remarkably breathable construction, this bib is built with a wide array of fishing -specific features. Grinders gear is certainly not cheap, but it’s a worthwhile investment that will keep you effectively dry no matter the conditions for years to come.
Built from black high density polyethylene plastic, these bins are designed to endure countless years of full-on environmental exposure and abuse. The bins furthermore stack nice and snug on top of each other, so you can make the most of trunk spaces, garage bays, roof racks, boat cabins, and truck beds.
Perfect for deploying in rowboats and canoes, as well as for setting up on the lake shore, river bank, or beach, the Camp Chair will give you a padded and supportive place to sit wherever you find yourself fishing ! It’s perfect for storing larger species of fish until you get back to the dock, or return home to clean your catch.
Pot supports and recessed burners add further functionality here, and the brand has also integrated precise flame control for calculated cooking. Perfect for brewing up some coffee, preparing a dehydrated meal, warming your hands when temps really drop, and more, the Fire stick Backpacking Stove is a remarkably versatile culinary tool that virtually any style fisherman will love owning.
Those who are new to smoking will find learning to use this Master built unit to be a piece of cake, and those fishermen that are smoking-aficionados will be impressed with the quality, cost and long term durability of this option! This option by GERBER is spring-loaded for easy one-handed operation, built with an oversized finger choir for comfort gripping, and an off-axis nose for better line of sight to the jaws while unhooking fish.
The jaws and carbide cutters are replaceable for ensured longevity, and the plunge lock that keeps the pliers closed is built to be simple and reliable. This is a full tang fillet knife that’s been built with extra corrosion-resistance in mind in order to withstand the harsh effects of saltwater fishing.
A scooper is furthermore built into the body of the tool delivering an easy-to-use point for remaining veins and residual organ debris. It’s a great size for both small and large fish and has an ergonomic wooden handle for easy grasping and operation.
The metal bar amazingly removes those pesky lingering odors like fish, garlic, and onions leaving your hands smelling normal again without any cleaning agent, soap or chemicals. Eskimo’s 300 Denier Eight fabric furthermore features a 59 percent higher thread count vs comparable shelter, so you can rest assured this shanty is built to last.
The detachable power cord simply plugs into an outlet and wallah, you’re on your way to dry shoes for your next outing! A brilliant little gadget for fishing applications and outdoor fun in general that also packs conveniently compact if slipped right into your footwear while traveling.
An excellent value product from a well-reviewed brand, this bait towel set will make a welcome addition to your gear locker or a thoughtful gift for a fellow fisherman! Pairing the Axis GO with their pistol grip (fits all models) allows for much easier operation of your phone camera.
Turn your phone camera into an incredible fish eye style lens with the Axis GO Accessory 6 Dome Port. There is also a nice little array of accessories like a microfiber cloth, phone stand, tripod, eye cup, and flexible clamp.
This is an easy to operate, yet fairly intensive photography gadget that will without a doubt enhance the photos and video you capture while angling! The integrated 1080p camera shoots both live photos and video, and can also record and save footage, allowing you to effectively examine water body details like depth, ground cover, and vegetation.
I would personally use this unique mount to set up my GoPro behind my kayak seating in order to capture a perspective shot of me actively casting and landing fish. Built with 17-PH, high-strength stainless steel and featuring a carbon fiber handle, Brother has engineered this gaff to be exceptionally lightweight in your hands while somehow also retaining a rock-solid feel.
The offset hook is designed to create an enhanced center of gravity that makes it easier to effectively lift fish into the boat. Able to fit into standard rod holders, built impressively lightweight and durable, and sporting excellent features for enhanced ergonomics and safety, the Offset Hook Gaff by Brother is without a doubt one of our favorite practical fishing gadgets.
Price: $30.00 Shop now at Amazon From Amazon The Scotty Anchor Lock With Side Deck Mount is a super handy fishing gadget for kayak fishermen and those who own small watercraft that are short for storage space and therefore benefit from effective organization. It can accommodate up to 1/2-inch diameter rope, so it’s not intended for use on larger vessels implementing heavier duty anchors.
If you struggle to keep your anchor line from coiling up and tangling onboard your kayak, inflatable, SUP, or rowboat, then this gadget will bring some much-needed simplicity and organization to your vessel. A durable construction furthermore ensures you can beat this tool up without concern, while a roller bearing creates consistently smooth and quiet operation.