How to Properly Handle Fish

Fishing pro Tom Redington explains how to properly handle largemouth bass and other fish to prevent harming them before releasing. Properly releasing sport fish ensures more and bigger fish for future fishing trips.

Here are a few tips for handling fish safely and properly:

  • Hold a large bass straight up and down to avoid breaking its jawbone.
  • To hold a fish horizontally, support it under the belly.
  • Fish have a slime protective coating. If a fish is dropped on the ground, handled too much or caught with a coarse net, the slime coating can be scraped off. Without its protective coating, a fish can get an infection and die.
  • If you’re going to handle a fish, make sure your hands are wet.
  • Don’t keep a fish out of the water longer than you can hold your breath. You can’t breathe in water, and a fish can’t breathe in air.

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