Your dream fishing vacation doesn’t have to include keeping the fish. If you’ve got conservation in mind, read about catch and release fishing below.
Recreational anglers world-wide are becoming more conservation minded through Catch and Release programs. Catch and Release for all sport fish insure the continuation of the species as well as plentiful supplies for future generations. The tagging and the release of Billfish increases the anglers awareness of resource conservation and the importance of tag-recapture data to resource managers.
Before you catch your fish: First decide if this fish is to be released.
- Rig the tackle with a single hook and use circle hook as much as you can.
- For smaller fish remove the barb from the hook.
- While hooked up to the fish: Bring your fish in to shore or to the boat as quickly as possible.
- For Billfish tagging, allow the fish to calm down prior to tagging. Do not attempt to tag a fish while it is jumping or thrashing about.
- Leave the fish in the water if possible, remove the hook with a good pair of pliers.
- For larger fish, a fish can be revived by slowly towing it through the water, forcing water through the gills until it begins to swim on it’s own.
Tagging a Billfish
- Lead the fish alongside the boat.
- When the fish has calmed down insert the tag in the dorsal (back) muscle just below and behind the tallest part of the dorsal fin.
- The fish should be tagged without excessive handling or allowing it to injure itself on the vessel’s hull or transom.
- Remove the hook with a good set of pliers. If deeply hooked, release it by cutting the leader as close to the hook as possible.