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F i s h  C a r e  &  P h o t o g r a p h y 

Recently the subject of fish care and photography has been raised and discussed by the Committee and it was felt that a quick guide may be useful. Mostly it is all common sense, but it is something we all need a little recap on from time to time. The basics to follow are:

  • Ensure you have the correct equipment for the species you are fishing for. Simple but essential! If you are fishing for larger species, then make sure you have a large enough landing net and unhooking mat or cradle. We all know that occasionally a larger fish will pick up tiny or small baits and that can’t be helped but if you are targeting large fish please follow the Association rules on net sizes and mats.

  • Be prepared! Fish should be retained for the least amount of time as possible so ensure you have your unhooking mat or cradle, weighing scales and photography kit ready to go. A bucket of water for larger species is also good for keeping them wet and for wetting your hands. If you are fishing a water that does allow keepnets please ensure it is set out in deep enough water and do not keep large fish in it. Check the rules at each venue so you are aware of what can or can’t be done.

  • ALL fish need to be handled with care and respect. Please ensure your hands are wet to keep the fish’s protective slime on the fish and not your hands. NEVER use a towel or rag to hold fish!

  • NEVER stand up with a fish for a photograph. Accidents can happen to anyone at any time so please kneel and hold the fish over the unhooking mat or cradle. This will always ensure the fish’s safety.

  • If possible, carry some fish care products such as a fishing antiseptic spray or lotion which can be applied to any cuts, sores or hook holds. These are quite inexpensive and small to carry in your bag.

  • If you are pike fishing please ensure you are confident and aware of how to unhook them as they are a delicate species and require more attention. A good guide is but you must have the correct equipment and follow the Association rules. If in any doubt, please get in touch or ask questions BEFORE you go fishing for them!

  • Ensure any fish is well rested and recovered before releasing. Hold them in the margins or in a landing net (with plenty of room) until they are strong enough to be independently trying to swim away. This is vital if barbel fishing as they need more time than most species to recover safely.

This is just a quick guide to the basics of fish care but always check the Association rules as some venues differ from others on things such as hooks, keepnets, opening dates, etc. Please get in touch if you have any further questions.

Dave Evans    

Angling Trust

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​© 2019 Royal Leamington Spa Angling Association

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