Debbie Hanson: Hi, I am Debbie Hanson, professional angler and outdoor blogger. And today I am going to discuss proper fish handling techniques. With any catch and release species or any fish outside the legal slot limit, you want to make sure that you are using proper technique when handling fish.
Of course you want to handle the fish as little as possible, but when you do handle it you want to make sure that you are taking certain precautions. First is to remember to use circle hooks whenever possible. Circle hooks due to their shape will help prevent the fish from swallowing the hook.
Another important thing to remember is to use wet hands versus a towel or gloves. Whenever possible, use wet hands so that you are not removing the protective slime that the fish has on the exterior of its body. That slime helps protect the fish against infection and disease.
And finally, you want to make sure that you revive the fish before releasing it. this just means that you are going to hold the fish in the water horizontally, using a practice called lipping where you put your thumb on the inside of the fish's mouth and your forefinger on underneath it's chin and move it slowly back and forth, so that the water flows through it's gills and the fish is able to swim away.
So that's how you properly handle a fish to increase its rate of survival.