Being able to head down to a local waterway like Nagambie and catch beautiful native species like the Murray Cod and Golden Perch is something very special. These fish bring us joy, excitement and for some, a time to escape the day to day bustle.
Check out these proper handling techniques to ensure the fish we love continue to flourish.
These fish are very important to us, communities and to the environment and that’s why we need to do all that we can to look after and protect them. Catch and Release practises are become more and more popular among anglers which is great to see… but we also need to understand proper handling techniques to ensure the survival of the fish.
As there is going to be a lot of anglers at the GoFish Nagambie Tournament, it’s important that we all understand these follow few tips:
- Be Quick – when you bring a fish up to the boat make sure you are quick to bring it aboard, take a photo, and measure the fish and release. Fish cannot breathe out of water so it’s important to keep this process very quick.
- Use a Rubber Net – a large net is a great tool for handling native fish as you can leave the fish in the net and in the water, while organising your camera and brag mat. While the fish is in the water it can still breathe and gives it time to calm down. Also important to use rubber mesh or fish friendly nets, rather than the old green, rough, knotted nets as these do damage to the scales and eyes of the fish.
- NEVER Lift by the Jaw – always support the weight of the fish when lifting it from the water. Never hang it by the jaw as this puts pressure on the neck of the fish, which can cause it to break and the fish will die slowly after release. Always lift the fish horizontally by using one hand under the belly and the other with a thumb grip on the jaw of the fish.
- Use a Glove instead of a Lipgrip – sometime lipgrips are okay to use especially with smaller fish but buy a glove instead and use this to hold the fish. Not only does it provide a better grip on the fish it also won’t damage their bottom jaw which is what can happen with a lipgrip.
- Never lay fish on a hot deck – always wet down your brag mat, dunk it in the water before laying the fish down to measure it. If you don’t have a mat make sure you went down your deck or wet a towel. A hot and dry deck can burn the protective coating off the fish and leave it open to parasites and diseases.
These are some of the more important things we can do to help protect our native species while handling them. Follow these and there will be more fish for future generations to come!