The process of unhooking, weighing and safely returning fish requires attention to detail, be well equipped, organised and methodical. Give them the care and respect they deserve at our day ticket fishery. Unhooking mats and landing nets must be used at all times and fish must not be lifted above knee level for any reason.
Make sure you are prepared before you even cast a rod out. Your fish care equipment should always be ready and easily accessible.
Ensure all equipment is wet before lifting the fish out of the water, ideally submerge the weigh sling in the water ready to zero your scales.
Zero your scales
Attach your weigh scales to wet weigh sling then ensure they are on zero. Put the scales gently down to not affect the dial. This is a perfect time to set up your camera or show your photographer how it works.
Lifting the fish from the water
When lifting the fish from the water check all fins are flat against the body and he unhooking mat is near. If using a net with separate net arms please remove them from the spreader block and roll the net down towards the fish, otherwise you will have to lift the net high up into the air.
Keep the fish wet
Keep a bucket of water near to put put on the fish to ensure its kept wet and does not dry out.
Fish handling for photographs
If you do not want a photo then release the fish back in the landing net or weigh sling WITHOUT picking it up. Ensure you are kneeling and the fish is in the middle of the mat with it's fin flat. Have the fish's dorsal fin towards you, and slowly slide your hands underneath the fish and put the fishes pectoral and anal fins between your index and middle finger on each hand. Roll the fish forward with your forearm as you lift it off the mat, you should be able to support it's weight in your hands. If the fish tenses or starts to flap then simply roll it back onto your forearms and lower it towards the mat, if you can keep it in your arms it will make picking it back up easier. Always support the fish over the mat and NEVER stand when holding it, if you are ensure of holding it but would like some nice photo's then please call the bailiff to assist (it is what he is there for).
Ideally you would treat the fish with a antiseptic such as propolis, klin-ik, etc, on any open wounds and the mouth where the hook was. Becareful for the gills and eyes of the fish when applying the treatment. Remove any parasites such as leeches from the fish, protecting the fish protects the future of our hobby.
Returning the fish
Always return the fish in the landing net or weigh sling, you can then let the fish recover fully before it swims off. DO NOT carry the fish back to the water in your hands as you might drop it and cause serious damage to the fish, anyone caught doing this will be banned.
Specimen Carp Lake
Specimen Carp Lake
Specimen Carp Pond