Classic Tuesday Tip: How to Land, Revive, and Release Large Fish


Here’s a great lesson on how to land, revive, and release large fish. It was created by the Atlantic Salmon Federation and its partners in the Quebec government, so it’s focused on Salmo salar. But you can easily see how these techniques apply to steelhead, Pacific salmon, and even larger trout. Even better, the video features some killer shots, including a fish gobbling a bushy Bomber off the surface.

Two important points that all trout anglers need to consider:

1. Don’t move the fish back and forth in the water while reviving it. This has the opposite of the intended effect. I see a lot of anglers doing, working on the assumptrion that the forward motion forces water through the gills. Trust me: the fish can move the water through its gills by itself.

2. Keep your fingers away from the gills and eyes. I receive a lot of photos in which an angler is holding a trout incorrectly, with one or more fingers in the gills.


While you’re taking a photo, the fish should be out of the water just a few seconds.
Photo courtesy ASF

4 thoughts on “Classic Tuesday Tip: How to Land, Revive, and Release Large Fish”

  1. Pingback: Tippets: Possible Record Tarpon Released, Madison River Environmental Assessment, Catch and Release Best Practices | MidCurrent
  2. I’m aware that everyone has an opinion on how to hold and take a picture of your catch. I am a firm believer to never take a fish out of the water to snap a pic. Yes I’m sure I’ll get the it doesn’t hurt the fish and its ok. You just caught a fish, had it on your line, set the drag to tire it out, and pulled in. So try this, it might give you an idea of the stress the fish feels. Run five miles with 10 lbs. of weight and then have someone hold your head under water for about thirty seconds not letting you up, let us know how it feels. The idea is not to stress the fish out so they do revive. I’m not saying not to take a picture, consider just taking the picture in the net and minimize handling the fish. our faces don’t have to be in every picture.

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