Video: How to Properly Catch and Release a Bonefish

Here’s a great video from Bonefish & Tarpon Trust‘s Bahamas Initiative Manager, Justin Lewis, who explains why proper fish handling is essential to the survival of your catch and to the overall health of the fishery. Fly fishers talk a lot about catch-and-release best practices when it comes to trout, and although things aren’t much different when it comes to bonefish, there are a few tips specific to the flats environment.

Here are the 14 things you should remember before you head out on the flats:

1. Use barbless hooks
2. Keep the fight short
3. Use 12-pound tippet or heavier
4. Keep the fish wet
5. Use clean, wet hands
6. Take off Sun Gloves
7. Revive until the fish sits right side up
8. Don’t slosh fish back and forth
9. Allow water to flow over the gills
10. If the hook is deep, cut the line
11. No more than 15 seconds of air exposure
12. Don’t grab the fish by the gills or squeeze it
13. No Boga Grips
14. Take photos with fish in the water or dripping

5 thoughts on “Video: How to Properly Catch and Release a Bonefish”

  1. Excellent summary. To reinforce the concept of NO MORE than 15 seconds out of the water, I ask my fellow anglers to hold their own breath while the fish is out of the water.

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