Fishing Best Practices – Catching a Fish – Maryland Department of Natural Resources

[introduction music] Hello, I'm Captain Steve Chaconas with National Bass Guide Service. Catching a fish can take time and effort for
both you and the fish. Try to avoid wearing the fish out by bringing
it in too slowly. Playing the fish will wear it out and further stress it. Once caught, handle the fish as little as
possible, and only do so with wet hands. This helps preserve the fish’s slime coat,
the layer of mucus on its skin which protects it from parasites and infection. The old standard lip-grip at the water’s edge is tried and true method. You might also wish to use a knotless, vinyl
coated nylon or rubber landing net. Older-style, hard-knotted nylon nets can remove
the slime coat. When fishing from a boat, I avoid dropping the fish onto the deck or carpet by holding smaller fish vertically by gripping the lower lip. I support larger fish under the belly with
my other hand. Remove the hook as quickly as possible. You may need a pair of needle nose pliers
or other tools to help unhook the fish – be sure to keep them handy. If you’re going to measure or weigh your
fish, you’ll likely need to handle it; again, make sure your hands are wet first. The Natural Resources Police check for legal size by measuring a fish with its mouth closed from the tip of the nose to the outer margin of the pinched tail. To help ensure the fish’s survival, you’ll
want to release it or get it into a live well as soon as possible. Remember – it can’t hold its breath any
longer than you can.

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