In my first blog about the basics of safe fish handling. All species deserve respect no matter the size or weight. Considering that I carp fishing the most, this blog of safe handling of fish will relate to it, which does not mean that we cannot treat other types of fish in the same or similar way (especially I am talking about cyprinid fish species, salmonids are another topic for new blog).
1. Unhooking mat or cradle
A must-have equipment for every angler. It is designed to safely place the carp on, protecting them from damage, mud and the various dirt that is on the ground. Before putting fish on unhooking mat or cradle, it is obligatory to pour it with fresh lake water.
Never put fish on a dry unhooking mat.
2. A bucket of water
We always have a fresh lake water bucket ready by the unhooking mat or cradle. Fresh water moistens the fish during photography and weighing. It is very important that we never pour our catch with water that has been in the bucket for several hours, preferably in the sun!
We always capture fresh cold water!
I use Fox Collapsible Water Bucket and I’m more than happy with it.
I notice that we spend a lot of money on baits and equipment, but many people forget about the antiseptic. It is very important to use it not only to carry it because of the rules that apply to individual water. Before letting the fish back into the water, it is carefully inspected and treated with antiseptic (stab wounds, various injuries, etc.).
We stick to the instructions given by the individual manufacturer on the packaging, as improper use can cause more harm than good.
I’ve been using antiseptic Korda Propolis two years and I’m very happy with it. The only downside is that it leaves traces on the cradle or mats, but it doesn’t bother me as long as it’s good for the fish.
4. Fishing Weight Sling
Designed to weigh the catch safely and then safely released into the water.
When our catch is big (relative to each individual) – over 14kg or 30 pounds it is highly recommended (in some places it is obligatory) to put it in a sling together with a landing net and place it on a mat.
Please check that the fins of the carp are folded flat against its body, otherwise they can be damaged by the weight of the fish.
5. Wet hands
Always get our hands wet before handling a fish. Dry hands damage the fish slime (protect it from various injuries and parasites).
6. Landing net
A large landing net with a minimum length of 90 cm is used for the carp fishing. For the health of the fish I recommend a good fine knit net with as small holes as possible to prevent damage to the fin. Always catch the fish with a wet pad.
The same as with the weight sling, it is necessary to check that the fins of the carp are folded flat against its body before going to lift them from the water.
Fish are never photographed standing and of course we do not even carry fish around. We always take pictures in a crouching stance above the mat.
We keep the fish out of the water for as short a time as possible. If you want to take pictures in hot summer, this is best done in the water and we refresh ourselves as well.
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