We would be remorse to teach of pacific salmon, and not touch upon ethical angling. There are well over 100,000 tidal anglers in the province of BC, so proper angling techniques are a must! Before we delve into the finer points, a few things to consider:
· Always check your regulations before you head out fishing.
· Make sure your fishing license is up to date
· Ensure you have all necessary and legally required safety items on board like life jackets, a signaling device, and throw rope.
Here are some things to consider when you are wetting a line or reeling in a fish of a lifetime:
· Make sure you are using barbless hooks! This is a legal requirement, and helps to reduce unnecessary damage to under or oversized fish.
· If the fish is easily discernable as too small or large, try not to remove the fish from the water to take the hook out or measure. Run a gaff down the length of the line and put backwards pressure on the hook, or use a deep knotless net.
· If you have to take the fish out of the water, do not put your hands anywhere near the fishes gills. These are what the fish use to absorb dissolved oxygen from the water and are very sensitive to physical damage. Try and limit the fishes air exposure to under 10 seconds.
· If you are fishing a deep line, or jigging in an area that has bottom fish, be sure to have your fish descending device to help ensure the safe release of any species that cannot be retained.
· If the fish is showing signs of fatigue, or if it was a long fight, gently cradle the fish by the tail and belly in the water, and wait until it starts to ‘kick’ to try and swim away before you release it.
· Do not try to intentionally floss or snag a fish, it is illegal and just plain wrong!
We encourage you to watch the videos below to take a look at proper catch and release techniques!