We thought we would reiterate some fish handling best practices to ensure that our fish are being properly cared for by members.
– Use a landing mat. Fish shouldn’t be put on the ground at any stage. Rigged and Ready make a mat that is easy to travel with and has a rule for measuring the length of your catch.
– Always hold fish near the ground, above a landing mat. Never stand up with a fish in case it falls.
– Carry a disgorger. Just in case! Westlake make a handy disgorger that also has a knot picker for undoing those tangles!
– Use a landing net. Even if you’re just going for small roach, take a landing net. A 16inch landing net pan will cope with most silver fish and F1 carp you might catch (consider a larger net for bigger carp/species).
– Use two keepnets if you plan to keep F1s in the net. Keep F1s and silverfish separate. Always use micro-mesh keep nets if you can like these ones from Preston Innovations.
– Return the fish in as good condition as you caught it.
– Never use a net that is still wet from being used in another lake.
– If you’re targeting carp, consider carrying a fish care/fish first aid kit available from tackle shops or online.
– All hooks larger than size 14 inclusive MUST be barbless.
– No bare braided hook lengths.
– No braid mainline.
Full rules and regulations are printed in your club books. We encourage every member to refresh on the rules we are all bound by every now and then, so things don’t start to slip.
There is no excuse for poor fish handling as not only are they for everybody to catch, are animals themselves and are expensive to replace. The lakes are yours as much as they are everyone else’s.
Bailiffs are patrolling lakes regularly and swift action will be taken against rule breakers.