After you’ve removed the hooks and taken a photo or two, the next step is making sure that fish is ready to swim away.

With the fish removed from the net, hold them upright in the water and allow them to tell you when they are ready to swim away. Most fish will just swim out of your hand; some will take a short time to recover and then will swim away. There’s no need to push and pull the fish to “get water through their gills”; this actually makes it more difficult for them to breathe. Just hold them still in the water and they will recover on their own. What about current? Try to always keep the nose of the fish pointed into the current and don’t allow the current to force their gills open. The same applies if the boat is drifting with the wind. Please practice CPR: Catch, Photo, Release. Good luck!

For additional discussion of these and other CPR techniques, please go to the:

“Release Them Right” Forum Topic