As with most things in life, benefits usually come with certain levels of responsibility. Fishing a fixed-length line system allows us to reach out and touch large numbers of fish during the course of an outing, the last thing one wants to do is to leave behind a trail of dead or dying fish. I’ve always treated the fish I catch with the utmost level of care and respect, but I always had a nagging doubt about what effect the interaction might have upon the fish after they swam away. I’ve since put those concerns behind me.
This season I started using a small and simple, easy to make and easy to use gizmo. So far this year I’ve had the privilege of at least a few hundred hook ups, and am happy to say I have yet to have to lay a hand on a single fish. I’d like to take credit for initially coming up with the idea, but I saw this page last winter and decided to make something similar in design and concept –
My gizmo has more of a circular loop in the end, and uses a lighter gauge wire. But the basic idea of looping the device around the bend of the hook remains. Doing so seems to allow the hook to back out following the same path it went in, which results in the fish falling off the hook. One really needs to do the release over water, ideally standing in it. It’s a two handed operation, and the fish falls off like a rock. You don’t want to do it over dry land.
Actually the release portion of the fishing cycle has become both automatic and enjoyable. Cast – Present – Strike – Bring to “hand” – Release. A well executed release is as much fun, at least for me, as the other steps in the process. You may want to give something similar a try.