Our Catch & Release Policy
Here at Adventure Fishing Holidays we strongly advocate a catch & release policy on all of our holidays. In France and Spain we run a strict no fish kill policy, and your guide will advise you on our other destinations. We also understand that for some anglers, keeping a fish to eat is the ideal way to end a days fishing. In fisheries where the stocks are responsibly managed, this is not a problem, however an increasing number of anglers prefer to return their catch to the water. They do this to help minimise the impact on the fish they love to catch. Releasing larger fish back to the water helps ensure that these mature, fit fish can spawn again, and helps to maintain a healthy population of good sized fish for future generations of anglers to enjoy. If you do plan to retain any of the fish you catch, please keep only smaller fish and only what you absolutely need.
When practicing catch & release, anglers can easily take a few basic steps to help the survival of released fish. Many unintentional injuries and deaths can be prevented by following these simple handling rules for fish you intend to release:
- Be attentive and set the hook immediately to stop the fish from swallowing the hook.
- If the hook is swallowed completely, don't use force to remove it. Cut the line off as close to the hook as possible and then release the fish.
- If possible, leave the fish in the water while removing the hook. If you need to remove the fish from the water, wet your hands or use a damp rag in order to protect the mucous layer on the outside of the fish.
- Never use the gills or eyes to hold the fish. On larger fish, always try to support them under the belly.
- Always return the fish to the water head first. Revive fatigued fish by supporting them in a swimming position in the water and gently move them back and forth until they swim off.
- Use knotless landing nets. They’re less damaging to the fish and tangle hooks less.
- For photographs, cameras should be ready to go as the less time the fish is out the water the better.
- Use barbless or micro barb hooks wherever possible.
- Always use an unhooking mat of a suitable size for your type of fishing, and never lay a fish on the ground.
- Do not "Sack" fish for long periods of time, in shallow water, or during hot weather.
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"Top fishing, top guide in Pete, worth his weight in gold!"
Carl Cornwall (French Heaven, France, 2009)