Mid-America Hunting Association fishing is catch and release for bass and retention fishing for crappie and catfish.
Our Association stocks a hybrid bass that is hardy and grows well. The Association overall is for the enjoyment of the tranquility of a good day a field and that is enhanced with many a good catch on fighting bass. It is the memory of the catch, not the meat in the freezer that is important. These hybrid bass provide this opportunity.
Successful catch and release requires treating the fish gentle, nothing new in this idea. Bass themselves can withstand some handling, but less is always better. Again this is not news. What maybe news is the information below that provides a framework to all that bass caught today to make more memories the next time those waters are fished.
Getting the fish back into the water as soon as possible gives several key survival advantages. The first is re-suspension of the gills. In the water the fish's gills float suspended in the water with little to no affect from gravity. Once out of the water the gills collapse under the their own weight and the force of gravity. This gills collapse increases the chances of damaging them when a fish struggles out of the water. Once damaged the opportunity for infection and faster recovery may be lost. Fishermen will significantly increase the chance of the fish's survival if as soon as possible after removing the hook the fish is held just under the water surface for the picture.
Hardcore winter bass fishing.
Barb less hooks should be used. Two reasons support this idea. The first is to get the fish back to water as soon as possible. A hook without a barb is certainly easier to remove and will get the fish back to water faster. Second, fish have very little blood in their bodies. Even what may appear to be a small loss of blood may be fatal to a fish. Again a barbed hook increase the chances of damaging the fish and causing blood loss.
Peak summer fishing stresses the fish two fold. Warm water increase heat stress on the fish, remember their body temperatures are on the low side in nature. And, warm waters contain less oxygen. This of course is a doubling affect. Not only will warm water fishing greatly fatigue a fish it will take longer to recover as well.
While many fishermen feel they have successfully returned a fish to the water for long term survival confident with how strong it swam away. The fish may still die. All that is required to kill a fish days after catch and release is to penetrate their skin, remove scales or degrade their slime cover. If anyone of these three fish body protections is lost the chances for infection have been greatly increased. This infection will result in a long death process.
Association fishermen practicing fast harmless catch and release on bass will always have more bass fishing.