Monitor Your Rods
Undistracted attention with constant monitoring of live- and dead- bait rods, using bells or strike indicators when necessary. SAFE Angling Practice #3: A common injury to many fish is often innocently caused by anglers not paying close enough attention to their still-fishing, live- or dead- bait, rod set-ups. Fish are sometimes gut-hooked or hooked in their gullet, when allowed to swallow a bait. With attention paid more closely to a strike on such a rig, be it float or more likely, bottom presentation, an angler has the advantage of setting the hook more quickly to ensure that the hook has a better chance of catching the fish in the corner of the mouth, the most desirable of all locations to land the hook, especially if you are planinng to practice Selective Harvest. Once a fish swallows a hook, it is difficult, if not impossible, to remove the hook without (severely) injuring the fish by tearing the stomach or gullet. Often, the fish dies in part by being out of the water for an extended amount of time while the hook is trying to be removed. Once a deeply hooked fish is released and swims away, the fish can still die after a few hours or days, due to loss of blood from the wound, infection, damage to internal organs, the stress of the overall trauma of the catch experience, or any combination of these factors.