FISH CARE SECTION
It's critically important that we look after the welfare of our fish, for today and for tomorrow. In light of this, we've started to put together what we feel is a pretty comprehensive fish care section that outlines the key points of how to handle larger fish and how to fish for them safely in the first place. If you think we've missed anything - please feel free to contact us via email@example.com
PART 1: LANDING AND RETURNING CARP
The kit you NEED to have
It's essential that you have a large soft-mesh net (minimum 36'' and ideally 42'') a large mat (or cradle) and a retention/weigh sling. In addition we advocate the use of a fish care ointment that can be used to treat where the hook was positioned as well as any other marks or sores that the fish may have.
Failure to have the above minimum requirements may result in disciplinary action. There is NO excuse for not having this equipment and it's our collective responsibility to see that this rule is adhered to.
If you arrive at the lake having forgotten any of this then please return home before fishing. It's also important to set your landing net etc up before you cast out to ensure you are ready to land a fish immediately.
It's also handy to have a bucket of lake water ready for when you have a fish on the bank - to ensure your equipment, the fish and your hands are wet. A fishes slime coating is its only barrier against infection and using dry equipment/hands is very poor practice and puts the fish at unnecessary risk.
Fish have a right to be treated with consideration and care.
Removing fish from the water
Once a fish is in the net, it's at this point where things can go wrong if you're not careful. First job is to ensure your mat/cradle is wet - really wet.
It's good practice to dismantle the net at the spreader block while the fish is in the water, also ensuring that your mat/cradle is as close to the water as possible.
If it's possible, remove the hook from the mouth before you roll the net up. If not ensure that you are not rolling the line up with the net - this can put pressure on the fishes mouth, essentially lifting its head as the tension increases.
Once the fish is secured in the dismantled net, check that all fins are facing the right way (i.e towards the tail) before you lift the net. This is important as fins facing the wrong way can snap causing permanent injury to the fish. Once you're satisfied the fish can then be carried over to your already wet mat/cradle - ensure that the fish is never more than 1ft off the floor at all times. Ensure that you have either released the bail arm on the reel or cut the mainline above your rig before moving the fish - in case the rod is accidentally dropped.
If you own a sling, transferring the fish into this provides better support for the fish. Getting into the water is also good if it's safe to do so.
Handling the fish to weigh
The photography of fish
This is the point at which most damage to a fish can occur and there are therefore a few golden do's / don’ts in terms of procedure
NB Self take photo's - this is difficult and should never be done using a mat unless your camera is already set up and you have some form of remote control for the take. Leaving a fish unattended on a mat is putting the fish at risk of flipping off the mat onto the ground and is not acceptable.
Photo courtesy of Dave Price, 'The Pretty One', Alder Hills
Returning fish to the water
Your capture should be carefully returned to the water from your mat/cradle, ideally using a weigh/retention sling. The same rules apply - keep the fish low to the ground and once you are over the water, carefully lower the fish in, making sure there are no snags (eg sharp branches) in that particular area. Your discarded landing net handle should be to hand and is a useful way to check the margins.
Carefully move the sling away from the fish, ensuring the fish is upright and supported. The fish will either kick free straight away or will will lie there for a short while. If this happens, keep hold of the fish in an upright position and it will kick free when it's ready to do so.
If the above points are followed each and every time you catch a carp, you're doing your bit to ensure we are looking after the fishes welfare and we are protecting our stock for the next angler.
A useful video from Korda
The video here demonstrates very well the correct procedure for handling carp and may be slightly easier to follow than the large amount of text above.
The video is the property of Korda TV carp fishing and is being provided for educational purposes. WDAC do not officially endorse Korda and have no connection in any way. We are sharing their content for the benefit of our fish welfare and the improvement in fish handling practice - they also provide a few bonus photography tips...
A useful video from Fox
This video also highlights the importance of fish welfare at spawning time. It also provides good advice on ensuring you dry your landing equipment thoroughly between sessions.
The video is the property of Fox International carp fishing and is being provided for educational purposes. WDAC do not officially endorse Fox and have no connection in any way. We are sharing their content for the benefit of our fish welfare and the improvement in fish handling practice.
COMING SOON: OTHER SPECIES AND FISH CARE
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What's happening over the coming months....
>> We're delighted to announce that the Club now has access to five day tickets at both Orchard Lakes Fishery as well as Revels Fishery. See our venues page for more details.
>> Our new for 2018 Annual Photography Competition has now launched. A designated page on the website is now live. Get your entry in for the chance to win a free annual membership.
>> Have a look at our new fish safety section from the main menu. Designed to provide fundamental information on how best to target and land large fish. Have a read and if you think we can add any info, please get in touch.