Catch and Release Survival Tips

Guy GibsonOne of our missions it to preserve smallmouth bass fishing for generations to come. Please help us.

These quick, easy steps were put together by Guy Gibsonick,  as a refernce to help improve the survival rates of smallmouth bass and other game species.

Thank you Guy!

Catch and release survival tips

Avoid using the net if possible as it will rub off the fishes protective slime coating, increasing his chance of sickness and infections. If you must use a net, use a rubberized kind. These reduce the damaged inflicted.


If a bass weighs over 3 pounds, don’t hold him up by his lip alone, you may break his jaw. Instead, support his weight with your other hand by cradling his belly.

Menominee smallmouth

If you’re having a hard time removing the lure, use needle nose pliers and gently pry the hooks free. Yanking and twisting the hooks only causes more damage.

If the hook is embedded in the throat, cut the line instead of trying to get the hook out. Leave about 18″ of line and chances are the bass will dislodge the hook himself. Trying to pry the hook out of this delicate area can kill the bass.

Before you measure your fish (especially on hot days), place the measuring board in the water to avoid damaging the fishes protective slime coating.

Berkley ruler

Keep your livewell water temperature close to the lake temperature. A 5 degree difference is stressful to the bass, an 8 degree difference can be fatal. Use non-chlorinated block ice (in small quantities) if necessary.

Keep your livewell aerator on. You can’t over aerate a fish! Pounds of bass, higher elevations and higher water temperatures all deplete the oxygen levels of a livewell.

Bass expel ammonia when they “breath”, recirculating the water with your pump and or use of livewell chemicals such as “Catch & Release” help reduce the ammonia content in the water.

Catch and release


Please remember to incorporate these tips into your routine. They are very easy and can make a big difference!

Tight lines everyone!

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.