Reduce wastage of by protecting small and juvenile fish from capture and incorrect handling.
Reducing wastage is a case of ‘prevention instead of cure’. Small juvenile fish or unwanted species caught and released risk being harmed so use techniques that are selective in targeting the size and species you are after.
- Some methods/tackle are better than others for the fishery. Modern lures such as soft baits, slow jigs or stick baits are good examples of methods that catch legal sized fish on average. They also lip hook instead of gut hook fish more often making survival more likely if carefully handled before release.
- Move location if you are catching mostly undersized fish or fishing in grounds holding predominantly undersized fish.
- Fish actively when bait fishing, staying in touch with your rod or line to avoid gut hooking small and juvenile fish.
- If bait fishing, Target appendage hooks are a great option as they deter small fish and significantly reduce the rate of gut hooking.