It’s Time for Catch and Release and Catch and Keep Fishing!

February 27, 2020

Whether you’re looking for a catch and release or catch and keep fishing trip in Sarasota, FL, it’s important to know the state regulations about which fish you can hang onto and which will need to be returned to the water. Catch and release programs are designed to keep certain species’ populations thriving, so that fishing for food doesn’t threaten their longevity.

Fishing season has officially begun, and Charter Boat Shark is here not only to guide you through the waters, but to help you learn which fish you’ll be eating for dinner and which are better left for a good fish story.

Extended catch and release for sea trout and redfish

This year, the state of Florida voted to extend the catch and release season for sea trout and redfish, citing an extended algae bloom that harmed the local population. That means that until June 1, 2021, you won’t be able to keep these two species.

How to catch and release

The goal of catch and release fishing is to keep the fish alive, so we use special equipment and take precautions to ensure that the fish is able to survive once you set it free in the water. Here’s an overview of some of our methods:

  • Hooks: Use barbless hooks made from metals that rust quickly. Your goal is to keep the fish from swallowing the bait.
  • Release tools: When fishing for catch and release, you’ll want to keep the release tools handy. You can de-barb hooks with needle nose pliers. While keeping the fish underwater, you will try to slide the hook out the way it came in, or cut off the leader if it can’t be easily removed.
  • Rags or gloves: If you have to handle the fish, be sure to wear gloves or use a wet rag to hold them.
  • Releasing the fish: Once the hook is taken care of, hold the fish and lower it into the water. If it doesn’t swim away right away, you can move it back and forth in the water to force water through its gills and hopefully resuscitate it.

Catch and keep

Of course, you won’t have to throw all of your fish back—you can expect to keep snappers, groupers, mackerels, snook, largemouth bass, panfish and tarpon, among other varieties. We recommend keeping only what you can eat. You can always practice catch and release, even if the species isn’t endangered.

Charter a catch and keep or catch and release fishing trip in Sarasota, FL

Getting out on the water and fishing—whether it’s for sport or for food—is even better when you charter one of Charter Boat Shark’s twin 41-foot fishing boats. We have 60 years of experience and employ Coast Guard-licensed captains, so your day will not only be fun but safe, too. We provide the equipment—including state-of-the-art fish-finding equipment—so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the catch. Get in touch with us today to schedule your charter. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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