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Carpfishing in Canada
Fishing Ethics & Live Release
If you are not going to eat your catch, then it's getting popular in N.A to release the fish to catch another day. You know it makes sense ! this has been popular in Britain & many parts of Europe for a long time & the quality of the fishing shows it .
  I accept that in places carp are eaten for food & if so then some 4-5 lb fish in moderation is not going to present any problems. However 20-30 lb fish raked into the garden for fertiliser or thrown up the bank just does not compute. These fish did not get to that size in a year or two ,they are mature fish probably 15-20 yrs old at least, they deserve better.
Once you have hooked into that size of a fish which cannot be lifted out of the water, (anything over 2-3lb, about 14''or so) how are you going to deal with it ?, well there's a couple of options. If you intend to release it immediatly it is possible to unhook the fish whilst still in the water ,however I won't pretend this is easy ,you'll probably end up getting soaked. Also the fish could break the line & flap about all over causing all kinds of damage. The best option is a landing net, these are available in different styles , but for carp BIG is Beautiful !. In Canada if you can find one of the rubber meshed ones abour 2.5 feet diameter ,this will deal adequately with most fish ,without causing damage. Mine is around 3 ft, triangular but is getting worn now , I will have to get in contact with one of the specialist tackle dealers to get a replacment. Mostly it's the soft type of 'micromesh' net's which are the best. Eventually though ,they suffer from wear & the netting part needs to be replaced. Contact me for details of where to obtain one
My son demonstrating the correct lifting technique.
Once you have the fish safe in the net, very important to look around for a grassy or other soft surface to put the fish down on, if you are fishing on concrete or other hard surface, buy a foam matt; like used for camping to sleep on . This is a good practice because carp live for several decades. If they get badly damaged , the scares will be carried for a long time. There is a notion in N.A that carp are ugly fish , well it cannot help if the fish is flapping around on abrasive concrete can it ! Please have respect for the fish , since once damaged you cannot undamage the fish ! A patch of soft grass or damp mud ,but not sharp stones & concrete , Please ! It is not a smart thing to do & there is simply no need to do it .
Safe & sound in the net.
Now onto the next thing, if you want to weigh the fish, then DONT PUT THE SCALE HOOK IN THE GILL OPENING. This act must be one of the most damaging things you can do to a carp ( or any fish). It's like someone gripping you under the rib cage & lifting ! definately a very bad thing to do. If you really want to weigh the fish, take along a strong PLASTIC laundry or clean fertiliser bag, plastic will not remove the carps protective slime, which is like a protective coat & makes the fish resistant to all kinds of waterbourne infections. . This type of bag will be almost perfect for the job & will not harm the fish. Of course if you want the perfect solution for the job ,get yourself a weighing 'sling' from the same place as your landing net supplier. If not they are not difficult to make, it's about the same shape as a carpenter's toolbag but with chord handles & not carrying straps. They are made from industrial nylon or similar material. You can weigh a fish many times with no detrimental effect, as long as the sling is nicely wet when you use it. No weighing scale ? carry a tape measure & measure from mouth to fork of tail. The fish will thank you for it ! . A pocket camera is all you need to prove that the 'biggun' did NOT get away this time ! It's a good feeling to know the fish you returned will live to fight another day.
Dont forget to visit the other pages , & Happy fishin'
Carpsava in Canada
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