Responsible. Green. Safe.

Hi there,

Many will ask what my very first post on being Responsible & Green got to do with Sharing my Experience…to Improve my Fishing.

Reason being I would wish everyone will start on the RIGHT footing for a newbie or to RETHINK what we’ve been doing for the intermediate/experienced angler. We need to conserve our limited resources for our future generations…simple as that but not practised by all!

conserve our resources
Our limited resources…

I emphasize all information shared in this blog is just my personal opinion & experience which some may beg to differ 🙂 If you have any thoughts or questions please leave them at the end of this post.

I started out as a bait angler at the tender age of 12 without being aware of its effect it MAY cause to the water & its environment…as nobody was there then to advise or share their experience with me. Organic baits, especially those starting to or have decayed can pollute the water & environment if left uncleared.

As a kid, I remembered fishing in those confined small freshwater pay ponds (smaller than soccer field) where almost everyone was ground baiting their spot by throwing in balls & balls of chicken/pig feed in the hope of attracting fish to their area. As the water body was small & everyone was doing it, not only had it lost its effect of attracting fish but it was heavily polluting the water.

Our precious resources...
Our precious resources…

I have since moved to artificials many years ago & have never looked back since then. Not only artificial is clean to handle & does not pollute the environment, it adds to the challenge of fooling the fish to attack it as a natural or live bait.

Reason being I would wish everyone will start on the RIGHT footing for a newbie or to RETHINK what we’ve been doing for the intermediate/experienced angler. We need to conserve our limited resources for our future generations…simple as that but not practised by all!

Having said the above, I’m not against anyone using organic or live baits as long as you don’t pollute the water & keep the environment clean…….it’s ultimately your choice what to use to land your fish.

Trash

  • Dispose all non-degradable trash in their proper places especially fishing lines whether braided or monofilament which can get entangled with marine life if thrown into the water.
  • I had seen with disgust boat crew in Malaysia treating the sea as a rubbish dump with one even throwing a broken plastic chair overboard. And on the other end of the spectrum, I witnessed the pristine water in Christmas Island (Australia) which the local hold to dearest. A small piece of paper wrapper in the water was cleared by the captain during one of my trips there which he said probably floated from nearby Indonesian islands as locals DO NOT litter in the water. True enough…I saw Indonesian wordings on the food wrapper.
  • On my weekend shore luring trip with my bubbies where we’ll walk a distance along the beach to our secret spot, I will make it a point to bring a few empty bags. Along the way out after our fishing, will pass out the bags for them to be filled with trash. Even if it’s only a few bags of trash, I’m happy we’ve done our part for the day.
dispose all trash
Dispose all trash

Hooks

De-barb all hooks…either with a plier or buy them barbless. This is to provide safety to yourself as well as to the fish.

If possible use single (instead of trebles) which causes less damage to the fish especially the other free swinging hook that didn’t get engaged to the mouth may injure other parts of the fish body.

Singles cause less damage but hook up rate could be lower than trebles…but once engaged, lower chance of dislodging than trebles

BKK trebles & singles for GT popping
All prepped…debarbed & with split ring…BKK trebles & singles for GT popping

Trebles vs Singles: use trebles first to land your reasonable target number of fish for photo taking. Thereafter change to singles for the rest of the trip to up the challenge. If you can get your buddies to do likewise at the same time, it adds more fun to the challenge in the race to free beers!

Safety Precautions

  • Look behind your back before each & every cast.
  • Do not set your hooks immediately when the take occurs near you at the shore or on the boat. If there’s no engagement, the lure may fly towards you or your buddies at high speed. Wait till you can feel there is firm engagement with a taut line before setting the hooks with your rod. I understand this is easier said than done…as your instant reaction to a exhilarating take on your lure is to yank your rod to set the hooks. Learn to stay calm until you can feel a solid engagement…with time & practice, you can do it!
  • Do not fish alone…so that you can sought help should any emergency arises. Even if the beach is at your backyard, inform someone you will be there. When fishing on mother boat in the Maldives, dawn fishing before 1st light in the dark is usually very exciting & productive. Even then, I’ll ensure at least one of my buddies is with me when I fish; otherwise I’ll just wait till anyone of them wakes up to join in the fun with me.
  • Bring along some basic medication eg. plasters, pain killer, charcoal pills (for stomach upset), etc for every fishing trip as a doctor can be hours away.
  • Have your mobile phone with you at all times…in case you need to call for help. Water-proofing your phone in a ziplock bag is another good idea especially fishing along shores with waves & wind.

Catch & Release

  • Observe local Bag & Size limits of individual species. Even if there’s none, keep only those you want to eat& release the rest for them to fight another day. Avoid promising your friends or neighbours you’ll bring them fish on every trip.
  • Respect the locals or boat crew if they want to keep your catch as food. Fish probably has been their staple diet for many generations, respect their way of life & don’t deprive them of this livelihood as long as it’s not wasteful or excessive slaughtering.
Catch & Release
Catch & Release

How to Handle Fish for Pics?

  • Do not hold fish vertically by just its tail or gill covers for photo shoot if you’re planning to release it. Worse still I’ve heard of stories where anglers hold biggies by its tail with rest of body arching downwards to its head against the floor. They even said they could hear the vertebrae cracking. This will likely break its backbone due to its sheer weight & kill it instantly.
do not just hold by tail
Do not hold just by tail
pressure on arching backbone
Pressure on arching backbone
  • Hold it in a horizontal position supported by both hands…one hand under its head & the other holding its tail.
  • If it’s too big to lift & hold comfortably with both hands, then have 2 persons transfer it to your lap whilst sitting down. Preferably you should have a piece of cloth on your lap to prevent fish from slipping & falling onto the deck.
safer for fish...cleaner for angler
Safer for fish…cleaner for angler
  • It’s also a good idea to standby a pair of oversized gloves for photo shoot.
  • You can slip into it without having to waste time removing your actual gloves.
  • Your actual gloves are not dirtied…just need to wash oversized gloves at end of day.
  • You have proper grip to ensure fish doesn’t slip & fall off.
oversized gloves
Oversized gloves
  • Get several buddies to take pics for you…this way shooting process can be quickened up, you have pics taken from different angles & chance of getting one you like is higher. And when it’s your buddy who landed a biggie, it’s time you become the camera man.

Releasing the Fish

  • It’s imperative to finish taking all pics as quickly as possible…preferably not more than a Minute!
  • If there’s a hose onboard, run it into the mouth pumping in oxgenated sea water thru the gills.
  • If a fish is brought too fast to the surface, its swim/air bladder may be inflated as expanded air cannot be expelled out fast enough. Deflate or vent bladder by inserting a hypodermic needle ie. syringe (pin with hollow centre) to release trapped air so it can dive back down almost immediately. Otherwise it will float & either be eaten by predators or baked dry by the sun.
  • Learn where the bladder is to avoid puncturing other vital organs in the fish.
where is the air bladder?
#5 is the air bladder
  • Do note the red inflated organs you sometimes see protruding from the mouth or anus are NOT the bladder…it’s the stomach, so please do not puncture it.
  • Revive the fish long enough in the water by running water thru its gills. Once you can feel its tail starting to kick lightly, it’s time to let it go.
  • Watch out for predators when releasing a weakened fish or move to a nearby area with less commotion.

A Photo is all you Need…

  • Remember you DO NOT have to weigh the fish (eg. GT-giant trevally) if you want to record its weight. Go buy a measuring tape ( Amazon / eBay / Tackle Direct ) specially designed for this purpose to estimate its weight. This will reduce stress to the fish & quicken the release process.
  • Measure from tip of mouth to fork of tail…ensuring tape goes horizontally across instead of below belly or near dorsal fin.
correct tape position on GT
Correct…horizontal from mouth to tail fork
wrong...across belly
Wrong…across belly

This can only serve as an estimation for GT…as fish from different regions have different body structure eg. those from Maldives tend to be longer & more slender as compared to those from Christmas Island which are shorter but with a thicker & stout body likely due to their very choppy environment with strong current.

  • 80cm – 11kg
  • 90cm – 16kg
  • 100cm – 22kg
  • 110cm – 30kg
  • 120cm – 38kg

Safe Fishing!

All the best,
Lawrence
gtfrenzy.com

PS: Please leave a comment if any information in this site is inaccurate or incorrect…I’m learning too 🙂

1 thought on “Responsible. Green. Safe.

  • Hello there. You are extremely right in saying that fishing as a sport can be damaging to the environment if not done properly, and I agree with you. That my friend is coming from a professional angler. We must all do our part to mitigate the damage this sport can have on the environment. We need to take care of the water, take care of the fish, and do it responsibly. Great post. Tight lines!

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