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How to Begin


Set the hook quickly to reduce likelihood that fish will swallow the bait.


Play and land fish as quickly as possible. Playing fish to exhaustion can harm the fish.


When fishing in deep water, bring fish in slowly to help it adjust to changing pressure.


Consider using barbless hooks.


Keep your release tools nearby.


If you are fishing and don't want to hook into a shark, reel in your bait or lure as soon as you see the shark and consider moving to another fishing location. Most likely the shark is following the scent of your bait and may not leave the area.


Choose lines and equipment that will bring fish in quickly, so they don't exhaust all their energy in a prolonged battle. Use artificial lures over live bait. Fish that hit artificial baits are less likely to be hooked deeply enough to damage vital organs and have a high survival rate.


Prepare for easy release by squeezing hook barbs flat with pliers or filing them off. Barbless hooks won't cost you fish, if you keep a tight line, and they allow you to unhook fish without causing serious wounds.


If you use live bait, set the hook at the first sign of a bite, so the fish doesn't have time to swallow the bait. If the fish is hooked deeply in the gills or stomach where the hook cannot easily be removed, clip the line as close to the hook as possible. The hook will fall out after a time, with minimal damage to the fish.