Saltwater Fishing Information for the Texas
Gulf Coast, Inshore and Offshore
Ethical Angling, Catch and Release Fishing
Many recreational anglers assume that their impact on the resource
is negligible since they only take a few fish. Some the fisheries with high sport harvest
include Bluefish, Redfish, Speckled Trout, and Flounder. It is especially important to
release undersized fish so they have a chance to mature, reproduce, and replenish the
stock. Additionally, after you've kept the fish you intend to eat and your trophy fish,
carefully releasing the rest will help ensure conservation of stocks for the future.
An Ethical Angler will:
Never leave edible fish or bait fish to die without intent to retain the fish for consumption or bait.
The ethical angler will always treat fish and the aquatic environments they inhabit with care and respect.
When possible, he will return all unwanted catch to the water alive.
Properly discard of his or her trash. Especially used monofilament fishing line, six-pack holders, plastic bags,
and other plastics. Fish and wildlife can be damaged if they eat or become tangled in these materials.
I can't say enough about properly discarding trash. I was fortunate enough to have had
the opportunity to free a juvenile Bottle-Nosed Dolphin that had become entangled in the
remnants of a long-line fisherman's discarded (or lost) gear.
Tips for Releasing Fish
Not every fish is a "keeper." You may catch a fish that's under legal
size or too big to fit in your cooler. You may land a magnificent trophy
and decide to return it to the water so that you, or some other lucky
angler, will have a chance to catch that fish again. Whatever your
reasons for choosing live release, you want to give your fish the best
possible chance of survival.
You can help manage natural resources for the future when you follow these handy tips
for releasing fish:
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
Keep fish in water as much as possible
Handle fish as little as possible
Remove hooks with pliers or cut line
Gently place fish back into water
Revive fish by holding upright in water and moving back and forth, forcing water through gills.
Video From TP&W for Removing a Deeply Imbedded Hook
Deflating a Distended Air Bladder
When releasing fish that cannot right itself or is showing a
distended air bladder:
Gently insert a thin point or an approved device through the side of the fish immediately behind the upper part
of the pectoral finbase. This is usually directly below the fourth or fifth spine.
Let the air escape without pressing on the fish, then put it in the water.
Revive fish by moving it or facing it into the current, gently forcing water into the mouth and over the gills.
Watch the fish when released. If it doesn't swim away, recover it and try again.