June 27 2021

The Latest Striped Bass Catch & Release Best Practices


Recently the team at Keep Fish Wet, an organization focused on helping recreational anglers improve the outcome for each fish they release, sent out their latest recommendations on catch & release best practices for striped bass.

In an effort to help get this information out to as many people as possible, I decided today to share their recommendations here on My Fishing Cape Cod. 

The information below was obtained from a recent Keep Fish Wet press release. If you enjoy fishing for striped bass, then please take a moment to review the release tips outlined below. 


Here is an "executive summary" of the recommendations:

  • Minimize Air Exposure. 10 seconds or less is best.
  • Eliminate Contact with Dry Surfaces.  Wet your hands before touching fish and avoid bringing them into boats. 
  • Reduce Handling Time.  Release fish quickly and only revive fish that cannot swim on their own.

And here is an expanded list of tips:

  • Use barbless hooks
  • Limit your use of lip grippers, and when doing so keep the fish in the water
  • Always hold fish with two hands and never hang fish vertically in the air
  • Photograph fish in or just over the water
  •  If you are fishing from a boat with high gunnels, reach down to meet the fish or use a long handled net.  If you have to bring the fish into the boat, be prepared to make it quick.  Have a hook removal tool at the ready, and get that fish back into the water quickly and gently.

And here is an infographic created by Bri Dostie and Keep Fish Wet, which you are free to download and share:

What do you think about these catch and release best practice tips? Please let me know by commenting below.

And as always have fun, be safe and good luck if you make it out fishing this week!

Tight lines ?

What do you think?

Let me know by commenting below.

About the author 

Ryan Collins

I'm fortunate to have grown up on the beach, and I've been fishing since kindergarten. I have great family, friends and fishing experiences to be thankful for. Just being out there is enough-catching fish is just a bonus!

  • The best way to keep bass wet & alive is don’t catch and release,
    catch and eat!!!
    This more than satisfys your primary suggestions!!!
    Advocate for taking smaller bass and leaving the breeder stock in the water!!!!

  • Great stuff here, particularly on barbless hooks (just crush them, they aren’t sold that way). I don’t think I ever lost a fish in the last 3 years owing to a crushed barb, and they slide out so easily. OK, maybe a bluefish or two, but they have soft mouths. It’s a great practice and it makes all of us better fishermen cause you have to keep the line tight, like we’re supposed to.

  • Great info, always a great reminder. MFCC has taught me to crush barbs, get rid of most treble hooks, be prepared when I surf cast and have everything ready so when I catch a fish I am prepared to release it quickly and safely. Thank You!

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