When you have been bass fishing most of your life, you ask yourself what would be the way to keep more fish alive. Having been a big bass boat tournament angler for years it is challenging to keep bass alive in the live well. After exiting that scene and getting into kayak bass fishing there is no way to keep fish alive on a kayak. This is where the catch photo release (CPR) application comes into play.
The objective of Catch Photo Release
Let’s talk about the objective behind CPR. When you are fishing large boating tournaments where there 100 boats with 2 anglers per boat, that gives you 200 anglers. So imagine if every angler caught their limit. This would put about 1,000 fish in live wells running around a lake all day. This is just a short scenario, just imagine if this occurred for a three-day tournament. Bass gets easily stressed and nitrogen levels climb very high when you have 5 fish in a live well. CPR can reduce the mortality rate on bass in a fishery.
What is needed for CPR?
The first thing you will need for CPR is your cellphone. Most of us nowadays have this attached to our hands day in and day out. Secondly, you will need to pick you out some type of measuring board. Third, you have to catch a fish to measure. Just, in my opinion, there is one excellent measuring board on the market. This would be the KETCH Board. They are strictly made here in the U.S.A. Comes in two styles: composite and metal. For myself, I use the metal one. There is no breaking this board like I did my last one.
Taking to the Photo
After catching your fish here comes the hard part of CPR, taking the picture. Usually, I take my fish and put it on a donkey leash, and let it back in the water. This allows the fish to become less active and calms its nerves. Grabbing my Ketch Board and giving it a little helps with settling the fish was well. Positioning the board at an angle also helps with forcing the mouth to stay shut during the photo. All inches count in kayak fishing. Now comes the challenge, keeping the fish from flopping off the board. Next is to put the fish on the board for the photo. Position the fish with the mouth to the left and pushed to the bump with its mouth completely closed. Now grab your phone and snap away, making sure you have the entire fish and identifier in the picture.
After taking your photos you need to submit them to your Tourney X Tournament and release the fish back into the same area you caught it. This allows the fish to be in a familiar area and its stress is about 80 percent gone from being caught, photographed, and released. Not only does it cut the stress on the fish is also the best practice in the conservation of the bass species.