By Kevin Cassidy, NSRWA Board Member
Striped bass support one of the most important and exciting recreational fisheries in Massachusetts, and we are lucky to have striped bass in the North and South Rivers to fish for and enjoy. But it’s important that we protect and preserve the striped bass to ensure it thrives in our watershed for years to come.

The NSRWA/Rhino Shield South Shore Striper Tournament is a catch and release tournament to make sure we do our part to help this iconic species. Below are a few tips and a short video from the group Stripers Forever for releasing stripers to give them the best chance to survive after they’ve been caught.

Catch and Release the Right Way (aka We Want the Fish to Survive!)

  1. Pinch the barb on your hook flat so it’s easily removed (from either you or the fish!)
  2. Use in-line, circle hooks when fishing bait
  3. Replace treble hooks with single, pinched barb hooks
  4. Bring the fish to hand or the boat as quickly as possible to avoid extreme exhaustion
  5. Have your partner ready to measure and take a photo of the fish, so the fish spends as little time out of the water as possible
  6. Don’t just throw the fish back – hold it in the water and resuscitate it. The fish will let you know it is ready when it swims away from your hand on its own 
  7. Know that you can/will kill the fish if you don’t follow the above
  8. Thank you for seeing the value in saving these fish for the future!

Here’s a short video from Stripers Forever demonstrating some of the correct ways to release a fish to give it the best chance for survival:

Here’s another resource for tips for taking care of the fish we catch and release so we help to ensure that there will plenty of striped bass for next year’s tournament!