The Tofino Guide to Catch-and-Release Fishing

For the love of fish, let’s leave ‘em wet and keep ‘em alive

At Tofino Resort + Marina we love fishing. We also love fish. But as fishermen and women who are dedicated to sustainable fishing, we know you can’t eat every fish. You need to leave some in the ocean. But—as you can imagine—every time a fish is caught, it’s stressed out by the experience. So in the same spirit of our Fish for the Future catch-and-release derby, we wanted to provide this guide to catch-and-release fishing.  We’d like to thank KeepEmWet Fishing for continuing to educate anglers on responsible fish practices. The more we care for our fish, the longer we get to fish.

Don’t Take ‘em Out of the Water

Fish can’t breathe out of water, so just don’t take the fish out of the water. It’s that easy, eh. Keep the stress as low as possible. Even the 10-20 seconds it takes to snap a quick photo can be damaging.

Barbless is Better

Barbless hooks do less damage to a fish’s mouth, and are easier to remove without damage. Always have a tool handy to remove the hook quickly.

Don’t Let ‘em Touch Dry Surfaces

Fish have a slime on their bodies that protect them from disease. If you let them touch a dry surface—the boat, your hands, etc—they lose the slime and it leaves them under threat. Wet your hands before picking him up.


Land ‘Em Quickly

While it’s fun for you to play the fish, it’s scary for them. Give the fish a break by bringing them in quick.

Don’t Touch ‘em, like, in General

The less time you are touching the fish, the better off the fish will be.

Put ‘Em in the Net

Using a net brings a fish in quicker and easier, causing less stress. You can also keep the fish in the water easier while removing hooks and snapping pics. While we are it, rubber nets are a better option. Less snag, eh.

Be Gentle

Hold that beauty with its health and happiness in mind. Don’t squeeze hard. Support it rather than hang on to it. Keep your hands away from the gills and mouth.

Release the Beast

If a fish has stopped trying to swim away, you may need to revive it by moving its body in a figure-eight pattern. Emulate a swimming movement and wait for it to swim away.