How long do you hold trout out of water? Researchers with binoculars and stopwatches observed nearly 300 anglers catch and release trout. The goal was to determine how long anglers keep trout exposed to air. This study was conducted by Idaho Fish and Game biologists.
A new study shows how long people hold trout out of the water.
How long Idaho anglers hold trout out of water: 26 seconds on average.
Researchers found anglers really don’t put any more stress on fish than hooking and landing them does. The majority of studies show there is no substantial mortality to fish exposed to air for less than 30 seconds.
Some good ways to land trout quickly and return them to the river:
- Use good high-quality leaders and tippets. We suggest RIO Fluoroflex Plus tippet. This stuff is the bomb, you will lose fewer flies and trout. Landing trout quickly is a breeze with this material.
- Only use a net when you need it. For instance, smaller trout don’t require a net. It is much faster to lift the smaller fish in the boat by the leader. If you need your net, make sure you use a rubber basket that doesn’t tangle. Also, have it ready to go. I like to have my net sitting right next to me without anything resting on it.
- Leave the trout in the net and in the water while removing the hook. Keep the net and trout in the water until you are ready to hold it up.
- Have your camera or phone ready. In the boat, you can have your partner set down their rod and grab the camera set to go.