Monday, 9 May 2016
Once you retrieve your fish, simply hold the line about 5 to 10 centimetres above the fish, support the belly with a saturated glove hand, and gently lay the animal on the sponge while pulling it slightly toward you with the grain of the scales.
All your dramas will suddenly disappear and you’ll have a subdued fish ready for sizing and processing, and be left wondering why you hadn’t employed such a simple thing as sponge landing years ago. It is that simple!
Gently lay the fish to saturated foam...
Safer handling for both you and the fish
If the fish is illegal size, quickly remove your hook, grab the tiddler with your wet glove hand (usually without protest) and carefully return it to the water. Much simpler, much more efficient, much less stress...equals much more fun. Not to mention safer for all involved parties! If the fish is a keeper, then what to do next will be explained in detail in Part III of this series, but for now, let’s just stick to the benefits of landing your catch on wet sponge.
Hook removal doesn’t need to be difficult or stressful for you or the fish. Enter safe hook removal technique.
How many times have you been spiked by fins or sliced by the gill plate or injured in some shape or form while you wrestled with your catch? How many times has your slippery catch escaped your grip and ended up in a compromised situation in the bottom of the boat, on the ground or back in the water? How many times has the process of hook removal alone turned into a drama of monumental proportions? How many times have you taken your kids fishing, for them to reel in a monster far bigger than yours, only to leave it dangling in the sky by bent rod, completely intimidated, afraid and wondering what to do with it?
If your answers to any of these questions is ‘Many times’...then no ifs or buts, you need wet sponge foam for your landings! And with a variety of expensive and ineffective tools available for fish handling, what can possibly be simpler than a piece of wet sponge foam the same size as your ice box lid? Everyone, absolutely every single fisherman – be it fresh or salt, deep sea, beach or estuarine – will benefit hand over fist by including a piece of sponge as part of their fishing kit. It is kind of absurd that we choose to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a boat; hundreds or thousands of dollars on rods, reels and equipment; many hundreds of hours dedicated to the art...but we can’t throw a few measly bucks at a slab of sponge to make our life easier? Personally, sponge foam is as important as the ice box itself, and I never leave home to go fishing without it. Quite simply...it works.