S.A.F.E. Angling Practices

Northern Pike Release - Recycled ish The ideas presented as S.A.F.E. Angling practices are not original, but a compilation of "best practices" by all types of anglers. These ideas benefit the weekend angler with limited time and money, as well as the professional tournament angler in both freshwater and saltwater. SAFE Angling benefits not only our waterways and the fish in them, but the angler and future anglers as well.

10 Keys for SAFE Angling

Here are our top 10 S.A.F.E. Angling practices as pertaining to on-the-water practices:

1. Diligent Catch & Release practices including good fish handling and good catch, photo, release practices.

2. Selective Harvest practices based on a real understanding of the specific fishery, and strictly obeying all fish and game laws.

3. Undistracted attention with constant monitoring of live- and dead- bait rods, using bells or strike indicators when necessary.

4.Using Fluorocarbon, steel, titanium, or heavy monofilament leaders when fishing for "toothy critters", such as pike and musky.

5. Setting hooks immediately (unless using circle hooks).

6. Horizontal holds that support the fishes weight as opposed to holding the fish vertically by the gills or mouth, particularly for larger fish.

7. Using live bait caught from same body of water that it will be used in. Alternately, bait purchased from a local baitshop. (Never dump minnows or minnow bucket water into the lake or stream, never transfer fish from one water to another.

8. Removing unnecessary treble hooks from hardbody lures, soft molded lures, or hybrid lures.

9. Painting/ sealing unpainted lead jigs with chip-resistant paint or clear sealer, such as nail polish or specific jig paints or epoxies.

10. Cleaning boats, waders, boots between different fishing locations to avoid the transfer of invasive species.

These are few practices you can put into action right away to help our fish and fisheries. We also have quite a few SAFE Angling Tackle and other eco friendly fishing products we would like you to learn about.

Little changes make a big difference!

We invite you to take the Sportsman’s Stewardship Pledge, join us & our cause – our lakes, streams, seas and future generations need not just sportsmen, but Stewards.