Attach ALL tackle to the main line.
This helps prevent loss of tackle, which is costly to you and harmful to your target species!
Have a fair fight
Use appropriate tackle for the size and species of fish you are trying to catch. Stay focused when reeling in your catch; higher stress levels are associated with longer fight times and may reduce survival of released fish.
Catch a fish you weren’t targeting? Release it properly anyway! They help maintain the ecosystem of the species you love to catch.
Pick Up Your Trash
Bring something to stash your trash so your favorite fishing spots stay clean. Also remember that your used monofilament can be recycled!
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Be mindful of the habitat around you. Stirring up silt and pulling eelgrass can damage the environment (and can stress fish enough to make them leave the area).
Limit your bag, don’t bag your limit.
Are you actually going to eat all those fish? How about you take enough for a meal and release the rest for another day.
Release fish properly.
If you can’t keep the fish in the water, wet your hands before handling. Don’t use the gills or eyes as finger holds. Support under the belly of large fish. Return fish to the water head first. If a hook is stuck, cut the line as close to the hook as possible.
Use fish friendly hooks.
Circle hooks, along with wide gap and barbless hooks, greatly reduce the chance of lethally wounding fish. This is especially important in catch and release.
Visit www.mass.gov/dmf/responsibleangler to learn more about becoming a responsible angler.
MarineFisheries strongly recommends the use of circle hooks for their proven ability to reduce mortality of released fish.
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.