Many people approach measuring fish with a pretty slap happy approach and risk hefty fines if the fish is borderline legal.
In this video we cover 3 useful tips for measuring fish correctly and keep you out of trouble with Fisheries.
With my profile, I try and always set a good example plus I take sustainability very seriously. It’s not a good look for anyone to be caught with an undersized fish due to a silly oversight in measuring.
Admittedly, most of my charter career clients catch and release as we primarily target larger trophy fish that are not the best for eating.
But occasionally they want to take a fish for dinner so we will target smaller barra that are better eating or go grab a Fingermark on the way home (Fingermark are top class eating!)
Where many people go wrong as they don’t use a flat surface for measuring. Over time your brag mat will get rumpled and creased and overestimate the size of the fish.
This is not an issue if you’ve just caught a metery. Calling a 102cm fish a 103cm is neither here nor there. It’s a great fish.
But calling a 57cm fish a 58cm fish can be an issue if you get boarded later by fisheries.
Another issue that can give an incorrect reading is an open jaw. Always close the jaw of your fish and push it up hard to the stopper.
And finally, take into account shrinkage. On ice the muscles contract and your fish gets smaller.
To avoid all of the above I give myself some leeway, for example for a barra I won’t take one under about 61cm just to be sure.
In the short video below I show you the best way to measure a fish correctly to avoid these 3 mistakes and keep in inside the rules when it comes to fish sizes.
For those that may be interested, the fish measuring device we used for the demonstration is a AccuMat by Softgaff.
Now that I have retired from charters to focus on our Fish Smarter online fishing courses, we will be fishing recreationally from a fibreglass vessel so I won’t be scratching a fish measurerer into the side like I have in the tinny. Instead we will be using this mat as it is easy to clean, retractable and is smooth on the scales to avoid damaging fish for release.
It doesn’t really matter what device you use, just be aware of the three tips I have mentioned and it will keep you out of trouble.