Catch & Release Charlie Contest

The All-Maryland Catch and Release Charlie Contest

To win the Catch and Release Charlie Contest an Angler must catch and release 3 different species of fish from the freshwater division plus 2 different species of fish listed in the Chesapeake division plus 1 fish listed in the Atlantic division. All fish entered must be caught (and released alive) by legal methods as described by Maryland DNR fishing regulations and caught in Maryland waters. If possible another fisherman must witness and verify the catch and release. All fish must be photographed and include your hand forming a “C” by using the sideways “devil horns” also known as The “Corna” which consists of a clenched fist with the second and fifth fingers straightened out (this has been adopted by fans of rock and heavy metal music, first used by Black Sabbath vocalist Ronnie James Dio- RIP) instead of the original paper cut-out included in the magazine. This allows you to focus on catching and releasing alive the fish instead of worry about that flag-ladened fish image.  The first person to catch the 6 species from the 3 regions and to submit an entry via e-mail with the accompanying digital photos will win a Bass Pro Shops gift card in the amount of $300 and a Maryland Fisherman’s Annual T-shirt.

Use this form to upload pictures of the fish you caught and released

In the "Message" field, please enter your complete address. Also please include the name of someone who witnessed each catch along with their phone number.

Thanks for participating in Maryland Fisherman's Annual Catch and Release Charlie Contest!

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Anyone who accomplishes this All-Maryland fishing feat will also have their photograph included in the following year’s Maryland Fisherman’s Annual and posted to the Catch & Release Charlie section of our website for bragging rights. So in addition to a photograph and the satisfaction of watching a beautiful fish swim away to live another day you will also be able to share your success with other anglers who are as committed to catch and release angling as you are. To show our appreciation of your catch and release commitment to fisheries conservation we will enter all entrants into a random year-end drawing for Maryland Fisherman’s Annual and sponsor donated prizes.

Catch and Release Tactics

By following a few simple rules you can be certain that released fish will live to be caught again. Remember that a fish that appears unharmed when released may not survive if not carefully handled. Here are some tips to ensure the well-being of the fish that gave you so much pleasure when it was on the end of your line.

Time is of the essence. A fish played gently for too long may be too exhausted to recover.

Play and release fish as rapidly as possible. A fish out of water for too long will suffer brain damage due to loss of oxygen.

Keep the fish in the water as much as possible. A fish out of water is suffocating and, in addition, may pound himself fatally if allowed to flop on beach or rocks. Even a few inches of water under a thrashing fish acts as a protective cushion.

Gentleness in handling is essential. Keep your fingers out of the gills. Do not squeeze small fish – they can be lifted and held easily by holding the lower lip. Always try to use wet hands when handling fish. Dry hands or rough handling will remove the slime that covers the fish and protects it from disease. Nets are helpful provided the mesh does not become entangled in the gills. Hooks and lines catching in nets may delay
releasing, so keep the net in the water.

Unhooking: Remove the hook as rapidly as possible using longnose pliers UNLESS FISH IS DEEPLY HOOKED. If deeply hooked, cut the leader and leave the hook in. Do not tear out hooks roughly. Be gentle and quick. Small fish, especially, may die from shock from tearing out a hook. Also, consider using barbless or circle hooks, to make the release quicker and prevent swallowed hooks.

Reviving: Some fish, especially after a long struggle, may lose consciousness and float belly-up. Hold the fish in the water upright. Move the fish forward and backwards so that water runs through the gills. This is artificial respiration and may take a few minutes. When it revives, begins to struggle and can swim normally, then release it to survive and challenge another fisherman. If you follow these tactics, you have done your job well.