How to Hold a Trout the Right Way

This post was last updated on December 3rd, 2022 at 09:29 pm

Many people have never caught a trout, let alone held one. This article will provide tips on the best way to hold your catch in order to keep it calm and not cause damage to the fish.

When you’re holding a trout, there are a few key points to remember, including: don’t squeeze too hard, keep it close to the water and avoid touching the gills.

Also, remember that the fish has scales! So be mindful of that when you’re holding them. Read on to learn more about keeping your catch healthy.

How to Hold a Trout – Proper Trout Care

When you catch a trout, you should be able to admire it for a brief time, but you need to remember that trout species are delicate. Here are some important things to remember when it comes to properly handling your trout.

Avoid squeezing your trout too hard

You don’t want to peel any of the fish’s scales or touch its gills. Trout actually tend to calm down when you calm down. Squeezing them overly tight can cause the trout to panick, which in turn, will likely cause you to squeeze harder further damaging the fish. Cradle the fish from the bottom and support its body. You’d be surprised how often they calm down when you support the fish carefully without squeezing it too hard.

Keep the trout close to the water

Remember that unlike other types of fish you might catch, trout are cold-blooded animals and need to be kept close to their water source so they can maintain body temperature. Trout shouldn’t be kept out of the water for more than 5-10 seconds if possible.

Support the head

You’re likely not holding up little guys. Big trout have big heads that need support! Cradle the head with a finger up the jawline. Just be mindful of the fin. Try to keep it between your two fingers to provide support without damaging it.

Gently squeeze near the tail

There is a bony area near the tail of the trout that you CAN squeeze gently. This is a good spot to hold more firmly as this area won’t cause the fish any discomfort.

Wet your hands

Trout are sensitive! Dirt, gravel, rocks, even dry hands can all cause damage to these fish. Simply wet your hands before handling the fish to avoid this. Trout, and all fish, have what’s called a “slime coat” that protects them from many bacteria and pathogens. When this coat is wiped-off, the trout is more vulnerable to infection.

Try holding the trout upside down

This may sound counterintuitive, but trout are often calmer when held upside down. This obviously isn’t great for pictures, but when when it comes to removing a hook this can be a helpful strategy. This tactic works with many species of fish.

Some Common Trout Holding Mistakes

Holding a fish properly does take practice, and many new fishermen just may not know the best way to do this. There are many common mistakes made when it comes to handing your catch, but here’s a few:

  • Squeezing too hard
  • Gripping around the fish over the fins
  • Holding by the gills
  • Keeping the fish out of water for too long

In Conclusion – How to Hold a Trout

If you’re new to fishing or just want some tips on how to hold a trout, there are many easy ways that will keep the fish calm and happy. First, don’t squeeze too hard! Remember not to grip around the fins as this can cause damage.

Also avoid holding by the gills and keeping your catch out of water for more than 10 seconds at a time. Finally, remember that these cold-blooded animals need wet hands before handling them in order to help protect their body from harm. If you follow all of our advice here, we know it’ll be easier for both you and your catch!

Hopefully you enjoyed this article about how to hold a trout. Happy fishing!

How to Hold a Trout FAQ

Can you hold a trout by its mouth?

Generally speaking, no you shouldn’t hold a trout by its mouth because this causes excess strain on the fish’s jaw and spinal cord. Also, it’s important to remember that trout have teeth on their upper and lower jaws, as well as on their tongues. Brown trout teeth are especially sharp!

Why do trout die so quickly?

A primary reason any caught fish will die has to do with how long it’s out of water, and how difficult the fight was. Many times, a trout can die later on after a long fight due to lactic acid build up. It’s generally believed that nearly 30% of catch-and-release fish perish within hours.