John Page Williams of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation turned me on to this great way to handle big fish. Williams also works with CCA MD for its Careful Catch Release program.

Muskie anglers have been using catch cradles for years to handle big fish, mostly because of their teeth and nasty demeanor. But science shows handling and releasing a fish in the water, with something like a catch cradle, greatly reduces fish mortality.

John Page and fellow striped bass anglers like Shawn Kimbro are promoting the use of these nets for large trophy striped bass. Take a look at the video to see how it’s done.