The Grand River Bass Derby organizers take great pride in the success of it's Catch & Release program.
Since the first Derby in 1986 over 98% of the fish caught have been released alive! In order to maintain this success the Derby is designed to minimize the number of fish brought in to the measuring station. Remember; Fish entered in the derby must be in healthy condition to be eligible! When bringing a fish in to enter here are a few tips to help the fish. KEEP THE FISH IN WATER After catching a fish and removing the hook return the fish to water as quickly as possible. A fish can survive out of water about the same amount of time as you can hold your breath. After that it starts to sustain damage to it's breathing and nervous system. A large tub or cooler filled with river water and an aerator is ideal (see photo).
Do not use tap water.
A large heavy duty plastic bag can be used to hold the fish for a short period of time only and to transport the fish from the river to your vehicle. Fish can survive in a full bag of water for about 10 minutes. The larger the fish the shorter this time will be. Any longer and the water must be aerated. Consider where you plan to fish and the time it will take you to bring your fish to the measuring station and be prepared.
HANDLE THE FISH AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE
The less a fish is handled the better it's chance of survival. Avoid touching the fish because it removes the slime coating that protects it.
Bass can be handled easily by the lower lip, be careful not to bend the fish. If a fish is hooked too deeply it is sometimes better to cut the line and leave the hook rather than risk further damage to the fish and their sensitive gills. Condition of the fish and eligibility will be determined by Derby Officials only.
New Rule! All fish must be brought in an aerated livewell.