Learning how to use a stringer for fish correctly can help ensure your catch is alive and fresh while you’re still out on the water. If you want your fish to taste delicious, then you would want to get it home fresh.
There are a lot of reasons why you should know what a fishing stringer is and understand how to put fish on a stringer. That’s exactly what we’ll tackle in this quick guide.
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How to String a Fish
When you’re fishing, you will be hyper-focused on landing the fish that you’re targeting. What happens when you’ve caught something? That’s where the stringer comes in.
Here are the steps involved on how to use a stringer:
Step 1: Open the snap on a lockable snap stringer.
Step 2: Pass the needle on the stringer through the gills of the fish you’re holding and out through its mouth.
Step 3: Close the snap so the fish is locked and held in place.
You can also pass the needle on the stringer through the fish’s lower jaw rather than going through its gills.
This is the preferred way of seasoned anglers as they found that if you go through the armor plates and the gills of fish, you run the risk of hurting the fish which can result in its death while on the string.
So, on how to use a stringer for fish, pass the needle on the stringer through the lower jaw where there’s a soft tissue and then through its mouth.
Doing so will ensure that the fish will continue with its normal breathing until you get to the cleaning station.
Different Types of Fish Stringers
Here are the main ones:
It’s the simplest to use and it comes with a polyethylene rope or paracord. It can be tied easily to a kayak or boat by tying one end with a metal stake to your water vessel.
You can also use another rope as the leader. The latter is recommended as it lets you remove the stringer easily.
Stainless Steel Clip Fish Stringer
The clip stringers tend to be tougher compared to their rope counterparts. They make it easier to attach fish without needing to untie it each time.
Heavy-Duty Square End Clip Fish Stringer
It’s similar to a stainless-steel clip stringer but the heavy-duty square one is for big game. Large species usually can’t fit on a normal stringer.
To use, unhook the clasp then feed the wire onto the fish’s lower jaw or gills then out of its mouth.
Material Construction of Fish Stringers
Now that you know how to use a stringer, let’s look more closely at this fishing tool’s material construction. Take note: there are different types of fish stringers.
The most common and basic ones that are sold on local tackle shops and online consist of a monofilament fishing line that has a clip or loop on one end and a metal spike on the other end.
The high-quality stringers for fish will have a heavy-duty mono line, a swivel to allow the stringer to twist and turn as fish is pulled underwater, and a long spike made of stainless steel.
Monofilament lines can easily break or wear out. Don’t worry as they are easy to replace, and replacing them is inexpensive to do.
Reasons to Use a Fish Stringer
There are advantages to learning how to use a stringer for fish aside from keeping fish alive.
Here are some of them:
- Preserving the fish’s freshness will allow for tastier results.
- Fish stringers come in handy whenever you’re fishing in a place that has regulations for the number of fishes that you take home. You’ll be able to keep your catch alive and kicking as you try to fish for a bigger one.
- You can create extra space onboard when you have a stringer. This is essential if you have a small boat with a trolling motor or you’re using a kayak with outriggers. Rather than using ice buckets or coolers, fish stringers are going to hold your fish while saving you space for other items.
- It’s easy to get a good idea of how many fish you already have if you have a stringer.
- Fish stringers are actually great motivators. Whenever you see your catch dangling, you would want to keep ongoing.
- A stringer will get you to utilize the water where you’re fishing and save on costs associated with getting coolers.
Reasons NOT to Use Fish Stringers
As with most things, there are also disadvantages to using fish stringers.
Here are the primary ones we think you should be aware of:
- Fish stringers have the tendency to slow you down, especially when you’re on a smaller boat. When you have a stringer that’s full of bass, your boat will be dragged by the strength and will of the fish to fight back.
- It’s imperative to know how to use fish stringers correctly as using it improperly can inflict harm onto your catch which can lead to death. What you need to remember when using a stringer is to ensure that it’s secure and you’re not impeding the breathing. The last thing that you’d want is having to throw dead fish into the water.
- A stringer can also cause tears on fish’s mouths if it’s too tough. Unless you will take the fish home, releasing injured fish back on the water will reduce its chances of surviving.
- A stringer can make loud noises and it does so as your boat is moving. The banging noise that’s made when it hits the boat can scare away other fish.
Stringers are excellent for keeping fish fresh and alive while you’re still out fishing for more. They’re also affordable and easy to use.
But, as mentioned earlier, it’s necessary to know how to use one correctly in order for you to be effective.
Make sure that you pass a stringer through a fish’s mouth and through a thin underside membrane instead of through the gills as this is the safest way of doing it.