I fish mostly grayling, trout and whitefish. Because of that I have kind of eye how big fish is. When you fish certain fishes and similar waters you quite fast start to see size after few fish. For example if I see someone getting fish from distance and I can see how fisherman’s rod is doing and then see fish in the net, I normally get lenght right +-3 cm. And with distance I mean 30 or 40 meters. If I’m next to fisherman it will be +-1 cm. But these goes only fish between 30-40 cm. When it goes over 40 cm then it will be +- 5cm and +- 2 cm. If it is over 50 cm grayling or over 60 cm trout I use measure tape.
Grayling which is 35 cm is easy. When you take it in your hand it is like glove, fitting nicely. You don’t have squeeze, your fingers go nicely around. If it is just little bit under you have feeling that fish is slipping from your hand and it is difficult to handle. Less than 30 cm you release on the water. Why 35 cm grayling is important to me, it is mininum size for grayling to take and cook. If guests wants I need to know fast if it is okay to take or not. Even if they want to release it they want to know if it was sizeable. With trouts it goes same way but miminum size is 60 cm to take and I always recommend people to release all the trouts. ( And everybody are fine with that)
If guests are using my gears they have some extra help in the rod. I have put some duck tape so they can measure fish and there is no mistakes. (they will have 35, 50 and 60 cm, I say that it is upper part of tape. True is that it is down part so it is always 2 cm more than they measured) Also I often do similar thing to guests who are using they own gears. I measure from butt 35 cm and also 40 cm. Normally there is some writing or letters which will tell where that 35 cm is. ( if I don’t remember badly wrong in HT4 it is S-letter, which one you will see it fast)
Now I also use net for measuring. Bottom of my net is 35 cm and other way 45 cm. When I net fish (those are over 40 cm normally when you need one), I can measure fish quite accurate inside of net. Bottom of the net is flat so it is easy get fish there like on the table. If it is bigger than 45 cm, like few cm it is easy to figured out from how much it is bending. If it looks like more than 50 cm, then I take measure tape.
Summasummaarum, like we say
in Finland. Under 30 cm you release in the water. 35 cm you take on your hand and released. If it is over 40 cm you will need net and then you can use that. If it is over 50 cm measure it (that can be done also in the net. you put measure tape out side and fish is inside, tape is running against fish, just net between, fast and accurate). This is how I measure fish nowadays. It saves time and especially fishes. Less you handle them off water, better it is. And you get info you want anyway. I take photos only fishes which has some beatiful colours or they are big.
Have a nice weekend and go fishing
Mika from Finland