Specimen fishing has become all the rage in Europe and many people spend weekends, and even weeks on holiday by the side of the water just waiting to catch that one special fish. Many of these fish - like all living creatures- demand respect and many of the larger ones are very old indeed. It is therefore critical that you look after fish after catching it and there are some key pieces fishing tackle that will enable you to do just that. It is not only fishing tackle that needs to be thought about though you need to be prepared to land that big fish and have everything to hand that you may need.

As well as all the usual paraphernalia that comes with specimen hunting like specialist carp reels and lightweight fishing chairs there are also three items that you shouldn't be without to ensure the health and safety of your catch these items are:

A Landing Net

A large specimen landing net with a micro fine mesh at the bottom is essential to your fishes well-being. Coarse nets can remove fish scales which can cause the fish to get infected, so you need to do everything you can to avoid damaging the fish. A large soft landing net, which is also deep is ideal.

An unhooking mat

Close to the water's edge you should keep an unhooking mat. This is in essence a large piece of foam coated in a waterproof fabric that you can place your catch on to unhook it. It is imperative that this mat is wet to reduce the amount of protective 'slime' fish have on them being removed. By having an unhooking mat you will not have to hunt around to find a soft and debris free piece of ground. The less distance you have to carry the fish from the water the better.

A carp sack

Some fish fight very hard it is necessary sometimes to allow them to catch their breath before they get back in to open water. There is some differing opinion on this so you may want to read up on it further, but in essence some experts suggest that you should put your catch into a carp sack and allow the fish to catch its breath in the water before you set it free. By doing this you can insure that your catch is fit and healthy before allowing it to go free.

Do not skimp when you buy these items as they are the main point of contact that you have with your catch. Purchase the best that you can afford to maintain health of the fish.