During carp fishing, an unhooking mat is essential and sometimes even mandatory. This really should be in the standard equipment of a carp angler. The carp is a sensitive fish that must be treated with respect. The unhooking mat is a soft pillow or matrass on which the fish can lie on without damaging itself once you have it on the side. Before you put the fish on the unhooking mat it is important to wet it first so you protect the slime layer of the fish and there is no sand or gravel on the mat.
You have many different types of unhooking mats for different purposes. So you have unhooking mats that you can easily fold up for the compact fisherman. But you also have them with raised edges so that the big carp can not slide off the mat. Some unhooking mats are even made of floating material which let the unhooking mat float and you can release the fish on the water again. Also some mats are equipped with handles which you can use to weigh the carp directly. This will save you the money of purchasing a weigh sling. Note that you remove the weight of the unhooking mat from the total on the scale.
Some tips when using an unhooking mat
- Keep the unhooking mat and carp wet, especially in hot weather.
- Preferably place the mat in the shade so that fish do not suffer from the hot sun
- Keep an eye on the fish and stay close to it, the fish can suddenly spurt
- Covering the eyes can keep the carp calm, some unhooking mats have a special cover for the eyes
- Always take pictures of a carp above the unhooking mat and not too high.