Helpful Family Fishing Tools: The Fish Gripper

By Andy Whitcomb

May 16, 2016

Four tips for using a fish gripper for safety, family fishing, and fish photos. Angler dad explains benefits of this handy fishing tool.

During your family fishing trips, if your kids reel one in, a quick picture may be the next goal. However, there may be some anxiety about just how and where to hold some fish. Gripper-type fishing tools can help. 

Here’s why:

1. Angler safety. If the lure has treble hooks and the fight was kept short to improve the catch and release effort, a flipping fish can be a bit tricky even for experienced fishermen. And not every fish can be “lipped” like a largemouth bass; some species, like pike have formidable teeth.

2. Fish safety. Fish seem to sense if there is an opportunity to escape. If the angler fumbles securing the fish, another big shake or two is likely. However, if held firmly and securely, there should be a brief détente.

3. Kid confidence. Eventually, a young angler will want to try to do things without help. These fishing tools can empower them during a very exciting, action packed event.

4. Handy features. Make sure you get a fish gripper with a wrist strap to reduce the likelihood of it being dropped overboard. Some models also have a built in scale for a quick weight measure. My son’s gripper has a tape measure attached, if he can remember to use it.

For your next family fishing trip, consider purchasing a fish gripper. For some situations it just may help you and your kids show off your #FirstCatch
Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.