Make it Quick! Less time in your hands = less stress, and less stress = better survival rates.Whenever possible, take measurements with fish, still in the water..
Support the Body If you remove the fish from the water, support the body. A wet hand is best. Horizontal body support provides better control of the fish, decreasing your chances of dropping the cargo.
Eyes and Gills Avoid touching the sensitive eyes and gills.
Hook choice makes a difference at release. Consider crimping your hooks and using circle hooks. Remove hooks while fish is controlled, then you can release the fish on your terms.
Allow for resuscitation or recovery You may need to allow the fish to rest so that it can swim away strongly. Advance the fish to allow water to wash through the gills. Do not move fish back and forth in the water..
What's the maximum time you should keep a fish out of water for a photo? This and more new research findings