When it comes to handling fish that we plan to release, a few basic practices will go a long way. Same goes for capturing that moment in photographs. Here are a few simple things to consider the next time a fish comes to hand and the camera comes out.

1. Make sure your camera is ready to go!

Keep your camera easily accessible and make sure that it has plenty of battery, storage capacity, and that settings for the current conditions are correct.  This will enable you to quickly photograph your fish and then release it. 

2. “Three, two, one, lift, and click!”

Counting down your shots means that fish are out of the water for less time.  Have the angler take a knee and keep the fish submerged as the camera focus and settings are dialed in, then communicate when everything is ready. A wet fish is a dripping fish and is a great indicator that a fish has not been out of the water long.

3. Be Mindful of Conditions

There are times when conditions simply will not allow for a photo, and when releasing a fish soon as possible is the priority.  Maybe you choose not to take a photo because the water is especially warm, the fish is deeply hooked, or there are lots of predators in the area.  Knowing what conditions can adversely affect the fate of released fish is just as important as knowing the best practices for catch-and-release.  

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