- Always consider the length of time you hold a fish out of water. If you can release the fish without lifting it from the water, do so.
- Fish are neutrally buoyant in water, so when you remove them from that medium, their organs must deal with gravity. Support a fish horizontally any time you hold it; that's especially important with large, heavy fish.
- When you put a fish back in the water, don't just drop it next to the boat. If you can touch the water when leaning over the gunwale or by climbing to the swim platform, hold the fish and move it to push water over its gills. With larger fish, put the boat in gear and let the water flow through the gills.