This redfish, though legal size, is returned to the water after being "tagged" for a research study.

The quicker the fish gets back in the water the better it will do. Use gear that minimizes fight and handling times, reducing stress on the fish. Have dehooking and barotrauma tools ready for use. Gas expansion continues and barotrauma severity increases the longer the fish is at the surface. Reef fish rely on structure for refuge. While at the surface or in open water, vulnerbility to predators increases and is magnified by stress after a capture event.

Handling Tips

Handling Video

Famed saltwater fisherman Mark Sosin provides an overview of best handling practices.


To ensure compliance with fishing regulations, fish should be measured before keeping. To learn how to accurately measure fish, go to:

  • How To Measure Saltwater Fish

  • Responsible Handling when Photographing Fish

    From Florida Fish Busters' Bulletin, Bob Wattendorf with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) provides image guidelines for fishing and boating scenes.

  • FWC Fish Photography Guidelines