Almost all anglers want a photo when they catch a big fish, both for proof and to preserve the memory. Some of my friends carry around more pictures of their fish than of their children!

For the angler it may be the fish of a lifetime, but for the fish it can be the end of its lifetime if the angler holds it incorrectly or keeps it out of the water too long. CPR -- Catch, Photograph and Release -- is important to a healthy fish population. Here are some guidelines on the best way to get photos while ensuring that fish swims away to be caught another time.

If the fish doesn’t have sharp teeth (bass, bluegill, etc.), it’s fine to place your thumb inside the mouth and grip the lower lip/jaw and hold them vertically for a photo, as long as they’re on the smaller side. Don’t do that with larger fish, though. With bass more than 4 or 5 pounds, the fish’s own weight can cause the jaw to dislocate or break, so always hold bigger fish with two hands, one gripping the lower lip and the other supporting the belly. Hold the fish horizontally while supporting its weight.

When getting a selfie with a toothy fish like a walleye or pike, use a fish grip to hold the lower jaw and support the body with the other hand like you would with a big bass. Make sure to wet your hands before touching the fish’s sides or belly to protect the slime coat.

Be ready for the photo before landing the fish, or simply let it swim while your partner gets the camera ready. Carefully land the fish, hold it up correctly for the photo and then return it to the water as quickly as you can. If you hold it out of the water longer than you can hold your breath, you’re causing it undue harm.

Outdoor writer and photographer Brad Wiegmann takes pictures of big fish all the time, and says that getting the right shot takes preparation.

“Keep your camera ready,” he said. “When it’s time to take a picture, put the sun at your back so it’s shining right into the angler’s face. This will help eliminate any shadows and make for a better shot. Also, make sure the angler’s hat isn’t casting a terrible shadow on his face – this often happens in bright sunshine. If you can, turn on the flash, but make sure after you take the photo that you’re not putting too much light on the fish.”

Another popular option is the Point of View (Go Pro) camera. These popular cameras can be mounted to boat surfaces to automatically record the action.