How you handle fish after you catch is critical to their survival. If you're going to be a catch-and-release angler, you must do it right. But science tells us that how you fight a fish—specifically, how long it takes—is also a key factor in whether it survives after having been caught. The longer the fight, the more lactic acid builds up, which can be lethal for a fish. This is why I always cringe when people talk about catching large trout, and the first question always seems to be, "How long did it take to land it?" It's almost as if the longer the fight takes, the better.