Here are some tips on how to best handle large fish like Northern Pike when your intentions are to release them back into the lake. Here is a good web site we found to help your learn how to handle all types of fish for catch and release.
Photographing / Lifting the Fish
Never lift a Muskie or Northern Pike vertically by its jaw. This has the potential of causing severe injury to the fish’s internal organs. When lifting for a photo, always do so horizontally using your other hand to support it under its belly. Remember to limit the time the fish is out of the water so have the camera and tape measure readily available.