As we see a concerted effort across the sport of fishing leading toward conservation, there are a number of initiatives anglers are taking to preserve the memory of that trophy you’ve returned to the deep to live another day. From companies that specialize in hand drawn fish art, graphite fish replica mounts, hand pressed metal replicas and even leather replica bracelets there are a vast number of ways to preserve your memory forever. However, the most basic of all, and the one that is probably the most economically effective is to simply take a good quality photograph of your fish.
If you can believe it, properly presenting a fish for a photograph involves technique! Whether you’re fishing through the ice, or in the blue-bird dog-days of summer there are techniques you can use to ensure you get that perfect shot. Keep in mind, efficiency is need to ensure the fish is healthy to swim away. Here are some things to consider.
Temperature – depending on the species of fish and the temperature of the water, you may have to make a decision on how you’re going to take that photo. Warm water often means it will take fish longer to recover from the fight in which you just engaged. Judgment is key here as prolonged exposure to air, is a definite detriment to the fish. Picture this, you just run 100 meters as fast as you can and upon finishing your race, you’re forced to put your head in a bucket of water until we let you out.. Quite depleting actually. They suffocate. There is nothing wrong with letting them get their breath back in the net, in the water, while you prepare to take your photo.
Be ready! Have your camera assembled, on standby and ready to go when that big fish bites. Having your camera ready to go when you need to take that shot is way easier on the fish.
Hold your breath. When you’re ready to hoist that fish out of the net take a breath yourself. When you need to take a breath, you can bet the fish needs one too. If you have to take a breath and haven’t snapped that pic yet, simply return the fish to the net and give it a bit of time to breathe. When ready, take a deep breath and hoist that fish again and get your photo.
Keep em wet. There is a #hashtag on social media making its way around for a little while calling for anglers to #keepemwet which literally means, you don’t take the fish out of the water for that photograph. Not getting into the politics of it all, I can see arguments on both sides of the benefits of keeping them wet and holding a fish for a photo, that said, some spectacular photographs of fish can happen if you do keep them wet. It may involve a specialized camera on your end but the results can be spectacular and well worth the investment.
There’s a great reason you want that photograph of that trophy fish. Release of the fish and a memory to last a lifetime. Fish wellbeing is important but so is getting a shot that you’d be proud to hang in your office. Taking a little bit of time before you meet that giant to ensure you get that photo and that fish swims away strong and healthy will make the difference between a great shot and a okay shot – and maybe you’ll catch it again next year – bigger and badder than ever!