A good picture is worth a thousand words – especially in the angling world! Most of us make sure to carry our most prized fishing picture with us hoping to share it with someone who’ll appreciate it, too. I do!
As I began guiding more, I started seeing the impact that a single good picture of a bucket-list catch can mean. It’s the visual confirmation that someone is a good angler, posted on social media for all to see.
Plus, a good photo can also later spark memories of exciting times with special buddies or family. It turns on all our emotions and senses each time we see it, taking us back to a great personal victory.
And yet, many of us struggle to capture that singular moment with a monster fish.
Preparation is the key to getting a good fish photo.
You have to have some idea of how you’re going to take a picture: consider the background, lighting and distance. And have a decent camera. Luckily, most cellphones have great cameras.
It’s important to consider the pose. I see many anglers taking pictures that are completely staged. Holding the fish out at fingertip length, or zooming in so close you can’t really get any perspective are just some of the gimmicks used to make a fish look bigger. When you finally get a good fish, these tactics can ruin the shot.
Finally, If you’re like me and you like to release your fish, it’s critical to have a plan to act fast once that big fish hits the net. Be sure the camera is handy and ready to go. Be sure to get many quick snaps with variety – close-up, in-between and farther away, if possible. Just keep shooting once things are in place. Try to get shots that show more fish and less fingers and hands. I find that it might take getting 20 to 30 shots (can be done in less than 20 seconds) to finally get one gem that stands out and does the fish and angler justice. Learn to edit your photos later, too. Working quickly is the key to getting a big fish back in the water unharmed.
You’ve worked for years to finally catch the fish of your dreams – take the time and plan to get some pictures worthy of the effort and victory. Getting that great picture is very satisfying and seals the deal. If you’re like most anglers, that special picture will be with you everywhere you go. It’s your calling card!
Never give up!