Catch, Photo, Release – CPR for your fish

Posted by on Saturday, May 3, 2008 at 10:13 am

photo by Jim Pierce on Gamble Lake

With summer approaching and fishing season only days away, I want to give a few pointers on photographing and live releasing your trophy fish at Ignace Outposts. Of course, we encourage you to enjoy the bounty of our lakes by having fresh fish for lunch or dinner while on the lake, but it is our policy to sustain our resources by live releasing ALL trophy fish. Smaller, tastier walleye, northern or trout make great dinners and trophies make great memories and pictures.

I am no professional but I can tell you that having a camera with you does little to enhance your memories unless you use it. The large northern you catch will certainly be happy if you have your camera with you in the boat rather than at the camp if you decide to drag the fish there for a photo.

Perhaps each person in the boat should familiarize themselves with each other’s camera before you land the lunker or lunkette. Doing this in the cabin is simple and results in fewer missed photos. Also using more than one camera insures a better chance of a once in a lifetime photo and the fellow catching the fish usually appreciates a shot or two on his own memory stick.

Before the fish is caught, have a plan.

When a photo-worthy fish is hooked, the other angler (now designated photographer) should reel in. Have a net handy and cameras in a mutually available place. As the fish is landed the photographer can prepare the cameras and plan the pictures. Some great action shots can be taken as the fish breaks the surface

Light is an import consideration. If possible don’t shoot into the sun.

Unhook the fish before showing it off. Pictures of a 4 inch Rapala with three hooks buried in your fingers may be amusing at time but loose their appeal when your partner would rather fill his memory stick with your agonized facial expressions as the fish flips and twists to your dismay.

Measure your monster, and click away. If you planning a replica mount be sure to capture a photo showing the fish’s color.

Take a big breath, take your photo quickly, don’t cut off your buddy’s head in the picture – you can’t exaggerate his size anyway – return the fish to the water before your next gasp of air and smile. The fish will survive and you can boast of his awesome size with a picture to prove it. My own astute observation of the human psyche reveals that you need not do more than place the mounted photo behind your desk at the office and the accolades will flow your way – particularly from underlings. A fishing wall of fame will even impress the boss as long as you have the authority to put nails into the office decor. Please plan to keep a good supply of our brochures handy if you do manage a few good photos for the office. The fish are supportive of this concept and so am I.

To avoid serious internal damage large fish should NEVER be held vertically. Fish do not have the skeletal structure to support their intestines. They have likely never been vertical in their lives. Unlike us, fish are used to living in a horizontal gravity environment.

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