The trophy shot
How to take great pictures with minimal stress to the fish
Want the perfect reminder of your prize? Don Stazicker explains how to take better pictures
DURING THE 50 YEARS THAT I’VE been reading Trout & Salmon the images of trout in the magazine have changed significantly. Where pictures of dead fish and limit bags were once the norm, now there are almost no images of dead trout (stocked rainbow trout are the exception). This reflects the increasing practice of catch-and-release. Few of us kill wild trout and so we don’t want to see pictures of dead trout. However, there is something missing when we release our fish. We no longer possess a physical trophy. Instead, we record our catch with cameras. The stuffed trout in a glass case on the wall has been replaced by the digital image. Some say that photographing your catch is just an exercise in vanity and as such is not justifiable. I think it is no more an exercise in vanity than wanting to catch the fish in the first place and fulfils a fundamental aspect of why we fish: to capture our prey. As many of us now choose to release our catch, the taking of a photograph to record the event is a natural alternative to harvesting the fish. Angling images can also have value beyond the mere recording of angling success: they are part of the cultural, historic and scientific record of our society. Accepting that many of us do want a photographic record of our catch, how can we produce a stylish, quality image while respecting our quarry and subjecting it to minimal stress?
“How can we produce a stylish, quality image while respecting our quarry and subjecting it to minimal stress?”
This fish is properly supported above the net and lifted out of the water at the last moment.