Most people are actually freaked out or scared of grabbing/holding a fish which is why most pictures of fish are people holding them with pliers by the mouth or the fish being on the ground, due to more then likely having been dropped out of someones hands…..other times just reeled up on shore.
Well everyone there is not real need to be scared of handling a fish, unless it is a huge pike of musky you are pretty safe from being hurt….just watch out for those damn hooks !
Here are some simple steps to help you all end up with some much nicer pictures in the long run:
1) always try to handle fish with “wet hands”, this will help eliminate the removal of the protective slime fish have. This slime is very important to the fish and it serves various purposes one of them being to help prevent infections.
2) wear a pair of gloves, fishing or even a rubber coated gardening glove, but again make sure you wet the entire glove first.
3) if no one is with you and trust me it is difficult taking pictures of fish alone, but the simple solution here is to invest minimal money in a little tripod ! I have one handy with me that cost under $15 and it works wonders, set the camera up with a ten second delay, hold the fish and the rest is history !
4) remember fish can only hold their breath about as long a the average human, may 20 to 30 seconds, so ALWAYS make sure if it is taking time to remove hook or getting a fish out of the net, make sure you submerge the fish under water for a several seconds allowing it to breath.
5) depending on the species learning to hold a fish just inside the gill plate can be a great advantage as it will secure the fish in a way preventing it from thrashing around too much.
6) make every effort not to hold the fishes own wait on it’s jaw, example here is bass, if you have caught a 3 lb largemouth bass and hold it up for a picture with 3/4 of the weight handing against that jaw there is a very good chance you can snap it. Get into the habit of holding it by the mouth BUT securing it just under the tail, this will take all that weight stress off the jaw.
7) make sure you have your camera easily accessible to you, nothing worse then scrambling around to grab it out of a tackle box pocket. Besides this will cut down on the amount of time a fish will be is duress.
8) holding a fish vertically or horizontally will result in the best looking picture, keep it simple!
Trust me when I say this following some of these simple rules will not only result in some great futures pictures, but it will also make you more comfortable handling fish which in the end results in fish not being harmed.
The AMFisH guy…