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Fish on the Ground

Mike G

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Here is the place for members to weigh in on the issue of how to pose fish for your C&R photos. I want to hear the best ways to assure survival for our Smallmouth Bass catches.


Though I am not aware that ISA has a policy about this, I would like to know if there is one. Then too, maybe there should be one. I will be listening.

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I move quick. I try to release the fish as fast as possible. Really! I run around like a dang fool trying to get that fish back

into the water as fast as I can. I use a wading staff, a camera mount, and a foosball rod all in one to take my pics because

I've found it to be the quickest way as long as I have a base camp set up in the area I'm fishing.

Thanks again Jude.biggrin.gif



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my own personal policy is forget the pictures and let the fish go as quickly as possible. as much as possible I try not to even take the fish out of the water.

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The ISA will never have a "policy" on anything related to fishing or the handling of fish.

But I am encouraged by the impetus for individual anglers to state their case.


Let's hear it.


I was always under the impression that the ISA was for "Catch and Release", like it says on the yellow signs that have been posted along the Fox, Kankakee, DuPage and other rivers in Illinois. I would say that this is somewhat of a Policy. It is Catch and Release not catch photograph and release. It also says that we are trying to create world-class Smallmouth fishing in Illinois.

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I don't think how soon a fish is released is as important as how it's handled until it's released.When taking a timer pic which requires a little time to set up the camera I just leave the fish hooked up to about 20' of line & lay the rod on shore.Once the fish no longer feels anything pulling against it it will almost immediately quit pulling back & settle down.This is a trick that anglers use when fishing for species capable of spooling a reel when they're running out of backing or if the fish is heading for heavy cover.As I see it once it settles down the fish is already starting to recover from the fight.Once the camera is set up & the pic is taken you should move it back & forth in the water a few times to give it an xtra shot of oxygen before releasing it to fight again another day.It should take off with a flourish.

When floatubing for lmb or even trout ,which are more delicate, rather than bothering with multiple pics I will stringer the fish on a chain stringer in order to take just one pic when I'm done.Once stringered the fish will also soon settle down as if realizing that there's no point to keep struggling.They just quietly swim alongside the tube all the while.When finally released they should be no worse off except for a small hole right behind their lower lip from the stringer.I expect this practice may harm some peoples' sensibilities as long as it does no harm of any consequence to the fish.

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A. Bring along non fisherperson to document your catches ;)


B. Remembering some of Eric's posts; he would set up his camera ahead of time so all he had to do was hit the timer and pose.


C. Do a one handed in the water the shot.


D. What I do is try to land the fish as quickly as possibly while moving towards shore or whatever place I plan to place camera. Unhook fish, get a good lip lock and leave fish in water facing current upstream of the mud you are raising with your feet. Get camera out and set up timer, tripod etc with one hand and teeth if necessary. Hit timer, get into pose. Fish goes back in the water, check shot. Maybe re-shoot if short fight etc otherwise I'm stuck with crappy shot. Quick measure and fish is back in the water facing the current with relaxed lip lock to swim away when it's ready. Sounds like a lot when I write it out but it's actually a pretty quick process and except for the shot and measure the fish is in the water resting.



Probably a couple times to avoid pictures altogether are exteme heat and below freezing temps. Heard/read that gills can get tissue damage pretty quick in below freezing temps. Not sure how true it is but it makes sense...

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