Barbs and Backlashes

Fins Up by whitetips
June 21, 2010, 3:15 pm
Filed under: Fishing | Tags:

Quick blog post today; going to be a busy week.

I have a tip for taking better pictures of your fish.  In any given year I release well over 99% of the fish I catch, but if you know me, you know I gotta have my fish pictures/”hero shots”.  Maybe it is an ego thing, but then again is there anything better to jog your memory about a great trip, a great fish, a great fishing partner than a good picture?  I believe the best pictures are of fish that have just been caught, a quick photo just before they are released; in that conditions the fish are alive and their colors and appearance are at their best.  And I think they look their best if you can get them to stick their fins up.

Fins down?

Or fins up?

How to get them to stick their fins up?  Whisper in their ears.  No, not really.  The key to doing this is to have live, healthy fish.  Once you have them un-hooked and are ready to lift them out of the net for a quick photo (for some tips on fish handling, see these posts, , ), get a firm hold on them, support them in a horizontal position with both hands, and then roll them on their side or upside down just briefly.  The fish will sense that they are “off balance”, are not oriented in an upright position, and the first thing they do is raise their fins.  In the water their raised fins act like stabilizers on an airplane and bring them back into an upright orientation.  While they have their fins up, click, you get your quick picture.

Quick photo of a couple of Lewis & Clark fish caught while fishing with Jim McDonnell and Larry Porter a few years ago. Fins up!


3 Comments so far
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That works great. Another trick I’ve learned is useful mostly while wading…but we will hold the fish underwater until the last possible second, then hoist him out rapidly for the photo. This sudden emergence from the water seems to stimulate the “fins-up” response as well.

Comment by Bruce Condello

Right on, Bruce! Besides getting them to stick their fins up; keeping them in the water as much as possible is absolutely the best way to handle fish that are to be released!

Daryl B.

Comment by Daryl Bauer

Thanks! I never knew that… Hope that works for LMB too.

Comment by Bob Cody

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