Catching the perfect picture

Rods, reels and gear are the usual checklist, but in order to turn the memories of a day fishing into keepsakes, it’s important to remember a camera.


Photos of fish make their way into photo albums or, nowadays, onto Instagram feeds and can serve as proof of a legendary catch, but getting the perfect shot can, sometimes, take as much work as catching “the big one.”

“First things first, make sure you know what you want to focus on,” said Scott Miller of Trustworthy Soldotna Hardware & Fishing. “If you want a good picture of the fish, you need to make sure that the frame is around the fish, that you’re getting the detail of the fish.”

Scott recommends anglers hold the fish straight out while placing the hands in discreet points along the fish’s body. It’s also important to make sure the fish looks good for it’s close-up.

“Clean up your fish,” Scott said. “Especially during ice fishing, a lot of time the fish will be snowy, so dip it in the water.”

Brian Miller, also of Trustworthy Soldotna Hardware & Fishing, also recommends that ice fishermen show the lake in the background to give the photograph some context.

“And take the picture before the fish is frozen,” he said. “So that the fish looks nice and healthy.”

If the focal point of the photograph is a person, whether it be an action shot on the river or a photograph with a smaller, but still memorable fish, both Brian and Scott advise to pay attention to the light.

“Make sure the camera is facing away from the sun,” Scott said. “Especially on a sunny day, you want to make sure the person hold the fish is facing the sun.”

If the day is dreary and cloudy, it may be helpful to put on the flash. Even if it may seem unnecessary, the light fills in faces to add more detail that can be lost on an overcast day.

More so in the summer, but while ice fishing as well, fishing photos turn out best when they are taken at the scene of the crime.

“Get a good background, try to take the photo where you’ve been fishing,” Scott said. “A lot of people forget to take a picture while they’re on the water, on the boat but those are some of the neatest pictures.”

For the catch and release portion of the ice fishing derby, both Scott and Brian recommend taking clear photos of the catches to ensure accuracy.

“Make sure you’re really close in on the fish, not so much the scenery,” Scott said. “If you’re focused in on that fish for the ice fishing derby, you’ll want to get that fish up by your chest so you can zoom in on it more, not so much the person.”

And the biggest tip of all in photographing fish?

“Get close to the fish,” Brian said. “The farther way you are, the smaller the fish will look.”

Reach Kat Sorensen at


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