Hey Industry, we can do better

I know this is a point that both Aaron Adams and Andy Danylchuk want to make, so I’m going to start things off.

Industry… we/you can do better. New bonefishing anglers have a picture in mind when they head out with their guides for their first fish. It is a picture put in their minds by the industry itself. The vision is of the angler with the standard grip-and-grin photo. That photo is pretty bad for the fish.

I’ve been in that photo. My first bonefish were held out of the water for way too long. I didn’t know any better. The guide I had wanted us to have the right shot and the fish likely paid the price for that. I took my lead from the guide. I didn’t know better and when I found out, well, I regret those pictures now.

The photo collage is taken from various fly fishing businesses. Each one shows a fish way out of the water, posed, gripped or otherwise man/womanhandled.

Some nice fish, poorly handled.

It does seem to be harder to find a bonefish on a gear maker’s site that has a poorly handled fish, but there are a lot of guides and lodges out there with photos setting poor examples.

Basically… keep the fish in the water. That fish should either be in the water, or clearly dripping water as you take it out for 2 seconds. Any pic of an angler sitting in the middle of the boat is likely a bad photo. Let’s all do better.

Sound good?

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  1. When an angler spends thousands of dollars and gets a 10 pound plus Bone with me It’s coming out of the water fast and for the photo of a lifetime and returned lightening fast to fight again. We depend on those photos to feed our children and i trust In my fellow guides to do it right. Writing a blog does not place you in an industry. Earning a living it does. When Dr Adams fishes with me in september I’ll tell himthe same thing .

  2. Hey Bjorn,

    I’ve got plenty of photo’s where the fish was no more than a couple of seconds out of the water…not one shows water dripping off the fins!. I know this because I reviewed them all because of this post. None of those fish were mis handled. Now every time I pose with a catch that I’m proud of and want to remember and share with others by having a great photo…the whole experience is going to be “ruined” because I have “your” thoughts in the back of my mind. Thanks for nothing.

  3. Ha… Henry, I’ll bet you’ll be just fine, and good on ya for proper handling.

  4. Guilty here too. Try to get one quick photo with the anglers first bone. Hope it’s a good one and do it as quickly as possible with wet hands. In the future, I will try to get my anglers in the water with their fish and only repeat if they get a better fish. Besides, photos with anglers in the water with their prize is awesome.

  5. I just read your comments and I have to disagree with coachduff. Your anglers are not paying you for a photo, they are paying you for the experience of the fishing trip they will remember for a life time. The photo is just a visual aid for bragging rights, just like a mount. Nothing wrong with getting a photo, that is not why you are getting paid. Any angler who gets a ten plus pound bonefish with you will surely be calling the next time they return.

  6. Guilty as charged… I promise to do better, thanks
    I think I did this one right?

  7. I’d say you did that one very well.

  8. Captain mike then why do you have grip and grin bragging right shots all over your photo gallery? Looks like good guiding and smart business to me,

  9. Capt. Mike, Yeah, it is about moving things in the right direction. That’s what we need to do. Myself included. I’ve allowed plenty of poor shots on the blog. I’m trying to change that. That’s all we can do… try to move the needle a bit.

  10. I stated I was guilty of it, but as I progress through my career I have gotten better about limiting photos especially of bonefish out of the water. I am trying to get my anglers who want photos to get in the water. If they insist on a photo of their first, I make sure everyone is ready and I bring the fish in for a quick photo then back in. Too many dropped bonefish. It’s a sad sight, but it has happened a couple of times, a couple of times too many. Never again.

  11. What i do now is strap my gopro to my ankle using the head strap and take all photos underwater . All i need is the fish picture not a picture of me . I fish DIY also.

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