Better fishing pictures: Bring it! Use it!

Published Apr 26th 2006

Have your camera on you an ready to shoot.


Action packed - Wind, waves, rocks... and action. Bringing the camera with you into the water opens the opportunity for some great shots.
Action packed
Wade with care - Of course there\'s a hazard in bringing your camera into the water, but it is also the surefire way to get good images. A strap around your neck can do wonders.
Wade with care
One of the most common reasons for not getting the really good fishing images is that people simply don't bring their camera. Either it's left at home - which is really stupid - or it's left on the bank or beach - which is just moderately stupid.

If you want to take pictures you need to have the camera with you and on you.

Let's assume that you at least have brought the camera on a fishing trip. That's a good start. The next natural step is to have it on you while fishing. Situations worth photographing appear and disappear within minutes if not seconds, and if you're not ready to shoot quickly, it's all gone.

Envision this: Your friend is fishing next to you. He or she hooks a fish.
"It's a nice one! Can you get a picture?"
Sure you can... you just need to reel in your line, wade in to the bank, drop your rod, unpack your camera and wade back. If your friend is a considerate angler that fish has been fought, landed and released a long time ago.
If you have your camera on you, you won't only get the picture of the fish, but also of the fight.

Another reason for not getting the pictures is that camera-owners are too careful with their cameras. No matter how good the weather is and how safe the wading is, they wrap it in three layers of zip-lock bags and put it in a camera bag. Some of these bags are even referred to as "everready" bags. If there's one thing they aren't, it's ever ready!

Being there

Carpe Diem - Sunsets and sunups are particularly quick to change from breathtaking to ordinary in moments. Seeing this and having to fetch the camera on the bank before being able to shoot will probably mean missing the magic light.
Carpe Diem
Risky business - Taking pictures of your own fish while fighting them is risking it all. This picture would not have been, had Kasper not taken it himself. No one else was there to take it. So he hauled out the camera with one hand and shot a series of this huge and strong mullet while holding the rod in the other hand.
Risky business
Put your camera inside your jacket or waders and don't wrap it in anything but put the strap around your neck or attach it to your waders. The risk of dropping the camera is far greater when unpacking it than when just pulling it out and using it. And the less handling, the safer it is and the quicker you get your pictures. I have bought a giant retractor meant for landing nets, which I use for my compact camera - which by the way has been in the water three times and still works fine.

Perspective and weather

And do also take pictures in rain, sleet and snow! Images taken under these circumstances will usually come out excellent, and since such pictures are rarely seen, they often stir a lot of interest.
If your camera is an ordinary non-waterproof or non-splash-proof one, just haste with the job to avoid too many drops on (and above all in) the expensive equipment.

A classical image - But not one that lets itself arrange easily. Suddenly the insect is there, seconds later its gone.
A classical image
Bank time - Some situations are slow and lasting, but even so it pays to have the camera ready. Suddenly he rises and goes down to the stream to fish, and woosh! That motif is gone.
Bank time

You can visit, which has much more on photography.

A series
These are all the articles in our series about better fly fishing photography. Read this series and you will learn a lot ebout getting better pictures while fishing. General outdoors pohotographers may also pick up a thing or two...
Better fly-fishing pictures

User comments
From: Dave Cook · djcook·at·  Link
Submitted April 28th 2006

I go along with all that Martin. My dunked camera is as good as ever. However I leave the camera strap through the corner of the ziplock and my vest pocket and can extract it very quickly.

From: Massimo Cerino · massimocerino_001·at·  Link
Submitted April 26th 2006

Hi!, I am a Italian photographer, not professional, photographer of fishing. I work for to magazine of fishing "Le vie della pesca in mare" and I have found profits and amusing your suggestions! excuse, I don't speak well American.
hasta luego!

From: Bob Petti  Link
Submitted April 26th 2006

Excellent article, Martin. The Minolta G500 digicam I just treated myself to came with a neck strap, and I must say that is a godsend. I took pictures all day long when I was fishing, and it was simply a matter of grabbing the camera, turning it on, and clicking away. I was one of those guys who used to carry mine in double ziplocks. No more. One thing I would suggest is that the owner of the camera get a little clip to slide on their next strap to keep the camera from dangling when you lean over. I don't like to keep the camera in my wader tops (steamy in there), so leaving it out but clipping it to my shirt of vest keeps things in order.

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