taking fish pics when alone


Ryan Haseman
I usually dont take pics of my catch when Im alone, but when I want to I find it incredibly cumbersome. There I am standing in the water one hand holding the rod and the net with a fish sporatically thrashing about. (net is in the water by the way), and the other hand fumbling with a 200 dollar camera that would really suck if I dropped it. Then I get a really crappy photo of half the fish with either my finger or the hand cord dangling in the foreground.

I see some pretty decent pics on this site. Any suggestions on taking pics when your by yourself?


Hey! Good question, I think about this often, different ways to take nice photos when you're by yourself. I really enjoy taking pics while fishing, one of the fun by-products of fishing. It's amazing how much you will decide to teach yourself about something you didn't really have any interest in before just because it enhances your fishing experience.

Land your fish at the bank so you can set your rod/net down. I like to tail a fish holding it's head into the current, works better on salmon and steelhead then w/trout. Keep the fish in the water best you can, and be gentle but confident when holding it.

Couple examples....

Sometimes a good headshot is all you need...

Holding a fish by the tail into the current...

Sometimes they will just lay there for you if you're gentle about moving them.

What ibn said.

I have also been thinking of getting the underwater housing for my digital camera so I don't have to worry about it getting wet.


Sculpin Enterprises
I understand your problem; when I look at pictures of past trips, it triggers more complete memories of the events. Plus, I love sending pics of fish to friends who have work/family obligations that keep them off the rivers and lakes. However, I also have a bad habit of wading into deeper, chancier waters than I should; there has been a steady litany of horror stories on this site of bad interactions between water and electronics. So, I bought a digital camera (Canon Powershot) and an underwater housing for it too. That solves the problem of an expensive camera going for a swim when I do. There are some cameras that are designed to withstand a dunking; search through the achives for some model suggestions

I still find that I'm somewhat limited in the pics that I take when alone. Some of the better pictures come from near the end of the fight when the fish is a bit more manageable. Others are of the fish in the net after the hook is out, but before resuscitation. Lots of the pictures turn out to be pretty bad; fish moved, out of focus, water splashed on the lens, out of center, etc., but you just trash those. Fortunately, the camera housing has a nice strap that I wear around my neck and keep the camera somewhat safe from harm (see below) Bottom line: Digital camera = no film costs. Shoot till you drop (or fill your memory card). The ratio of true keepers to trash is pretty low; just keep shooting.

I will share a horror story that revolves around picture taking. Last fall, I caught a sweet bow at the end of a long, but successful, day of fishing on the Yak. I worked the fish into semi-exposed gravel bar, netted it with one hand and then removed the hook with the other. Then, I got out the camera for the hero shot. In the meantime, I had put down my Sage 5 wt. into what I thought was a quiet peice of water. After reviving and releasing the fish, the rod was no-where to be found - it had drifted off!! AAAAAAHHHHH!!! In the fading light, I anxiously hiked down the run to see if I could find it, but it was hard to see anything under those conditions. I drove home to Olympia, grabbed my dry suit, mask, fins, and drove back the next morning. I swam up and down that run five times and finally saw a section of gray fly line against a bank. Attached to it was my rod and reel, still intact and largely unscratched from its journal. YAAAA!!! Moral of the story: if you are handling more than two things (rod, net, camera, etc.), be extra careful because things have a tendency to drift off, especially when your tired.



Just to add 1 more thing. Don't rush your photo, if you have a digital camera let it focus, take 4 or 5 shots, one of them is bound to come out nice and crisp.


Rich Layendecker
I agree with ibn: use a self-focusing digital camera, set it so that the flash will fire regardless of the amount of daylight, take several pictures. Also: tie a short lanyard to the camera and hang it around your neck so you cannot drop it in the water.


another damn rookie
Don't drag them to the bank and take a pic.....Learned that the hard way.....first post on here too boot :beathead:

Rob Zelk

I swing, therefore i am.
I sometimes use a little tripod and sling the camera and tripod around my neck and under and arm. When the fish is almost in, take the camera off set it down, switch it to timer mode, and have it set on motor drive. Then bring in the fish, not bring in the fish then set up the camera. Now, not all cameras will allow you pre-set these things but its nice if you know your camera really well, or have them pre set. But with the motor drive you can take 5 pictures in series, its coo. But the worst thing is seeing a person fumbling around tring to take pics, and having the fish splasing in the shallows on the rocks, well not the worst but it makes me irk a bit.
Secure that camera to your body so you can grab, shoot, and drop it without it hitting the water. My 35mm has a strap to go around my neck. My digital has a small strap that I clip in one of the shoulder staps of my waders. I can shoot a pic or two, then drop it. With the digital, sometimes I just point and shoot a couple without looking through the camera.
I don't think fish pics taken alone are all that great usually, but I take them anyway. I can get them without stressing or hurting the fish and have something to go with my fishing journal entry.


New Member
Have used water resistant camera in past, then onto camera with marine housing - bulky but good, and now have a Pentax Optio WP. Small, truly water resistant - no housing needed. Can submerge intentionally or accidentally without worry. Camera is small enough so conveniently fits in a vest pocket. Another accessory which I've found very useful is a small tripod (hand size) from REI called the ultrapod. Usually leave it attached to camera in vest (folded down), eases pulling it out, popping it on the ground with legs extended(self timer mode) and getting a few pics. Other options although tricky, have attached camera (tripod has a velcro strap which can be used to affix it) to rod, branch, kayak, or boat before and taken self pics that way as well.
toddsbernina said:
So this my sound lame but all i have is a camera phone does anyone get and deacent pics of theirs?

How many megapixels is it? My wife has one that is 1.3mp, takes half decent pics, but it does take a couple of shots to get it right.

Mid level cameras are coming down in price, a few people that I know swear by their Pentax Optio waterproof cameras, I think that Costco has them right now.
toddsbernina said:
So this my sound lame but all i have is a camera phone does anyone get and deacent pics of theirs?
I've gotten only one picture with a picture phone, but it wasn't all it was cracked up to be...

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