Photo of a Lifetime

March 23rd, 2016

Memorable fish catches don’t come along on every fishing trip, but when they do, you certainly want a permanent record of the occasion.
You could, of course, take your catch to the taxidermist and have a real fine wall mount made. I’ve gone that route, and it is satisfactory to a point.
The problem is this can become quite expensive. I’ve been sport fishing since 1965 and if I had a wall mount made of every big fish I’ve caught or especially admired, I would be trophy rich and money poor.
No, not every fish I’ve caught was a record at the time. Other points figure in, like the circumstances under which the fish was caught, the tackle or special lure used, etc., etc.
There is an inexpensive way you can make permanent those memorable catches. Photograph the catch. If it’s to be a record of the catch, you need to do some planning in taking the photo. Simply pointing the camera and pressing the shutter release is not enough.
First off, consider the background. Don’t clutter it up with objects and whatnots totally unrelated to fishing.
Use a marine background. You can shoot from a low angle and have clouds in the background or shoot for a high angle and get the water in the background. Or you can take the photo in the boat with tackle, motor, and etc. in the background.
The main object in the picture is going to be the fish. Present its best side to the camera and wet the body before taking the photo. This will give it a more lifelike appearance. If the fish has been cleaned, don’t turn the cavity to the camera.
And forget all about holding the fish out in front of you so it will look better. A photo like that will stamp you as a real hayseed and make you the butt of a lot of jokes.
When there is a person in the photo, the first thing viewers look at is the eyes. The viewers will then normally look at what the eyes of the photographed person are viewing.
Thus hold the fish at shoulder level off to one side and look at the fish. Similar “blunder” photos crop up many times daily at the Grand Canyon. The photo is of someone looking right at the camera with the Grand Canyon in the background.
Make the photo a lasting one by having the person stand off to one side and then look toward or point at something in the Grand Canyon.
Let’s say you come in with a 9-pound speckled trout and you want a photo of it. Hold the fish with both hands, one supporting the head with a boga grip and the other grasping the tail to extend the fish to full length. Hold the catch to one side with the head of the fish at eye level, but a little to the front.
Then look at the fish’s head. The resulting photo will show you with your head partially turned toward the fish and with your eye on the fish. The fish is what you want people to see when viewing the photo.
Have the photographer move in close to snap the picture. You want the full length of the fish to show, but there is no reason for you to appear full length in the photo. After all, the important subject is the fish, not you’re fishing pants and old shoes.
The poorest light for a daytime photo is during the time period between 10a.m. and 2p.m.
Sure, the light may be strongest, but the sun will be overhead. A hat or cap will cast shadows on faces. Use a flash to eliminate those shadows. Avoid taking photos with the sun directly behind the photographer or behind the person in the photo.
In one case, you end up with the photographer’s shadow on the person in the photo. In the other case, the result is a bright background behind a darkened subject.
Record fish come along only a time or two in a lifetime. Trophy size fish may be caught only slightly more often.
With this in mind, never take just one photo. Use your phone (camera) to take as many shots from different angles
You may never, ever catch a fish so large again.
And take the photos from various backgrounds. Very often what you feel is the best pose may turn out to be the fourth or fifth, etc.
If the fish is to be taken to the taxidermist for mounting, make sure to take a number of color photos of the catch. It will enable the technician to better match the colors on the fish when he has to touch up the final mount.
God bless your families and good fishing.
See y’all on GALVESTON BAY…………………….

The fisherman
Capt Paul Marcaccio, T.P. & W. & U.S.C.G. license

Winter Patterns-Galveston Bay

February 17th, 2016

Fish Slow and Deep for Winter Bay Action

When winter cloud cover prevails, fish the deep holes located on your Hook & Line maps. Should the sun come out, simply move to the flats adjacent to these holes.
A bit later, we will discuss how to fish the flats, but first, we will work on those deep holes.
Even though you are anxious to bring home that big catch, take the time to use your fish finder to locate the pockets of fish suspended at different depths. Each day the fish will move to different parts of the deep structure. Always take the time to check out the entire hole and don’t just fish blind in deep water. Your catch will no doubt reflect the efforts of your search.
Once you have located schools of fish, mark the location with bouys.While drifting over the area, bounce the bait off the bottom as if you were jigging in freshwater. Always cover the entire area around your boat, and if the prevailing winds move you along too fast, simply use your drift anchor. Of course, you must not forget to check out those favorite spots you have developed from previous experiences in deep water.
Each time you cast, allow the bait to reach the bottom. Point your rod tip toward the water and jig up or twitch it side-to-side. Usually a trout or red will strike as the bait begins to fall. Always keep the bait moving in the area in which you are fishing since the fish are not considered aggressive and may need enticement to assume they have located a wounded fish. Fishing during January and February does require significant patience and dedication, bur generally, fish caught this time of year will put up a better fight and can weigh 3-to-5 pounds each.
Fish feed differently and less frequently during the winter and tend to nip or peck similar to some perch. Simply wait for a two-count, and then set your hook.
Live bait is often difficult to find during the winter months, so you might want to try soft plastic shrimp tails, shad imitations and jerk worms. The best colors being slamming chicken, pearl with chartreuse tail, smoke, grape, or pumpkin seed. For additional movement, you may add the Flex-Jig.
The use of ¾-to-1 ounce spoons are excellent, Try gold or silver with teaser. The fish can feel the vibration with their lateral lines.
Generally, you can cover more water with soft plastic and spoons, both vertically and horizontally.
Now its time to discuss fishin’ those flats after the sun has come out and begun to heat everything up.
You might try a top water lures (Mirrolure She Dog, or Baby Spooks. Bomber Saltwater is great hard bait……………..
Any large bait is good to imitate the specific fish both the trout and redfish are looking for.
Smaller bait is absent in the winter. You should look for slicks or pockets of live bait.
Always remember to relax and have fun outdoors and the best time to go fishin’ is anytime you can.
See ya’ll on Galveston Bay.
Capt Paul Marcaccio
TPW & USCG License