May 30th, 2015
GETTING THE MOST IN PHOTOGRAPHS
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 a permanent of 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 lake the photo in the boat with tackle, motor, 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 a photo. The first thing viewers look at is the eyes. The viewers will then normally look at what the eyes of the photographed person is 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 and the other grasping the tail to extend the fish to full length. Hold the catch off 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 eyes on the fish. The fish is what you want people to see when view 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 big fish; not your fishing pants and old shoes.
If there is any doubt at all about the light, use the flash. The poorest light for a daytime photo is during the time period between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sure. The light may be strongest, but the sun will be over head. 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, and 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. Film is no more. Digital is in……. If your catch is big enough for a trophy. You may never, ever catch a fish so large again.
Take the photos from various anglers with various backgrounds. Very often what you feel is the best pose may turn out to be the fourth or fifth etc., best when you get to view out of the sunlight.
If the fish is to be taken to a 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 make the final mount.
Good Luck and good fishing.
See y’all on Galveston Bay.
Capt. Paul Marcaccio
Coast Guard & T.P.W. License
April 10th, 2015
East Bay- Anytime & Often
You don’t need a huge bay for good fishing. A small bay with great structure plus marsh embossed borders can fill the bill.
That’s the case of East Bay, the smallest of the major bays in the Galveston Estuary. For years it was the best redfish bay on the upper Texas Coast, but back in those years it was also the best kept secret. East Bay is still the best upper coast redfish bay, but that’s no longer a secret, and the bay now gets heavy play from boaters and waders alike.
Starting with Hanna’s Reef on the southwest end, East Bay is rich with structure: scores of deep oyster reefs and pipe stands, Hanna’s Reef is a favorite of anglers who like to anchor their boats to fish cuts and drop-offs along the reef. Drift anglers favor the deep reefs to the northeast of Hanna’s Reef and Intracoastal Waterway and those who like to fish the birds. Areas like deep or Whitehead come to this writer mine………
Recently, Mike Heidemann and I tested the waters in East Bay. With a stiff North wind we found protected shoreline. I knew fish were holding, especially on an outgoing tide, flushing the bait out on the flats, but to both our amazement, we had no idea what was to follow.
Using lime-truse Assassins and pearl chartreuse Mirrolure, Mike and I found a bonanza of fish. Mike limited on reds to 27 inches and I had only 1 redfish. Then Mike caught another fish, thinking it was another red. He made the statement, “I’ll work on your limit”. This time when the fish surfaced, it was a huge speckled trout. Later we weighed the fish on a certified scale at Eagle Point Camp; it was a healthy 8.7 pounds and 27-3/4 inches long. Mike and I scored numerous other big trout that day. Our total that afternoon was 13 trout and 5 reds.
The boarders of East Bay offer excellent wade fishing, especially the stretch along the Bolivar Peninsula side. This stretch from Goat Island, the bay’s junction with Lower Galveston Bay, back to Elm Grove, offers excellent fishing for speckled trout, redfish and flounder. When the wind is light and parallel to the length of Bolivar Peninsula, some of the bigger coves can be fished by drifting. Whether you drift or wade, a boat is needed to reach these waters because you have to cross the Intracoastal Waterway that runs the length of Bolivar Peninsula.
The whole of Chambers County side of East Bay can be waded, with the best action generally on the flats behind the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. Access is either by the refuge or near Smith’s Point.
Some of the best redfish action in this bay is during the oyster season. Working oyster boats make the bay quite sandy and at times downright muddy. This isn’t conducive to decent fishing for speckled trout. The working oyster boats, however, stir up a lot of marine life upon which redfish feed. Don’t bother to fish in the immediate vacinity of the oyster boats. Instead, fish the flats and along the saltgrass marshes on the Bolivar Peninsula side of the bay.
East Bay is like West Bay in that it is a Galveston Estuary body of water little affected by fresh water runoff from heavy rains. This bay has two close connections with the Gulf of Mexico. Consequently the salinity level in this bay remains fairly constant, The connection with the Gulf of Mexico is Rollover Pass about 20 miles from the tip if the Bolivar Peninsula. The other connection is the Lower Galveston Bay at the mouth of the entrance to the seaway between the North and South Jetties.
Rollover Pass deserves special attention; it offers boatless anglers excellent flounder and golden croaker fishing every fall and spring.
There is no lack of fishing facilities (tackle and bait stands, boat-launching ramps, eating establishments) on Bolivar Peninsula. They are located all along the Intracoastal Waterway. It’s a different story on the Chambers County side of the bay. There are launching facilities on the roads leading to the bay, but all the concession stands selling bait; tackle, ice and food are located near Smith’s Point.
Located near Rollover Pass in East Bay, is two very important Bayous’ (Yates and Big Pasture). Wade near the mouths of either on a falling tide, and you will be rewarded with good stringers of spec’s and redfish. The bottom is a little soft. Wear proper boots with ray guards. Move slowly, always keying on nervous mullets or shad. Use top waters in this area for those speckled trout or redfish. Best bait is Baby Spooks or She Pups. Colors should be light in clear water and dark colors when the water is off-colored.
Access to most of the south shoreline by boat is through String Ray Cut or Seivers Cut. Boat launching from the end of the Dike is by far the closest, unless you use the Bolivar Ferry and make use of a few ramps along the Intercoastal Waterway.
Look forward to seeing some of you wading or drifting East Bay.
Capt. Paul Marcaccio
BOI/ U.S.C.G & T.P. & W License