Not too long ago I caught my largest summer flounder off the coast of Ocean City Maryland on a head boat. The summer flounder is a flatfish that can grow to 32 lbs though any fish over 8 lbs is considered a trophy. My day fishing began as usual, I was hoping to fill my cooler with tasty black sea bass which are a popular game fish along the mid atlantic east coast of the United states. These fish are caught offshore fishing over reefs and sunken ship wrecks.
Plenty of these fish were caught that day though most of them were under the 12" legal limit. A lot of effort was expended reeling them in and throwing them back. My bottom rig was at the bottom of the ocean and I decided to reel it in to check the bait. I found that I was snagged on the bottom but after trying to lift the rod I was able to move what ever was on the other end of the line. After a tough fight and a lot of hauling a 9&1/2 lb summer flounder was netted, one of my best fish ever. This fish was a pleasant surprise for an otherwise uneventful day, it was weighed back at the dock and I got a trophy certificate for it from the state of Maryland.
Whenever photographing trophy fish, try to use something for scale such as a fishing rod or a person. For many people the catch of a trophy fish is a once in a lifetime occurrence so it is best to take many photos to be assured that you get just the right shot. Try some photos on the dock with a fishing rod as perspective as well as the angler holding up his or her fish. The fish should be clean looking without any blood or grit ruining the photo, hose the fish done to clean it if necessary. Fish can be held horizontally or vertically, try both ways and avoid harsh light. Use fill flash if necessary.
Try to avoid taking the photo back at home in the garage since the ocean, pond or lake makes a much nicer background. The fish will have better color too. If you plan on releasing the fish it is necessary to work fast as you cannot keep the fish out of water forever. Some trophy fish can be photographed in an aquarium or at a hatchery though lighting is tricky. Watch out for reflections especially if you use flash trying different angles. Best of luck and tight lines to all.
Photo credits: Daniel76, E•studio, Richard Gunion, Tommy Schultz.