To catch an exceptionally large fish is an amazing feat. Unfortunately, due to the customary stereotype that anglers tend to exaggerate the size of their catches, providing proof can be a challenge as well.
A photo helps but does not remove all size discrepancy. Anglers frequently pose with their catches at arms’ length, thus distorting the perspective. The Snap Shot Ruler corrects that problem by allowing a vertical measurement with the weight in the same shot.
If you are lucky enough to preserve the moment in a photo, skewed or not, then what? Carry it around, hoping someone will ask you about your latest fishing adventure? That could take a while. Post it online? Then you run the risk of a Photoshop savvy viewer tampering with the results. (I’ll try to show an example of this next week.) Perhaps the true test of the catch photo is the time-honored tradition of whether or not it is deemed bait-shop-wall-worthy.
In bait and tackle shops all across the country, photographs of grinning anglers are displayed, no doubt spurring on more excitement, dreams, and fathead minnow sales. Walk into Derick’s Bait and Tackle in Manhattan, Kansas and you’ll see Aaron Carpenter (red t-shirt) on the wall holding a massive flathead catfish.
“It feels good to have my fish pictures on the wall,” Aaron understated through a flathead-sized grin. Once an aspiring chef, Aaron likes to bring home fillets for the table and I often hear of his success with crappie and channel catfish too.
Maybe someday I will make it big… on a bait shop wall. Have you made it?
Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad living in Oklahoma. Visit him at www.justkeepreeling.com.