At the soft sound of a clicker paying out line very slowly, the skiff angler glanced curiously at her reel and then at the line.
A puzzled expression reflected his curiosity as the line seemed to be moving along the beam towards the bow, even though she had been drifting with a live mackerel on a large hook trailing lazily behind the boat.
Her expression turned to recognition as the late morning sun glinted purple and blue off the broad back of a thresher shark. The angler knew what to do.
She grabbed the rod out of the holder, engaged the reel’s gear and reared back forcefully to bury the hook into a hard jaw. That lit the fuse on the dynamite stick of shark muscle and the thresher went airborne repeatedly, against the magnificent backdrop of SoCal coastal mountains.
The angler’s boating buddy stared for a long moment in wide-eyed astonishment, then began cheering wildly as the battle raged. Finally, she went for the gaff and stood by during the 30-minute fight until the big long-tail was alongside the skiff and ready to be brought safely aboard and taken home for delicious dinners.
Those two friends will be telling that story for years — probably to anyone who will listen.
What’s wrong with this scenario? Unfortunately, they will be telling the story without benefit of visuals … pictures and videos. They can post their story on social media, but the adage rings true — a picture is worth a thousand words.
Now let’s rewind the scene and do it again — the right way. When the clicker announced the presence of the shark, and it became apparent that a grand battle was to ensue, the buddy in the boat went straight for her always-ready smartphone.
She shot the hookset with a video burst and kept it going to capture a few of the explosive jumps of the angry shark. During the rest of the battle, she was rapid-shooting the action with stills.
From the stills and video resources captured during the lengthy fight, products galore can be created. From the stills, an impressive scrapbook can be cobbled together, shots posted on websites, framed for the wall, or shown to a tattoo artist and etched on the angler’s hide. Some memories are worth preserving for life.
When taking fishing photos and videos aboard a boat, there a few things to remember:
Action shots are the best. Take plenty of video but switch up and get stills. For stills after the battle, take the pictures when the fish is fresh and wet. Keep the sun on the fish and behind the photographer. Have the angler hold the fish out toward the camera because it makes it look bigger. Fill the frame with your shot. You can do this.
— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.