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One of the most frustrating things to happen to a tournament angler is losing a fish off of your hawg trough when trying to take a photo. We’ve all been there, catch a good fish then to be let down by the fish flopping off the board and into the water before you can get a good photo. This seemingly simple task can frustrate the best of anglers but is a necessary skill when tournament fishing.

I am going to give a couple of pointers on how to get a good photo as quickly and efficiently as possible. Tip Number One: Have your phone or camera handy at all times. I keep my phone in my front zipper of my NRS Chinook PFD. Having a waterproof case for your phone eliminates having to keep it in a dry bag. I also get my phone out, unlock it and shove it between my legs so it’s ready to take a photo while the fish is still in the net. Tip Number Two: Keep your net out and place it to where it blocks the fish front flopping out on the left side (show in picture). Tip Number Three: I actually put the front bumper of the hawg trough in the net on the kayak floor so if the fish were to flop, the net would be there to catch it. Tip Number Four: Keep the bumper end of the hawg trough lower than the other end. I usually rest the other end of the hawg trough on the kayak or my foot. I’ve found having the fish almost pointing down relaxes the fish and it also helps keep the mouth of the fish closed. We all know its tough to snap a picture while trying to push the mouth closed.

By using these tips of taking a photo on a hawg trough, I have never lost a fish while taking a picture (knock on wood). Also, very rarely do I ever have to touch the fish while taking a picture which makes it that much easier. If you use these tips, I’m very confident you’ll have the same success when using the Catch-Photo-Release format.

– Brandon Sorg