The welfare of your fish should be at the front of your mind. We ask that you think carefully about how you want to photograph your catch. Here are some tips to help you:
Set your camera up before you take the fish from the water. If you have a friend with you, they can take the photograph, but get everything arranged before handling the fish. Unhook the fish first, then return it to the water (in the landing net, or in a keepnet the rules allow) while you get yourself and camera ready.
Always use an unhooking mat. If you are specimen fishing, then you should have a mat with you anyway, it is a club rule. If you caught the fish by chance and do not have a mat, see if you can borrow a nearby angler’s. Soft wet grass is a decent alternative, but always have a quick check to make sure there are no hidden stones or sharp objects in the grass.
Think what will happen if you accidentally drop the fish. What will it drop onto? Hold the fish as close to the mat/grass/water as you can get away with. Never hold a fish directly over bare rock / gravel.
Handle fish as little as possible. Hold them carefully with wet hands. If you have caught a big fish, support it along the length of its body. NEVER hold a fish in a towel /rag, as this will remove the protective slime coating. Rough handling or lifting only by the jaw or the tail can damage fish’s internal organs. As soon as you have got your photo, get the fish back in the water