This week’s Angler’s Mail HQ blog is by news editor Thomas Petch.
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Does the camera lie?
THE thorny angling issue of fish weights continues to rear its ugly head and Angler’s Mail, like every other angling magazine, website and Facebook page, still has a headache with it.
We get loads of pictures sent to us each week, and a small minority simply don’t look the size. We’re not alone with it, all publications will have the same quandary.
But the solution is a lot harder as there can be numerous reasons why the picture could look the way it does.
The simple fact is the camera can lie, and depending on the species of fish, camera angle, how far the fish is being held out can all appear to take ON of OFF a few pounds or, for big species, even 1o lb.
Chub are notoriously difficult to photograph and to make them look the size they actually are and not a couple of pounds less.
I remember when Mail big fish man Gary Newman caught his first big chub – I think an upper six-pounder. When he got the photographs developed the first 20 or so pictures in a few different poses made the fish look about 4 lb. But the last pose showed the fish looking its true weight.
But the same applies to most species – to a certain extent and quite simply the camera can lie.
But you also have two other options – the fish has been accidentally misweighed and this happens an awful lot due to the angler getting too excited and simply not having the knowledge to take off the weight or heaving slings, landing nets or even unhooking mats. Old rusty scales don’t help either.
Anglers getting too excited is very common and I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard about a record Thames pike not being photographed or a national record slipped back unweighed.
I was chatting to our Midlands ace Steve Collett last year and he told me that an angler had only just called him up with a 19 lb barbel from Leicestershire’s River Soar. It was 2am in the morning but that fish would have been one of the specimens of the year.
But when Steve arrived at the river, he immediately weighed it and it was 12 lb. Still a great fish, but not one of the top five captures of national importance for the year.
And the last option of fish not looking the size claimed is caused by a very few angler who deliberately lie to try and gain awards and accolades. It’s sad but true, but luckily I do believe in the majority of cases it is the camera lying or the angler making a genuine mistake.
But whatever three could be to blame, we are still put in a very awkward situation.
We do try and not print any of the totally silly ones, but sometimes we just have to give the angler the benefit of the doubt as the camera can and does lie.
That English record pike! Check out our current issue for an in-depth report on the 46 lb 11 oz Wykeham beast. It really is an impressive creature – a real croc!
DISLIKE OF THE WEEK
VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
Check out this video from out latest Where To Fish On Tour with Brian Gay and Colin Davidson.
And check out this video from Fox International, featuring a great new brolly.