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Reflecting on last season means taking good pictures

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Brad Laabs Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

We just got through Thanksgiving, the ice is here, open water season has come to an end in our area, and Christmas is only three weeks away. Man, time flies!

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I did take some time to reflect and be thankful over the holiday weekend. It is so easy for me at times to take for granted all the freedoms and privileges I have. We live in a great area, with good people, and I get to fish. Life is good! After reflecting on this past open water season, I can't help but make some goals for next year's open water season.

The experiences that go along with fishing make for great memories with family, friends, and clients. I did have the insight that I take the experiences for granted at times and don't take enough pictures. Pictures make a great keepsake for memories. One goal I have made for this next year is to take a few more pictures that family, friends, and clients will have as a reminder of time and experiences shared.

Taking good pictures takes practice. Taking good fish pictures takes a lot of practice. I have been at this many years and I still screw up some shots. A shadowed face, a sun blurred picture, a cut off fish tale, a top of the head out of the shot, all take away from the quality of display. A properly displayed fish doesn't happen by accident. Learning how to hold and present the fish, as well as setting up the shot, are important considerations for creating a picture worth displaying.

One lesson I have learned is to take multiple pictures as one has a better chance of turning out better that the other. Having another person take some pictures also helps ensure the memory has been captured in a worthwhile fashion. In this day and age of digital cameras, we can check the quality right away and delete the pictures that don't turn out.

Many people now own "smart phones." These phones are extremely handy in the boat as they are all high-end cameras as well as phones. Pictures can be downloaded to websites, emailed to friends and family, or posted on Facebook right from the boat. Well, you can do that. Some of us still struggle with that technology, don't do the Facebook thing, or don't yet own a smart phone.

Pictures from digital cameras can be downloaded to your computer and can be edited, enlarged, and printed (I can do that!).

Pictures from your fishing trips make great screen savers on your computer, smart phone, laptop, or tablet. I think a live fish picture of a quality fish that has been released rival a fish mount for display at home or office.

For those that do want to mount a trophy, take measurements and a picture. Your taxidermist can make a replica mount of your fish and you have the satisfaction of knowing that fish may bring a special memory to someone else.

Start this winter and continue next summer practicing selective harvest, catch and release, and CPR (catch, photo, and release).

(Laabs runs Brad Laabs Guide Service in Detroit Lakes.)

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