Unwritten rules for anglers and writers that build relationships.

Writer, Darl Black wades the cool waters for the perfect shot.

Writer, Darl Black wades the cool waters for the perfect shot.

These are unwritten rules of course and just my observations. There is an old saying; “No fish, no photo. No photo, no story.” rings true. The objective is clear for the writer. The angler hopes to educate the writer and perhaps earn some ink for his guide business or sponsors.

Rules for the pro follow.
1. The morning’s golden light is best. Try to have several of yesterday’s fish in the live well for an early shoot. This is not phony reporting. What you did yesterday is just as important to the story. Fish often “color up” when spending a night in the live well too.
2. Your boat is your office. Good captains keep clear decks. You may find the writer lying on the floor of the boat, shooting photos from all angles.
3. Wear layers in bright colors. Grey, black, or white shirts rarely photograph well.
4. A good shave and genuine smiles for the photo shoot will pay in spades.
5. Save some dry storage for the writer’s camera bag. That bag is as important to the writer, as your boat is to you.
6. Keep snacks and water on hand. You never know when you may have a diabetic on the boat. They often need just a little something. Pros like Stephan Matt of G3 Boats often provide a shore lunch. That is a touch of class.
7. Be prepared for an interview. Detailed answers are what the writer are looking for.
8. The writer is often too busy with interviews and photography to fish hard. Clean a few fish if possible for the writer to take home. Now, you are a hero.

There are a few rules for the writer. (I am not picking on anyone here.)
1. Be on time. Enough said.
2. Help the angler launch. The quicker you get on the water, the more gold light you will have to shoot with. (Tip: Always ask, “Drain plug in?”)
3. Wipe your feet. Sand and mud can damage decks and carpet. Deck shoes are best when weather permits.
4. Never step on a seat to climb onto the back deck. This splits the seat at the seams. OEM seats run about two-hundred dollars each.
5. Thank your host. That guide may have nixed a paid, guide trip or bagged a day of tournament practice to take you out.
6. Send a few, low-resolution photos for the guide’s web page. You will be more likely to receive an invite back.
7. This builds a relationship that you can count on down the road for quick interviews and fishing reports.

I have been blessed to be both host and guest. Either way, the pleasure has been all mine to learn from the best.

Sam has hosted more writers than anyone I know.

Sam has hosted more writers than anyone I know.


Blessings, tj

About TJ Stallings

45-year tackle industry veteran Marketing and Crazy Ideas at TTI-Blakemore Fishing Group (Home of Road Runner Lures and six hook brands including Tru-Turn, Daiichi, XPoint, Team Catfish, Mr. Crappie and StandOUT Hooks.) Home of Gun Protect. The opinions expressed in this blog are those of TJ Stallings and not necessarily those of TTI-Blakemore.
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7 Responses to Unwritten rules for anglers and writers that build relationships.

  1. richardmax22 says:

    Great reminders. Being a published writer at the time, a lady from a local newspaper asked for an interview. My wife had dinner prepared when she arrived. She was overwhelmed by that simple act.

  2. kayakfishingfever says:

    I hope there is some Sweet Tea. Thanks for stopping by the blog

  3. rpress1 says:

    An earlier comment reminds me of the day TJ sent me home from a Tennessee Writers Camp to Florida with a bag of plantain chips for the journey. . Thanks TJ.

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