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.