Fishing for spring striped bass is now in full swing in the Chesapeake Bay, and last weekend I scored a monster. Will it help enhance my reputation as a hard-core monster-slaying fish-head? Unfortunately, no. Take a look at the picture below.

striped bass photo

One of these striped bass is 44" long and weighed around 40 pounds. The other is 36" long and weighs half as much.

Can you tell which is the bigger fish? If you guessed the one on the right, it just reinforces the fact that when we took the picture of the fish on the left, we blew it. In fact, the one on the left is a significantly larger striper. Why is it so hard to tell? Because I allowed the fish to bend towards the camera, from the dorsal to the tail. That's the first tip to making your fish look bigger - always hold them in such a way that they're stretched out, not bent. Here are a few more tips that will help you take better fish pictures from now on, thus boosting your image as an expert angler.

  • Always hold the fish out towards the camera. The closer the fish is to the camera (and the farther you are) the bigger it looks in proportion to your body.

  • When possible hold it by the lower jaw, so the gills flare out. That makes the fish's head look bigger.

  • Fill the frame with the fish and the angler, not lots of boat. (Again, see above left vs. right - blew it!)

  • Make sure the fish is being hit by sunlight. If it's in the shadows, it won't grab the viewer's eye, and hold it.

  • Get in the entire fish, head to tail. Cutting off part of the fish will only make it appear smaller.

  • And finally... drum roll, please... catch bigger fish in the first place!