Carp Safety & Photographing Fish

I would like to cover Carp safety when weighing and photographing fish.

Firstly, always have your unhooking mat out ready (this means undone and laid out on the floor).  I have seen so many times, people catching a fish, leaving the fish in the net – unsecured, turn around and only then start getting their unhooking mat out.  I have seen fish power off into the lake, in the net, in this situation.  I always put a bank stick in the ground just in case I have to do this, as some waters have sack bans.  In fact, I have a large weigh sling which has mesh at either end that I use as a weigh sling/sack when sorting out the photo equipment (if have been unable to sort this out before).

Secondly, it’s not all about you, the fish must come first.  If it’s not feasible to take a photo, put the fish back.  You have landed the fish, which is what counts and weighed it. There is no need to take a photo at the risk of the fish’s life. (why the perfect capture shot)

Step (1) once the fish is in the net, I transport it to the unhooking mat, unhook the fish, move it into the weigh sling & weigh the fish. —




All ready for the fish

Step (2) I then place the fish back in the lake safety secured in the sack, some sacks come with a float attached, just in case something goes wrong.
Step (3) get all the photo equipment out (I have the tripod out and camera attached ready to go under the brolly. —

I use a compact Panasonic lumix DT70 or My Samusung phone


This has a function of time laps shots, I set at 1 every 10 seconds until it’s done 100.  I set the tripod up in front of the mat all ready and press start.  Then there is no worries about holding a remote, it’s all done in your own time and the safety of the carp.

Step (4) get all set up and ready to go before you take the fish out off the sack.  If using a remote I hold it in my right hand and then pick up the fish as you can see in these photo. –


I always break the process down into two parts if no one is around to help.

Things to remember
Be prepared have all you kit ready and out e.g.
Unhooking mat
Weigh sling
Bucket full of lake water to put over the fish
Tripod & camera
Remember to check your camera setting before you get the fish out of the water.

Carp care kit.

Now, hands up how many people own one but never use it.
Please think of the Carp.  I am sure we all would like them to look nice for as many years as possible and grow to be that big famous 40 lb+ Carp that everyone is after.


I would like to recall a story that happened which may bring some meaning to this blog.

It was one Winters night and I was doing a night with a friend of mine. We had had a couple of fish between us, at around 3 am my friend landed a 29+ fish.  He weighed it and unbeknown to me, placed the fish in a sack and put in three foot of water in the margins, just so he could get some photos in the day light. There was a freezing easterly wind blowing. I landed a fish around 4 am and saw that he had his head torch on, so I pop over for a quick word before I put the rods back out again. Which is when he said that he had the 29 in the sack, along the dam wall. At which point I went for a quick walk only to find that the waters edge had started to freeze in the wind. My friend had followed me down and after a very heated discussion, which turned in to an argument (he had caught bigger fish before) and finally after I nearly put the fish back myself, he saw my point and he put the fish back.
This fish died within the week, most probably due to its ordeal in the sack that night (very sad).
In all my fishing days, I have only had the need to use a sack a few times and I normally end up sitting up all night checking the fish.
I hope this recollection makes you think next time, fish safety comes first.

Thats all for now


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About richardhandel

I would like to give a brief snap shot of my life and introduce myself; My name is Richard Handel and was born in 1965 in Suffolk. I have worked as a UK Operation & Intermodule Manager for a shipping company. I live in Hampshire now and am married with 2 young children, both girls so I am a bit outnumbered even the cat is a girl! I have been fishing since I was about 7 years old. I started on small local rivers in Suffolk, then moved onto gravel pits and then carp fishing. My personal best is a 39.08 mirror, over recent years I have started river fishing again, on the Hampshire Avon, this is a nice break from the carp lakes. My life has turned a big corner this year, the company I was working for relocated their Operation centre to Estonia. I was offered a job at the head office in London. This would have meant a 5 day commute and working in Stratford. As a family, we did not fancy this, as I would hardly spend any time with the children (and the Mrs). So after 22.5 years, I was given a nice redundancy package and with my wife is working full time. I became the house husband. This has meant a complete turn around in my fishing, as I can pick and choose when I go. I have found a splendid new syndicate to fish this year, which includes 5 lakes and some 8 miles of river with only 150 members. It's an amazing change to the way I am able to fish. I am now trying to start my own tackle business and make a bit of a name for myself in the world of fishing, as I have retired from real work. Richard
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