Fishing pictures: A trip down memory lane

Albert has no recollection of catching this northern pike from the dock in 1987, but the note on the back of the photo indicates it was his first. (Photos courtesy of Joe Albert)

Hunters and fishermen tend to be pretty good about taking photos of what they kill and catch, which is why it’s always surprising when I’m working on a story and ask someone for photographs to accompany it and the answer is something along the lines of, “I don’t like having my picture taken,” or “I’m always the one behind the camera.”

It’s entirely possible that person simply doesn’t want to go through the hassle of finding and sending photos. And I hope that’s the case, because photos are such great ways to preserve memories. Yes, I know it sounds terribly cliched, but it’s true. It’s easy to open the photo album – or the computer, depending on your preference – to start looking for a particular photo, and before you know it, a bunch of time has passed. You may not have found what you’re looking for, but the time certainly wasn’t wasted.

Sometimes, the best part about going through photos is reminding yourself that no matter what your hair looks like today, it always could be worse.

I was reminded of this while looking through a box of photos in search of one or two to accompany a story. Luckily, I found what I was looking for, but I also got a heck of a lot more than I bargained for.

Some of the photos I remember having had taken – one of me with a 5-pound bass, which is still my biggest to date, or the one of my dad and me with the first deer he ever shot while I was hunting with him. But there are others about which I have no recollection – the one of me as a 7-year-old with a northern pike I caught off the dock, or the one of my dad and a toddler version of me along with a limit of walleyes he’d caught earlier that day.

Few of the fishing- and hunting-related photos I have – particularly of me or family members – are what you’d consider professional quality. A bunch of them are off-center, some are blurry, and others have a weird shadow where someone’s thumb got a little too close to the lens. But it doesn’t matter a bit because it’s the memories that count.

And it’s a good reminder that even when the bite is hot and you just want to keep casting, or it’s raining, or it just seems like too much work to haul along a camera, do it anyway. You – or the person who looks at the photos years later – will be happy you did.

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