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How to hold a carp correctly

Not only will it make it more comfortable for the fish, but you;ll also get better pictures for the album

Holding your capture correctly is one of the most important aspects to get right when the fish is on the bank. Not only will it improve the quality of your pictures, but it will also be more comfortable for the carp. Fish safety is a top priority and holding them incorrectly can stress and injure the carp, so it’s of upmost importance to get it right. There are four key aspects in order to make your photos look fantastic and to ensure the fish is safe and gets returned to the water in tip-top condition.

- Never hold a fish too far away from your body because if it flaps you have less control on the carp and it could lead to it getting injured. Keep the fish close to your body and if it decide to flap, either lower it quickly onto the unhooking mat or tilt the fish backwards onto your forearms by rolling your hands back and hold it into your body.

- Once you have slid your hands under the carp, one of your hands should grip around the pectoral fin of the fish. Place your index finger one side of the fish’s ‘peck’ and your middle finger the other side with the underneath of the fish supported by your palm and forearm.

- Make sure you always keep low to the floor; this means if the fish starts flapping you can easily lower it onto the mat until it calms down. Although there are a number of different stances, the safest and most stable way is to kneel down as illustrated here.

- Your other hand should now support and lightly grip the anal fin of the carp. You do this by placing your fingers around the anal fin, it doesn’t matter which fingers you use; whatever is most comfortable for you. However, do not bend the anal fin or grip too tightly – you are simply resting your fingers around it.