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Weekend Adventures: In search of the best fish photo

“PHOTO EXHIBIT A: Last weekend, just south of Beltrami, this lucky angler caught this lunker of a walleye. Angler’s name withheld for privacy.”

The people of Minnesota are very nice. We heard some observations about our state, around the "Big Game," as being a wonderful, welcoming, friendly statewide community.

Minnesotans are very helpful. They will give you directions anywhere you want to go, except for where they fish, hunt or live.

If you observe someone sharing a fishing photo on their smartphone or camera, you may be inclined to ask them, "Where did you catch that fish?"

Answers vary, but usually there are a few variants to the same answer: "Right in the mouth." "Area lake." "Just north of town." "In the lake." "Under the ice."

Sometimes, you will get the mildly sincere angler who will answer you by giving you exact details of where the fish was caught, including depth, lure and time of day. Be warned: that angler has probably never been near that spot in years, and will enjoy hearing your stories later of the Dead Sea they sent you to.

The social media photos are a laugh. You will see pictures of big fish positioned to not show any houses, shoreline or landmarks to protect the locale of their trophy specimen and their secret hot spot.

To catch a big fish, you must have keen skills to recognize habitat and feeding patterns. You must have a body of water that can support a protein and oxygen levels to produce a large fish. You will need to be quipped properly to locate, lure and retrieve your fish. You must put in time to cull the fish you catch until the numbers can populate the right-sized fish. Finally, you really need a fair amount of luck.

My son recently caught a very nice 16-inch crappie on an area lake somewhere in the county where very few, but many know where it may have been caught in a rather unlikely, but possible location. (See what I did there?) The crappie he caught was on a lake that produces a non-ending supply of 8- to 9-inch crappies and my son, two daughters and myself have ice fished it for five years. We have caught and released literally a thousand crappies and the second largest one we have caught was 14 inches and that was a friend of mine. This is not to say that we have not caught better crappie before, but rather on this lake, the point of our fishing is a high success rate of catching.

We get fooled often watching Facebook or other social media outlets of people catching really nice fish all the time. On social media, it also seems people are on vacation all of the time. We begin to ask, "Do these people ever work?"

Ultimately, I think it is fair to say pictures of our daily grind at our work location are not really a trending social media experience, so it reasons people only post their highlights and celebrations.

Today, you have caught the perfect fish and want to take a picture and post it. Keep in mind the formula to not lose stature or trust with the local fishing circle, so follow these steps:

• Disguise the shoreline to not reveal the lake

• Be ambiguous about the time of day you caught it

• Diversion is key to establishing the location of the lake you caught it in

• Hold the fish out really far from your body, close to the lens

• Discreetly hide your fingers behind the fish body to deceive the size

• Avoid explaining the tackle you use (unless you are sponsored by their company or want people to think you are).

• Smile and (CLICK).

(See Photo Exhibit A for reference.)

Good luck, anglers!