Some people who read my recent article on ‘grip and kill’ when taking photos of trout have pointed out the style of grip shown above – I call it the ‘UK grip’ and it can be lethal.
Those who follow UK trout fishing magazines and websites may have noticed the prevalence of photos with the trout being held as seen in the photo above. I did a quick flick through a pile of recent top selling UK magazines and websites and as rough estimate well over 50% of fish are held by the UK grip. I believe trout are held this way to show off the fact that the fish is a ‘full-finned’ or wild fish, not a stocked fish.
Many (most?) stocked fish have their tails and fines damaged by other fish and the concrete walls of the stock pens. So to show off the fact the fish is ‘full-finned and tailed’ you need a grip that does just that. That grip which I have called the ‘UK grip’ is great for showing fins and tails, but is it good for the trout? No.
The UK grip means that the tail of the fish is not firmly held by fingers encircling the base of the tail – to do so would ‘hide’ the tail. So the holder must squeeze the fish as shown above. If the fish thrashes about the grip around the heart area has to increase. All bad news for the heart and other organs.
This practice needs to stop, and fishing media can stamp it out almost immediately. Magazines and websites need to stop showing fish held in this way.