We are always on the look-out for new contributors. If you would like to try your hand at putting together a feature article for the magazine, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Most articles run between 1500-2500 words.
- As we are now a seasonal publication, we will be running feature stories that align with specific seasons. For example, yellowfin whiting articles will generally be slotted into our summer issue, salmon will run in autumn and winter, mulloway in summer and so on. Naturally, there will be overlaps, but we plan to keep things as seasonal as possible.
- We prefer documents presented in Microsoft Word.
- Try to use spell check wherever possible.
Always try to have a clear plan before you write. It may seem obvious, but feature articles need to have an interesting introduction (to grab readers’ interest immediately), a ‘beefy’ middle section that presents most of the information, and a conclusion that pulls the whole piece together.
Use paragraphs to separate ideas in the text.
Be mindful of the correct use of punctuation. We all know it’s ultimately the Editor’s job to fix obvious punctuation errors, but minimising these will go a long way towards having your article accepted for publication. Do a little research on the correct use of commas, apostrophes, colons (semi and full), dashes (including hyphens and long dashes) and exclamation marks. We don’t expect new contributors to be English professors, but a basic punctuation knowledge is important.
Try to incorporate as much helpful information as you can. Stories need to educate as well as entertain — this is the combination that sets good fishing writers apart from ordinary ones.
Be careful of the usual misspellings that editors cringe over. A few examples include: trolling (often spelled ‘trawling’), capital initial letters for fish species — Mulloway (should be mulloway), Salmon (should be salmon). The only time a fish name has a capital is in a few exceptions like Murray cod, Spanish mackerel, King George whiting etc.
- There are a few key things to remember when photographing fishing scenes. The two biggest issues that we come across regularly are a lack of focus and/or low image quality/size. If you have a Digital camera, ensure that your images are being taken in the highest possible resolution. Most DSLR cameras nowadays allow you to take images as RAW & JPEG at the same time. If you cannot open raw images on your computer, that is still OK, as we will be able to at our end. RAW images allow for better post processing of the image, which often results in a much better print and can sometimes allow images that are blown out, to be salvaged.
- Newer model iPhones and other smart phones take brilliant photos now. They have the capacity to capture raw images, which is fantastic. Do a search on google if you’re unsure on how to access those settings on your smart phone.
- Focusing on the fish’s eye is very important when photographing fish. If someone holds a fish, try to make sure that the focus is on the fish’s eye. The best way to do this is using manual focus, but very few people like doing this. If you have a DSLR or digital camera, there are settings inside that will allow you to select where the focus points will concentrate within the frame. Try your best to ensure that these focus points align with the fish’s eye before taking the photo. If the photo is being taken on an iPhone or a smart phone, they will often try to detect a face, which leads to the fish being blurry (out of focus) and the person’s face being sharp.
- There are ways to avoid this though on the newer smart phones. With the iPhone 12 Pro you can hold your finger down on the point you wish the focus to ‘lock’ onto, and after a couple of seconds it will do this. You can than take the photo, with a far better chance of the subject being sharp. Beware that the simple ‘’tap to focus’ method doesn't lock the focus to the subject, allowing the focus to revert back to the person’s face without you knowing.
- Always check the photos after you take them, just to be sure that they’re good. Please keep in mind that we want the fish to be handled carefully though. If you need time, make sure that the fish is looked after. This helps to minimise any unnecessary stress.
- Where possible, wipe any blood away, remove any seaweed or line tangles from the fish, and avoid photographing a fish that is dry and lifeless.
- Try to keep the horizon as level as you possibly can and allow some room around your subject, but don’t stand to far away either.
- When photographing fish, ensure that sun is shining on to the subject and not behind it —where possible. Taking photos of people holding fish, with the sun behind them, often ends in a poor image with no colour and dark shadows. It can be a bit of a juggling act and, at times, difficult when the sun is not in the right spot. However, if you know that you’re after some images, think ahead and try to come up with the best possible solution.
- Using a flash is extremely beneficial when photographing people holding fish, as it helps to eliminate shadows and can bring out colours in low light situations.
- Remember that it isn’t just photos of fish that you need in your articles. Photos of before and after fishing, such as the launching of your boat or walking to a spot, really help tell the story, too. Photos of your fishing gear, or other important things like bait presentation etc are all elements to include when submitting an article for consideration.
- Leave images unedited, for the sake of colour issues when printing.
- All images must be at least 8mb in size, preferably larger, and supplied as high res’ jpeg's or TIFF’s