Because I often fish by myself, I have had a few lessons in taking a pic of myself with my catch. And trust me, you always catch the best fish when you are on your own. Here are a few things I have learned over the years.
Use the right tripod. This depends on the size of the camera you are using, but I find that the gorilla pod works perfect for my purposed. Because its small, you can attach it to your camera before you head out, saving you time when you are about to take the pic.
When landing the fish, make sure you find shallow water more or less as deep as the fish is thick. You can leave the fish on its side with water covering the gills while you set up your camera. In most instances the fish will be immobilized but can still breathe ok. Placing a damp cloth over the eyes will calm it down even further. Set up the shot while the fish is still lying in the water like this.
Use a camera with a custom timer. I set mine to one minute and 5 photos, meaning it will give me 60 seconds to get ready and then shoot 5 photos a few seconds apart, allowing me different positions. I leave the fish underwater until I hear the timer warning me that its about to start shooting. Allowing oneself enough time to get into position is very important.
Before pressing the button, tilt the camera and make sure your camera focus is set on your fish. If you don’t do this, it will focus on infinity and your fish will most likely be out of focus.
I use a Canon G1X. It is compact, but fully manual. A big plus is the display screen that swings out and faces forward. Once into position and I am ready to pic up the fish, I can see the composition on the display screen and make sure everything I want is in the shot.
As a rule I never do more than two or three sets, meaning the fish is never out the water for more than 10 seconds or so and allows for a successful release.