Guide Jim Huddleston caught this 45-pound kingfish in 16 feet off Clearwater in December while grouper fishing. Huddleston had just reeled a dead sardine off the bottom when the big king hit, and he managed to keep it on despite using a 60-pound fluorocarbon leader instead of wire. The fish was a surprise, as most kings had migrated south.
PHOTO TIPS FOR GREAT CATCH
+ Keep your photos simple. The fish and people are the most important things.
+ Watch your backgrounds and keep them as uncluttered as possible.
+ Fill the frame with fish and angler. If your fish is large, have your subject vertically then hold the camera vertically too.
+ Try to keep the sun behind you when taking pictures. Even on sunny days, turn on your flash in automatic mode to add light to darkened eye sockets or faces under the shade of a hat.
+ Take several photos to make sure you have a good one. Count 1, 2, 3 when taking pictures and push the shutter button just before you say three. This will give you fewer pictures with people blinking because they are used to blinking on three.
+ Steady your camera. Photos that are out of focus or blurry will not be used.
TECHNICAL GUIDELINES FOR ELECTRONIC PHOTOS
+ Photos should be a minimum of four megabytes in size BEFORE jpeg compression. Most 2-megapixel or better digital cameras will produce a file of that size or better. When creating digital files from negatives or prints, adjust your scanner settings to create at least a four megabyte file.
+ Adjust jpeg compression settings to high quality or better.
+ Save all photos with the .jpg file extension on the end.
+ The only file formats we will accept are .jpg, .sit (Stuffit) or .zip, with .jpg being the preferred format.
+ Please include your last name in the file name. A good example of a file name would be "greatcatchsmith.jpg."
+ Don't forget to include full caption information that identifies all people in the photo by first and last name. The caption should also include the type of fish and its weight, as well a specifics of the catch. And please include the name of the photographer with contact information (phone number, email, etc.) so we can properly credit the photo.
+ You can upload your digital photos using this address: www.sptimes.com/gulfandbay. Then click on the "Upload a Photo for Great Catch" link in the left column of the web page to go to the upload page.
+ You can also send photos through regular mail. Please only send photos (no negatives or slides) that you do not need to be returned. Mail them to: Jason Lusk, The St. Petersburg Times, 490 1st. Ave. S., St. Petersburg, FL 33701.