To The Point

Dave Watts

There is not much press on angling considering it is the largest participant sport in the world...

As I sit in tranquil surroundings, at the edge of the flat calm water, I am a hunter with a trap – a hook – lying in wait. I wait for the unwitting fish to take the bait and for the fight that follows. All this for the pleasure of netting my quarry and the taking of the trophy photograph, before all returns to calm. For most of us angling is all about the hunt, the most important part of which is finding the perfect spot to lay our traps. If their placing is wrong, or if the hook isn’t sharp enough, the fish will get away.

Believe it or not, each and every hook is designed with the safety of the fish in mind. Protecting these ancient creatures is our top priority – yet we anglers understand that our pastime is completely barbaric. In my photographs, these little instruments of torture become exquisite objects, tiny spearheads elevated into fantastic works of expressive art.

Watching the glass-like water, the experience, for me, becomes almost spiritual. Watching... just waiting for that one unlucky fish to drift towards that perfect spot – and for the sudden chaos to begin. These images portray a similar turbulent calm. We know the damage and turmoil these tiny pointed and barbed traps cause but there is peace and tranquillity in these images. The light falling across the hook’s steel shank is the same as that which shimmers over the water only broken by a ripple in the wind.