Every now and then, one of my bosses asks me how we can increase Internet readership among outdoor enthusiasts.
The answer to that question is remarkably simple, I have learned. Somebody — you, perhaps — has to catch a big fish.
Then somebody — like me — has to post a photos of that lunker on our website.
Slowly, at first, readers will start checking in. Then the flow will get stronger. And after a few hours, every interested Internet angler around will have seen the photo, made a comment on our website … and grabbed his or her fishing rod and headed for the woods.
Truth be told, the same phenomenon works when it comes to critter pics. If we post a photo of a huge deer, our web readers flock to the story and photo. If one of you lets us know about a deer with a huge or abnormal set of antlers, that photo will be seen from Maine to California after we put it up on our website.
So here’s a challenge for you.
Do you have a photo like this one (which shows Bill Maynard Jr. and his 29.67-pound togue, caught in 2009)?
Maynard’s fish was a true whopper, and had he been able to weigh it sooner, Hollis Grindle’s longstanding record — Grindle caught a 31.5-pound togue in 1958 — may well have been broken. Now that’s a fish tale.
Well, how about this one, which shows Scott Picard with his 8.55-pound landlocked salmon, caught in 2011?
Hmm. Well. I don’t have a photo like that, either.
Interesting note about Picard’s fish: This was certainly a great Long Lake salmon, but it fell far short of his own personal record.
Back in July of 2006, Picard hauled in an 11.24-pound salmon, in fact.
Note: I’ve fished with Picard. We didn’t catch a thing, as far as I can recall. But I saw the photo of the 11-pounder, so I’m certain that his story isn’t merely a “fish tale.”
As a matter of fact, you’ve probably seen the photo, too: The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife used that image on the cover of its fishing law book one year.
Yes, big fish draw a crowd. There’s no doubt about that.
But cute kids proudly showing off their day’s catch are also a hit with readers.
Like this one: You have surely caught a fish as big as 3-year-old Nathan Cartier hooked back in 2006, haven’t you?
Well, we’re interested in what you’re catching. We want you to be able to share your fish tale with the world. And there’s no better Maine news site to accomplish that goal than the one we run here at the Bangor Daily News.
You can submit your own fishing memories at the bottom of our Outdoors page (just click on “upload photos”). Or, if you’ve got a truly epic fish tale to tell, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let me know why your story (and photos) deserves more cyber-ink than the rest.
So get fishing! Get posting!
Who knows? You might just become an international fishing legend.