I was 22 years old when I caught my first striper over 40 pounds. I knew I was into the biggest bass I’d ever hooked, but when it finally came up to the surface, its massive tail sweeping, my heart never beat so fast. In fact, seeing that I’m a Northeast native and stripers are my favorite local target, I can honestly say my heart never beat as fast for any other fish since. This past Saturday, I sort of got to relive that when 9-year-old Alex Dorris, the son of my good friend Darren, landed his first 40-pounder on my boat.


In this business, you shoot hundreds of thousands of fishing photos, most of which end up doing nothing more than documenting a location, showing a piece of tackle, or capturing the run-of-the-mill grip-and-grin. But every once in a while you’re there with a camera to shoot something that transcends memorable because what occured is a “first” for someone or likely will not occur again. It’s happened to me twice. I was lucky enough to be one of two photographers on scene when an angler in Florida landed a 1,200-pound world-record hammerhead shark back in 2006. And I was there on my own boat this Saturday when Alex bested his first 40-pounder thirteen years earlier in life than I did.

Even more rare, my other buddy Rick Bach was there to shoot me taking the photo. I’m really glad Rick got this shot, because I was as happy photographing the fish as Alex was catching it. Now, I think every man should have a replica mount of his first 40-pound bass, though when I mentioned this to Alex, I received the “please shut up before I slug you” look from Darren. Ah, well…photos will have to suffice.

So what’s the most memorable fishing photo you’ve ever taken? And if you want to see more pics of Alex’s epic catch, check out Rick’s story on