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Having judges a fish class or two I feel capable of throwing my opinion
into the tank.
I have also made several presentations at the local fish club about showing
and what a judge looks for.
The biggest killer of those would be grand champions is torn or damaged
pectoral fins. On many fish species these are clear and damage may not be
visible without good light. Before senting a fish off to a show get out
your flashlight and go over your fish with a fine meshed net as opposed to
a comb. Look for missing or damaged scaled, split fins or malformed rays.
Shining the light through the fin so as to cast a shadow will quickly
reveal any tears.
Once you have determine that your fish is show quality then you have to
transport it with care not only to its show venue but into the transport
container. That green net may be fast but I bet you pull a scale of two and
may even tear a fin. Better to use a white mesh net, or even better a clear
contain to scoop with or you hand.
The thing to remember is that the judge has to justify his choice of the
day or moment not just to you but to himself. Check the notes to see what
she saw while judging your entry.
Take a change, you learn with each entry and each show. A first place fish
should always place first if it is in the same condition each time.
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
e-mail kealey at connect_ab.ca
I never met a fish I didn't like.