Cap­ture the Ex­cite­ment

Pho­tos and videos are a great way to back up your brag­ging rights about your big catch or the mon­ster that got away. Many an­glers wouldn’t be caught with­out a cam­era aboard the boat, but what about all the ac­tion that takes place below the sur­face while y

Sport Fishing Gear Guide - - Hot Gifts - AR­TI­CLE BY DAVID WESSNER

How us­ing an un­der­wa­ter cam­era will en­hance your fish­ing trip

your small wa­ter­proof sport cam­era to cap­ture the ex­cite­ment un­der­wa­ter while trolling adds a whole new di­men­sion to your fish­ing tales. Just look at how tele­vised fish­ing shows have im­proved and be­come both more ex­cit­ing and in­for­ma­tive with dra­matic un­der­wa­ter videos. Your favourite fish­ing host can show you how lures and baits act un­der­wa­ter and can show you the re­ac­tion of the game­fish.

In fact, more and more top an­glers use videos to ad­just and im­prove their fish­ing tech­niques and lure pre­sen­ta­tion to catch more or big­ger fish. It’s also a great way to pre­serve all as­pects of your fish­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, adding to the mem­o­ries of that great trip you went on, show­ing the whole story, both above and below the wa­ter. What used to be very ex­pen­sive and re­quire lots of spe­cial­ized equip­ment on the boat has changed dra­mat­i­cally in re­cent years. It’s much eas­ier and more af­ford­able than you think. It’s even so sim­ple and com­pact that you can take your un­der­wa­ter video set-up when you travel to that re­mote lo­ca­tion or once in a life­time fish­ing trip.

If you al­ready have a Gopro or sim­i­lar small wa­ter­proof sport cam­era, then you are al­ready close to adding un­der­wa­ter ac­tion video to your ex­pe­ri­ence.

While there are a few spe­cial­ized prod­ucts that in­clude a ded­i­cated cam­era, many pre­fer ac­ces­sory-type hous­ings that let you also use your cam­era for other ac­tiv­i­ties. This ar­ti­cle will dis­cuss us­ing an ac­ces­sory trolling hous­ing.

Small point-of-view cam­eras now have plenty of fea­tures and can pro­duce pro­fes­sional qual­ity im­ages in most cases. Be sure that your cam­era is wa­ter­proof rated and take into ac­count the depth that you will be us­ing the cam­era un­der­wa­ter. For trolling, many lures or baits are run just below the wa­ter’s sur­face or at var­i­ous depths, usu­ally above 15 me­ters. Th­ese trolling hous­ings can be used in fresh or salt­wa­ter ap­pli­ca­tions. Wa­ter clar­ity is usu­ally the main con­sid­er­a­tion. In clear off­shore wa­ter, fish can be seen for a con­sid­er­able dis­tance be­hind the cam­era and pro­duce some ex­cit­ing ac­tion videos of the chase and the bite. Salt­wa­ter trolling speeds are usu­ally from 4-8 knots. The top sell­ing hous­ings pro­vide a sta­ble and rugged plat­form for your cam­era at those speeds, and are de­signed to not pro­duce un­wanted bub­bles that would in­ter­fere with your video.

Fresh­wa­ter trolling is usu­ally much slower and the hous­ings need to com­pen­sate for both sta­bil­ity and to re­main hor­i­zon­tal to the wa­ter sur­face. Some un­der­wa­ter hous­ing mod­els are also made for down­rig­ger fish­ing and may pro­vide the per­fect so­lu­tion. Down­rig­ger mod­els have a cable or at­tach­ments that run top to bot­tom in­stead of front to rear, so your back­ward fac­ing cam­era will re­main hor­i­zon­tal re­gard­less of the trolling speed. See the man­u­fac­tur­ers’ web­sites for your in­tended use.

The top-sell­ing un­der­wa­ter trolling hous­ings let you go from box to fish­ing in just a few min­utes. Your cam­era in its own wa­ter­proof “dive hous­ing” is eas­ily and se­curely mounted in the trolling hous­ing with a mount­ing screw. The hous­ings should come with a lead trolling weight, which will get your hous­ing to the de­sired depth. The trolling weight and hous­ing should be at­tached to a strong line or cable and gen­er­ally run about 3-20 me­ters be­hind the boat. That set-up lets you record the ac­tion from the cen­ter­line wake to your side fish­ing po­si­tions. You will be able to see fish com­ing up from the depths, fol­low­ing your baits, and your hook-ups. The man­u­fac­tur­ers will be happy to as­sist you in an­swer­ing any ques­tions or rec­om­mend­ing the best set-up. Many an­glers use a heavy duty boat rod and reel ded­i­cated for their trolling hous­ing which will en­able you to move the cam­era eas­ily in your fish­ing spread and al­lows you to quickly re­trieve the hous­ing when needed. Down­rig­ger model hous­ings can be at­tached di­rectly to your cable.

In most ap­pli­ca­tions you can ex­pect up to two hours of record­ing time un­der­wa­ter. See your cam­era man­u­fac­turer for de­tails and set­tings. Some of the copy­cat cam­eras pro­vide very good qual­ity, sim­i­lar fea­tures at greatly re­duced pric­ing, for those an­glers that may be ap­pre­hen­sive about us­ing an ex­pen­sive cam­era un­der­wa­ter. If you fol­low the rec­om­men­da­tions the hous­ings greatly min­i­mize risk of dam­age or loss.

Adding an un­der­wa­ter trolling hous­ing to your cam­era will be one of the most re­ward­ing and ex­cit­ing angling ac­ces­sories to ‘Cap­ture the Ex­cite­ment’.

Cap­tain David Wessner is an avid sport fish­er­man ex­pe­ri­enced in us­ing trolling cam­eras, and is CEO of Seaw­ide Tech­nolo­gies Inc., mak­ers of Troll Pro.

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