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
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.