Watch Fish to Understand Them

Take glimpse under the surface to better understand the world of the fish we target. I spend a fair amount of time underwater, observing and documenting fish and their behaviors. So, how would an angler go about getting a glimpse into the world of the fish we target? I use a GoPro attached to a pole while shark fishing. When a shark approaches the boat, I drop the camera below the surface to capture how the shark reacts to our baits and how it takes the hook. Since I am not breathing through scuba gear, I can hear the natural sounds of the sea. Additionally, snorkel gear is lightweight. Seeing a wreck or rock pile on a depthfinder gives you an idea of how large a structure is and how far it rises off the bottom, but that does not paint a complete picture. What is the structure made of? After diving a site that you regularly fish, you will never fish it the same way again.
If you swim slowly, blackfish will allow you to get very close to them, making for cool pictures and video.

Pictured above: If you swim slowly, blackfish will allow you to get very close to them, making for cool pictures and video.

Take glimpse under the surface to better understand the world of the fish we target.

I spend a fair amount of time underwater, observing and documenting fish and their behaviors. Doing so allows me to acquire a better understanding of how a fish feeds along a sandbar, rock outcropping, or other structure. This knowledge can then be translated into better lure choice, presentation, and placement. For example, we all know that drifting is one of the more productive techniques when targeting fluke, but why is this the case? Seeing firsthand where fluke set up on a piece of structure and how they ambush their prey will enable you to plan your drift in a way that increases your odds of hooking up.

Watching stripers swim unbothered provides clues to how and where to catch them.
Watching stripers swim unbothered provides clues to how and where to catch them.

So, how would an angler go about getting a glimpse into the world of the fish we target? One of the easiest ways is with the use of a waterproof action camera, such as a GoPro, WaterWolf, or Shimano ECM-1000 Sport Camera. The possibilities are limitless and, in most cases, you don’t need to get wet to capture compelling underwater footage. I use a GoPro attached to a pole while shark fishing. When a shark approaches the boat, I drop the camera below the surface to capture how the shark reacts to our baits and how it takes the hook. Playing the video back later often reveals mistakes I made, allowing me to make adjustments and be better prepared…

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