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Saltwater Fly Fishing Bonefish, Tarpon, Redfish, Permit, False Albacore, Striped Bass, etc...

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Old 02-14-2014, 10:06 AM
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Default Went Fishing for a change...

and made a discovery. Not about fishing but about filming fishing.

Wayne and I were going backcountry for spinner sharks a couple days ago. I'd never caught one and they are thick backcountry now - along with blues to 9 lbs and, as we discovered, mackeral to 30". The blues and large macs are in areas we never used to see them in those numbers and large (for here) size.

Anyhow, I loaded up the old 12 wt (more like a 13 wt) with a billfish taper, 9' leader, 30 inch #4 wire and a sailfish popper. I also brought a 10 wt with a 16' leader and a surface shrimp made like a gurgler.

The water was like milk, despite little wind for the previous 2 days so we kept heading west till we got into medium smokey water and then the wind died. Knowing Wayne as I do, I knew that our spinner outing was off. He had half a dozen crabs in his bait well. So, permit hunting it was.

Our plan had been to locate a ladyfish mud and start catching them until the commotion brought in some spinners. Once they were lit up from all the commotion, I would then switch to the 12 wt and pick out a big one. But this, of course was aborted with the drop in wind, because Wayne is a fanatic permit fisherman.

His first cast to permit, however, was a little short and wound up with a small spinner grabbing his crab and putting on an air show, including one spectacular jump during which he executed at least 4 1/2 RPMs. I had my "hat cam" on, but missed the best of the fight because I was aimed too high and he was off the top of the frame.

A slight breeze began so we started elec. motoring along the bank looking for tails. I grabbed the 12 in case a spinner cruised by, since the water in close to the bank was pretty clear. Meanwhile, Wayne was dragging his crab along up in the bow. Finally, I told him if I saw a big shark, I was going to throw at it even if not a spinner. I haven't bent a rod on a good fish in way too long.

I still had my "hat cam" on when I spotted a probably shark up ahead of Wayne. This time it worked pretty well, but I still didn't know until afterwards if I had him in the frame -turned out I did. Been a long time since I fished for sharks - and never lemons - but most of them (except bonnets) are delicate eaters and you have to tickle their noses for quite a ways to get them to eat. This one seemed aggressive, and I screwed up and tried to feed him too soon as he looked ready to open his mouth. But the fly slowing to a stop spooked him and the popper took a little ride just behind his head as he dove down and swam away.

Wayne got two good shots at permit, but both times his small crab caught the wind and sailed off course.

After they settled down and resurfaced, I got a great shot at them with the shrimp on the 10 wt. They knew we were there, but at least I got the big one to track on the fly before deciding not to eat it.

These were deep-water permit floating on top, not feeding. I did have them in the frame as we approached, but was reluctant to try the zoom, since I didn't even know if they were in the frame. The went down once, then came up again further away, and are not visable in the video as I cast to them because they are too far away, though they are before that.

Like an idiot, I cast at the jumbo instead of the smaller one about 5 feet ahead of him - but I just can't control myself and cast at smaller fish which are much more likely to eat. Had they been side by side, either may have rushed the fly so the other didn't get it. Tarpon are like that too when not in strings. So because of my obsession with large fish, the smaller permit in front never even knew the fly was there.

But the big discovery (I already know I am an idiot) is that I need a sight hanging down off my camera like the old WW1 machine gun sights. Since the camera hangs down off a hard hat by some kind of attachment slide , I can use the tripod screw hole in the bottom of the camera to mount a discrete ring sight in front of my right eye. Then, using the zoom button on the hinged screen door, I will be able to use the zoom and keep the fish in the frame.

What I really want to catch is good video of sailfish hitting a popper. The adrenaline rush of that is truly extraordinary, and I've never seen a video that captures it. Not many people fish for them from flats boats or little 17 footers like mine in calm weather. Nor do they use a zoom because it's too hard to hold a camera still with a zoom. But I've discovered that a head mount is way, way more stable - if only you know exactly where it's pointed.

So it was a great day to be barefoot in the sun with a light cotton short sleeve shirt on watching sharks and rays and mackerel and permit - despite the smokey water.
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:48 PM
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Default Re: Went Fishing for a change...

First, I am completely jealous of the fishing report!!

As to the camera, what kind were you using?

I think that's one of the nice thing about the Gopros...the wide angle lens is very forgiving in the aiming department.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: Went Fishing for a change...

They are little sonys that take the little DV tapes. The regular go pros are nice for most fishing except not so good on fish that can take out hundreds of yards in seconds like sails if they decide to start running first and jumping later.

I wanted something I could use a zoom lens on and buy used on ebay cheap. I also have a polarizing filter and don't know if those are available for go pros.

I'll see how the sight works out.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:08 PM
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Default Re: Went Fishing for a change...

Jim: That was great, I'm also jealous, sounds like you two had lots of chances, that is what keeps us coming back! Best of luck figuring that video camera out.

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Old 02-14-2014, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: Went Fishing for a change...

Man I gotta get back on the salt! your description of your day got me excited. I have a sony video cam (rarely use it... not even sure where it is) There is really truly only one way to succeed in the kind of filming you crave.... One man on the rod and one man on the lens. If you want to zoom in on the action, you have to be committed to the camera. Or else go down to the pentagon and get some high tech military camera that reacts to your eyes
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: Went Fishing for a change...

Jbird,

Can't go to the pentagon any more. My old "guardian angel", Mrs. A, who worked there, died a while back.

I think this is gonna work. Biggest problem I think is a strong, comfortable head band. I''ll have to add a counterweight on the back of the way I've got it, or else remount the camera directly on top of the hard hat, and attach the sight to the bottom of the camera mounting plate.

But then, finding the zoom button while in a fish fight might be tough. The way it is now, I can the buttons on the LCD door when I look up, but the LCD itself is useless in the bright sunlight for seeing what's on it.

I got the mounting plate made for the sight this afternoon. Had to turn down some screws amd tap the plate then make a long dog point screw to hold the thing on tight and make it rigid and removable.

Wayne stopped in tonight. He took a guy out who's renting my sister's place and admitted what an idiot he was for not bringing crabs. The wind died to zero and permit were popping up like daisies all over the place. That's what you get for believing the weather man.
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