Lately, it seems like all of my bass fishing buddies have acquired GoPro cameras. I’m betting some of you can relate. Yes, this little action cam is good for shooting every bass you catch (and subsequently insist on posting to Facebook), but if used with a different aim, it can become a tool for becoming a better angler. I’ve been playing with GoPros for a few years now, and what they’re not is another device that adds complication to relaxing days on the lake. They’re actually easy to use and don’t get in your way. Just as athletes analyze videos of themselves to see what aspects of their performance need improvement, your GoPro footage can be a great instructional resource to help you hone your personal techniques.
It’s not usually the footage of epic catches that have instructional value. It’s in the down times between fish where you’ll often pick up on personal technique flaws. For example, if you miss several fish, you can analyze the rod angle and note mistakes prior to the hook set. Or if your casting is not spot-on, there’s a good chance you can detect a fault in your arm angle or release. That stuff won’t make the highlight reel, but it’s valuable information. I mount my camera on a chest harness, and though the footage may still be a little shaky, it’s not nearly as bad as a head mount, as your torso moves a lot less.
If my goal is to capture both technique and fish, I mount the camera on the boat’s driver side facing out and forward at a 45-degree angle. Then I’ll cast from the passenger side front, and vice-versa if fishing the other direction. The wide angle will get the bulk of the action on the water (like topwater hits), but it’s also behind you far enough to capture your technique.