GoPro cameras are changing our sport

This week kicks off a whirlwind trip that took me to Bass Pro Shops to film some television shows for “The Bass Pros,” to an Anheuser Busch promotion on Table Rock Lake, and then off to Tennessee for three days to work with the press at a Strike King Media Workshop.

Not surprisingly, the use of GoPro cameras have been or will be prominent at each of those events, another indication of how these miniature sport action cameras have changed the face of bass fishing.

They can be attached to just about anything when used with the versatile accessories the company offers. You can affix them on a cap, a fishing rod or mount them around the boat. They’re not only capable of recording high resolution video, but take still shots as well. And they come with a smart phone app that allows you to control camera remotely from your phone and even upload a new video from the water to your social media platform.

And, when employed with the waterproof case, you can use them in wet environments without causing damage to the camera.

There are several models, including a new GoPro Hero4 Black (professional quality video) and Silver that began showing up on retail shelves this week. I just got my Hero4 Silver and am impressed with its new features, such as a built in on-screen touch display for changing settings and reviewing video. Earlier versions didn’t offer that.

How do miniature action cameras relate to bass fishing?

You don’t have to look any further than this website to see the multiple uses of GoPros in our sport. Several of the videos you see on were recorded on GoPros attached to Elite Series boats during tournaments. Nearly all anglers who make the semi-finals in Elite events have GoPros in use and even “The Bassmasters” film crew uses GoPro footage in their shows.

The cameras really proved their value during last year’s Bassmaster Classic. Many of the scenes of winner Randy Howell’s phenomenal fish catches were caught on tape because of the portable camera mounted in his boat.

It’s not just a tool for pros, either. Recreational anglers are mounting them on their boats and for good reason. Not only can you capture footage of fish catches, but you can take high quality photographs of your bass before you release them.

The University of Michigan collegiate fishing team has built a library of GoPro videos to include their tournaments and activities and that has helped them attract sponsorships.

It’s an excellent learning tool, too. For example, if you’re losing fish, you can analyze videos of your hook-set, much the way a baseball player assesses his swing.

I’ve also found the camera invaluable for studying lures underwater. With the camera in its waterproof case and attached to an extension pole, I can see how baits look to bass when they are moving underwater. For example, during one of the Bass Pro shoots this week, I got to see how various jig trailers perform on football jigs. It was eye-opening to compare what I assumed each trailer did to what it actually looks like to the fish as it moves on the bottom.

The applications for social media users are endless with miniature video cameras, especially for tournament anglers looking for ways to build their brand and promote themselves. A website with video is far more informative and impressive than one that contains verbal descriptions, and the fact these babies perform so well in an aquatic environment make them a good fit for us.

We’ve only scratched the surface in how we can use miniature sport cameras in our fishing, whether it’s for educational purposes, personal entertainment or in promotions.

And as the miniature sport camera technology grows, we’ll find even more ways to use them in our everyday fishing!

It’s all about the attitude!