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Waterproof camera for wading

Jimmy M.

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I caught my biggest smallmouth ever last Friday evening. No tape measure, no camera. I now carry a tape with me but I sure wish i had a picture.


I was out in the middle of the river hip deep in the water and although I took a few seconds to admire this beauty ( I held it next to my fly rod to get some idea of how long it was by comparison) but I wanted to set her free as soon as possible.


I was wondering what sort of camera and gear would I use, to get the best possible picture of a fish, under the conditions mentioned above. I have a very nice cell phone but am apprehensive about taking it out in the water.


Also, what would be a good procedure to get the best possible picture of a fish and still be able to get it back in the water quickly.


I know how big this beauty was, and who really cares if anyone believes me or not. Still it would be nice to be able to back up my story.

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A hand held shot of the fish & the flyrod or a shot of the fish held at the water's surface can both be done with your cell phone which should be carried in a waterproof plastic bag. For timer shots of yourself holding the fish you'll need a digital camera.I use a waterproof Olympus Tough costing about $125, It's a good idea to have a spare battery along.The fish will be fine if you leave it hooked up in the water while you set up the camera for the timer shot.A small pocket tripod provides a stable base for the camera on uneven surfaces.

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Waterproof camera would probably be the best option. I believe Olympus and Pentax had the first wp cameras but everyone seems to have one now. There was a discussion on cameras earlier this year; not sure if it was in this Gear topic or Open Discussion. Read the reviews of multiple cameras and decide what you can afford or what you want to afford. Either a small tripod or gorilla pod to hold the camera on uneven surface or strap to a branch etc. Before you start casting an area take a look around and decide where would be a good spot to take a picture taking into account the angle of the sun, where to place the camera, what you have to wade through to get there should you catch a picture worthy fish. Once you hook the fish slowly work your way to the photo spot while landing it. Set your camera for self timer and leave fish hooked in water under control until just before the shot. Practice with your camera at home so you know how far away to kneel etc. so you get the whole fish in along with background, don't cut your head off. 10 second timer so fish barely out of water. You can also take a mid river shot of fish. I like the in water ones personally.


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Rob G. just a question: if it was in 4 1/2 ft. of water how did you pick it up without getting water in your waders? I'm not trying to be funny just interested if you have some trick on this I could use.


Great question,

I stripped down to my skivvies and was forced to go down under in ice cold spring fed Wisconsin water in early April. Luckily the water was crystal clear so seeing the camera on the bottom was not a problem. The water was so cold it literally took my breath away. The trout in that stream had a great laugh I'm sure. I normally have it attached to a floater just in case but I had taken it off just earlier in the day and the camera slipped right out of my pocket and down into a deep cut in the stream. Always keep it on a floater or use a zinger attached to your vest.

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They make several different sizes. The one in the link above is strong enough for a flashlight. The ones I use aren't as powerful as that one, but work well. Here is one specifically made for cameras.



I use one of their heavier models for my landing net to attach it to the seat of my kayak, works well.


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