Each and every day, while we fight fires, pound nails or jab computer keys, our minds never venture far from fishing. And yet most of us have no earthly way to imagine the kind of radical, electrifying stuff that happens below the surface, even as we earn our keep.
Mostly, it’s just fish being fish—swimming, spawning, biting each another. But to anglers, the thrill’s about asserting ourselves and our lures into their mysterious world, feeling the jolt of a bite and the surging power of a big fish at the end of the line.
For Aaron Wiebe, creator of YouTube’s popular Uncut Angling, entering this realm with underwater optics and capturing rarely seen fish footage is all in a day’s work. But even by Wiebe’s grand standards, the high definition underwater video he recently captured might fairly be classified as rarely seen material.
With an Aqua-Vu HD700i camera aimed at the underwater action in 50 to 80 feet of water, Wiebe captured footage of a colossal lake trout inspecting, stalking and ultimately swallowing a foot-long bait, showcased in webisode, BIG Lake Trout REDEMPTION.
“If I’d have been using sonar only and hadn’t had the camera down there to see this fish,” says Wiebe, “I would have likely moved to another spot. Instead, I was able to estimate the fish’s huge size relative to my 12-inch bait, which put me on high alert.
“As the lake trout stalked me for over an hour, I experimented with various presentations. Ultimately, to see it eat, chew and swim away with my bait, it doesn’t get any better. I was almost drooling when it happened.”
The footage showcased in the Uncut Angling video exhibits an enormous 42-inch lake trout doing something for which the species isn’t widely known: gorging on dead baitfish lying stationary on bottom.
Wiebe’s Aqua-Vu material is also relatively rare given the lake trout’s penchant for living in deep water and in remote lakes far off the grid. But these clear Canadian waters also make for ideal underwater viewing conditions, says Wiebe.
“This underwater camera gives you a huge edge to sonar,” Wiebe observes. “You get absolute species identification, a much better estimate of fish size and an intimate HD view of how fish react to your presentation. Gives you confidence in your fishing and allows you to constantly improve your approach.
“Perhaps most important, this tool adds a visual element to your fishing that is completely exhilarating—just like shallow water sight fishing for giant pike or bass.”
For the last half of the webisode, tension mounts and becomes nearly palpable, as viewers anxiously, anonymously root for the fish to bite. Coupled with video visuals of the massive, broad-backed lake trout, Wiebe’s on-screen charisma makes you want to stick around for the big finish and a pay off worthy of any anglers’ attention.
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