Best fishing video ever?

Whether or not you think this is the best fishing video ever, it’s definitely the best one we’ve ever made. This movie was taken in Cuba’s, ‘Jardines de la Reina’. We travelled there in 2014 as a party of 4, and enjoyed a wonderful combination of fly fishing for both bonefish and small tarpon.

 

How we shoot our fishing videos

There’s nothing overly complex about how we film our fishing movies. After all, you don’t want to spend too much time on your equipment when there are fish to be caught. I normally travel with a Sony Powershot (mine is the PowerShot S60, although there’s quite a range). What I like about the PowerShot is that it’s very convenient when you’re out on a fishing boat. Importantly, it’s a one-piece. There are no additional components, removable lenses or flashes, and it fits neatly into a handy shoulder bag.

  

With this camera, I always have everything with me, whether I’m on the boat, on a beach, or wading.I don’t want to carry multiple cameras – so I definitely don’t want one camera for stills and another for movie. Having said that, I wanted to be able to take some close-up shots with depth-of-field – an effect I really like.
 

Bonefish fly box depth-of-field

For the underwater shots, I used – surprise surprise – a GoPro. Mine’s actually a fairly early model, and I really must upgrade, but it still does the trick underwater. It’s also very versatile – I use it to shoot video when I’m skiing too.

Equipment summary

All-in-all, with a one-piece camera like my PowerShot, and a GoPro for those underwater shots, I’ve got everything I need. For me, the PowerShot is the best of both worlds – it has an incredible zoom, which allows you to capture action at distance (essential for capturing ‘the take’). Yet it’s also capable of shooting a close-up object with the background blurred, as in the shot above. I never need to switch from one lens to another, so I never risk saltwater getting into my equipment. I can also put the camera around my neck while I’m wading, knowing it won’t be too fiddly if I need to take a shot in a rush.
 

About our trip

The size of tarpon you can catch in Jardines de la Reina very much depends on the time of year. If you travel there during the summer months – especially May, June and July – you’re in with a chance of some much bigger tarpon. Typically, in those months, you’ll be fishing on the flats, with fish there well in excess of 100 pounds. This is generally sigh-fishing, where you’ll target a specific fish. That means your casting needs to be in decent shape, especially when it’s windy.

Conversely we were there in November. At this time the bigger tarpon have migrated away, leaving only their juveniles behind. These smaller tarpon take shelter in the mangroves, which is why you have to push through the undergrowth to find them. It makes landing them pretty awkward. We were advised to use very heavy tackle and strong leader. That enables you, once you’re hooked up, to hold on for dear life and hope they don’t get into the tree roots.

We stayed onboard ‘La Torguga’ – a comfortable liveaboard boat that’s permanently moored somewhere in the Jardines mangroves. From there, each morning, you hop on a fast skiff, two-by-two, and speed off to the awaiting fish. I can’t recommend it highly enough!
 
Tarpon in Cuba - our best fishing video ever
 

Looking for a good fishing movie?

Check out our top ten fishing movies here.

Note about this page

This post originally included the best selection of fishing clips we’ve ever seen. The problem was that it included a lot of little clips, owned by many different people, almost certainly without their knowledge. We thought we could solve this by reaching out to the fishing community and offering links to everyone whose clip had been ‘borrowed’. That way, the filmmakers could get proper recognition for their work, Meanwhile people at large could go on enjoying the movie.

Sadly that didn’t work out. One of the clip-owners complained directly to YouTube, who insisted we remove the clip (in fact they removed it for us and gave us an official warning). Fair enough – that’s totally within their power. Nevertheless it seems a bit of a shame. A lot of people were enjoying the video (just check out the comments below if you don’t believe me). It was even getting non-fishers interested in videos about fishing. Anyway, we’ve now replaced the video with one of our own. The content is different, but we’ve tried to recapture some of the mood and intensity. We’d love to know what you think!

James Green About James Green

James Green loves nothing more than casting a fly in pursuit of salmon, seatrout or, when the opportunity arises, a tailing bonefish, tarpon or permit.

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