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Friday, 19 April 2013 00:00

GoPro Photography Rigging For Kayak Fishing

Written by Rob Appleby
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I have up to three GoPro cameras mounted to my Ocean Kakak “Big Game”, so when it came to rigging the Hobie “Outback” I also needed to take the photography aspect into consideration. It does take me quite some time to plan and rig my kayaks; I sit back, consider everything, and try to produce the cleanest setup possible that matches all rigging possibilities.

Some time ago, I upgraded my cameras to the GoPro “Hero 2”, I also took the opportunity to fit wireless backpacks that permit all cameras to be operated remotely. This had the advantage of being able to mount a camera where access afloat may prove an issue. Once I’d pondered the various possibilities, I tried to tie them in with the other rigging aspects that I needed to accomplish. This is where YakAttack “GearTrac” really started to come into its own. If you’ve read my previous piece on how I rigged the Outback for fishing you’ll know I’ve already heavily utilized GearTrac on the that kayak.

I have three main camera mounts that can be fitted to my kayak: the YakAtack “Panfish Portrait” and “DogBone” mounts, and my homebrew extendable camera mount.

yakattack panfish portrait and monopod

Left Panfish Portrait, right homebrew extendable camera mount

dogbone underwater mount


You can order the PanFish Portrait with several mounting options. Mine is designed to fit to either GearTrac or a YakAttack “MightyMount”... The DogBone fits to a 1.5” RAM ball, though the use of a ScrewBall from YakAttack permits the DogBone to again be fitted to either GearTrac or a MightyMount - clever stuff!. My own DIY extendable camera mount (monopod) was designed with a YakAttack T-bolt in the base. so it also fits the same mounts and also slides into most rods holders. All my mounts are exceptionally versatile, and with a few lengths of strategically placed GearTrac, they can be mounted in multiple positions around the kayak.

As the name suggests, the PanFish Portrait was designed to capture portrait photos - those big fish moments that we want to catch on camera. I chose to have it mounted as far up front as reasonably practical. As mentioned earlier, the cameras are controlled by remote so reaching the camera while afloat is not normally a requirement.

I mounted a length of GT90 GearTrac ahead of the front hatch, an ideal location for the PanFish Portrait. The angle of view on the GoPro Hero 2 can be varied from 90,120 and 170 degrees, allowing the camera to be set to suit its location and intended use.

Any of my mounts can be placed in this position, though the monopod is a little wasted in this location. The DogBone has potential to capture a slightly different angle and height.

yakattack panfish portrate and dogbone on bow

There is the risk of getting water splash of the lens of the GoPro when mounted forward and low to the water. I have not tried the DogBone in the low position shown, though the PanFish Portrait has not suffered despite nosing into several smaller waves. Then again, what if it rains? It is actually possible to slide forward and reach the bow of the kayak. It’s not something I’d have attempted on my Big Game, but it’s a straightforward maneuver on the Outback.

I’ve previously used the DogBone in several ways, though I find it best suited to being mounted outboard of the seat, or deployed for underwater footage. I had positioned some GearTrac behind the seat on either side; this proved to be perfect for mounting the DogBone, allowing it to fulfill both of these duties.

dogbone angler view

dogbone underwater mount 2

The photos below show other mounting combinations. I can mount the extendable camera mount onto the dry box, as there’s a section of GT90 GearTrac mounted to it. I mounted a 1.5” ScrewBall and a RAM Tube rod holder to the GearTrac behind the seat for illustration purposes.

DIY monopod

hobie outback fully camera ready

I do this a lot and it permits me to position the camera well away from the kayak. This results in some interesting photographs and video footage.

view from monopod

People have often asked me how I achieve so many different angles when taking photos or shooting film from the kayak. It’s purely down to having 2-3 cameras operating at once from different positions around the kayak.



About the Author: Rob Appleby-Goudberg is an enthusiastic UK based fisherman and moved over to kayak fishing in 2007. As much as being a keen angler, regularly travelling around the UK in search of fish, he loves to rig and modify kayaks. These experiences and projects are regularly shared on his blog at www.saltwaterkayakfisherman.com and on Facebook. He resides in the south of the UK with his wife and two children. Rob is a Pro Staffer for YakAttack, a Crew Member for Hook1 and a member of Hobie GB Fishing Team.

Read 56702 times Last modified on Thursday, 18 April 2013 21:04


# taekwondo45 2013-04-19 11:15
Have you tried the hero 3? I've considered buying one, but heard negative things about this camera on the amazon review page so it kind of stalled. I'd love a waterproof camera though. What are your thoughts on this camera?
# BassBandit 2013-04-22 00:13
I love how you have those gopro's set up. Thanks for sharing.

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