Engbretson Underwater Photography

Search The Fish Photos

News From Behind the Scenes at Engbretson Underwater Photo and Stories about the Freshwater Environments We Visit.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

2022 Underwater Fish Calendar from Engbretson Underwater Photography

Looking for a cool wall calendar for 2022?  Check out the 2022 Fishing Calendar from the Koozie Group featuring 13 underwater images from the Engbretson Underwater Photography team. Bass, salmon, walleye, trout, panfish, and others are all represented in vibrant color expertly photographed underwater in their natural habitats. 

Click here to order from Amazon.com  Only $7.98!

Engbretson Underwater Fishing Calendar Cover

Interior of Engbretson Underwater Fishing Calendar
2022 Engbretson Underwater Fishing Calendar Images

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Underwater Photography of Reptiles and Amphibians

At Engbretson Underwater Photography we're best known for our exceptional underwater images of freshwater fishes of North America. But because our photographers spend so much time under the surface of lakes and rivers, they also often observe and photograph a variety of aquatic non-fish species. Over the years, we've accumulated many underwater images of turtles, snakes, and salamanders. We've added them to our online galleries because they represent a segment of the underwater ecosystem that helps make these freshwater environments both interesting and diverse.  

Today we've added some new Eastern Hellbender Salamander images from our ace photographer Isaac Szabo.  Because Eastern Hellbenders are largely reclusive creatures whose range is shrinking, they're not easy to locate and photograph. Isaac's done a great job of traveling to remote areas in North Carolina and other places where they can still be found in significant numbers. His hellbender images are striking.  

To view all of Isaac's underwater material, see our Isaac Szabo Gallery here, or visit our gallery solely devoted to underwater images of reptiles and amphibians

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Noted Conservation Photographer Joins Our Team


One of the best parts of operating a stock photo agency is acquiring exciting, new photographers to represent. Our newest contributor is Fernando Lessa, one of the country's most talented Salmon photographers.  Fernando's amazing images of salmon, taken underwater in the iconic streams of the American Pacific Northwest and Canada are among the most stunning ever made. 

Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Lessa has both a biology degree and a master’s degree in photography and specializes in documenting the relationship between humans and mother nature.  He's spent a great deal of time in the field, having worked on projects in a wide variety of areas, including the untouched Amazon Rainforest of Brazil, the unique Brazilian Savannah, and the Pacific Northwest.  He's a book author, filmmaker, and superb underwater photographer. 

Fernando joins Patrick Clayton, Jennifer Idol, Sean Landsman, Victor Vrbovsky, Garold Sneegas, Bryce Gibson, Todd Pearsons, Christopher Morey, Isaac Szabo, Paul Vecsei, and Roger Peterson on our "dream team" of the USA's best freshwater fish photographers.  His work can be licensed for commercial and editorial purposes by contacting us here at Engbretson Underwater Photography. To view more of Fernando's work, check out our Fernando Lessa Gallery here.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Ambassadors from an Underwater Realm

I’m often asked what my favorite fish is. That’s an impossible question because I love them all. While they’re all so wonderful in their own special ways, I do enjoy spending time with my Smallmouth Bass friends. They’re always friendly and curious and will eagerly pose for my cameras. They wait patiently while I fumble with the camera and strobe settings all while demonstrating my lack of swimming skills. To the fish, I’m a tourist visiting their world-largely ignorant and out of place despite my best efforts to fit in. Smallmouth Bass always make me feel welcome. Because they’re tirelessly cordial, friendly, and uncritical they are one of the best ambassadors of the piscine world. It’s a privilege to spend time with them and photograph them in their watery homes. 

Thursday, June 24, 2021

How Bio-Manipulation Saved the Walleyes of Wisconsin's Lake Metonga

My underwater images and my article about Lake Metonga's walleye recovery is the cover story of the July/August issue of Badger Sportsman Magazine.

I was in contact with Mike Pruel today to see how things are going this year on Lake Metonga. "Unfortunately, the bullheads have risen again, so we will do our best to knock them back in next few years", reports Pruel. Mike's crew has removed an additional 12,000 bullheads in the spring of 2021. "We're working closely with the Lake Metonga Association to organize and support efforts to remove baby bullheads this year and beyond. This is their part in the project, and a key for long-term management of bullheads in Metonga."

Despite the recent uptick in bullhead numbers, walleye recruitment remains robust. Spring walleye surveys continue to show young walleyes from the previous years are thriving and growing quickly, indicating that the walleye population is in great shape.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

The Pros and Cons of Early Season Scuba Diving

The 2021 season is underway. Water temperatures finally broke the 60-degree mark here in northern Wisconsin, which moved fish out of deep water and into the shallows for spawning.  At this time of year, I don't see many panfish, but the muskies are in the littoral zone completing their spawning rituals. I'm focusing on them now and getting some excellent pictures of post-spawn fish. In the next few weeks, I'll be switching my attention to the bass and crappie that will be spawning next and providing some excellent photo opportunities. Bluegills and pumpkinseed will be the last to spawn, with many bluegills still on nests well into July.

At this time of year, water clarity varies widely. Some lakes have excellent clarity very early in the year that degrades very quickly and never clears up. Other lakes are murky in spring and gradually clear up by mid-summer. Quickly rising temperatures also cause the water to stratify. A barrier can be formed that's difficult to see through. As long as you're looking straight ahead in a horizontal column of water that's the same temperature, you can see well. However, if you look up or down, even a few feet, you won't be able to see far because of this thermal barrier. This can make finding fish difficult. Once the water temperature warms enough, this layer will fall dramatically and form the thermocline, which is typically 20-30 feet deep.

One of the best things about diving Wisconsin's lakes in May is that boat traffic is still very limited. Kids are still in school, summer visitors haven't arrived and many cottages have yet to open for the year. This usually means that during the week, I have the lakes all to myself. After Memorial Day, things get busier. The increased boating traffic always drives the fish away from the shallows to deeper stretches where they're not as easy to find and photograph. Right now, even walleyes are in untypically shallow water and I've seen a few of them near shoreline cover in less than 10 feet of water.  

If you've always wanted to see our native fish in their natural habitat, pick up a snorkel and some swim fins and jump into the closest lake near you. You'll be surprised what you can see this time of year.