Engbretson Underwater Photography

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

Friday, September 30, 2022

How Do Gamefish React to Fishing Lures


What do fish do when they see a shiny lure or bait? Do they strike immediately, or do they view it with suspicion? As a lifelong fisherman, Peter Sohnle, of Milwaukee wanted to find out. He modified GoPro cameras into special housings which he attached to his fishing lines just a few feet from the lure and began trolling lakes in Wisconsin to see what he could learn about fish behavior.  

His website, The Fish Watcher, is a collection of fascinating underwater videos showing how fish relate to a variety of presentations. Peter's website also includes his own one-of-a-kind research findings in which he tries to quantify which species are the most curious, which ones eagerly follow and strike lures, and what depths and angles seem to be the most productive. 

I found his research and videos to be fascinating because they give us a glimpse into the underwater world of fishes and keenly identify many interesting observations. I'd also add that his work demonstrates how little we really understand about what motivates fish. After watching the videos, you'll undoubtedly find you have many questions about how to catch fish that you've never thought of. 

Peter's continued research into this area will only become clearer as he collects more data. There's so much we're still learning about the behavior of our native freshwater fish, but Peter's investigation into how fish relate to lures is both interesting and informative.