Christmas Island Ocean Side Flats and the DJI Phantom Vision

One of the coolest things about Christmas Island Bonefishing is the ocean side flats–specifically the Korean Wreck and Submarine. These flats feature fish that come directly from the ocean to feed on the coral reef flats on the incoming tides. These ocean side fish are usually bigger and stronger than the fish found on the inside flats. They can be seen surfing the waves of the incoming tide, giving the angler a chance at catching fish right at the shore break. Also, the fish are easier to see because of the waves and coral bottom as well as the fact they they are usually darker Schools of fish will often rush the flats on the crest of a wave and they hit flys aggressively. Bait doesn’t last long in the zone above the coral and the fish don’t have much time to root around and tail like they do on the sand flats found inside although we did spot a few fish tailing. The window for such action is small and very dependent on the tides so when the fishing is good, get all you can because when the tide goes out, the fish are few and far between. Also, anywhere there is a rip or turbulence, there are Trevally, The boys did well casting popper into the surf break on the incoming tide and cleaned up on Blue Trevally from 5-10 lbs. I had a chance to excursive a few fish I would guess over 5 lbs that I hooked in the surf that rubbed me off on the coral edge within minutes on the first run. It definitely a 20lb leader zone.

 

This was the only day that I had a chance to shoot the DJI Phantom Vision Quadcopter on the flats. I had a hell of a time calibrating the unit. In hindsight, I think the compass got messed up being exposed to magnets by the TSA equipment in transport. I did finally get it going and took only about 20 minutes of video. The wind was blustery and blowing 15 mph and it gave the Vision2 Gimble more than it could handle. Im not satisfied with the quality of the the copter. In post production, I had to do lots of stabilization and shutter roll correction to the 1080P DJI Vision footage. I can see there is huge advantage of a three axis stabilizer over the two axis gimble I was using. Also, I think its preferable to shoot a GoPro instead of the Vision Camera. That way I can shoot in 2.7 wide with Protune and survive any post production stabilization with not much resolution loss. I can see from my footage that there was quite a bit of lost resolution from the heavy stabilization post production. Also, I really like the 2.35 to 1 film aspect ratio. It gives a wide feel to the footage but you have to shoot for it by drawing lines on your view screen when composing your shots. I think the new workflow should be shooting a GoPro Hero 3+ in 2.7k, 60P wide, pro tune off, custom white balance at 400 iso. Editing with Final Cut X, color coding and stabilizing with a cool plugin called Lock and Load.

Its time to upgrade the drone. Im looking a DJI Phantom 2 that has a Zenmuse 3 axis gimble for a GoPro. This way I can upgrade the camera with the latest and greatest GoPro Cameras. The GoPro 4 rumored to be released in 2015 will feature 1080p 120 fps and 4k 60 fps Recording! Put that in the sky and you can probably hunt fish with it. Also there is new unit from DJI called the Lightbridge which gives you a low latency HD feed from the GOPRO that is good up to 1.7 kilometers. Translation, you can see what the drone see in HD. The quality curve is rising quickly in drone technology.

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