Successful Fishing Strike at 60FPS

Due to very high water levels in Lake Ontario, shore birds and wading birds have been avoiding their usual fishing spots this spring. About 10 days ago I spotted my first Great Blue Heron at Hendrie Valley. It put on quite a show for me. This article shares a series of 20 consecutive images of a successful fishing strike at 60 FPS.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

All of the photographs in this article were captured hand-held using a Nikon 1 V3 fitted with a 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens. I had my camera set to Manual mode, an aperture of f/5.6, a shutter speed of 1/1600, Auto-ISO 160-3200, and a frame rate of 60 frames per second. The 20 images you’ll view in this article were all captured in a total of 1/3 of a second. This illustrates the incredible speed at which a successful fishing strike happens.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 175 mm, efov 472.5 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 175 mm, efov 472.5 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 175 mm, efov 472.5 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 175 mm, efov 472.5 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 175 mm, efov 472.5 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 175 mm, efov 472.5 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 175 mm, efov 472.5 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 175 mm, efov 472.5 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 175 mm, efov 472.5 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 175 mm, efov 472.5 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 175 mm, efov 472.5 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 175 mm, efov 472.5 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 175 mm, efov 472.5 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 175 mm, efov 472.5 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 175 mm, efov 472.5 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 175 mm, efov 472.5 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 175 mm, efov 472.5 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 175 mm, efov 472.5 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 175 mm, efov 472.5 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 175 mm, efov 472.5 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-360

After spearing the large fish, the heron stood motionless as it seemed to contemplate what to do with its catch. After a few seconds it allowed the fish to slide down off of its bill and drop back into the water. The heron gave it another jab with its beak, examined the fish, then left it in the water. Apparently it had decided the fish was too large to try to swallow. The heron then moved on to catch smaller prey. A successful fishing strike in nature doesn’t necessarily always mean a meal for a hungry heron.

Technical Note:
All photographs in this article were captured hand-held using camera gear noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files. Photographs were cropped to 4500 pixels in width, then resized for web use.

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