I would love to see a picture of your sled. How do you get a live video feed? I am guessing not from the goPro, right?
I have (but have not used in years) something similar -- a sled to be towed (or left stationary) along the bottom (works best in a sandy bottom), with a release clip for a bait. It is intended for Halibut so I could visually see how they go about taking a bait. You video inspired me to dust it off and try it again.
Now that I've had time to read the whole thread, view all the videos, and put everyone's feedback into perspective, this must be really/very gratifying for you to see your efforts, however long this took to get to this point, rewarded with all this positive feedback, just a guess.
Question: did U ever feel at any time that one area, wherever that area might be/have-been, was void of a sustainable level of fish?
There's a spot off the anchorage of SBI on the way to the Osborne Bank which used to hold massive amounts of Cow Cod before they became protected, and I wonder how it's rebounded 20+ years later????
Ever been out to the Cortez or Tanner Banks with the setup? Begg Rock?
Very stimulating, thank you.
When I am not fishing or diving, I like to drop a camera on the fish and see where they are and what they are doing.
I built a large towed camera sled that I drop from my boat on seamounts and the usual rockfish spots (up to 1400' deep so far) mainly to film different rockfish species. The sled carries 2 Go Pros, live video and data an be watched on the boat, and about 360 watts of LED lighting (because its dark down there), powered by a NiMH battery pack. Enjoy!
My you tube videos are here: https://www.youtube.com/user/NPerry8051/videos
As far as observing sustainability issues, I am not a scientist, and I don't try to take a scientific approach to this work so I really cant say. I have seen areas with amazing structure in areas that are rarely/never fished that have surprisingly few rockfish. I have also seen flat bottoms in heavily fished areas with hundreds of good grade rockfish gathered around a tiny pile of rocks. Why do they live there rather than a mile away on a nice pinnacle?
(rocks, coral, beer bottles, etc.)
I have never dropped the camera at those outer spots. Its not out of my range but with the big camera and winch on the deck, and all the time it takes to run it, I would probably want to be on a bigger boat than my 27'.