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GoPro-ing with Matt Rissell


Matt Rissel with GoPro and X-Wear

During the weekends in the summer, Woods Hole’s Matt Rissell can regularly be found on a boat with friends roughly 120 miles southeast of Falmouth Harbor. He’s there to fish – tuna, marlin and mahi-mahi are on his wish list - at the edge of the Continental Shelf in a place known as the Canyons.

Joining him on those adventures is his trusty GoPro. “Whenever I’m on a fishing boat for fun or for work, I always have a GoPro mounted on a stick,” he recently told us. “I think two years ago we were fishing in the Canyons overnight. Our boat has lights to attract fish and you could see tens of thousands of squid coming up in the light and I’m getting this on my GoPro. And then porpoise are blasting through this school of squid. It was really cool footage and came out great. I didn’t have to do anything except stick my camera underwater.”

While that trip was for fun, Rissell always carries multiple GoPros with him, especially when he’s at work. That’s because Rissell is an accomplished videographer, producing breathtaking films for the Outdoor Channel, Stellwagen Media as well as Navionics, a Wareham-based company that is the Google Maps equivalent for boaters.

X-Wear caught up with Rissell to discuss his background in video and to get his thoughts on the GoPro, a consumer camera that pros like him use because of their ability to provide high quality footage while going places (underwater and in the air) many other cameras are unable to.

 A native of Wisconsin, Rissell attended Ohio Wesleyan University, graduating with a degree in journalism and graphic design. He moved to Cape Cod in 2008 when he landed an unpaid internship at On The Water Magazine. Eventually, Rissell was hired full-time, responsible for producing, directing and scripting the company’s TV show that airs on Comcast SportsNet New England.

Rissell spent six years at On The Water, traveling all over New England where he helped document everything from fishing in the Canyons to lobstering in Maine to freshwater fly-fishing for trout in New Hampshire.

Developing a Passion for Video

Though his initial passion was photography, Rissell’s time at On the Water showed him the power of video. “Video is more robust than photo,” he said.

Over the past year, he has branched out onto his own, producing videos under his company Matt Rissell Outdoor Media. Recently, his work brought him to Bangkok, Thailand as well as Africa.

Wherever he goes, Rissell’s goal is focused on fish, capturing the animals and the people trying to catch them in an effort to tell the best story possible. In order to do so, he relies on the GoPro.

He has used the camera since its inception. “I remember e-mailing the company and getting a free Hero2 from them,” he said. 

He continues to use them, often bringing as many as five of them with him on his shoots. “It’s just a good production tool. The quality with each generation is amazing,” he said. “It is crazy to be able to think you can capture 4K [HD video] underwater and not have to spend three or four grand for housing for a DSLR or camcorder. It’s pretty cool… You can do a lot with a GoPro.”

For Rissell that means making his own custom mounts that he can attach three or four GoPros to and control wirelessly. He links the cameras to his iPhone and iPad so he is able to easily change the cameras settings remotely.

When shooting in an airplane, he’ll have one facing the people in the cockpit and the other facing outward to get multiple angles. He has attached them to drones for aerial shots and to harpoons, bait and custom-made torpedoes for underwater shots.

Even his friends who are not professional videographers use the GoPro because of its ability to capture amazing images. “My friends take it skiing and when we go fishing they always bring theirs for fun,” he told us. “You really don’t have to worry about breaking it or with saltwater impacting it… You can easily bring it with you. It fits in your pocket and they’re only getting smaller.”

To capture your own fishing, skiing and outdoor adventures, check out our line of GoPro cameras here. And check out our GoPro accessories which includes chest, head and dog (yes, really) mounts as well as extra batteries, memory cards and a Wi-Fi remote.

And make sure to check out Matt Rissell’s work on his website ( and to LIKE his Facebook page here.


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