Let me describe this fishing hole a little better, and answer a few questions, so we're all back on the same page. As far as the mink visually seeing the fish, through 100 feet of water, that's impossible. And, I can't buy the theory about it following the "flash" of a minnow, another 90+ feet, and it just got lucky.
You guys keep calling it a pool, this "pool" is 3-4, maybe 5 acres in size? Let me put that into perspective, this water hole has an area of 3 football fields, give or take. I was fishing The South Branch of the Potomac River. 50 yards upstream from where I was standing the river "pencils-down" to 50-75 feet wide, it gradually spreads out with a little "slack water" on both sides. Beyond the slack water, it's just a slow & lazy water hole, for the next 200 yards or so. There is a main channel that snakes down through the hole, but basically once you get out 10 feet from either bank, the water will vary from 4 feet deep, on up to 6 feet, and it's fairly consistent until you get to the lower end of the hole.
Like I said, I know this hole pretty good. I've trapped it from the east and west side. Dad, my brother and I have gigged eels and suckers from the boat in this hole, dozens of times. The 3 of us used to snorkel a good bit looking for treasure (mostly junk) folks lost while boating/canoeing. I've been out snorkeling alone and found more junk than I could carry. From knives, pliers, poles, tackle boxes, to lanterns. You name it, chances are it's in the creek someplace. In my experience, finding a dead fish on the bottom isn't unusual. At the same time, I wouldn't be surprised if 10 guys searched 3 acres of river bottom for an hour and did not find a single dead fish. We've got turtles, too.
That's the only mink I've ever watched swim, out in the open water. I'll tell you, it didn't make much of a ripple, they ride pretty deep in the water. I'm not sure if a mink can see much of the bottom while it's swimming (on the surface) or not? Over the years I've watched my dogs swim into rocks and logs that were only a couple of inches under the surface. My opinion, even if the visibility in the water would have been 10 feet, the odds of a mink (or diver) swimming 100 feet and finding a dead fish (visually) are slim. The mink dived off the "bucket rock", dog-paddled roughly 100 feet, went under and resurfaced with a dead fish. . . just like clockwork. It didn't dive and resurface, again and again and again. As well as I could tell it swam in a fairly straight line from point A to point B.
Above we talked a little about search/rescue dogs. I hate to talk about negative stuff and I hope no one gets offended by this, but a while back 2 men drowned in the same river. To make a long story short, the 2 guys went night fishing, and when the sun came up their boat was found anchored in 10-12 feet of water, with no one on board. Their fishing poles, PFD's, etc. were all in the boat. We'd had some hard rain storms, the river was up, swift and muddy. My brother is a member of the "dive team" for the local volunteer fire dept. Basically they were feeling their way around the bottom of the creek, kind of dangerous when your visibility is measured in inches, Bud told me it sucked!
Anyway, they brought in some kind of search/rescue, cadaver dog, called the divers out of the water, put it (the dog) in the front of a boat and motored over the search area. I didn't see the dog working, my brother told me about it, as did several of the police/firemen. At first I thought there's no way a dog could sniff-out a person's body underwater, especially in those conditions. Apparently the dogs handler thought his K-9 was up to the task. If a K-9 can sniff out a body in 10+ feet of swift/muddy water, I have no problem believing that it's (at least) possible a mink could sniff-out a dead fish under 5-6 feet of relatively calm water.
Dogs can be trained to do amazing things. Think about this for a second, how many hours of "underwater recovery" training do you suppose the dog and it's handler undergo per year? How many hours of similar "training" do you suppose a wild mink averages per year?
Here's my theory, I think the mink caught scent of something edible while on the river bank, and followed the scent trail very close to the fish, using it's nose in a normal manner. I'll agree, once it dived underwater or was within 6 feet of the fish, it's eyes took over the search. My opinion, I think it "found" the fish with it's nose first. Can anyone agree/disagree that my theory is possible? Maybe the mink was just lucky?
As far as the mink "smelling/tasting" while submerged?, you're over my head with that question. ???