Which ice fishing camera is best?
Ice fishing is a sport of patience and uncertainty. All you can do is prepare your equipment and steel yourself for disappointment, made worse by the fact that you are holed up in freezing conditions.
Actually, there’s one more thing you can do. You can buy an ice fishing camera. With one of these, such as the Aqua-Vu AV 715C Underwater Viewing System, you can all but eliminate the uncertainty and closely observe your prey. After all, knowing your enemy is half the battle.
What to know before you buy an ice fishing camera
Most ice fishing cameras shoot full HD footage, or 1080p, and in color. It’s the same quality as an average streaming service’s resolution. Lesser cameras may shoot in 720p, or standard HD. If you want to capture 4K footage then you’ll need to use a waterproof action camera instead of an ice fishing camera. Go with an action camera for the best possible video quality and a fishing camera if you want to make fishing easier.
Most ice fishing cameras come with an attached monitor. These monitors are typically 4 to 9 inches wide with displays matching the specifications of the camera. Many also have covers to protect it or to help shield it from the sun so it’s easier to see.
Ice fishing cameras with monitors are attached to each other using cables. The length of the cable determines how deep you can observe, so you need to ensure your prospective fishing camera cable is long enough for your intended body of water.
Most cables are 50 to 150 feet long.
What to look for in a quality ice fishing camera
Fishing on ice means some sunlight won’t make it into the water. As such, your camera must have some method of handling low light conditions. The most basic low-light solution is just a ring of LEDs around the lens, though this might scare away easily frightened fish. Better solutions usually involve infrared light, but these cameras can be expensive.
Recording and storage
Some cameras have recording features so you can rewatch your biggest catch. These typically require some kind of storage solution such as a standard or micro SD card. Other cameras may be able to wirelessly connect to your phone for recording instead.
You rarely have access to power while ice fishing, so it’s important to select a camera with a long enough battery life to last for your entire trip. The best cameras have between 8-10 hours of battery life while the worst barely last 1 hour.
How much you can expect to spend on an ice fishing camera
They typically cost $100-$200. Some cost less than $100, but these typically exclude a monitor or monitor-connecting capabilities. Some cost more than $200 and have the best qualities and the most features.
Ice fishing camera FAQ
Can I use any underwater fishing camera for ice fishing?
A. Generally speaking, yes. That said, you should double-check that your prospective camera is listed as being able to function in freezing temperatures. Rest assured that very few underwater fishing cameras aren’t capable of functioning in such cold, so you should have your pick of the litter.
Can I use ice fishing cameras in saltwater?
A. Yes. If you’re able to drill through the thick ice present over saltwater seas you can safely use your fishing camera in salt water. That said, you do need to make sure to thoroughly clean your camera with fresh water as soon as you pull it out. Letting salt water evaporate will leave salt deposits behind that can ruin your camera.
Will an ice fishing camera scare away the fish?
A. No, underwater fishing cameras are designed to cause as little disturbance as possible. Even low-lighting systems typically use methods that avoid shining direct light. That said, you should try not to move the camera once it’s set or you might cause a little scare.
What’s the best ice fishing camera to buy?
Top ice fishing camera
Aqua-Vu AV 715C Underwater Viewing System
What you need to know: The serious angler can’t do better than this camera-and-monitor combo.
What you’ll love: The camera is attached to 50 feet of cable and captures full color and high-resolution video. The monitor is a 7-inch-wide LCD screen with an RCA video out port. The monitor also has a hinged lid to protect it or help shield it from the sun.
What you should consider: It has poor battery life; some consumers only got an hour of use on a full charge. The screen is hard to see in direct sunlight.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top ice fishing camera for the money
Eyoyo Underwater Fishing Video Camera
What you need to know: This is a great budget option for the casual ice fisher.
What you’ll love: The camera is shaped like a fish to aid in camouflage plus it has a ring of lights to help see in dark waters. The monitor is 7 inches wide and can last for up to eight hours on a full charge.
What you should consider: Some customers struggled to keep the camera level in the water. Others found the cable cumbersome to wind and store.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
GoFish Cam Wireless Underwater Fishing Camera
What you need to know: This camera-only option is a good choice for those looking to limit their gear load.
What you’ll love: The camera can capture footage at 1080p resolution and at 60 frames per second. It captures footage on a micro SD card or by connecting to your phone for either passive recording or to have your phone serve as a monitor.
What you should consider: A few purchasers had occasional connection issues with the app, which got worse the deeper the camera went.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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