Fishing is full of memorable moments, beautiful vistas, and with a little luck, trophy-sized fishes. Therefore, it is a great idea to carry a camera with you to immortalize such moments and brag about them with your friends. Unfortunately, fishing involves sudden moves, water, and the occasional hit. In short, this is no place for a conventional camera. Hence, it is a question of finding the best GoPro for fishing.
With this article, we have made just that. We have taken the time to research and review some of the best GoPros for fishing that are available in the market. So, let’s get started.
Comparison Table Of 7 Best GoPro For Fishing
|Waterproof (feet)||Megapixels||Highest Video Quality||Weight (ounces)||Dimensions (inches)|
|GoPro Hero 5 Session||33||10||4K 30 fps||4.5||1.43 x 1.5 x 1.5|
|GoPro Hero 7 Black||33||12||4K 60 fps||4.2||2.5 x 1.8 x 1.3|
|GoPro Max||16||16.6||6K 30||5.4||2.5 x 2.7 x 1.0|
|GoPro Hero 9||33||20||5K 30 fps||5.6||2.8 x 2.2 x 1.3|
|GoPro Hero 8||33||12||4K 60 fps||4.4||2.6 x 1.9 x 1.1|
|GoPro Hero 5||33||12||4K 30 fps||4.2||1.75 x 2.44 x 1.26|
|GoPro Hero 7 Silver||33||10||4K 30 fps||4.1||2.5 x 1.7 x 1.3|
Our Reviews: 7 Best GoPro For Fishing
Starting this review, we have the GoPro Hero 5 Session. It is like a lite version of the Hero 5 Black, which means that it is more affordable than his big brother is. Thus, it is a great starting point for any angler who is unfamiliar with this brand.
Using the Hero 5 session is quite intuitive. You simply need to press the power button, and the camera will be ready to record your video. Still, with its remarkably small screen, switching between modes and changing settings is more difficult than it should.
Nevertheless, not everything is lost. The GoPro Hero 5 session features voice commands. ‘GoPro start recording’ or ‘GoPro turn off’ are among the many commands that will make your life a lot easier. Alternatively, you can download the GoPro app and use your smartphone as a screen. Beware, though, using either method will drain your battery faster. Besides, using a smartphone to control the camera while you are fishing might not be the best idea.
In another set of ideas, the Hero 5 session is very light and small. Therefore, it won’t get in your way while you cast your rod or row your kayak. Additionally, it doesn’t need further protection. It is waterproof out-of-the-box up to 33 feet.
Furthermore, the GoPro Hero 5 session comes with a USB type c cable and its mounting rig. It might not be the most beautiful action camera, but it doesn’t disappoint. The 10 MP lens takes crispy-clear photos and videos. You can choose between burst, time-lapse, and standard shooting depending on your needs. Time-lapse mode is ideal to capture those epic fights when the fish leaps and try to shake the hook off.
Video-wise the GoPro Hero 5 session can record at 4k and 30 fps. It might not be the best frames per second rating in the market but it is still smooth thanks to the WDR technology.
Ok, let’s take a huge leap in quality to talk about the GoPro Hero 7. For some people, this is the best action camera in the market. It is not GoPro’s flagship. But this only increases the value you get for your money.
The GoPro Hero 7 was GoPro’s first camera with HyperSmooth, which is a game-changer video stabilization software. Naturally, the newer versions, such as Hero 8 and 9, have it as well. But these versions retail at a higher price. You can use the HyperSmooth mode while shooting videos in any resolution, with the only being 4:3. The downside is that you can’t use the software while you are recording in high definition at 120 fps or higher. But you can use the standard video stabilization for these latter formats.
SuperPhoto software is another leap forward. What does it do? Well, to put it simply, it automatically optimizes your settings to take the best picture possible. You can do it manually if you wish. But it is better to use it. If this is not enough for you, Hero 7 was the first that enables live streaming of your experience.
The TimeWarp video mode is one of a kind. With it, you can take time-lapse footage on the move! This way, you can take those epic videos of your catch so you can brag about them later.
Lastly, it packs a full-color touch screen. It is not the best one in terms of response; you might even need to tap it sometimes to do something. But the overall experience is ok. Besides, the GoPro Hero 7 understands up to 16 commands. Just tell it what you want, and the Hero 7 will deliver. If you like this model, but you dislike the price; you can check the GoPro Hero 7 White or Silver models. Both are considerably cheaper but pack lesser features. So, think carefully before making any decision.
Next on the list is the GoPro Max. It has many features of the GoPro Hero 7 we just reviewed. For instance, it features the same HyperSmooth and TimeWrap modes that Hero 7 has, but with some improvements. The construction is quite the same: rubbery black. Still, as soon as you lay eyes on it, you will notice that something is quite different.
The thing is that the GoPro Max has not one, but two cameras with four different lenses. Plus six microphones. Yes, you are reading that quite right. You might be thinking that this setup is a little overkill. But there is a reason behind it. With the GoPro Max, you can record 360º videos and take 270º panoramic pictures! Additionally, you may choose between narrow, Max SuperView, linear, and wide lenses for your photos. So, it is the perfect companion to capture every moment of your fishing trip.
The GoPro Max also packs a full-colored TV screen. It is more responsive to that of GoPro Hero 7, and also has a better response to voice commands. Like the previous model, this one also enables live sharing.
The main drawback is that the two cameras lack the protection of the former model. Furthermore, the maximum depth is lower; 16 feet. Thus, try your best not to drop it in the riverbank.
Mount compatibility might be another problem, considering that Max mounts aren’t compatible with other versions.
It was a matter of time before we ended up talking about GoPro’s current flagship: The Hero 9. The first thing that we have to say is that it is the most expensive option on this list. Thus, you are better off elsewhere if you don’t wish to pay 450 bucks for an action camera.
But don’t worry. You will be getting a hell of an action camera if you pay for it. First, you will be getting more pixels than with the GoPro Hero 8. This action camera packs a 23.6 MP sensor able to shoot 20 MP pictures with crispy-clear detail. Video-wise, you get an impressive improvement when compared with the GoPro Hero 8. This bad boy can record videos at 5k with 30 fps with impressive detail.
Additionally, you will be getting the latest version of both HyperSmooth and TimeWrap modes. They might not look like a huge leap forward compared to its predecessor. But keep in mind that GoPro is constantly releasing updates to enhance its latest products. Plus, the HyperSmooth mode is available for both 4K/60fps and 5K/30fps settings.
Another remarkable feature is the substitution of the classic monochromatic display for a full-colored screen and a larger rear display. The downside is that Hero 9 is bulkier than previous models. The bigger display, better sensor, and new screen demand more battery. Hence, the need for more space. You might think that is not a problem. But if you happen to own another GoPro, you won’t be able to use the same casing and batteries since they are not compatible.
The GoPro Hero 9 packs the Hindsight software. What does it do? Well, imagine that you are fishing, and suddenly you get an enormous bite. You quickly activate your GoPro to start recording. Sadly, with later versions, you will miss some action. But thanks to Hindsight, you will be able to record up to 30 seconds before you push the record button!
Splitting the difference between Hero 7 and 9, we have the GoPro Hero 8. For some, this is the best action camera for fishing and outdoor activities. Let’s take some time to see why.
The first reason is that you can get it for 100 bucks less than the GoPro Hero 9. Yes, GoPro’s flagship is slightly better. But we believe that Hero 8 is more than enough for the average user. Besides, it packs the 2.0 version of both HyperSmooth and TimeWrap software, which are better than that of the Hero 7.
GoPro also modified the form factor, making this action camera a little bit slimmer. Plus, according to the company, it is two times more resistant than his little brother is. It also packs wind-resistant microphones and a new mounting system. All of these features make the GoPro Hero 8 a perfect companion for your fishing trips.
On top of that, the Hero 8 is compatible with the new set of mounting options, such as aftermarket lights. While they are a nice addition, they might not be of much use while fishing, biking, or hiking.
The GoPro Hero 8 has the same chip and sensor as Hero 7. But they have optimized the software so it can run smoother and faster. It only takes a couple of shots to notice that they did a super job. Both the video and picture quality are much better than on the Hero 7. They also enhanced the SuperPhoto and added a night mode so you can record your night fishing sessions with the best definition possible.
The LiveBrust is a notable improvement. It allows you to take pictures up to 1.5 seconds before and after you press the button. Never again miss those epic leaps while you muscle the fish to shore.
Someone once said that legends never die. GoPro Hero 5 proves that statement. It is a little updated, yes. But if you don’t want to break the bank, you can put together 200 dollars and buy this amazing action camera.
It was the first model from the Hero line with a waterproof built. It also packs the same lithium 1220 mAh removable battery as the newer models.
The GoPro Hero 5 features a 12 MP camera. With it, you can take single photos, or use either the burst or time-lapse modes. It has a stunning 4k video resolution, and it takes them at 30 fps. It might not be the smoothest video ever, but it is more than ok for the price.
Like the GoPro Hero 7, this one is also responsive to voice commands. However, do not expect the same responsiveness as the newer models. The same applies to the screen. The fully-colored LCD screen makes browsing through the gallery and settings an effortless process, although it might get laggy on some occasions.
The GoPro Hero 5 is a great starting point for those anglers looking for an entry-level action camera of proven quality. It is remarkably easy to use; merely press one button, and the camera will be shooting in no time. Plus, there are a lot of mounts and rigs that you can purchase to get the most out of your camera. And the best thing is that all your pictures and photos are immediately backed to your phone.
Closing this list, we bring another option for the budget-conscious angler. Think of it as a lite version of the GoPro Hero 7 Black. So, it won’t pack as many features as its more expensive brother.
It features a 10 MP camera that can either shoot single pictures or a burst at 15 frames per second. Like the Black version, this one has the WDR, which enhances exposure.
Video-wise, the GoPro Hero 7 Silver doesn’t disappoint. It takes videos at 4K and 30 fps. You can bump up the frames per second by shooting videos on a lower resolution like 1440 or 1080p. Although it won’t get even near to the outstanding 8x slow-motion of the newer models.
Like GoPro Hero 5, it has the same stabilization software for videos and photos. With it, you can say goodbye to shakiness and always get the perfect footage.
The main drawback of this option is that it doesn’t have a removable battery. So, you must make sure to only use it when necessary. Apart from that, the GoPro Hero 7 is a great option for those anglers looking for an entry-level action camera.
What You Should Look Into When Buying the Best GoPro for Fishing
GoPro cameras are not cheap. They all retail for more than 200 dollars, provided that you purchase a brand new device, of course. Thus, it is important to consider several aspects before asking for a loan in the bank to pay for one. Don’t worry if you are not well versed in the camera niche. We will give you some hints on how to find the best GoPro for fishing.
Well, this is an obvious one. Fishing involves getting wet, especially if you are fishing from a kayak or similar. So, it makes total sense to purchase a GoPro that can get wet and don’t even flinch.
Thankfully, all the models before the GoPro Hero 4 are waterproof out-of-the-box. Hence, no need for an external housing. Beware though; both the battery and micro SD hatch must be properly closed. Otherwise, the water will enter and damage the unit.
Typically, most of the newer models can withstand up to 33 feet of water. We think that it is more than enough for the average angler; unless you are planning to rig the GoPro to the fishing line.
The GoPro Max is the only model that has a different water rating. You can use it up to 16 feet without needing an external housing. It is still more than you will possibly need for fishing. However, it doesn’t hurt to know.
Now, if you decide to purchase a Hero 4, or later models, make sure to get a protective housing.
Durability and Protection
Again, fishing involves sudden moves and struggles. Sometimes you don’t have the time to get your action camera out of the way. So, you must purchase one that can cope with the strain.
In other words, you should purchase a GoPro capable of handling the occasional hit. All models from the Hero 5 onwards have a sturdy built, perfect for all sorts of outdoor activities, including fishing. However, we always recommend getting an extra layer of protection. By doing this you will be protecting both your camera and money!
Lenses protection is another thing to have in mind. For instance, GoPro Max lacks the lenses shielding that most GoPros have. Therefore, unless you purchase a protective case, this is not the best option for fishing.
The small footprint makes it impossible to pack a huge battery that can cope with the camera demand. You can expect up to 2 hours of continuous use at best. But this depends on the settings. For instance, higher resolution videos will drain the battery faster.
Thus, the next best thing that you can get is a model with removable batteries. Also, only use the camera when needed. Fishing often means sitting in the same place for a couple of hours waiting for a bite; nothing interesting to record. Therefore, save both battery and space for things that matter.
Photo and Video Quality
The ideal thing is to purchase a GoPro with the best photo and video quality possible in the budget you are moving.
Because this is such a long section, let’s break it down into pieces that are more manageable.
Frames per Second
All newer models can shoot videos and photos at 60 fps or more. The advantage of higher frames is that you will get a smoother video or picture. This is an essential feature to consider. Higher frame rates allows you to capture those moments that start and end in a blink of an eye. Fishing has plenty of these moments. Thus, get a GoPro that can handle at least 60 fps. This way, your pictures or videos won’t look blurry.
To put it simply. Camera resolutions refer to the number of pixels and details the camera can capture. GoPros with higher resolutions will yield better pictures and videos. In addition, photos won’t get blurry whenever you resize them.
Two factors are important here. First, the camera megapixels and the photo/video processing unit. It is not enough to have a killer lens if the camera can’t process what is coming through. Fortunately, you only need to worry about the first thing.
In short, the more megapixels your GoPro has, the better. You will be even able to capture the scales of the fish as you battle with it, making your videos or pictures more memorable.
Out-of-the-box units lack enough memory to keep a lot of videos or photos. Thus, try to purchase an external storage device if you don’t wish to delete them to make room for newer footage.
A general rule of thumb here is to go with the highest capacity SD card that the GoPro can handle, provided that you can afford it, of course. Many times GoPro sells their units in combos, which already have such a card.
Unless you have an extra set of hands, you won’t be able to reel the fish and turn the camera on to record the moment. So, what can you do?
Well, get a GoPro with intuitive buttons and that you don’t have to set anything up to get the best picture possible. For example, units with SuperPhoto software automatically set the camera settings to do just that. So, it is a nice idea to get one of such action cameras, as long as the budget allows it.
Voice commands are another thing that you should consider. You can turn on and off the camera; take photos, videos, and more. In short, it will make things simpler. Naturally, the newer models handle more commands. But get a unit that understands some basic commands that you can use while your hands are busy.
To control the unit, you must first see what you are doing. Get a GoPro with an easy to read display. From the Hero 4 onwards, all GoPros feature an LCD display, with the only exception being the 5 Session. You also get a frontal display to check the battery status among other things.
Most units that pack such a screen have a touchable display. This is great to swap between pictures and change settings. However, we’ve found that the screen is unresponsive on some models, especially when it is wet.
Newer models, such as GoPro Hero 7, come with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, which allows you to share your experiences live with other people.
Yes, this might not be as attractive to anglers as it is to influencers. Still, you should get a model that can link with your phone and cloud system
GoPros are action cameras, as such; they have a handful of accessories that could be of use. Mounting rigs, harness, wrist cords, external housing, aftermarket lights, displays, and microphones are among the many accessories you can purchase.
A chest of heat mounting rig is a nice gadget for fishing purposes. Similarly, some mounts allow you to fix the camera directly into the rod. Here, the only limit is your imagination.
Keep in mind that not all accessories work with all models. For instance, aftermarket lights, display, and microphones only work on Hero 8 and newer models. The same applies to housings and mounting rigs. So, make sure to check whether your GoPro is compatible with a certain gadget.
Do you still have questions about GoPros for fishing? Don’t worry. In this section, you have some of the common questions that we think about when browsing the web for the best GoPro for fishing.
How to Rig a GoPro for Fishing?
This depends on what you wish to achieve. For instance, you can use the standard chest or head mounts that many people use for different activities. These will work just fine for fishing.
Alternatively, if your boat or kayak has a rail, you can rig the GoPro directly to the craft. However, this won’t give those POV takes that you get with the camera on your chest or head, but it is surely more comfortable.
Now, another option that you have is to rig the GoPro directly into the rod. It will be able to capture all the action, although the footage might seem weird at first. In the end, it all depends on what you wish to achieve. For instance, if getting photos and videos of the fishing trip as a whole, you should rig the camera to the kayak or canoe. In contrast, you should use the other options if immortalizing the fight against the fish is most important.
Are all GoPros Resistant to Saltwater?
It will depend on the model. For example, all models from the GoPro Hero 5 are out-of-the-box waterproof. Thus, you can use it on both fresh and saltwater without needing an external housing. However, if you have or purchase an older model, you DO have to use such casing, or you will render your camera useless.
Use a piece of cloth to remove the excess of water before opening either the battery or micro SD hatch. There is no protection if water gets inside either compartment; be careful.
Which is the Maximum Depth for GoPro cameras?
Most current models can go as deep as 33 feet without an external casing. Only the GoPro Max can’t. It only takes up to 16 feet of water.
Nevertheless, you can always purchase an aftermarket protective casing for your camera. This way, you will protect it against both water and shock. For instance, GoPro Hero 9 has a protective case with which you can take your camera as deep as 196 feet! It is a little overkill unless you are practicing spearfishing or diving.
Which are the Best GoPro Fishing Accessories?
Mounts, protective casings, micro SD, and extra batteries are the best accessories you can purchase for a GoPro for any outdoor activity, including fishing.
Additionally, you can purchase those aftermarket lights, microphones, and displays if you want more professional footage. Still, bear in mind that these are only available for the newer models such as the GoPro Hero 8 and 9.