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One of the greatest challenges of ice fishing is not the cold or the ice itself. It is visible, especially if the ice is thick. That’s where a transducer or ice fishing camera comes in handy. This way, you will have a clear picture of what is happening beneath the ice.
But are underwater ice fishing cameras worth it? It depends on your needs. If looking directly at the action is for you, and you want something easy to operate, then yeah. An ice fishing camera is worth it. But there are some gray areas that you should know.
Today we will take some time to talk about ice fishing cameras. Their pros and cons, and whether or not they are worth the money, Let’s get down to business.
Do Ice Fishing Cameras Scare Fish?
One of the main reasons anglers don’t trust ice fishing cameras is the misconception that these gadgets scare fish. However, there is no proof of that statement.
In reality, the only reason for a camera to scare fish is that it produces sounds or you throw it violently into the water. We’ve done an extensive search of what scares fish. If you have the time, we recommend checking this piece out.
Another reason why a fishing camera might scare fish is if you constantly move it up and down in the water column. But this will happen with your lure if you jerk your rod violently. So, no. Fishing cameras will not scare fish.
Are Fishing Cameras Expensive?
While it is true that they are some premium transducers out there, you can also find several under 120 dollars. Sadly, we can’t say the same about ice-fishing cameras. They are all over this price point, with some reaching well over 200 dollars. That’s why most people decide to go for a fish finder.
Naturally, getting a budget-friendly transducer means that you have to make some compromises. For example, it might not allow you to store locations, have poor battery life, a small screen, and poor picture quality. In addition, the field of view, something that we will discuss later, is also limited.
As a result, budget fish finders might not be as appealing as an ice fishing camera for some anglers.
Do Fishing Cameras Work In Murky Water?
Cameras are like the human eye. As a result, if the water is murky, the camera won’t be able to yield high-quality footage of what is happening. Here, fish finders have a clear advantage. Because they rely on waves, they will move within the water column and bounce back to the transducer regardless of how murky the water is. However, murky water is not common on frozen lakes and rivers.
Nevertheless, ice fishing cameras produce much more exciting footage, which is the main reason anglers choose these devices, especially if the water is crystal clear.
What is The Advantage of Underwater Cameras?
The main advantage of a fishing camera is that it gives you more detail. For example, you can tell which fish you are chasing. Similarly, you can tell exactly how the structure is under the water.
As a result, it will be easier to tell if fish are biting and to keep your lure away from snags. This could come in handy if you don’t know how to read a fishfinder or if you have a hard telling if fish are biting,
Another pro of using a fishing camera is that you can make videos, which might be interesting if you are into that kind of stuff. However, we acknowledge that this is not a decisive factor for some.
What is the Problem With Ice Fishing Cameras?
Although ice fishing cameras are great, they do have their drawbacks. We already talked about one, which is performed in murky water. But there are others.
For example, they are delicate gadgets susceptible to hits and damage. Plus, the depth they can reach is limited, mainly because of the cable of the camera. Secondly, because of the water protection. You see. Some cameras are waterproof to a certain depth. Consequently, its usability range is limited.
Similarly to murky water, ice fishing cameras have poor performance in fast-moving and bubbling waters.
Ice fishing cameras yield narrow footage. Fish finders, on the other hand, can produce a broader picture of what is happening under the ice. However, this might be useless if you don’t know how to operate and read a fish finder.
Battery life is another issue. The average flasher will outlast most ice-fishing cameras. Therefore, they might not be the best option for those looking to fish for several hours.
Lastly, fishing cameras are not able to save locations or fishing hotspots. As a result, you will have to purchase a separate GPS to save all productive sections on the frozen lake. Alternatively, you can go the old ways and use a map. Ah! Before I forget, you can also download your hotspots and share them with the world, something that you can’t do with fishing cameras.
Field of View
You might think that we are contradicting ourselves when we say that fish finders yield wider footage, but fishing cameras have more detail. Allow us to explain.
The level of detail we get with fishing cameras is similar to what we get with a regular camera. You can see the fish as if you were inside the water. However, the range is limited.
You see, fish finders combine wide and narrow cones to give you more horizontal and vertical range. Consequently, you won’t need to adjust the transducer once it is inside the water. This is because the pulse will travel back and forth regardless of the initial position of the transducer. In contrast, you are more likely to change the position of the camera to be able to see what’s behind your blind spot.
Do Ice Fishing Cameras Show the Depth?
Ice fishing cameras only show footage, nothing else. In contrast, some fish finder models might display depth and temperature. Knowing the depth comes in handy to tell if you are fishing too deep or too shallow.
Water temperature is also important because it is closely related to the fish activity. In short, fish finders yield much more information that might be useful for the angler.
Are Fishing Cameras Worth The Money?
After reading all the pros and cons you can now tell which one is the best option for you. In our opinion, the only reason to go for an ice fishing camera is if you want to see live-action.
For anything else, a fish finder will offer the best value for your money. They yield wider footage, are more portable, last longer, reach deeper, and give you the ability to save productive spots. On top of that, some models show depth and water temperature as well.
Fishing cameras are delicate as well. You have to take good care not to scratch the lens. In short, we think that fish finders are a better tool for the average angler.