FishSens Pro Jeff Elliott: Underwater cameras give ice fishermen the advantage

By on February 19, 2015
Underwater cameras can help ice fishermen get into schools of fish under the ice. (Credit: Jeff Elliott)

Anyone who ice fishes has wondered just what was happening down below the surface. Luckily through the use of underwater cameras we have the ability to see exactly what’s going on. Ice is the perfect platform for stable camera viewing,

Deploying an underwater camera definitely gives the ice fisherman the advantage when it comes to finding and catching fish. Punching a hole and dropping a camera provides instant proof whether fish are there or not. When you drop the camera and don’t see anything, it’s best to keep drilling holes and moving. When you do find them, you can see exactly what kind of structure is holding them there and how they are relating to it. It can unveil clues to dial in the mega school, or produce more consistent future fishing trips. Fishing is all about learning, and what better way to learn than by observing a fish’s habitat with your own eyes?

With an underwater camera, coaxing a fish into biting really becomes a game. Watching a fish react to your particular technique allows you to refine your presentation to generate a bite. When you do get that bite, the camera helps you to set the hook at exactly the right moment. Either it is so light you would never know it happens or it becomes one of those “missed” fish. It’s incredible how many fish nibble or bump the lure with their mouth closed.

Underwater cameras also let you know to switch up presentations when a new species of fish moves through the area. Most fisherman hit the ice with a species or two in mind, but several other desirable fish species often inhabit the same waters. The best presentation often varies between species, and being able to detect when something else moves though gives a fisherman the option to switch targets. I like that it gives me a chance to adjust my drag and get prepared if I’m doing something like panfishing and see a monster bass pass through.

With a camera, selecting for size becomes easier as well. It’s often hard to tell just how big a fish is until you have spent a lot of time looking through a camera, but often there are multiple fish down there and it is easy to see the relative size. That way you can avoid catching the smaller fish and allowing the bigger fish to have a chance at the bait. This can be really important if you’re in one of the popular ice fishing tournaments that offer prizes or cash for the largest fish.

Looking through a camera also has huge entertainment value. It is a great way to get kids and beginners hooked on ice fishing. It gives the tough days some excitement even if the fish might not be biting that great.

Without question, a camera is one of the best learning tools out there for really understanding what is happening underwater. Seeing it firsthand really can put it in perspective. Whether you are a seasoned ice fisherman or trying it for the first time, there is no question a camera can enhance your experience and help put more fish on the ice.

Top image: Underwater cameras can help ice fishermen get into schools of fish under the ice. (Credit: Jeff Elliott)

About Jeff Elliott

Jeff Elliott is a 2014 Bassmaster Team championship qualifier. He has 75 tournament wins, including the 2012 Detroit Lions/Kevin VanDam Charity tournament. He is a seven-time points champion and a Bust’in Sticks TV show champion.

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