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Even if you’re familiar with the underwater structure of a lake, you can never know exactly where the fish are hiding. If only you knew where they were, it would be so much easier to catch fish.
Discovery is the operative word. Finding where the fish are greatly increases your chances of catching a few.
Through the murky water, anglers can observe what is happening when they own one of the best ice fishing cameras.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the top seven on the market, review their features, discuss the relative merits of each and give you an idea of the one that will work best for your particular fishing application.
We’ll even offer a few simple techniques to increase your ability to catch fish using an underwater camera.
There are many more expensive options on the market, but as a consumer, you should be aware that spending more doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to have more features.
These seven cameras below have many features that you won’t find in more expensive models and represent the latest in the best underwater ice fishing camera technology.
Best Ice Fishing Cameras
Here are the best ice fishing cameras in 2023
Last update on 2023-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Also Read: Best Ice Fishing Flashers
Eyoyo Brand HD 1000TVL Camera 15M Fish Finder Ice/Sea/River Fishing
Eyoyo has become the industry leader in underwater ice fishing cameras. The HD1000 is the top-ranked ice fishing camera on the market, as determined by consumer reviews. It is available at a very reasonable price.
The HD1000 features a high-definition seven-inch TFT color monitor with 1000 TV lines.
Its fish model design adds stability in flowing water under the ice.
Constructed from durable aluminum alloy, this camera body is waterproof, cold-resistant, and offers more features than other more expensive models on the market.
One of the key features of this product is a strong, anti-pressing cable.
The fully charged battery is rated at eight hours, but customer reviews list cases of full functionality at over nine hours on the ice.
Customer reviews praised the high-quality images available from this camera.
Many indicated they used it from early morning, through the brightest hours of the day, and into the darkness of night with no loss of picture quality.
As one of the least expensive of all seven cameras in this list, it warrants looking into buying more than one of these cameras for use on the ice, or from a boat in warmer months.
- Manufactured by an industry leader with a long track record
- Long duration battery
- Anti-press cable
- Only infrared lighting
- Standard LCD screen without backlighting
Eyoyo Portable Fish Finder – Waterproof Underwater 1000TVL Fishing Camera
Portability is a prime feature of this inexpensive ice fishing camera.
Packed in an aluminum carrying case, the Eyoyo Portable brings battery, cable, camera, and view screen to the ice in one compact package.
The Portable comes in two varieties, the first with a 49 ft (15m) cable length and the slightly more expensive 98 ft (30m) variety for deeper water.
A removable sun visor is a nice accessory on bright sunny days, allowing the angler to easily read the seven-inch TFT screen.
With a screen resolution of 800×480 pixels, this high-definition camera resolves 1000 TV lines, the clearest viewable monitor on the affordable side of the market.
The continuous use lithium battery is rated at an eight-hour capacity at full use.
Weighing in at under four pounds, with a footprint of just 9.45×8.31×5.28 inches, it is easy to carry on an ice sled or packed away on a backpack while traversing the ice.
Released in the fall of 2017, it has an established track record of solid performance on a variety of lakes, rivers, and water conditions.
Reviews rank it high in visibility from bright sunshine penetrating clear ice to work in darker, murky water.
It is at the lower end of ice cameras price wise, making it an affordable choice for any angler.
One reviewer said a dogfish attacked the camera. He captured video of the aggressive fish as it repeatedly struck the camera, spinning it around in the water.
Others reported that it “almost didn’t seem” fair how the camera allowed them to find the exact location of fish to drop bait down among them.
An added benefit to this camera is the ability to watch light biting fish, such as perch or walleye, hit bait that the angler couldn’t sense in the line.
Many schooling fish can be watched as they bite bait in real time allowing the angler far above on the surface to set the hook before they can feel a tug on the line.
- Camera design won’t disturb fish
- In use a long time with a proven record
- Cable is only 49 feet in the standard model
- Adequate but not an outstanding battery life
MOOCOR Underwater Fishing Camera, Portable Fish Finder
A wide-angle, 130 degree camera, attached to one of the strongest cables on the market are highlights of this durable ice fishing camera.
Moorcor receives high marks for functionality, features, and performance in consumer reviews.
An added feature of this system is a four-power zoom, a feature not available on most underwater cameras.
Fish can be brought closer to the camera with the zoom, allowing excellent views as they strike the bait suspended within range of the camera.
The cable is a brute, rated at 88 pounds (40 kg) of tensile pressure.
The working range of this camera is one of the largest on the market, with extremes of -30 C to an improbably high 60 C.
A 3.7 volt, 5000 mA, rechargeable battery is rated at eight to 10 hours of use at 25 C.
A low-level light sensor that brings in images in murky water or in very low light conditions during night ice fishing makes this camera a favorite among seasoned ice anglers.
Professional guides and commercial fishermen rate this camera high among comparable products.
A 4.3 inch LCD display with an 800×480 resolution, a built-in sun visor, and a 15 meter cable are positives for this camera in its standard package.
It comes in a higher level format, with a five-inch camera and 30-meter cable for a higher price.
The four power zoom, high fidelity video output, and on-off controls for the infrared lighting system provide as much versatility as the most seasoned ice fishing professional could ask for.
The reinforced strength of the cable was praised by many reviewers who indicated it withstood being dragged across sharp rocks as it was dropped through the ice.
The included fin on the camera stabilized it in flowing underwater current, allowing it to be stable even in rough water deep under the ice.
- Wide Angle lens (130 degrees)
- Long battery life, up to 10 hours
- Enhanced stabilizing fin on camera
- Extended temperature range
- Heavy duty cable able to handle up to 88 pounds of pull
- Four power zoom camera lens
- Small viewing screen at 4. 3 inches
Eyoyo Portable Fish Finder
Bigger functions and features in a smaller, compact, portable design are the prime features for the Eyoyo Portable 9.
The Portable 9 has all the functionality of the original Eyoyo Portable with a much larger screen and enhanced video recording capabilities.
One of the biggest attractions of an underwater ice camera system is watching fish as they strike lures deep underwater.
With an included eight GB card, you can record those strikes to show your friends or evaluate your technique later.
If you’re out on the ice a long time and want to record your entire session, just pack a few standard high-volume SD cards and record everything.
You can review and edit the best action later, creating wonderful viewing or publishing opportunities.
The nine-inch monitor is one of the largest in the affordable range of the consumer market and offers high visibility with its 1000 TVL program chip.
A removable sun visor allows you to see during the brightest, cloud-free afternoon on highly reflective ice. The monitor works well in dark conditions too.
The 12 infrared lights allow visibility even in murky water. When the camera changes from ambient light to infrared, the image will turn black-and-white instead of color.
It is specifically designed to not disturb fish as the camera resembles a fish in shape.
Ease of use, photographic quality, and the ability to upgrade to larger SD cards without issues were some of the highest praise for this camera system in reviews.
The larger SD cards allowed users to record an entire day’s fishing. The longer recording periods were sure to capture any action under the ice.
- The large, 9-inch viewing screen
- Included 8 GB SD card
- Produced by an industry leader Eyoyo
- Cable length of 30 meters standard
- Camera not as stable in moving current
RICANK Underwater Fishing Camera
A compact design, low price, and one of the longest cables on the market make this portable camera a popular accessory for serious ice fishermen.
The 4.3 inch LCD monitor has a backlit design for use in bright sunlight and includes a sun screen for additional viewing protection on clear days when the light dazzles off the ice.
A waterproof, cold-resistant, durable 1.8mm cable attaches a camera equipped with eight LED lights.
The camera’s bright lights can penetrate murky water, bringing details impossible to see using ambient or infrared systems.
Local fishing regulations should be checked carefully to determine the legal use of lights when ice fishing.
Some states do not allow visible artificial light of any kind in a fishing setting.
The 4.3 in LCD is one of the smallest on the market, but you’ll appreciate its lightweight design if you have to pack your equipment long distances across the ice.
The small footprint of the system makes it popular for open water fishing as well, particularly for kayak, float tube, or small boat applications.
One caveat to the small dimension cable and the lightweight camera comes when fishing in lakes with strong underwater currents.
The light weight doesn’t provide enough heft to remain stable in strong currents, making the camera spin at times unless it is placed on the bottom of the lake.
This is one of the newer devices on the market, first introduced in 2020.
- Standard 30 meter cable
- Eight bright LED lights
- Small 4.3 inch LCD screen
- Lightweight camera tens to spin in strong currents
- New product without a lot of market reviews
Eyoyo Fishing Camera Video Fish Finder For Ice Lake Boat Fishing
Weighing in at just over four pounds, with a footprint of approximately 10×8.5×5.5 inches, this dynamo gets the job done. The 12 LED infrared lights bring in clear images of fish even in murky water up to 10 feet away.
A rechargeable lithium-ion battery gives you eight hours of constant viewing while out on the ice, but consumer reviews indicate they last longer in cold, outdoor conditions.
A 30-meter cable allows you to drop the camera almost 100 feet into the depths.
The seven-inch LCD monitor with a TFT screen set at a high resolution of 800×480 pixels is bright even on stark, sunlight afternoons.
The included sun visor allows viewing no matter the direction of the screen in relation to the sun.
The special silver, fish-shaped design of the camera is built to not scare fish. Some users wrote that fish were curious, coming in close to the camera as it was suspended in the water.
An included 8 gigabyte SD card allows recording of the action in the depths below.
Excellent still photographs and videos of fish taking bait, striking jigs, or hitting lures within camera range are easy to capture.
- Small footprint, easy to carry
- Standard cable length of 30 meters
- Silver, fish-shaped camera design to not spook fish
- Basic unit, not as many advanced features as competing models
Portable Underwater Fishing Camera, Good for Ice Fishing, Lake, Sea, Open Water, Boat
With the highest resolution of the top 7 best ice fishing cameras, this system really brings in clear videos and photographs from deep underwater.
The nine-inch monitor has a resolution of 1080×720, much higher than others on the market. When used with the included true color high definition monitor, it’s almost like you’re in the water with the fish.
An amazing 15 adjustable LED lights illuminate even murky water to clarity when they’re all turned to full illumination.
The LEDs can illuminate using full white or switch over to the 15 infrared LED settings to bring images from the depths in near total darkness without letting the fish ever know you’re there.
The 30 combined LEDs are the most available on the lower end of the consumer market.
This device is a bit costlier than the other seven cameras in this list, but the features far outweigh the additional cost.
The monitor has large, touch-sized buttons, making it easier to use in frigid conditions on the ice.
A 12.6V/4400mAh battery lasts for a full eight hours in the field and features a fast-charging system that has your camera fully charged and ready to go in just four or five hours.
The standard cable length of 30 meters allows photographs and video to depths of 100 feet.
When the 15 white LEDs are set at maximum, you can pull images from murky water with no difficulty at all.
The durable design is built for use in temperatures of -20 to +60 degrees, with storage capabilities at even more extremes of -30 to 80 above.
The waterproof carrying case takes care of any mishaps should you accidentally drop the entire assembly in the water. You’ll be able to catch it as quickly as you do the images you’ll take with it deep underwater.
A big pro of this camera is the intensity of the lights at depths in murky water.
- 15 LED white lights
- 15 LED infrared lights
- Extreme temperature resistance
- Powerful 12.6 V battery
- Quick recharge battery in four to five hours
- High-resolution monitor 1080×720 pixels
- Adjustable light intensity
- New product without numerous positive feedback
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Underwater Fishing Cameras Any Good?
The question is often asked by ice fishermen who have never had the opportunity to watch fish in action far below the surface.
The obvious answer is yes; they’re not just good, they’re great. A good ice fishing camera can open up a new world for the angler.
Watching fish behavior underwater in their home environment allows a serious angler to adjust bait, technique, and timing to meet the challenges presented in the depths by the fish they are trying to attract.
It’s almost more like hunting than fishing when you can see what you’re after. You won’t be shooting fish, but you’ll be able to place bait right in front of them. If they’re interested, you’re going to get strikes.
Many experienced anglers drill holes very close to each other, usually between one and three feet apart. They’ll drop the camera down to determine if the water is still or flowing in one direction.
Once they determine the direction of the underwater current, they’ll drop their bait, so it is viewable by the camera.
If fish are on the bottom, so is the camera and bait. There is no more guessing at which level to drop your line.
Find the fish, present the bait and wait for the action.
What’s better for ice fishing – flasher or camera?
If you’re trying to photograph or video your catch, use a camera. If you’re out to catch fish, almost every angler agrees the flasher is a much more productive device to use than a camera.
Flashers work in a 360-degree pattern. If fish are moving on any side of the hole you’ve drilled in the ice, they’ll show up on the flasher viewing screen.
The advantages of an ice flasher are many, but there are a few cons as well.
The biggest drawback in comparison with a camera is that it doesn’t allow you to take video or still images of fish as an ice camera does.
A camera allows you to see what’s happening to your bait once it’s situated correctly and tells you everything that’s going on in the water, not just a small slice of the action in your viewing area.
Do underwater cameras scare fish?
No, underwater cameras do not scare fish when used properly. Most fish cameras come in silver or black color schemes with most shaped like a fish.
This is a common question that most anglers have with fish cameras when they are first interested in purchasing one.
Anglers have reported that some aggressive fish actually strike the camera, knocking it around in the depths. If you drop your camera through the ice like the anchor on the Titanic, yes, it will scare fish.
The dropping of a foreign object from the surface can scatter a school of fish as quickly as tossing large rocks in a pool brimming with trout.
It is also bad for your camera. If you lower the camera into the depths at a steady pace, you won’t disturb anything underwater.
If bright underwater lights are legal in the water you fish, they can attract fish in the darkness. If you choose to use the infrared lights instead, the fish won’t even know you’re there.
Whether it’s white light, or infrared won’t matter to you once you see the fish coming in around your camera.
What matters is selecting the right bait, setting the hook at the right moment, then allowing the commotion to subside down below after you’ve reeled in a trophy-sized walleye or catfish from the depths.