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Deitz Dittrich

Underwater Cameras. How many use for open water?

27 posts in this topic

So, I got to thinking. I work a lot of different store events, and at times spend quite a few of my winter months selling different underwater cameras to ice anglers. But it seems that all they do is sit on the shelf for summer months. I rarely if ever see people use them for summer use.

I can tell you from my own findings, that I find them as valuable if not MORE valuable for Summer use. I use mine on a weekly basis, if not more almost every trip if I am looking for new locations. I'm even contemplating dropping the coin on a MAV unit for ease of use.

So, how many use their under water cameras for open water?

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I mean to use mine, but I never do. I've taken it with me on a lot of occasions, but never seem to break it out when I get on the water.

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I always think about once I get to the lake. I should just keep it in the boat.

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I don't but read your post in the bass forum and cannot for the life of me think why I havent. I always figured water in the summer is not as clear as water in the winter and it would be hard to use

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I have a very hard time seeing anything in the sunlight when I'm fishing in the boat so I quit taking it with.

I have not tried my new Marcum 825 yet and maybe that will work better.

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I use mine sometimes but then I stop concentrating on fishing and am more interested at "watching TV".

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I don't but read your post in the bass forum and cannot for the life of me think why I havent. I always figured water in the summer is not as clear as water in the winter and it would be hard to use

Craigums, I think its all in how you use it and what you want from your camera. IN the winter you can actually watch a fish hit and use it for fishing applications. In the Summer I am looking for bottom content changes and or fish species. I do have a couple stores to share.. Years ago while fishing Tonka I found an area while fishing bass that did not have a bottom depth change or a content change, it went from small rocks to big rocks. But large bass lined up and still to this day line up to feed on the larger rocks.

Second story, Cass lake, saw a lot of boats fishing an area for walleye, marked quite a few fish on the graph myself. So I ran a drift though the area. After one pass and no bites, I dropped the Vu down. Tuned out to be a monster school of Suckers.. I left to find walleye and left the other angers to continue to fish for the suckers..

Yes on some lakes I may only be able to see 1-3 feet, but I still gather a ton of information in that 1-3 feet.

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I use my Aqua-Vu waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more in the summer than I do in the winter. I use my Aqua-Vu everytime I go out in the summer. I only really use my Aqua-Vu in the winter when looking for healthy weedbeds.

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Throw me in the group that means to use it and keep forgetting to take it with me. I'm going to have to take it out one of these times. Not sure how much I'll be able see in the river though.

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Deitz, is the MAV unit your talking about the thing that holds your camera cable and mounts to the side of your boat?

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Deitz, is the MAV unit your talking about the thing that holds your camera cable and mounts to the side of your boat?

Yup- it mounts to your boat and you run it with your foot for height. It has a screen that you dont need a sun screen for. I have had a chance to use one before, and it was beyond awesome.. just at this point need to decide if its worth it in the boat.. I am leaning towards yes... however I already have 2 underwater cameras.. I own a Aqua Vu Scout XL and a MarCum 820.. The scout XL is great, love it, but on very sunny days you have to sink your head into the sun shade. The 820 is awesome and you dont need as much shade to use, but does not have a cig adapter for the boat, so you use the battery it has.. I much prefer the cig adapter as I have 4 areas in my boat to hook up. No matter what, I always have a cam in the boat..

All that said, I would like to use a MAV more.. I really think, if I could find one on sale for a great price I may or may not jump on it.

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We have them cheaper than Reeds.

The MAV is a really slick unit. A motorized spool holds the camera cable on the side of your boat and you adjust it up or down with a simple foot control, that way it's easy to always keep the camera at the right depth. The screen is 10 inches and easy to view in the sunlight.

If you have seen any of the "Doc" Sampson seminars or videos, he uses a MAV for all his footage. They are really neat units.

I love cameras for ice fishing but I think they're even better in the boat because you can move around with them. I like exploring structure and looking for why certain areas do or don't hold fish --- and figuring out what my depthfinder is really telling me.

If you want you can check out the MAV HERE at Pro Fishing Supply.

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Ive had my aqua view 5 years, and probably dont have 5 hours on it. Hate it. Hate using it, sits on the shelf.

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I use my Marcum 820 clipped to my downrigger cables fairly often on Red just to identify suckers, crappies, walleyes or pods of bait fish so I do not put clients on the "wrong arches". Now the Marcum does a great job although the MAV is a snap to control along with a screen that truly veiws well in sunlight without having to mess with down riggers cables, clumbersome clips and some homemade gadgets. I also love the foot control as I am already busy enough running the kicker motor, tending to rods and all the other stuff going ojn in the boat. Only thing that kept me from owning my own was the price. Now with Pro Fishing Supply offering them at a very good price I think it is time to add it to the boat. When you really look at it the time it will save me in the guide boat along with higher succes/happy clients it is a no brainer.

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We have them cheaper than Reeds.

The MAV is a really slick unit. A motorized spool holds the camera cable on the side of your boat and you adjust it up or down with a simple foot control, that way it's easy to always keep the camera at the right depth. The screen is 10 inches and easy to view in the sunlight.

If you have seen any of the "Doc" Sampson seminars or videos, he uses a MAV for all his footage. They are really neat units.

I love cameras for ice fishing but I think they're even better in the boat because you can move around with them. I like exploring structure and looking for why certain areas do or don't hold fish --- and figuring out what my depthfinder is really telling me.

If you want you can check out the MAV HERE at Pro Fishing Supply.

As aways, you have a heck of a deal goin'!!

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You know years ago I bought an underwater camera for ice fishing used it a couple of times but eventuly decided Ice fishing was no longer somethiing I enjoyed so I gave it to my brother never considering using it for open water. After talking with other fisherman over the next couple of years they would often indicate what a great tool the camera was in open water so I decided to venture out and get one. I purchased a Marcum 825 color version because I was told they worked really good without the shield and you could view them in the sun. Well started using it but on sunny days it is worthless in my opinion. Cant see the image on the screen at all. I plan on giving it a try again this coming week. So far I cant say it has helped my fishing but it has caused me much frustration. Just my two cents.

Now on a side note like Dietz said in a post on different thread "you couldnt pry my Hummingbird SI unit out of my hands" Much better tool for me then a camera.

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You know years ago I bought an underwater camera for ice fishing used it a couple of times but eventuly decided Ice fishing was no longer somethiing I enjoyed so I gave it to my brother never considering using it for open water. After talking with other fisherman over the next couple of years they would often indicate what a great tool the camera was in open water so I decided to venture out and get one. I purchased a Marcum 825 color version because I was told they worked really good without the shield and you could view them in the sun. Well started using it but on sunny days it is worthless in my opinion. Cant see the image on the screen at all. I plan on giving it a try again this coming week. So far I cant say it has helped my fishing but it has caused me much frustration. Just my two cents.

Now on a side note like Dietz said in a post on different thread "you couldnt pry my Hummingbird SI unit out of my hands" Much better tool for me then a camera.

I was wondering about that.

I don't have a camera, but they sound like they would be good for fish ID as stated previously. Other than that, I think an SI unit is my first priority next time I decide to upgrade.

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The SI units are a ton of fun as well. I have a 997 on my boat, the SI and camera together have been a ton of fun to use this summer for sure.

I'll stand behind my previous statement.. You couldnt pry the SI out of my hands.. LOL

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I run a train load of electronics on my boat that are great tools for locating fish but the trouble I have is what kind of fish did I locate. If I spend and hour dragging through a school of arches that turned out to be suckers I have just wasted my clients time. Plus having a camera within eye shot of a trolled or drifted lure will teach you countless thing about the action of lure, how subtle changes make a huge difference and how fish are reacting to those changes or action. Now that knowledge is well worth the cost of a camera in my mind. Now add the ease of operation of the MAV system it is a very easy decision.

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I agree with you Dietz & Company, whether you are talking Ice fishing or open water Sonar comes first and Camera 2nd. I too use my camera as much in open water as I do on the ice and as Dietz stated for different reasons and while most of the information can be gathered with a good sonar it is the small details that the sonar misses that cameras pick up that has advanced my fishing knowledge, and although I rely heavily on my sonar & GPS I attribute most of the advancements in my success rate to information I have gathered with my camera currently a MAV which is far cooler than staring down a 4’ tube! Some of the information I get is applicable to that particular day other info will stick with me for life. I will list a few examples in attempt to prove my point.

#1 primary forage base for the lake and more importantly that particular area.

#2 I remember the 1st time I saw with my own eyes why wind blown points and shorelines tend to be more productive baitfish were stacked up and it looked like a bomb went off down there when compared to the calm side.

#3 this may sound basic but it wasn’t until I dragged a camera threw thick milfoil that I learned how sparse the stalks are at the lake bottom. a thick canopy is no longer intimidating to me.

#4 Like Dietz mentioned bottom content changes.

Every lake is full of treasures just this year I found a rock pile off of a mid-lake hump on the lake I grew up on and have fished for 30+ years. It’s now my #1 spot. When I think back on the differences in the way I fish today VS 10 years ago most of them can be attributed to underwater viewing. It may not see as much run time as my other electronics but it certainly has its place on open water.

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I havnt utilized mine as much as I could in the summer. I have done it some and found some good spots but I usually only bring it out when Im on my own. When Im alone I can go at my own pace and explore. I doubt when Im fishing with others they want to sit there while I drift/troll and watch the camera screen.

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I have an older mag-Z series with water temp on a 100ft cable. In the summer months I use it alot during this time of year to find the depths of thermo-clines. I find the top and bottom of thermos, You see partsof thermos on you locator, but the cam shows what is showing up on your locator. Plus you can move it around to see cam on locator, to view fish at a givin depth.

I have seen walleyes holding below the bottom of thermo, all day could buy a bite. Later that evening those fish rose to the top of thermo, you would have a fish on as fast as you could drop a jig/minnow down.

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