Underwater Camera

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TrackerPro16
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Underwater Camera

Post by TrackerPro16 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:24 pm

Anyone use one? I have read up a bunch but am on the fence as to whether my usage would be worth the price. There are underwater drones as well but they seem to be pretty pricey.

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Larry3215
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Re: Underwater Camera

Post by Larry3215 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:16 pm

Have a link to any underwater drones? The only ones Ive seen so far are for commercial use - $$$$$$$$$ - or some half assed DIY things that didnt look very practical. Its been a while since I last looked though.

If you're thinking about a cam, there are two basic types you have to choose between - real time viewing (with possible recording optional) or recording only.

I have used the recording only type cams for years in my RC flying hobby - small cams on airplanes and sailplanes. Its fun and interesting, but I got to really hate video editing. The problem is you can easily capture two + hours of recording that has maybe 2 minutes of video that anyone would actually want to watch. Its even worse with under water cameras.

I got to play with some real time video on drones for a bit and that is the way to go as far as Im concerned. So I decided to build my own real time underwater cam.

http://www.northwestfishingreports.com/ ... 30&t=21836

The advantage of record only cameras is that they dont need to be connected to the boat. You just turn it on, drop it down and hope to record something interesting. You can attach it to a fishing line, downrigger, etc and you are good to go. Then you take it home, and spend a few hours on the computer viewing and editing the video in the hopes of finding the few seconds of good stuff - if you're lucky.

The downside to a real time camera is you need a cable connecting it to the boat and a way to view what it is seeing. Im using the video input on my Garmin, so I can watch what the cam is seeing in a combo screen on the MFD while I watch the sonar at the same time or switch to full screen. I can also record from there using my phone and the built in WiFi and an app.

Handling 75 ft of cable and the camera and the plugs etc is kind of a pain, but its less of a pain to me than editing hours of video when you have no idea if there is even something good on it.

The other problem with underwater video cameras is the water in almost all the lakes and rivers around here is just not very clear. In most places Ive tried so far, you cant see very far at all under water once you get below a few feet of the surface - even with a very sensitive camera and bright lights. I have yet to try it in a really clear lake though. Im itching to try Chelan, but we havent been back since I built the cam.

Most every where else Ive been the visibility has been from 6" in Silver Lake and about 3ft in PotHoles and Mosses up to maybe 10 ft in American Lake. Puget Sound is in the 6-8 ft range most places Ive tried shallow, but its very dark 75 ft down and vis drops to maybe 2 ft.

User Toni has an underwater cam she uses a lot. She has a bunch of videos posted somewhere, but I forget where. You might PM her if she doesnt drop in to this thread on her own.

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Toni
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Re: Underwater Camera

Post by Toni » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:49 am

Depends on what you want from it and what kind of use? Go Pro type or Water Wolf? I have a go pro type that was fun but hard to get fish on it without worrying about loosing the fish. Then I got the Water Wolf which hooks right to your line and sees everything that looks at your lure (if the water is clear enough but is not real time). The only time you have to edit it is if you are going to share the video. I enjoy it. I have learned a lot about fish behavior from the video feed I have watched. I just use it for trolling. I have tried casting it but was not successful.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBFAlD8FZZY&t=22s
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He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

TrackerPro16
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Re: Underwater Camera

Post by TrackerPro16 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:48 pm

Thanks for the replies! I was looking at the live-resl time stand alone type. Aqua-Vu was one I liked. The new models this year look pretty good. Not sure how useful it would be but one of the models has a 120' cable.
Here is one of the underwater drones.
https://www.openrov.com/products/triden ... gITWvD_BwE
And another
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/glad ... technology#/

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Sideburns
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Re: Underwater Camera

Post by Sideburns » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:18 am

I think someone here has experience with the aqua vu, maybe you'll get some feedback... Better yet do a search for aqua vu. I think ive read a few posts about 'em.
This is the one Ive been eye balling on ebay. Less than 50 bucks shipped from california. Gotta have something to use as a display though.
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Sideburns
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Re: Underwater Camera

Post by Sideburns » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:42 am

Opps here's the link
http://www.ebay.com/itm/15M-1200TV-Unde ... Ciid%253A1
This is another ive been looking at with a 20 meter cable that hooks to a battery powered wifi transmitter. View on a phone or tablet wirelessly. With no other wires to connect, one could mount the transmitter to a cord reel of some sort, so that the camera could be reeled in or out while watching live.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Wireless-Wifi-F ... SwRMtZaJBx
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Larry3215
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Re: Underwater Camera

Post by Larry3215 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:47 am

Sideburns wrote:Opps here's the link
http://www.ebay.com/itm/15M-1200TV-Unde ... Ciid%253A1
This is another ive been looking at with a 20 meter cable that hooks to a battery powered wifi transmitter. View on a phone or tablet wirelessly. With no other wires to connect, one could mount the transmitter to a cord reel of some sort, so that the camera could be reeled in or out while watching live.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Wireless-Wifi-F ... SwRMtZaJBx
A couple of things to note about those two offerings. Neither one lists the camera's light sensitivity. I had to really look hard to find a camera with a very hi sensitivity. Mine is around .00001 lux IIRc. Most are in the .1 to .o1 range with a few in the .001 range. Price goes up as sensitivity goes up. A lower number is better by the way - .01 is ten times more sensitive than .1.

The other thing concerns me about the second listing is that its bragging that its camera is infrared. The problem with that is everything under water is at the same exact temperature, so infrared is useless under water. I found that out with my first cheap cam attempts.

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Sideburns
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Re: Underwater Camera

Post by Sideburns » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:51 pm

hmm good to know about the infrared. Probably more useful for drain pipe inspections.....
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Bilgewater
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Re: Underwater Camera

Post by Bilgewater » Thu Sep 19, 2019 3:57 pm

Is anyone convinced that an underwater camera has actually increased their fish catching? Not me, with a Water Wolf. However I have learned a few things from using it.

Comments:
1. Toni does a terrific job of including videos in her posts. She edits videos to mainly show what happens when a fish follows her bait and/or grabs it. But unfortunately none of us can be certain why they did bite, or why they didn’t.

2. In hours and hours of my lake videos, well over 95% of the time I see vast quantities of very wet water. When fish do show up, they are WAY more likely to be perch than rainbow or kokanee, but I suppose each lake would be different. I end up with the sense that there are surprisingly few targeted fish per acre of lake. When the camera gets close to the bottom it is interesting to see that it looks very different than I imagined, but that doesn’t catch me any fish.

3. More often than not, when my camera captures rainbow or kokanee they do not necessarily approach and closely follow the bait, looking and sniffing. Many times they are off to the side or well back from the lure and seem to be just inquisitive and not hungry.

4. If you troll large areas of a lake, how do you know where the camera was if/when interesting targeted fish happen to show up in a video? The best solution I’ve found is to change the attractor and/or lure, noting what you towed around in which part of the lake. Then you can get at least some idea of what fish were in which parts of the lake. (But they probably won’t be in that part of the lake the next time!)

5. Using VLC Media Player to view Water Wolf videos is very helpful. You can speed up or slow down the video, pause it wherever you want, back it up, and take a “screenshot” which can be converted to a jpg to email out or save. Just one hour of video, at 30 frames per second, takes a huge amount of storage. 108,000 individual photos. I find it much better to just save a couple or a few noteworthy jpg’s to remember the trip.

6. My Water Wolf also records sound, so it could be used for purposes other than underwater.

7. Knowing what I know now, would I buy an underwater camera? Well as Toni said, it depends on what you want from it. To me the biggest value has been learning how few targeted fish were where I was trolling.

“The ways of fish no man knoweth.” - - Buzzacott

P.S. Fluorocarbon line IS visible underwater. It might have a refractive index similar to water, however that says nothing about it’s reflective index. Videos clearly show that light does reflect off of it.

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Sideburns
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Re: Underwater Camera

Post by Sideburns » Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:54 pm

Quote " P.S. Fluorocarbon line IS visible underwater. It might have a refractive index similar to water, however that says nothing about it’s reflective index. Videos clearly show that light does reflect off of it."

Dont get me started! Good picture of solid factual observation. Even strength tests seem to show it's fragile in some ways. Much misunderstood line. Next thing you know i"ll get going on the much misunderstood "uv enhanced" sales gimmicks!
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Re: Underwater Camera

Post by hewesfisher » Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:59 am

What depth was the picture taken with the perch? Have any pictures of fluorocarbon at 50' - 90'?
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Bilgewater
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Re: Underwater Camera

Post by Bilgewater » Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:26 am

Sideburns: I don’t buy the “uv enhanced” stuff either. The spectrum of electromagnetic radiation from the sun is cataloged into seven wavelength groups: radio waves (longest wavelength); microwaves; infrared; optical light; ultraviolet; x-rays; and gamma rays (shortest wavelength). Allegedly only about 10 percent of sunlight is UV, and allegedly only about one-third of that penetrates the atmosphere to reach the ground. Black lights are used to demonstrate and ‘light up’ UV coatings on fishing lures, but the sunlight UV is very much weaker than that from a black light held close to and aimed directly at a lure. Consider this: to what extent would the lure ‘light up’ if the black light were, say, 100 feet away from the lure?

Charts showing color degradation with depth don’t necessarily pan out. Red is alleged to fade out in as little as maybe 10 feet, but in video my bright red F7 flatfish shows up very clearly in it’s normal color at 30 feet or so.

Separately, if lure manufacturers are so smart, why don’t they ever discuss the underwater effects of electromagnetic radiation on lures that are nickel, chrome, copper, silver, gold, white, or black? Try to find some discussion about those “colors.”


hewesfisher: Don’t know exactly, but the perch photo was likely taken between 25 and 30 feet. I have no photos of anything between 50 and 90 feet. My seat-of-the-pants sense is that ambient light at various depths is influenced by water turbidity, cloud cover, and the angle of the sun. Also by the density of zooplankton, which by the way, are very dense in American Lake and clearly show up in every video, at varying densities and locations. (From using a trout stomach pump, I do know what zooplankton like Daphnia and Copepods look like.) And my wild guess is that the “light sensitivity” of a Water Wolf camera might not show much at, say, 90 feet unless the sun was overhead, the sky clear, and the water was very clear (Chelan??).

I have noted that while trolling steadily for a while, some parts of the video will be brighter than other parts. Can’t say what caused the change. Intermittent clouds? Different turbidity?

Will look for another photo and post it, showing unintentionally dragging bottom in 40 feet on a day with plenty of light at that depth.

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Bilgewater
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Re: Underwater Camera

Post by Bilgewater » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:19 pm

Hopefully I can again figure out how to attach a photo.

While paralleling a shoreline (that sloped down to the right in the photo), I inadvertently trolled shallower into 40 feet of water and my dodger/lure drug through the bottom muck, without my realizing it at first. About a minute of video showed an unusual range of odd looking “stuff” on the bottom, which appeared likely to be more or less solid. However as the dodger/lure easily plowed right through it, what looked like “dust” was stirred up. None of the features that the dodger hit were solid at all. In the photo you can see the leader in the lower center, but the dodger/lure are enveloped in the “dust.” When I pulled the camera and gear up, there was no seaweed on it. No goo, nothing at all. No fish showed up in that part of the video.

What does this event say about catching fish? Not a darned thing. About all it does is illustrate the visibility at that depth on that day.

Beyond that . . . . both algae (which are plants) and rooted plants require an adequate amount of sunlight energy in order survive and grow via photosynthesis. In American Lake, 25 to 30 feet appears to be about the depth limit of that energy. Further . . . . zooplankton (a high fat and protein fish food) consume algae. While zoo shows up in shallower water videos, I don’t see it at 40 feet. Maybe that says a little something about depths to fish at, at least in waters where zoo is a significant part of the fish food chain. Then again, maybe not. There’s nothing precise about catching fish.
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Re: Underwater Camera

Post by tbrinks » Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:31 am

Like others have said, they are cool and fun but don't always help you catch more fish. This was my fav pic from a few years back with the FishSens SONDEcam.

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Re: Underwater Camera

Post by rcjoutdoors » Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:54 am

Besides the typical action cams, I have one of these somewhere.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbQPIR_hN0g

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Toni
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Re: Underwater Camera

Post by Toni » Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:19 am

It has become apparent that water wolf is no longer available. There are a few cameras on the market intended for fishing. A couple are wireless. That does not mean you can see it in real time. Wifi doesn't go through water. It can be watched on a smart phone when brought back to shore/boat/dock.
Did anyone buy one at the sportsman show? GoFish had a booth at the Puyallup one
Look for Wannafish A Lure on FaceBook
He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

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Re: Underwater Camera

Post by Sideburns » Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:04 am

Some of the wireless underwater cameras are actually connected by a cable to an above water spool/reel, and wirelessly "real time" viewable by a wifi device, tablet or phone. Didn't really seem that cool until until I realized that wireless function solves the cable twist problem when lifting or lowering the camera. Might work really well in conjunction with a downrigger! ...There would just be a small module mounted to the downrigger, able to spin with the spool freely.
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