Underwater cameras like the Aqua-Vu lineup bring fun to fishing and are also great tools for finding good fishing spots. Pro bass angler Grae Buck showcases how he employs his Aqua-Vu underwater camera for confirming the bottom composition and locating fish. Furthermore, it’s a critical pre-fishing tool for verifying targetable fish without hooking them in tournament scenarios.
FEATURED GEAR (retail links)
- UNDERWATER CAMERA – Aqua-VU Multi-Vu Pro Gen2: Buy at Amazon
- AQUA-VU CAMERAS at Bass Pro Shops and Amazon
- FISH FINDER – Lowrance HDS LIVE 12 Fish Finder/Chartplotter: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
Buck demonstrates how to deploy and run his underwater camera over spots, then interpret the real-time video to make informed fishing decisions. Buck connects the camera to his 12-inch Lowrance fish finder for easy sunlit viewing at the console as part of his setup. This integration simplifies control from the driver’s seat and permits screen recording via iPhone, capturing real-time underwater footage.
Rather than scanning forward, Buck prefers viewing behind his direction of travel. Bass and other gamefish commonly follow the camera in curiosity, so looking back makes sense. While identifying the right fish is vital, seeing the bottom provides insights that transfer to different spots. For example, if the bass are related to big boulders, Buck may seek similar boulder spots on other structures. So it’s a patterning tool, too.
Sonar only tells you so much. It’s common to locate a school of fish on your sonar only to realize they’re not your target species. In northern-tier states, suckers or sheepshead can account for much wasted time. Underwater cameras are also “bottom truthing” tools. By visually confirming what’s down there and referencing your fish finder, you better interpret what your sonar technologies are showing you.
Key takeaways from Buck’s exploration on this day include 1) the relevance of depth, with a sweet spot identified between 20 and 30 feet of water, and 2) areas with boulders had the most and best quality smallmouth. Tournament anglers can build a milk run of confirmed good spots where permitted. For others, you get to have a blast taking in the underwater world from above, learn more about fish and preferred habitats, and catch more fish in the process. For more insights, check out Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson’s take on how he rigs and uses underwater cameras.