Ever since underwater fish cams became popular, people have argued over whether or not they give you an unfair advantage over the competition – and the fish. In fact, several tournament trails have banned fish cams from their events. But, are they really worth this sort of dust-up?
After using an Aqua-View for over a year now, I can unhesitatingly say: NO! In fact, you’re likely to catch fewer fish than before, if you arm yourself with a fish cam. Fact of the matter is, I’ve found that when we deploy the camera we burn up a ton of fishing time puttering around with it. Aiming it underwater isn’t easy, and the staring at the screen is downright addictive. Drop one down to check out a suspicious mark on the fishfinder, and you’ll likely put down your rod and reel for the next half-hour.
That said, I recommend you go out and get a fish cam, immediately – especially if you often have kids aboard. These things are awesome entertainment, and it’s so addicting because it’s so much fun to stare at those finned critters as they swim by, often coming right up to the camera to check it out. On one lucky afternoon, we even had the pleasure of watching a striped bass strike the camera and give it a good head-shake. On top of that, watching how the fish act and react is educational in a way that, in the long run, will help you become a better angler. I’ve taken note of how fish 20′ beneath us reacted when a hatch slammed on the boat (they scattered in a flash), how often they grab a lure or bait and spit it right back out without my ever feeling it (it happens a lot more than you’d think), and how at certain times a jiggling tip draws mere interest yet a static bait draws a strike.
So: is using a fish cam cheating? I say no way. Like anything else it has its plusses and minuses. But if you fish for enjoyment, not competition, consider getting one of these things – you won’t regret it.