7 Best Ice Fishing Cameras + Buyer’s Guide [2021 Reviewed]

Take your fishing to the next level with an ice fishing camera. This will allow you to see exactly what is happening under the ice and give you better insight about whether your target species is interested in your bait or whether they are even there.

Although it can be pretty difficult to tell the difference between all of the brands available. We have gone through all the important factors you need to consider when making a purchase of the best underwater ice fishing camera in our buyer’s guide. This will help educate you and assist you in picking the best camera for your own personal requirements.

We have then gone through the top models on the market at the moment and the pros and cons of each model. Have a look through these to see if there is one that you like.

It doesn’t matter if you are fishing for walleye, pike, sauger, bluegill or perch, having an ice fishing camera in your shelter will give you more information and help you catch more fish than ever before. Having an underwater fishing camera, particularly with video recording features, really adds to the fishing experience and is a must have for ice fishing enthusiasts.

Let’s go!

Quick Summary – Best Ice Fishing Cameras

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Ice Fishing Camera Buyer’s Guide

We have put together a summary of the important factors you should consider when selecting your underwater fishing camera including the camera resolution, monitor size, cable length, storage, and battery life.

An item that we won’t go into much detail because it is common to all fishing equipment is good customer service from the manufacturer. An underwater fishing camera needs to work in extreme environments – so make sure you select a well known, reputable brand that will be able to help you out if things don’t work.

Monitor Size

The size of the monitor is an important factor to look at, as well as its resolution and clarity. If you go to the effort and expense of setting up an underwater viewing system then you want to be able to see it. I personally would eliminate anything under 5 inches in monitor size, preferably at 7 inches or above.

  • Poor – Less than 5 inches
  • Okay – 5 inch color
  • Good – 7 inch color and HD

The larger monitor also helps you to see the fish even when the monitor is on the other side of the shelter or even when your friends big head is in the way.

The best cameras and monitors also offer high definition (HD) so that you can see the fish in the distance instead of a murky blob. I would certainly suggest looking for a HD system if your budget allows – the hi res picture quality and the ability for video recording is a great advantage.

LCD screens are a great way of displaying your video output in real time and are a must have.

Field of View

The final key about the camera is the field of view. This is often displayed as a degree showing the range of visibility. The larger the range the more of the water you can see and you won’t have to rotate the camera as often. Extremely wide fields of view can often give a ‘fish eye’ image which causes the fish shapes to be disrupted.

This can allow you to view whatever is on the sea floor – weed beds, structure, schools of fish. 

Another great feature some monitors have is the direction display. This lets you know which way your camera is facing. So if you some some structure that you want to fish you know exactly where to dig your next hole in the ice.

Ice Fishing Camera Field of View

Storage Case and Durability

If you are travelling long distances with your tackle box, rod case, and fishing camera in the back of your truck, then a major concern is making sure it arrives at your shelter in one piece.

Some cameras come in a hard aluminum carrying case that will protect it during both transport and operation.

In terms of durability you will also want to think about how waterproof the system is – in the cables, monitor, and storage case. As well as how cold resistant the electronics are if you are going into really cold environments.

Battery Life

The range of battery sizes and how much power the camera and monitors consume can vary significantly. The very best underwater cameras can last for 12 hours continuously, while the poorest options can be as low as 4 hours.

How long will you spend on the ice?

Although consider whether the lower battery life options have replacement batteries that can be swapped out to justify their lower prices. A good standard is a lithium ion battery.

This is the criteria we have used to judge the battery life of the best underwater ice fishing camera:

  • Poor – 4 hours
  • Okay – 6 hours
  • Good – 10 hours

Cable Length

The length of cable gives you a good idea of how deep in the water you can submerge the camera – this defines the operating range of the underwater camera.

You should also consider how far away you are going to set up your monitor from the hole. Make sure you give yourself a few feet extra above what you think you will need.

The final thing is to think about how the depth impacts on the amount of light underwater. The deeper your camera goes the more light it will need to give you a clear view of the fish.

You will also want to think about cable management, particularly if you get an extremely long cable – you will need to wrap it or roll it when not in use.

This is the criteria we have used for water depth for your underwater camera:

  • Poor – 15 feet or less
  • Okay – 35 feet
  • Good – 100 feet
Ice Fishing Cameras

Water Condition

Another aspect to consider is the water conditions you will be fishing in. Most cameras are suitable for clear, light environments. If you are going to be fishing in the dark – either at night or deeper – then you will need to get a camera with lights attached.

If you are going to be fishing is less clear or cloudy waters then this needs to be accounted for as well – possible with a higher resolution or larger screen to really showcase the fish movement.

You will also need to take note of the temperatures both underwater and above it – to ensure the electronics and the battery can perform.

7 Best Ice Fishing Cameras

We have gone through the best 6 ice fishing camera’s available on the market at the moment. Have a read through and see if there is one that suits your needs.

1. MarCum LX-9

Overall Score – 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The MarCum LX-9 is the Rolls Royce of ice fishing cameras – and that this price you would hope so. It comes with one of the largest monitors around with an 8 inch color LED screen. It has an extremely long cable of 75 feet. It even has water temperature indication at all times, as well as the relative direction and depth so you know which way your camera is pointed.

It is the industry’s first underwater camera/sonar viewing system.

You can record what you are seeing and upload the videos.

The battery life is adequate at 6 hours without being exceptional.

The LX-9 can also be transferred to a boat if you are into summer fishing as well as ice fishing.

Cable Length – 75 feet

Camera Resolution – SONY Super HAD II CCD optics

Monitor Size – 8″ Color LED

Battery Life – 6 hours

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Marcum RC5P Recon 5 Plus Underwater Camera Viewing System
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2. Gamwater Underwater Camera

Overall Score – 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Gamwater option is a brilliant choice and the best value for money model on the market. It has cable extensions that will allow you to go up to 160 feet which seems like a bit overboard to me. 

The camera has 12 high powered infrared lamp lights to give you better visibility at depth.

The monitor has a sun visor to help you see it in the sun’s glare.

The cables are all water proof, cold resistant, and pull resistant to they won’t break when in use in harsh conditions. And it comes with a heavy duty aluminum case to keep it protected during transport and operation.

Viewing Angle – 92 degrees

Cable Length – Up to 160 feet

Camera Resolution – 1000 TV HD

Monitor Size – 7 inch color

Battery Life – 8 hours

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3. Vexilar Fish Scout

Overall Score – 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The third ice fishing camera we are showcasing is the Vexilar Fish Scout. It has a 7 inch monitor with 60 feet of cable.

It does not have directional indication so it can be difficult to know which direction your camera is facing. This can be a problem is you see a really interested piece of structure in the distance and you don’t know where to dig your next hole. It also does not have temperature indication.

It has only two LED lights, so it is not ideal for low light conditions, although the monitor does automatically switch to black and white to help with this.

It comes in a soft case so you want to take good care of your equipment so it doesn’t get damaged in the back of your truck.

It does not have the features that come with the MarCum LX-9, but at this price it is a viable alternative.

Cable Length – 60 feet

Monitor Size – 7 inch

Battery Life – 9 Hours

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4. Anysun Underwater Fish Finder

Overall Score – 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Anysun has the longest battery life of the ice fishing cameras we have looked at going up to 12 hours on its 4500 AH battery. So if you intend to spend all day on the ice, then this is a serious contender.

It comes with a 7 inch color monitor with a sun visor to remove glare. 

The camera has a wide 130 degree field of view so you can see the fish coming without needing to rotate the camera too frequently. It also comes with 12 LED lights to give you visibility in murky waters and at deeper depths.

It comes with 50 feet of 2.25mm cables that are thicker and more durable than normal ice fishing cameras.

It is very versatile and can be used while ice fishing, catching crabs, on the boat, or on the beach.

Field of View – 130 degrees

Cable Length – 50 feet

Camera Resolution – 600 TV

Monitor Size – 7 inch color

Battery Life – 9-12 hours

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5. Aqua-Vu Underwater Viewing System

Overall Score – 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Number 5 on our list is the Aqua-Vu Underwater Viewing System. 

The large 7 inch color monitor has a sun shade to eliminate glare and give a clearer image. It has an IP67 waterproof rating to prove its durability when in operation. It does not have water temperature indication.

The camera has a built in fin to allow for down and side viewing. The lights on the camera can be adjusted down to avoid scaring the fish away.

It also comes with a soft case rather than an aluminum case, so you will have to store it safely. Although the Aqua Vu is 5th on our list, it is certainly worth consideration.

Cable Length – 50 feet

Camera Resolution – 700

Monitor Size – 7 inch color

Battery Life – 10 hours

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6. Lixada Fish Finder

Overall Score – 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Our next camera is the Lixada Fish Finder. Lixada manufacturer some brilliant products that we have reviewed elsewhere, but this fish finder doesn’t have the same features as the other options.

The small 4.3 inch monitor and 4 hour battery life really let this product down. Although it really shouldn’t be compared to the high end models. This camera is something you can store in your pocket or attach to your fishing rod.

The camera is waterproof with a IP68 rating and a 140 degree field of view. It also has 8 LED lights on it to give improved visibility in deep water conditions.

The monitor can also be attached to your fishing rod for convenient ease of use.

If you are looking for something that you can easily store in your tackle box without a large case or monitor, then this is the fishing camera for you. It is compact and of a good quality.

Field of View – 140 degrees

Cable Length – 65 feet

Camera Resolution – 1000 TVL

Monitor Size –  4.3 inch color

Battery Life – 4 hours

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7. Lucky Underwater Fishing Camera

Overall Score – 3/5 ⭐⭐⭐

Another option at the more affordable part of the market is this Lucky Underwater Fishing Camera. It can be used for a number of different applications wherever the water is clear. It has 4 infrared LED lights to showcase the activity without frightening the fish.

It can also take videos and photos as well as do live-video playback.

It lasts for 4 hours and has a 65 feet long cable. The camera comes with a hard outer case to protect it from damage. It is small enough that you can put it in your pocket.

It weighs 33.5 ounces.

Field of View – 120 degrees

Cable Length – 65 feet

Camera Resolution – High resolution LCD

Monitor Size –  4.3 inch color

Battery Life – 4 hours

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Specification Comparison

Fish FinderScoreCameraMonitorBattery LifeCable LengthPrice
Marcum LX-95/5 SONY Super HAD II CCD optics 8″ Color LED6 Hours75 Feet$$$
Gamwater5/5 1000 TV HD7″ Color 8 Hours160 Feet$$
Vexilar Fish Scout4/5 FS8007″ Color 9 Hours50 Feet$$
Anysun Underwater4/5 600 TV7″ Color9-12 Hours50 Feet$$
Aqua-Vu4/5 7007″ Color10 Hours50 Feet$$
Lixada4/51000 TVL4.3″ Color4 Hours65 Feet$
Lucky Underwater3/5High Resolution4.3″ Color4 Hours65 Feet$

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good monitor size for an Underwater Ice Fishing Camera?

We split up the available market of ice fishing camera’s into three categories:
Poor – Less than 5 inches
Okay – 5 inch color
Good – 7 inch color and HD
The quality of the monitor is just as important as the size, so make sure you keep this in mind as well.

What is a good battery life for an Underwater Ice Fishing Camera?

The battery life you need really depends on how long you intend to be spending on the ice and can vary significantly between manufacturers. We use the following ratings for battery life:
Poor – 4 hours
Okay – 6 hours
Good – 10 hours

What is a good cable length of an Underwater Ice Fishing Camera?

The depth that you are fishing at and the distance between your hole and your camp determine how much cable length you will need for your Underwater Ice Fishing Camera, but we use the following rankings:
Poor – 15 feet or less
Okay – 35 feet
Good – 100 feet

Conclusion

I hope you have gained enough knowledge to help in making your own decision in selecting a quality ice fishing camera that will last lifetime. If not, there are more guides online that might help.

The key is to pick a camera that suits your individual requirements. What is good for one angler might not be what you are looking for – Consider all of our recommendations before making your selection.

If you have experience with an ice fishing camera and would like to share your insights then please leave a comment below. This will help to educate all of our readers so that we can all catch more fish. Sharing your wisdom and experience would be greatly appreciated.

Happy fishing!

Last update on 2021-10-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Russ Egan
 

Russ is an avid angler. He has fished all over the world, primarily for Saltwater game fish but also for local prize fish. Russ writes reviews for all of his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. His favorite reel is a Shimano Tyrnos for an overhead reel or a Shimano Curado for a baitcaster. His dream is to catch a Black Marlin.