Best 6 Ice Fishing Cameras of 2021 + Buyer’s Guide
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, 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.
Table of Contents
- 1 Ice Fishing Camera Buyer’s Guide
- 2 Best Ice Fishing Camera’s of 2020
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4 Conclusion
Quick Summary – Best Ice Fishing Cameras
- Best Overall: MarCum LX-9
- Best Value for Money: Gamwater Underwater
- Best Battery Life: Anysun Underwater Fish Finder
- Best Compact: Lixada Fish Finder
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.
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 is 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.
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.
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
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
Best Ice Fishing Camera’s of 2020
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
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
- Underwater Camera with DVR Combo.
- 8" Flat Panel (800 x 600) Color LED with Video out. Four user-selectable snar color palettes. User Defined on Screen Das
- User-defined on-screen "Dashboard” displays digital depth, battery voltage, range, gain, interference rejection (IR), target adjust, or any combination thereof
2. Gamwater Underwater Camera
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
- 1.7 inch TFT color monitor with sun-visor for bright environment outside
- 2. Color CCD and HD 1000 TV lines camera
- 3. Waterproof,Aluminum alloy fish model design and durable material on the camera body
3. Vexilar Fish Scout
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
- Fish Scout Underwater Camera Color/Black and White
- Provided by Vexilar
- Underwater Cameras
4. Anysun Underwater Fish Finder
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
- IP68 Fish Finder Camera with Night Version：full waterproof IP68 design with 15m cable，can work in dark night and 15m deep water.
- MONITOR: 7 inch TFT color monitor with sun-visor ideal for bright environments. It is cold-resistant and waterproof with pull-resistant cables.
- IMAGE QUALITY: Color CCD and HD 700 TV lines of the camera provides a clearer image than a 600TV lines camera. This is the latest and most convenient Underwater Video Camera System.
5. Aqua-Vu Underwater Viewing System
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
- IP67 Waterproof 7-inch full color high resolution LCD with screen protector/sunshield & RCA video out
- nti-Spook Fish Camera – Color Camera with auto low-light mode, adjustable IR lighting & 50-feet of cable
- Smart Power Management System Includes 12v 7.2ah battery & charger, plus Custom Storage Bag System– Fits 5-Gallon Bucket
6. Lixada Fish Finder
Our final 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
- Mini size underwater fishing camera with video recording capability. Insert a TF card to store images and video clips for future playback. (TF card is NOT included)
- 4.3 inch LCD color screen monitor displays 1000TVL high-definition live images. Sun visor permits clear viewing in bright environment outside as well as protects the screen from being scratched when...
- IP68 waterproof camera with 140° wide angle lens captures a wide range of amazing scenes in deep water. 8pcs infrared night vision LEDs provide light source for the camera with no color difference.
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
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.
Last update on 2021-03-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API