The fish's gaze surprised by the camera lens.

As with any sport or hobby, anglers are often looking for ways to improve their ‘game’, and there’s a lot of advice out there, as well as a lot of gadgets to make fishing easier.

Many anglers are making the most of underwater footage to improve their fishing, but how can looking at underwater footage help you catch more fish?

Let’s take a look.


Put simply, an underwater camera is a camera that takes high quality images and videos that can be used in lakes, rivers and the sea. They’re connected to a monitoring screen by a cable, some raised and lowered by hand, others on your line alongside bait. Some come with lights for better visibility, others come weighted for deep water. You can also get apps that let you watch the footage in real time.


  • Water Clarity – while it might seem obvious that you don’t want the water too dirty when fishing, there are times when you don’t want it too clean either, and it’s hard to tell, just by looking at the surface, what the water clarity is like down where your lure is.
  • Species ID – an underwater camera is a good way of seeing what’s down there without spooking the fish, and it can save you a lot of time. Have a look at our blog about common fish breeds in the UK for some guidance on what’s out there in our lakes and rivers.
  • Cover ID – often there are parts of a river, for example, that seem to have a lot of fish, whereas other areas that might look exactly the same don’t have many. Underwater footage can show you details that you’ll miss from the surface; different size rocks, maybe, or a certain type of weed. You can then identify these features in different areas.
  • Education – watching underwater footage lets you observe the fish in their natural habitat; you can see how they react to different rigs, their preferred hiding places, feeding habits etc.
  • Other Uses – while we try to be careful when we’re out fishing, we’ve all heard about people who’ve dropped mobile phones, car keys, cameras etc. into the water, so an underwater camera can help you find them. They’re also good for boat maintenance, as well as around the home for looking in places that have limited light/access.
A rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) photographed from above in a shallow stream in Rotorua, New Zealand.


  • Use a dedicated underwater fishing camera, or a GoPro with waterproof casing.
  • Make sure the camera is fully charged beforehand.
  • Use the high-resolution mode.
  • Respect the wildlife and environment and don’t get too close.


  • Resolution – the higher this is, the clearer the images will be, although it could also push the price up.
  • Waterproof depth – How deep do you need it to go? If you’re fishing in shallow water a low waterproof depth rating will be fine, but deeper water will require a camera that can withstand the pressure.
  • Night vision – Dusk/dawn fishing can often get the best results, but depending on the time of year these times don’t always have the best light. This is where infrared/low light sensitivity come into their own.
  • Depth – For deep water, drop cameras can be the best choice as they are weighted.
Camera and display for underwater shooting when fishing on a dark background. Allows you to see the number and size of fish under water.

While no amount of gadgets can make up for technique, anything that lets you see what’s going on below the surface is likely to help your fishing; the more you understand about the fish, the more likely you are to catch them.

For more fishing tips take a look at our blog and learn about top fishing destinations in the UK, and the beginners guide to safe river fishing with kids.

Even with just the essential kit in your tackle bag, angling can be quite an expensive hobby, so it might be worth looking at some of our fishing insurance policies. Choose from 3 policy types with standard benefits that are specially designed to cover typical everyday circumstances; you can then tweak them with a choice of Optional Benefits to cover your gadgets or fishing tech. Get a free, no-strings quote today and see what we can do for you.

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