Aqua-Vu XD™ Camera Live Strike System

Ingenious new optics accessories compatible with modular Quick Attachment™ System

Crosslake, Minn. – Key in a single YouTube search for “underwater strikes,” and your device quickly kicks out over a hundred thousand hits. Even after filtering out the usual riff-raff of YouTube weirdness, you’re still left with hundreds of hours of spectacular underwater footage—and the undeniable impression that anglers today can’t wait to see what it really looks like when big bass, muskies and other fish attack.

In many ways, underwater sight fishing or video fishing, as it’s being called, has morphed into a sport all its own. Anglers from Florida to Canada and beyond increasingly realize that watching fish react underwater isn’t just a ton of fun, it’s also incredibly instructive in terms of making fish bite.

“What I’ve learned has been invaluable,” says Florida bass authority, Joe Balog.

“Watching muskies emerge from the inky depths to pursue my lure builds an incredible sense of anticipation,” adds Dr. Jason Halfen, angling electronics guru and owner of technologicalangler.com.

Exceptional about what these anglers and others are now doing compared to folks using traditional point-of-view action cameras— in which footage is recorded and viewed later— is the unique ability to watch fish react on screen, as the action occurs live.

Aqua-Vu, the principal innovating company within the underwater angling movement the past two decades, recently issued new high-definition video technology with exciting video fishing capabilities.

Engineered with a new, specialized camera housing, the company’s versatile XD Camera® is compatible with a variety of intriguing underwater viewing accessories. The Aqua-Vu Live Strike™ System connects underwater camera to fishing line, playing the underwater action in real-time, right on an Aqua-Vu LCD.

“I’ve used Live Strike repeatedly in lakes and rivers throughout Florida, and have watched in real-time how bass react to lures and live bait,” Balog notes. “Never before was I aware of how often bass followed our offerings but didn’t bite.

“Much of this material I’ve captured and shared on social media. Folks can’t get enough of the underwater video we’ve posted. Aqua-Vu has really revolutionized underwater viewing with this set-up.”

Halfen, who uses Aqua-Vu systems to educate anglers about fish finding and sonar interpretation, has also discovered the thrills of on-screen sight fishing. “The Live Strike system lets everyone in the boat watch the lure and fish interacting with it, live on the crystal clear Aqua-Vu monitor,” he says.

“Ultimately, this helps us improve our fishing decisions, such as replacing under-performing baits. When muskies, walleyes or bass come in for a look we see every fin twitch and gill flare in HD video. When fish turn away, we can adjust and change to a lure with a different action or color. And when you see fish strike, it’s almost as fun as reeling them in . . . almost.”

One of several new Aqua-Vu XD underwater viewing accessories, Live Strike™ is an interactive, real-time underwater sight fishing system offering unprecedented potential for on-the-water excitement and education. The simple-to-operate accessory gives anglers the ability to monitor trolled or drifted lures directly on an Aqua-Vu LCD screen, at depths from 5 to up to 100 feet. The patent pending XD Camera Housing with Quick Attachment accessory compatibility is available with all HDi series and 715C underwater viewing systems.

 

 

Aqua-Vu® Unveils Truly ‘Immersive’ Underwater Fishing App

Intuitive AV Connect System goes wireless, mobile, and socially interactive

Don’t be surprised when your smartphone goes full A.I., 3D and solar powered—all at once. Or when your device lets you interact with lifelike holographic images. Or when something called ‘augmented reality’ endows your phone with Star Trek Tricorder powers, scanning, analyzing and enhancing anything in your world.

If you’re a mere Earthling-angler, you’re just happy your phone lets you to stay connected with fishing buddies and the latest hot bite. That weather app on your phone’s pretty handy, too, informing you when that t-storm on the horizon’s about to rain on your parade.

But until your phone acquires artificial angling intelligence and tells you exactly where to cast next, a new app called Aqua-Vu Connect just might be the most fun you can have outside of battling a big bass.

Aqua-Vu, the leading-edge underwater camera company, recently uploaded the radical angling app, as well as a matching mobile underwater viewing adapter. Aquatic technology has gone ultramodern, streaming live Aqua-Vu video on your wireless devices, no matter if you’re fishing an urban reservoir or a wilderness lake without Wi-Fi for hundreds of miles.

“AV Connect is both an intuitive app and a wireless underwater camera device that creates its own Wi-Fi hotspot,” says Aqua-Vu president Ben Gibbs. “There are hundreds of thousands of Aqua-Vu cameras in the field. So we engineered the AV Connect System to interface with any existing underwater camera or brand equipped with an RCA video-out connection.”

Available for free download for iPhone, iPad and Android devices, the AV Connect app streams live Aqua-Vu or other underwater camera video live. The intuitive app also allows users to record live video clips or still photographs, instantly stored in the phone or tablet’s photo library, where they can be uploaded to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media.

Featuring a credit card sized video module, the AV Connect™ Universal Wi-Fi Adapter includes an RCA Video Out cable/adapter and 12v battery connections. The efficient video module connects to and can be powered either by the underwater camera’s internal rechargeable battery or an auxiliary 12-volt battery. Set up takes mere minutes to complete.

“AV Connect adds a whole other level of interactivity to underwater viewing,” Gibbs affirms, “Anyone with a phone within about 25 feet of the video module can share in watching what’s happening below. If you’re in the boat or on the ice with a couple buddies, everyone can watch what’s happening below the surface, at the same time—all on their own handheld devices.”

AV Connect Applications:

  • Record exciting underwater footage and text, Tweet or email it to friends.
  • Remotely monitor tip-up and deadstick lines while ice fishing inside a shelter – link to multiple underwater cameras with the same device.
  • Monitor real-time video feeds from underwater “trail cameras” set under boat docks, brush piles or while ice fishing.
  • Network and link to an underwater camera from anywhere in the boat.
  • Use an Aqua-Vu Mo-Pod to pan a remote underwater camera and watch the action on your phone.
  • Record underwater footage of a hotspot, send to friends and link footage to a GPS coordinate.

“Now, anyone with a smartphone and an underwater camera can immediately view, record and share their subsurface discoveries,” Gibbs reports.

Available to consumers now, the Aqua-Vu Connect Universal Wi-Fi Adapter (MSRP – $149.99) works with any RCA video-enabled underwater viewing system or camera brand. To download the free AV Connect app, visit the App Store for either Apple or Android products.

About Aqua-Vu
The Original Underwater Viewing System, Aqua-Vu is manufactured by Outdoors Insight, Inc., and has led the underwater camera category in design, innovation and quality since 1997. They were the first to offer a true high-definition underwater viewing system, and other original features such as on-screen displays of water temp, depth and camera direction, IR and LED light systems, DVRs and Digital Zoom. The Central Minnesota based company engineers other popular outdoors products, such as the iBall Trailer Hitch Camera (iballhitchcam.com) and Odor Check Moisture and Odor Control System (odorcheck.com). For more information on Aqua-Vu, visit www.aquavu.com.

 

 

 

Crystal clear 715c Underwater Viewing System features colorful video at all-time low price

Aqua-Vu 715c Underwater Camera Ranks High on Ezvid Wiki List

Not many years ago, owning a high definition LCD TV nearly required a second mortgage—or a winning Lotto number. But even though they came with astronomical price tags, the colorful images displayed on these dazzling widescreens carried an undeniable “wow” factor.

Fast forward to the here and now, and find the homes of most folks furnished with at least one, if not two or more of these vivid viewscreens. Thank rapidly advancing technology for plummeting prices, which now make HD within reach for everyone.

Traversing a parallel, albeit aquatic path, Aqua-Vu® recently engineered the on-the-water equivalent of modern-day LCD TV. The new 715c Underwater Camera gives anglers and boaters all the color and flat-screen performance they demand, and at the lowest retail price . . . ever.

Manufacturer of the world’s first and finest underwater cameras, Aqua-Vu recently re-energized the category it created in 1997, offering enhancements such as IP67-rated waterproof monitors and color CMOS camera optics. “IP67” isn’t just another techno-term, but rather a military standard that measures relative protection against dirt, dust and water. IP67 indicates the maximum levels of protection in all categories (go ahead and Google it.) Accordingly, these new underwater viewscreens even operate, well, underwater—although we don’t recommend it.

“I’ve been a major fan of Aqua-Vu underwater cameras since their original systems, which were both expensive and bulky,” says Michigan bass pro Joe Balog. “Their newest technology, though, is simply amazing. The 715c is a super well-designed camera that’s compact, easy to use and it’s really affordable.”

More proof of performance at a petite price: The 715c features adjustable underwater LED lighting, Smart PowerTM Management System for maximum battery life, and an anti-spooking stealth fish camera endowed with micro CMOS optics. Built around a 7-inch color LCD, this economical Aqua-Vu incorporates a smartly designed adjustable screen protector that doubles as a sunshield. Fifty feet of rugged camera cable wraps neatly around an integrated housing. Packed up, the entire system slips into its Custom Storage Bag, which fits smartly into boat storage, or a 5-gallon bucket.

Additional benefits include an intuitive menu-driven operating system, plus an RCA video-out for recording or playing video on an auxiliary TV. Powered by a rechargeable 12-volt battery and battery charger, the Aqua-Vu 715c is performance packed and priced for easy purchase (MSRP $299.99).

“A lot of folks in my boat who haven’t operated a camera in a few years are pleasantly surprised by how much easier they are to use than previous models,” reports Balog. “That’s what technology is all about, whether it’s HDTVs or underwater cameras. Things just get better—more user-friendly and affordable—all the time. And that’s also what you’d expect from a category leader, whether it’s or Samsung®, Sony® or Aqua-Vu.”

About Aqua-Vu
The Original Underwater Viewing System, Aqua-Vu is manufactured by Outdoors Insight, Inc., and has led the underwater camera category in design, innovation and quality since 1997. The Central Minnesota based company builds many popular outdoors products, such as the iBall Trailer Hitch Camera (iballhitchcam.com) and Odor Check Moisture and Odor Control System (odorcheck.com) featuring Scent-Lok Technology. For more information on Aqua-Vu, visit www.aquavu.com.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Aqua-Vu/358020667757?fref=ts

 

Aqua-Vu XD™ Camera Engineered for Versatile Underwater Viewing

Ingenious new optics accessories compatible with modular Quick Attachment™ System

Crosslake, Minn. – It’s a mad mad video world; a YouTube nation; a virtual way of life. See something weird or wild? You capture it with your phone or your camera. Upload. Share. View. Go viral. Within minutes, the whole world’s seen it, while legions of would-be documentarians stand ready to record the next wow moment.

Even as wireless devices help us observe what happens on land, the other 71-percent of the earth—the water world— is often overseen by Aqua-Vu cameras. Beneath the surface of lakes, rivers and oceans, Aqua-Vu has been in the business of discovering cool stuff underwater since long before social media was born. Today, a simple YouTube “Aqua Vu” search yields no fewer than ten pages of hits, and hundreds, maybe thousands of immersive videos captured by the company’s underwater cameras.

With a vision to broaden the underwater viewing experience for its legion of fishing fans, Aqua-Vu engineered and recently unveiled the sleek new XD™ Camera—a stealthy, nearly bulletproof underwater lens housing built for functionality and mega versatility. Sold as standard equipment with several Aqua-Vu models, the XD Camera employs HD (HD700i) or SD (760CZi) optics and integrated infrared LEDs.

But what’s stirring particular excitement among users is the XD Camera’s patent pending Quick Attachment™ System. Compatible with an expanded line of Aqua-Vu XD Accessories, the modular video system adds thrilling new applications to the underwater viewing experience.

(1) XD Trolling Fin – For live viewing while trolling or drifting in a boat, the new Aqua-Vu Trolling Fin slides and snaps seamlessly into the Quick Attachment rail, stabilizing the camera to at least 5-mph. The Trolling Fin is reversible, too, allowing the camera to face forward for viewing fish and structure ahead of your boat, or backward.

(2) Live Strike Lure Monitoring – Back or reverse viewing is another exclusive XD Camera feature, enabling anglers to monitor trolled or drifted lures. Live Strike Lure Monitoring is a first-of-its-kind real-time underwater sight fishing system. But rather than attaching a separate recording unit ahead of trolled lures and watching the footage later, Aqua-Vu’s Live Strike accessory lets anglers view their lures in real-time, as they sight fish at any depth on the Aqua-Vu LCD screen.

(2) XD Dorsal Position Fin – For individuals more apt to use an Aqua-Vu from a stationary position—from shore, boat dock, pier or on the ice—the XD Camera sports an integrated dorsal positioning fin that delivers four different lens angles. By inserting the camera’s cable into one of the fin’s three slots, users can to view in a stationary, horizontal position or at a 45-degree angle, up or down. Vertical or “bird’s eye” down-viewing is achieved by simply removing the cable from the position fin.

(3) XD Pole Cam Adaptor (available in July) – The ultimate way to probe and silently peek below boat docks, brush piles or other cover, the XD Pole Cam Adaptor connects an XD Camera to the end of the Aqua-Vu Telescopic Viewing Pole or any telescopic painters pole. Inspired by bass and crappie tournament anglers, pole cam viewing helps anglers find big fish living in heavy cover, which can’t be identified by sonar alone.

(4) XD Flood Light (available in July) – At night, the underwater world comes alive, and the XD Underwater Flood Light connects quickly to any XD Camera, illuminating large areas of the aquatic world. Armed with an array of angle-adjustable LEDs, the XD Flood Light helps light up the fishing area while greatly reducing particulate and plankton reflection.

“In designing the new XD Camera, we wanted to give our customers a truly versatile underwater viewing product, one that gives people the freedom to explore the underwater world in their own individual way,” says Aqua-Vu Vice President, Thomas Maschhoff. “Whether you want to watch your Aqua-Vu while trolling, to witness fish bite your lure, to investigate under docks and brushpiles, to figure out what fish do at night, and more. This user-friendly system is all about flexibility, discovery and ultimately, fun.”

About Aqua-Vu

The Original Underwater Viewing System, Aqua-Vu is manufactured by Outdoors Insight, Inc., and has led the underwater camera category in design, innovation and quality since 1997. The Central Minnesota based company builds many popular outdoors products, such as the iBall Trailer Hitch Camera (iballhitchcam.com) and Odor Check Moisture and Odor Control System (odorcheck.com) featuring Scent-Lok Technology. For more information on Aqua-Vu, visit www.aquavu.com.

 

 

FLW bass pro Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson connects with Aqua-Vu Underwater Cameras

Two Top Fish Finders Join Forces

Crosslake, MN. (March 6, 2017) – Living upon the shores of Lake of the Woods, Ontario—one of the finest fishing lakes  on Earth— few anglers understand the fish-finding game like Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson. Now in his sixth season on the national FLW Tour, Gustafson recently reconnected with Aqua-Vu, the industry leader in underwater camera systems.

“I bought one of the early Aqua-Vu cameras in 2000,” recalls Gustafson. “Used it nearly non-stop to help form a mental picture of my favorite spots on Lake of the Woods and other local waters.”

Seventeen years later, just in time for the FLW Tour event on Lake Travis, Texas, Gussy deployed the new Aqua-Vu HD700i, turning a challenging tournament into a solid 13th place finish, which positioned him in the top 5 in the Angler of the Year standings.

“When the bite turned tough in prefishing, I shifted my focus to deep water,” said Gustafson. “The Aqua-Vu HD unit verified whether or not the fish I was marking on electronics were bass. That proved a big time saver, because a lot of the fish were the wrong species, but looked like bass on sonar. The camera also showed me that (no comma, thus “which” was replaced with “that”) docks and brush piles held bass and which ones didn’t.”

Gustafson also expressed surprise in the performance of the high-definition camera optics. “I’m super impressed by how far this technology has come. The screen is as bright, clear and colorful as my sonar. You can see fish, vegetation and bottom structure even in bright daylight. It’s a tool that will really help me prepare for tournaments. And I can’t wait to use it back home while ice fishing walleyes, pike and crappies or chasing smallies on Rainy or Lake of the Woods.”

A rising star in professional bass fishing, Gussy remains one of the only Canadian anglers to fish the FLW Tour. The truth, however, is that the Keewatin, Ontario based angler and fishing and hunting guide has been winning big bass events for years. Among Gustafson’s achievements are 1st place finishes at the prestigious Kenora Bass Invitational (KBI) in 2000 and 2008 and International Falls Bass Championship in 2005, 2010 and 2011. Gussy also won the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship in 2013.

In his so-called off-season, Gustafson guides ice anglers to big Ontario walleyes, crappie, lake trout and pike. He’s also a renowned hunting guide, putting clients on Northwest Ontario’s giant whitetails, plus timber wolves from January to March.

“On the ice, an Aqua-Vu has always been invaluable for finding and verifying fish and watching how they react to our lures. The camera helps us catch a lot more big walleyes, pike and crappies.”

Ben Gibbs, president of Aqua-Vu parent company Outdoors Insight, Inc., says Gustafson’s positive, winning attitude and sense of discovery make him the perfect promoter and pro-staffer. “Gussy’s reputation as one of North America’s top bass anglers is exceeded only by his character. He’s both a great fisherman and a terrific person. We look forward to Jeff’s keen ideas and perspectives as we further expand and engineer underwater viewing products for bass, ice and all types of fresh- and saltwater fishing.”

“As I travel the United States and Canada fishing bass, it’s amazing how many lakes and reservoirs get clearer and clearer each season—whether due to mussels or other environmental factors,” observes Gustafson. “For anglers looking for a fish-finding edge, an Aqua-Vu has become an amazingly valuable tool.”

About Aqua-Vu

The Original Underwater Viewing System, Aqua-Vu is manufactured by Outdoors Insight, Inc., and has led the underwater camera category in design, innovation and quality since 1997. They were also the first with on-screen displays of water temp, depth and camera direction, LCD monitor, IR and LED light systems, DVRs and now Digital Zoom. The Central Minnesota based company builds other popular outdoors products as well, such as the iBall Trailer Hitch Camera (iballhitchcam.com) and Odor Check Moisture and Odor Control System (odorcheck.com). For more information on Aqua-Vu, visit www.aquavu.com.

 

 

Aqua-Vu Credited for Big Bass Wins

Anglers say underwater scouting keyed victory at Canadian Bass Open

By Ted Pilgrim

Anyone who’s fished North America’s big bass lakes in recent seasons has seen the signs: Clearing waters. Schools of trophy smallmouths shifting deeper and deeper. Tournament game plans evolving to spot-lock, sweet-spot fests—anglers mining small, specific sections of underwater real estate.

At the recent Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship on Mille Lacs, Minnesota—an increasingly clear mega smalljaw water—individual boulder piles in relatively deep water produced prodigious sacks of bronze bass.

Not two weeks later, at the Berkley B1 Canadian Bass Open— Canada’s premiere fishing event—Ryan Flaro and Scott Lefebvre walked away with a big victory, once again extracting big smallmouths from deep structure.

Flaro, a walleye guide by trade, has been on a roll this year, winning an FLW Pro Bass 150 event and several other tournaments around Lake St. Francis, Ontario, which forms a portion of the St. Lawrence River. Following his team’s win at the B1 Bass Open—and countless regional wins spanning several years— Flaro finally decided to divulge the secret to his fish-finding success.

“I don’t use sonar like most anglers,” Flaro admitted. “When I’m searching for fish, I use an Aqua-Vu underwater camera one-hundred percent of the time. The only thing I use my graph for is following depth contours and structure on the digital lake map. When I find an important school of fish with the camera, I drop a waypoint.

“It is absolutely the best way to locate and know you’re on tournament-winning schools of bass. A week before the Bass Open, I spent all my prefish time scouting with the Aqua-Vu. We never even fished before the tournament started. On the final prefish day, I checked on my fish with a quick drop of the camera and then headed right back to the ramp.”

Pre-tournament camera work helped Flaro and Lefebvre narrow down their strategy to five or six key spots—choice rock piles and current breaks in 20 to 40 feet of water.

“The camera gave us the confidence to park on our spots, knowing we had big bass below us. We’d spot-lock in place with the Minn Kota, and put green-goby pattern tubes and dropshot rigs in the strike zone. Every 30 to 40 minutes, we’d move on to the next school of bass and catch several more.”

As a refreshing departure from traditional pay-to-play sponsorships, Flaro and Lefebvre admitted they believe so strongly in the power of Aqua-Vu cameras, that they’ve displayed the logo on their tournament jerseys out of goodwill alone. “For the past eight years, I’ve paid for every one of the Aqua-Vu cameras I use for my guide service and tournament fishing. The customer service at this company has treated me so well. It’s the only camera brand that’s built by people who actually fish; the only one that tracks straight and stable underwater. It’s super durable, and has an intelligent sunshield that lets you see the screen in bright sun.

“People talk about trusting your electronics,” Flaro adds. “I trust my Aqua-Vu. Sonar can show fish. But the camera reveals the species and size of fish in the area. Gives me confidence and the patience to stay put. Eventually the fish always bite.”

Like other lakes throughout the U.S., Flaro says the St. Lawrence River system is clearing. “A lot of the bass in these lakes used to be on sand flats, but these shallow water fish get extraordinarily pressured. The clearer water has played a role in pushing them deeper, too.

“At a lot of these bass tournaments now, most of my friends are using an Aqua-Vu to find their fish. Anglers are learning that a camera is the absolute secret to uncovering unknown schools of big fish. It’s an overlooked technology, but one that’s given me a ton of fun and fishing success.”

 

New ‘Technological Angler’ Video Features Aqua-Vu Video

Nearly every boat, from contemporary fishing kayaks sneaking into hidden backwaters, to 40-foot wave-crushers plying offshore waters for billfish, is equipped with a fish finder. Since the first consumer-level fish finder appeared in 1957, anglers have relied on their own sonar interpretation skills, typically built through limited personal experiences, to find and catch more fish. Over the past 60 years, the high-tech tools that we use to find and catch fish have evolved, yet many anglers still struggle to identify structure and fish using traditional low-frequency sonar as well as high-frequency imaging techniques. That’s about to change.

dvd-caseThe Angler’s Guide to Sonar Interpretation, the latest instructional video from The Technological Angler, provides a series of comprehensive lessons that combine traditional and high-frequency sonar images with Aqua-Vu underwater video, to teach the viewer to quickly and confidently interpret their fish finder’s output so they can find, and catch, more fish.

Angler’s Guide to Sonar Interpretation teaches anglers to identify hard and soft bottom areas, weeds, rocks, timber, man-made objects, thermoclines, algae blooms, and of course, fish. While the instructional images are all collected by, and optimized for, Humminbird systems, the sonar interpretation skills apply to any fish finder, regardless of the manufacturer. As an added benefit, the presentation closes with a detailed description of the hardware and software settings used to collect the clearest, easiest to interpret sonar images on the Humminbird HELIX system.

Dr. Jason Halfen, host and producer of Angler’s Guide to Sonar Interpretation, remarks: “In our years of conducting instructional sonar workshops and on-the-water training events, the most common question we get from anglers is a simple one. They point at an object on their fish finder, and ask: ‘OK, what is that?’ Angler’s Guide to Sonar Interpretation distills our years of field experience using modern fish finders into one, easy to digest instructional product that teaches the viewer to identify both structure and fish, so they can have more productive and enjoyable trips on the water. We cover imaging techniques, like Humminbird’s Side Imaging and Down Imaging, as well as traditional 2D sonar, so that all anglers, regardless of the type or brand of electronics they rely on, can learn to quickly and confidently interpret information from their fish finder.”

screen-shot-2-with-avDr. Halfen continues: “A powerful and unique aspect of the presentation is our extensive use of Aqua-Vu underwater video. Making a visual connection between the fish finder’s output and an underwater object is critical to developing accurate sonar interpretation skills, and Angler’s Guide to Sonar Interpretation is brimming with underwater video collected by Aqua-Vu Micro camera systems. Walleyes in thick weeds? Yep, we’ve got those. Smallies hovering in rockpiles? You’ll see those too. Not to mention many other examples of structure and fish that will give you the confidence to rely on your fish finder, and your Aqua-Vu camera, as your primary fish-locating tools.”

Angler’s Guide to Sonar Interpretation is available now on DVD from The Technological Angler, and is the perfect learning tool to prepare for the upcoming fishing season, not to mention a terrific stocking-stuffer for the avid angler in your life. Check out the previews and order your copy today at http://www.technologicalangler.com/sonar-interpretation.

High-Tech “Glass-Bottom” Fishing

High-Tech “Glass-Bottom” Fishing

glass-bottom-screen-cap

Benefits of integrating today’s underwater cameras with chartplotter/sonar combos in open water
By Steve Pennaz

I was about 10 years old when I saw a TV program about a Florida tourist operation with glass-bottom boats. I can remember thinking: Wouldn’t that be cool? Even then, my goal was to catch more and bigger fish, and a transparent-floored boat seemed like a good way to learn more about fish location and behavior.

Now, decades later, my dream has come true. I’m fishing out of a glass-bottom boat… Okay, not literally, but outfitted with a unique combination of compatible electronics, my Ranger 620 allows me to see what’s going on below. What’s even better, the system is simple to use, but profound in what it reveals.

My system starts with a Garmin 7612xsv chartplotter/sonar combo. This unit, like many offered by Garmin, features a video input option that allows me to plug in and view Aqua-Vu Multi-Vu camera.

The pair works extremely well together. The 12-inch 1280 x 800 WXGA Garmin display shows what the camera captures in ultra-bright detail, even in full sunlight. It offers the option of full-screen video viewing, or I can split the screen to have video and sonar, video and mapping, etc., all with a push or two on the unit’s touch screen.2

 

Historically, the weak links with underwater cameras has been the monitor quality, a necessity to keep overall cost down, and ease of use.

Although companies like Aqua-Vu are making better and brighter monitors, there are also options like the camera-only Aqua-Vu Multi-Vu that plugs directly into my 10-and 12-inch Garmin units and provides a stunningly clear, large viewing space.

With the press of a couple buttons on the touch screen Garmin menu, I can go from mapping to sonar (traditional sonar, ClearVü  or SideVü) or any combination of the two. I also have the option of adding underwater video to the mix.

The ease of incorporating underwater viewing allows me to use the camera far more frequently. I now drop it overboard any time I’m curious, and within seconds get a look at what’s going on below the boat.

I use it often for fish species verification, a huge time saver, especially when filming TV shows, pre-fishing for tournaments, or when trying to put family and friends on fish. It also helped me become a much better interpreter of the highly-detailed CHIRP sonar readings I only dreamed about a few years ago. It’s also incredibly fun.

Case Study #1: Smallies or Suckers?

I was on the Great Lakes chasing giant smallmouth when I pulled up on a big reef and scanned it my SideVü. It was loaded with fish! Knowing that smallmouths will move onto reefs in late fall, I was pumped especially after catching a four-pounder on my second cast.

I hooked another fish 15 minutes later and had the surprise of the trip. It was a big sucker and it had inhaled my jigging spoon! The next fish was also a sucker, as was the third, and yes, I was baffled! I had no idea that suckers will feed like aggressive predators.

Looking for answers, I finally lowered the Aqua-Vu down and quickly understood what was going on. The marks I was seeing on SideVü were not smallmouth, but suckers, and the reef was crawling with them. We left.

Case Study #2: Walleye and Bass

Earlier this summer, I found a rock pile in 19 feet of water that was loaded with fish. I expected walleyes; but when I dropped the camera  I discovered they were all deep-water largemouths. Later that same day, I found additional schools of fish I was convinced were crappies. Again, I dropped the camera and was proved wrong; they were big bluegills.

Another trip sticks out.

I was taping an episode of “Lake Commandos” on a lake that DNR survey data indicated had lots of largemouth, but very few smallmouth. So I was surprised when we landed several smallmouth along a weedline that should have held largies.

So I dropped the camera to the bottom and discovered a huge pile of boulders in the middle of the grass and it was filthy with smallmouth! This was information I couldn’t get from my sonar because thick weeds had overgrown the entire spot.

Vegetation Identification

4

Many natural lakes have progressively become more diverse in terms of vegetation types. Thousands across the country are now weed-choked with indigenous and invasive vegetation.

On many lakes, weedlines extend for hundreds or even thousands of yards. This makes breaking down the lake difficult and time-consuming, particularly when fish are relating to specific weed types.

On a recent “Lake Commandos” shoot with BASS touring pro Adrian Avena, the key to the entire big bass bite came down to finding cabbage, which was difficult as it was available only in small, random, isolated patches. As soon as we found a patch, however, we’d land two or three 4- to 6- pound bass on jigs tipped with Berkley Chigger Craws. But you could work 400-600 yards of a weedline between cabbage patches.

Sonar definition has really improved over the years, to the point that it is making it possible to breakdown some weed types with sonar. Milfoil, for example, looks different on screen than cabbage… if you know what to look for.

By running sonar side-by-side with video, I’ve learned to recognize how various weed types appear on sonar. The lessons continue, and it’s not full-proof, but I find myself able to find grass like coontail and cabbage that usually holds fish and avoid those that typically don’t.

This information is so valuable that I am now investing time simply to compare what I am seeing on sonar with the camera. In the process, I am becoming more efficient at finding fish.

One other thing about grass, and I am embarrassed to admit this: in some cases, particularly in areas with current, isolated patches of soft-stalked grass like milfoil, will lay horizontal to the bottom. On sonar, these areas can look like a school of four to five fish (and I thought they were). Another lesson learned.

6

Bottom Hardness Identification

My sonar/camera system is also invaluable for confirming bottom composition and clarifying what my sonar is telling me. In many situations, with sonar alone, I was left wondering: Is that rock or thick coontail clumps on bottom. Hard bottom or soft? A bottom transition from one to the other? Now I understand what that looks like on sonar and can validate it 100% of the time with camera, which is critical. Bottom hardness transition areas are underwater super-highways for countless fish species.

Studying bottom composition has led to some interesting discoveries, too. I’ve spotted lost anchors, sunglasses, lures and rods on the bottom of lakes, as well a surprising number of golf balls.

7

Parting Thoughts

These days, I am dedicating more time to viewing because its making me a more productive fisherman. Oh, it’s fun to drop a camera and drift over cover and get a peak into the underwater world below. “Look, there’s a big smallmouth!”

But what the sonar/underwater combination reveals is much more than just fun… it’s also incredibly educational. I find myself dedicating days to leaving the rods in the locker and studying specific structure. Why is this specific spot holding fish? I’ll study spots for awhile, make mental notes, and drop waypoints, and this is putting more fish in the boat.

Aqua-Vu Delivers Game-Winning Technology in Temperature and Depth Seeking Camera

Next level Micro DVR-DT Underwater Viewing Systems unlock overlooked schools of fish

Crosslake, Minn. (October 11, 2016 – Still so much we don’t know about what’s really happening beneath the surface.

av_micro5plusdvrdt_03Interesting to consider that beyond water and oxygen itself, perhaps the single most important fish-locating factor remains the least understood. Water temperature is so vital to fish that each species’ existence depends on an optimal range. Locate the ideal temperature at the right depth, and you’ll almost always land on gamefish gold.

But how to put these key pieces together and solve the puzzle?

Sonar screens display water temperature on the surface, but what about temperature at the depth of your target species? Might read 72 degrees on top, but at 10, 15 or 25 feet, it’s a whole other ballgame.

The best way to quickly discover this essential fish-finding data—summertime, salt- or frozen water—is to drop the optics of an Aqua-Vu® underwater camera. The gold standard in subsurface surveillance, Aqua-Vu’s new Micro™ DVR-DT series is the most complete handheld underwater viewing system ever engineered. Here’s why:

av_finverticalwweightThe simple act of dropping the lens of the Micro DVR-DT to any depth instantly reveals three critical clues—water temperature, depth and a real-time, real-life video image of the underwater world. No other high-tech tool brings together such decisive fish-finding data and displays it so clearly on a single portable LCD.

“When fish move offshore, you’ve got to find that key depth zone that’s holding bass,” says Bassmaster Elite Series pro Ott DeFoe. “The Micro DVR-DT camera helps me find the precise level of the thermocline; this is nearly always the depth range where baitfish and gamefish set up. This Aqua-Vu provides one of the quickest, easiest shortcuts to putting together a game-winning pattern. The beauty of finding these key depth-temperature zones is that you can then go to other areas of the lake that intersect with that zone and find more fish.

“Not only does the camera immediately show you temperature, it also shows any fish in the area and the exact depth holding them. Remember, just because you see fish on sonar, you don’t know what species they are. Drop the Aqua-Vu down there and it removes all doubt.”

Further north, where lakes freeze, another group of enterprising anglers have recently begun to unlock the secrets of water temperature below the ice. “We’re finding that even a two or three degree difference in temperature below the ice can be the absolute difference maker,” says Brandon Newby, who, along with partner Ryan Wilson, claimed three consecutive North American Ice Fishing Circuit (NAIFC) Team of the Year titles. “At the 2015 NAIFC Championship on Mille Lacs, Minnesota, we found a break in 14 to 22 feet that held a bubble of 37- and 38-degree water—just a few degrees warmer than the surrounding territory. This little zone held some of the biggest crappies in the tournament.

“There’s no way we would have found this sweet spot without the Micro DVR-DT camera.”

Further assisting the team’s numerous ice tournament wins, the camera’s built-in DVR (digital video recorder) supplies a dynamic video log of Newby and Wilson’s underwater scouting missions. “We don’t always notice every detail we see on-screen when we’re on the move, looking for fish on the ice. It’s why the Aqua-Vu’s DVR is so critical to our success. We can review all the footage after a day on the ice—upload it to our laptop or review it on the Aqua-Vu screen. Details like a quick rise in water temperature, a subtle bottom transition, a pocket of healthy vegetation, or even a few big fish in the background—the DVR assures we don’t miss a thing.”

av_micro_side1Now available in two powerful, ready-to-fish models, the Aqua-Vu Micro 5 Plus DVR-DT and Micro Plus DVR-DT provide the most colorful, clearest optics, brightest screens and most feature-rich operating system of any handheld underwater camera. Complete with IP67 Waterproof color LCDs— 5” or 3.5”, respectively— the Micro 5 Plus DVR-DT and Micro Plus DVR-DT also include a thumb-sized Micro camera, 50- or 82-feet of camera cable, plus an adjustable camera fin—all powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Bonus features include On/Off Infrared LED lighting, 3X Digital Screen Zoom, DVR with USB / 8GB memory and on-screen digital displays of depth and water temperature. Retail priced at $599.99 and $449.99, purchase of any Micro 5 Plus DVR-DT, Micro Plus DVR-DT or any Aqua-Vu Micro system comes with a FREE Wearable Micro Viewing Case and auxiliary battery charger ($60 value).

For more information on the full line of Aqua-Vu fishing technology, visit www.aquavu.com.

About Aqua-Vu®
The Original Underwater Viewing System, Aqua-Vu is manufactured by Outdoors Insight, Inc., and has led the underwater camera category in design, innovation and quality since 1997. The Central Minnesota based company builds many popular outdoors products, such as the iBall Trailer Hitch Camera (iballhitchcam.com) and Odor Check Moisture and Odor Control System (odorcheck.com). For more information on Aqua-Vu, visit www.aquavu.com.

Aqua-Vu Credited for Big Bass Wins

Anglers say underwater scouting keyed victory at Canadian Bass Openimg_0736

Anyone who’s fished North America’s big bass lakes in recent seasons has seen the signs: Clearing waters. Schools of trophy smallmouths shifting deeper and deeper. Tournament game plans evolving to spot-lock, sweet-spot fests—anglers mining small, specific sections of underwater real estate.

At the recent Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship on Mille Lacs, Minnesota—an increasingly clear mega smalljaw water—individual boulder piles in relatively deep water produced prodigious sacks of bronze bass.

Not two weeks later, at the Berkley B1 Canadian Bass Open— Canada’s premiere fishing event—Ryan Flaro and Scott Lefebvre walked away with a big victory, once again extracting big smallmouths from deep structure.

Flaro, a walleye guide by trade, has been on a roll this year, winning an FLW Pro Bass 150 event and several other tournaments around Lake St. Francis, Ontario, which forms a portion of the St. Lawrence River. Following his team’s win at the B1 Bass Open—and countless regional wins spanning several years— Flaro finally decided to divulge the secret to his fish-finding success.

“I don’t use sonar like most anglers,” Flaro admitted. “When I’m searching for fish, I use an Aqua-Vu underwater camera one-hundred percent of the time. The only thing I use my graph for is following depth contours and structure on the digital lake map. When I find an important school of fish with the camera, I drop a waypoint.

“It is absolutely the best way to locate and know you’re on tournament-winning schools of bass. A week before the Bass Open, I spent all my prefish time scouting with the Aqua-Vu. We never even fished before the tournament started. On the final prefish day, I checked on my fish with a quick drop of the camera and then headed right back to the ramp.”image1

Pre-tournament camera work helped Flaro and Lefebvre narrow down their strategy to five or six key spots—choice rock piles and current breaks in 20 to 40 feet of water.

“The camera gave us the confidence to park on our spots, knowing we had big bass below us. We’d spot-lock in place with the Minn Kota, and put green-goby pattern tubes and dropshot rigs in the strike zone. Every 30 to 40 minutes, we’d move on to the next school of bass and catch several more.”

As a refreshing departure from traditional pay-to-play sponsorships, Flaro and Lefebvre admitted they believe so strongly in the power of Aqua-Vu cameras, that they’ve displayed the logo on their tournament jerseys out of goodwill alone. “For the past eight years, I’ve paid for every one of the Aqua-Vu cameras I use for my guide service and tournament fishing. The customer service at this company has treated me so well. It’s the only camera brand that’s built by people who actually fish; the only one that tracks straight and stable underwater. It’s super durable, and has an intelligent sunshield that lets you see the screen in bright sun.

“People talk about trusting your electronics,” Flaro adds. “I trust my Aqua-Vu. Sonar can show fish. But the camera reveals the species and size of fish in the area. Gives me confidence and the patience to stay put. Eventually the fish always bite.”

Like other lakes throughout the U.S., Flaro says the St. Lawrence River system is clearing. “A lot of the bass in these lakes used to be on sand flats, but these shallow water fish get extraordinarily pressured. The clearer water has played a role in pushing them deeper, too.AV_XDCam1_lores

“At a lot of these bass tournaments now, most of my friends are using an Aqua-Vu to find their fish. Anglers are learning that a camera is the absolute secret to uncovering unknown schools of big fish. It’s an overlooked technology, but one that’s given me a ton of fun and fishing success.”