CRAFTY CARPER EDITOR’S CHOICE – FISHSPY CAMERA REVIEW
Ever wanted to see what’s going on below the water’s surface, and even be able to view the lakebed? Well you can now, with this handy little gadget called the FishSpy, and it really is fascinating.
It was back in March when I first saw this gadget at one of the shows, and Dave Lane was on hand to explain it all, and give me some great examples of how it worked for him. A few weeks later a FishSpy dropped on my desk, and it was time to give this bad boy a run for its money.
What you actually get is a purpose-designed marker float that includes a built-in camera. This can then be linked to your phone or tablet to view the underwater image you are filming live, if the float is on the surface, or recording if it is submerged. This link is via Wi-Fi, although the FishSpy can connect to your device if there is no signal. Setting up the FishSpy is really easy thanks to the free app, and is available in for iOS formats, with a browser set up for Android, so suits a wide range of devices.
Set up the float just as you would a normal marker arrangement, although the manufacturer recommends using 50lb braid, and I agree wholeheartedly with this – a very sensible piece of advice. The camera will transmit up to 100m range, is waterproof to 10m, and the battery lasts 7hrs from fully charged. Out on the bank, the FishSpy works just like a standard marker float. Cast it out and reel it down to the lakebed, letting off line slowly until it hits the surface, which tells you the depth. Now hit the record button, and if the water is too deep or slightly murky, and you can’t see the bottom clearly, you can now reel the float slowly to the lakebed. This actually breaks the signal back to your device, but don’t panic. Once you pop the float back up, the connection will re-establish and you will get a recording of what the float saw of the lakebed. This allows you to get a proper visual of weed, silt, or whatever the bottom is made up of, so you can create an accurate picture of what exactly is in front of you.
The other use of the FishSpy was to see exactly what had happened to my baited area. The first time I used it I was tackling a clear gravel pit, and fishing a relatively clear area I’d baited heavily with boilies. The following morning, I hadn’t had a bite, and was intrigued to see if I’d been done by those clever carp. So I cast out, reeled the camera down to the lakebed, and allowed it to rise slowly to the surface. When I watched the playback on my tablet, the camera was roughly 4ft from the bottom, and I got a great view of my spread of boilies, which, as far as I could tell, were left untouched. At least that translated into ‘just one of those things’, as opposed to the fish sussing my rigs; very handy information.
I’ve been impressed with this piece of kit, and the information it provides is brilliant. The build quality seems superb, thanks to time spent developing and testing it, and it’s British, so well done guys. The only downside I found was that I was actually spending more time making little films, and trying to get images of fish feeding than actually fishing, but it was all great fun. If you can spare the money, this is a great bit of kit that will open up a whole new world to you.
FishSpy camera review article reproduced with kind permission of Crafty Carper magazine – July 2016 Issue.