We’ve all been there, sitting quietly on the bank watching carp “BOSH” all over the place, wondering why we haven’t had any bites for hours on end. I would always double guess my strategies; should I add more bait, did I add too much bait, is my rig a tangled mess, is my rig submerged in weed or are there even any carp in the location I’m targeting?
I put all these pestering thoughts to sleep with one simple piece of gear. An Underwater Camera. Not just any camera but an Aqua Vu HD10i Underwater Camera! The best thing about this unit is not only can you record your underwater fishing sessions but you can also see things unfold in real time. I’ve noticed my carp fishing skills and tactics have improved dramatically since using an underwater camera.
Not only do you see that things are set up perfectly and there are A LOT more fish actively feeding than you ever knew, but you can also replay footage and notice small details you missed in real time such as rig imperfections, improper bait placement and how carp react to your strategies under the surface.
What is the Best Underwater Camera for Carp Fishing?
The best cameras for carp fishing are the Aqua Vu HD Series of Underwater Cameras. Not only do they record your fishing sessions, but they also allow you to see what’s going on underwater, in real time, on a large HD Screen, allowing you to change your carp fishing tactics and strategies as things happen.
If you’re thinking of purchasing an underwater camera for fishing than this is the article for you. It will describe in great detail how I use my Aqua Vu HD10i Underwater Camera. From setting it up, recording video and managing real-time video settings to optimize your video quality this article will cover it all.
I had a lot of questions before I purchased my Aqua Vu Underwater Camera. I noted there were not very many articles online; I had to figure things out through trial and error. As this is such an extensive article, I will compile a list of items below to help you find the information you’re looking for.
Aqua Vu Underwater Camera Topics Covered in this Article:
- What is the Best Underwater Camera for Carp Fishing?
- Aqua Vu Cameras Covered in this Article.
- Why Did I Choose the Aqua Vu HD 10i Underwater Camera for Carp Fishing?
- How to Use an Aqua Vu Underwater Camera for Carp Fishing.
- How to Record Underwater Fishing Video with an Aqua Vu HD Series Underwater Camera.
- How Long Does the Battery Last on an Aqua Vu HD Underwater Camera?
- What is the Difference Between an Aqua Vu HD7i and Aqua Vu HD7i Pro Underwater Cameras?
- What is the Difference Between the Aqua Vu HD10i and Aqua Vu HD10i Pro Underwater Cameras?
What Aqua Vu Cameras Does this Article Cover?
This article will cover the gear, accessories and tips and tricks to using the HD Series of Aqua Vu Underwater Cameras.
- Aqua Vu HD 10i
- Aqua Vu HD 10i Pro
- Aqua Vu HD 7i
- Aqua Vu Hd 7i Pro
Although I talk about these units specifically there are still many tips and tricks that can be applied to all Aqua Vu Cameras and their accessories.
Why Did I Choose the Aqua Vu HD 10i Underwater Camera for Carp Fishing?
When I was looking to buy a camera to record my underwater carp fishing footage there were a few main factors I took into consideration.
Quality of Video – As for the HD quality of video the Aqua Vu HD series cameras are a step above the rest. It takes a while to get the lighting and settings right for the camera but when you do the picture is crystal clear. The only downside to the high definition aspect is that it drains the battery quickly. A battery back up is a must with these cameras for any extended session on the bank.
Ability to Watch the Action in Real-Time – Many of the cameras I looked at were small and were only able to record video onto an sd card. There was no option to view what was happening in real-time. This was the main concern for me as a carp angler. The main reason for the camera was for me to see that my rigs were presenting properly.
Ability to Record the Video to Review Afterwards – The Aqua Vu HD units themselves do not record video, they just play it back in real-time. The screens, however, have an HDMI port on the back that allows the user to attach a digital recording device that can easily record every moment onto an SD card for viewing and editing at a later date.
Battery Back-Up Power Option – with the 10” high definition screen I knew that it would drain the battery on the unit quickly. As carp anglers we tend to spend long periods of time on the bank, the ability to charge and operate the unit from an external power source is a must.
Reputable Company – Aqua Vu has been around for a long time. I remember using their cameras over ten years ago when I worked as a Fish and Wildlife Technician. We used black and white Aqua Vu cameras to map the bottom substrate on the St. Lawrence River. Quality products with a warranty. My HD10i had a charging issue and Aqua Vu was very quick to have me ship the camera off for repairs under the warranty. I was surprised that it only took a week to ship and fix the camera.
How to Use an Aqua Vu Underwater Camera for Carp Fishing
This was one of my main concerns when I first purchased my Aqua Vu HD Underwater Camera. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to set it up to film my carp fishing sessions. A lot of other cameras on the market are small and you’re able to attach them to your fishing line and cast them directly to where you’re fishing. The Aqua Vu Cameras are quite large and have a heavy cable that runs from the screen to the camera so casting them is not an option.
The camera does come with an adapter on the top that allows you to clip the cable to change the angle at which the camera points. Options are Level, 45 degrees down, straight down or 45 degrees up.
- My first effort was to mount the camera on a float. I hoped the float would hold the camera directly above where I was fishing. I had many issues with this method, the biggest issue was in wavy conditions. The camera bounced up and down in the waves making viewing near impossible.
- For my second try at filming underwater, I ordered the Aqua Vu XD Pole Adapter. I then threaded the pole adapter onto a broomstick and sharpened one end. In shallow water, I tried driving the sharpened broomstick into the silty bottom. This effort also ended in failure as the broomstick would just fall over after a few minutes.
- Quick Tip: I also discovered that you shouldn’t use a broomstick with wooden threads as the threads expand once submerged and it makes it very hard to unscrew the pole adapter camera mount afterwards.
- I then came up with an idea that worked very well. I knew that I couldn’t dangle the camera from the surface and that I couldn’t drive a pole into the bottom of the lake.
I decided to build a camera mount to lower on a rope that would rest on the bottom. It needed to be heavy enough to hold the camera upright in fast-flowing water as I do target some river locations.
How to Build a Homemade Camera Mount for an Aqua Vu Underwater Camera to Record Fishing Action
Here is a step by step guild on how to build the underwater camera mount that has worked perfectly for filming underwater in a stationary location.
- Small Pail or Bucket.
- Broom Handle with Plastic or M
- Aqua Vu XD Pole Adapter.
- Small Bag of Concrete.
- Nails, U-Bolts or some other brackets to place around the base of the mount.
- Decoy Line, Paracord or any other suitable rope to lift the mount.
- Spray Paint. (Optional) I used beige spray paint for the entire unit to help it blend into the silty locations I fish.
- Find a small pail that is approximately 12” in diameter. I use this size so that I can still fit it through ice fishing holes in the winter. If you don’t have to worry ice fishing I would opt to make it a bit wider for stability. A 5-gallon pail works quite nicely.
- Find a broomstick with a threaded attachment on one end. Ensure the Aqua Vu XD Pole Adapter threads onto it beforehand.
- Cut the broomstick to the desired filming height. I have one mount that is 2 feet high that I use the majority of the time. This year I will be making a taller one
totest in springtime. The taller height will provide a wider viewing angle of the bottom.
- Mix and pour approximately 2 – 4 inches of concrete into the 5-gallon pail. Adjust the amount depending on how heavy you want the mount to be. Take into consideration transportation and stability when you’re deciding how big to make it.
- Insert the bottom end of the broomstick into the concrete and check to make sure it is level. Quick tip – put a screw or nail through the bottom of the broomstick to ensure the stick doesn’t pull out after the cement hardens.
- I placed 3 bent nails into the concrete evenly around the edges. These are to attach a rope to for lifting the camera mount. You won’t want to lift the mount by the camera cable as the added weight can damage the connection over time. U-bolts would be optimal for brackets but I didn’t have any at the time.
- Once the cement hardens, remove the mount from the bucket. I spray painted the entire unit a silty colour to blend into the main locations that I fish.
- Attach three lengths of rope to the u-brackets around the base of the concrete and tie them to a swivel above the top of the unit.
- I then attached a long rope with a float on it to the swivel. The float is adjustable so it stays on the surface for easy retrieval, it also holds the line taught so that I can play fish around it easier once they’re hooked.
Best Conditions for Filming with an Underwater Camera.
Before purchasing an Aqua Vu Underwater Camera, I watched a lot of videos and read a lot of articles. The promotional and marketing footage always looked crystal clear. It took quite a bit of trial and error for me to figure out which conditions are best for recording underwater video.
There are four main factors to consider before setting out to record
- Water Quality – Days that are calm are best as sediment has had some time to settle on the bottom. Although carp dig up the bottom when they feed and make the water murky it will settle down quickly between takes.
- Water Current – Contrary to what you might think, filming in areas with more current is usually better when carp fishing. As stated above when carp feed they stir up the bottom. In rivers with strong water flow the sediment is quickly washed away and replaced with crystal clear water.
- Camera Settings – It will take some time and experience before you master the video settings menu on an Aqua Vu Underwater Camera. The four main settings are Sharpness, Brightness, Contrast and Colour. It is very important to adjust these settings to optimize video quality. Luckily the cameras come with two programmable presets. I normally set my camera up with one preset for daytime and the other for nighttime with my underwater lights.
- Lighting – Mid-morning and Mid-afternoon are prime times for the best natural lighting. You can adjust the brightness and contrast on the unit to optimize video quality at dawn, noon and dusk but in my experience, those mid-morning/afternoon times have produced the best looking videos.
Underwater Lighting for an Aqua Vu Hd Underwater Camera
One of the most important factors when recording underwater video is proper lighting. Light dissipates very quickly once it enters the water column. If recording at night or in low light conditions such as dusk or dawn it is imperative to have an underwater light to pair with your camera.
The Aqua Vu HD Cameras do come equipped with an infrared option. I find when filming carp the water becomes too murky as they feed. The infrared mode picks up and enhances every little particle in the water and makes viewing the footage near impossible.
So far I have tried three different underwater lights. Two do a decent job while the third wasn’t up to the task and leaked the first time I used it.
For more information on the lights, I recommend for Aqua Vu Underwater Cameras check out our Underwater Lighting Resource Page. (Under Construction.)
How to Record Video with an Aqua Vu HD Underwater Camera?
This was a make or break feature when I was shopping around for the ideal underwater camera to record my carp fishing sessions. The great thing about Aqua Vu Underwater Cameras is that they allow you to both watch the action in real-time and record it via an external recording device.
The HD Series of Aqua Vu Underwater Cameras are equipped with an HDMI Port. This allows users to attach external digital recording devices very easily to record the camera video for later use.
You will need three additional items to record video:
- Avermedia Live Gamer Portable 2.
- Micro SD Card. (S10 for recording video.)
- External Power Source with a USB Port to Power the Avermedia Device.
- Although not necessary, I would also recommend a waterproof bag to store all this equipment in.
I purchased the Avermedia Live Gamer Portable 2 as a digital video recorder. It is very simple to use. Once hooked up to the unit and a power source, I can start and stop recording at the touch of a single button.
How Long Does the Battery Last on an Aqua Vu HD Underwater Camera?
How long the battery lasts depends a lot on which unit you are using. The HD10i models will use up power much quicker than the HD7i models due to the size of the HD screen. The HDi Pro models will also eat away at the battery life quicker due to the added features that they power.
I only have experience using the Aqua VU HD10i and can attest to the fact that the battery in the unit only lasts for about an hour or so. While this isn’t an issue if you use the camera solely to scout out a decent fishing spot, for carp anglers this is a big problem. Most carp fishing sessions I go on last anywhere from 3 – 77 hours. A power bank is a must for recording any session over 1 hour in length.
How Do You Recharge the Battery in an Aqua Vu Underwater Camera?
There are basically two options for recharging the battery in an Aqua Vu Underwater Camera. On the HD series of cameras, there is a charging port that comes with cables and adapters to support both A/C (Regular Household Plugs) and D/C. (Cigarette Lighter Plugs.)
You can plug it into any household outlet and charge it at home or purchase a power bank that has either of these two ports and charge it as you use it on the water. The main power bank that I use can power the camera and recording device for up to 24 hours.
What Type of Battery Do Aqua Vu HD Underwater Cameras Use?
The Aqua Vu HD10i Underwater Camera that I use comes with a 12v 9AH Sealed Lead Acid Rechargeable Battery.
I carry a fully charged spare 12v 9AH back up battery on long sessions as they’re quite easy to change.
How Do You Change the Battery on an Aqua Vu HD Series Underwater Camera?
I was a little intimidated with opening the base of the Aqua Vu Underwater Camera as I wasn’t sure what was inside or if I would break any waterproof seals.
It was surprising how easy it is to swap out batteries in these units. It only took me about 5 minutes to pull the old battery out and insert the new one which I purchased off Amazon.
- Disconnect the camera cord from the back of the screen on the unit.
- Undo both thumb screws and remove the Screen and carefully set it off to the side.
- Pull out six rubber screw covers off the top of the base on the unit. Put these in a safe spot so you don’t lose them.
- Unscrew six screws that are found under the rubber screw covers. You will need an allen key for this. Place the screws with the rubber screw covers so you don’t lose any.
- Pull the top of the base off and tilt it gently to the rear of the unit as the camera cables will still be attached. (I leave the camera cables hooked up for the duration of the battery change, they have sensitive prongs that could easily break.)
- Unhook the positive and negative terminal connectors and remove the old battery. (Be sure not to lose the rubber gasket between the top and base of the unit.)
- Place the new battery into the base, ensure the rubber gasket is seated properly and drop the top of the base back over the bottom of the unit.
- Replace screws and rubber screw caps.
- Secure screen back onto the unit with thumbscrews.
- Plug the camera cable from the base of the unit back into the screen and you’re all set.
What External Power Bank Should You Use with an Aqua Vu HD Series Underwater Camera?
When I first purchased my Aqua Vu Camera I knew that I would require a battery back up for the unit due to the length of time I spend fishing. I purchased a motorcycle power adapter that had both a USB port and a D/C Cigarette Lighter Adapter to power the unit. I simply hooked it up to the battery on my boat and was good to go.
This method became quite cumbersome when I was fishing from piers or the bank. I decided to purchase a large 33 AH Recreational Power Bank. This made things so much simpler, now I can move around much easier and have fewer cables and batteries to deal with.
What is the difference between the Aqua Vu HD7i and Aqua Vu HD7i Pro Underwater Cameras?
The differences between the Aqua Vu HD7i and Aqua Vu HD7i Pro cameras are:
- Monitor Brightness – HD7i (Standard) vs. HD7i Pro (Super Bright Sun-Light Viewable)
- Anti-Glare Screen Protector – HD7i (No) vs. HD7i Pro (Yes)
- Depth Marked on Cable – HD7i (Yes) vs. HD7i Pro (No)
- On-Screen Depth Display – HD7i (No) vs.HD7i Pro (Yes)
- On-Screen Temperature – HD7i (No) vs. HD7i Pro (Yes)
- On-Screen Direction – HD7i (No) vs. HD7i Pro (Yes)
- On-Screen Touch Zoom – HD7i (No) vs. HD7i Pro (Yes)
- HD7i Does Have a Zoom Button Beside the Monitor.
- Battery – HD7i (7.2 ah) vs HD7i Pro (9.0ah)
- Battery Life – HD7i (8 HRS) vs HD7i Pro (3.5 HRS)
- Battery and Battery Life were of no concern to me as I always travel with a battery backup that is compatible with my unit to power it for multiple days of use.
When choosing between the two models I would go with the HD7i Pro version over the HD7i. Screen
If you plan on using the camera solely for ice fishing in a dark ice hut I would recommend the HD7i as it has a longer battery life for colder temperatures.
Full product comparisons can be found on the Aqua Vu official site under LCD Underwater Cameras.
What is the Difference between the Aqua Vu HD10i and HD10i Pro Underwater Cameras?
The differences between the normal model and pro model cameras are:
- Cable Length – HD10i (75′) vs. HD10i Pro (125′)
On-ScreenTouch Zoom – HD10i (No) vs. Hd10i Pro (Yes)
- The HD10i Does Have a Zoom Function Button.
- On-Screen Direction – HD10i (No) vs. HD10i Pro (Yes)
- This can help to tell which way the camera is pointed (which direction from the boat the fish are) when submerged.
- On-Screen Temperature – HD10i (No) vs. HD10i Pro (Yes)
- On-Screen Depth Display – HD10i (No) vs. HD10i Pro (Yes)
- The HD10i Does Have Depth Marked on the Cable to Tell How Deep it is.
- Depth Marked on Cables – HD10i (Yes) vs. HD10i Pro (No)
I found that due to using the camera from my boat I didn’t require the pro model. My fish finder already displayed depth and water temperature. I couldn’t justify spending the extra money on the pro model for the few extra features it had.
Image quality, size, resolution, brightness and aspect ratio are all identical between the two models as is battery life.
Full product comparisons can be found on the Aqua Vu official site under LCD Underwater Cameras.