Not only do we want to catch big fish, but we want to capture cool footage of us catching these giants.
To do that, we need a reliable, steady, but most importantly great action camera.
In this article, we are going to take a look at 5 of the top action cameras available on the market today and then we are going to dive in to see which one is the best for your fishing needs.
What is an action camera and why do I need one?
Before we take a closer look at some of the many options available on the market, let’s talk about a question many people have: What is an action camera?
An action cam is generally more compact and rugged than your standard point and shoot camera or DSLR.
Simply put, this means that they can go places that other cameras cannot. Most action cameras come with a variety of accessories and mounts so that you can take your camera just about anywhere to capture sick pictures and great footage.
One of the most popular accessories is a waterproof case. This waterproof case will help keep your camera dry, without missing those admirable shots/footage of releasing that giant back into the wild.
Ok- now that we have established what an action cam is, let’s take a look at a few of our favorites.
The Best Action Camera For Fishing – My Top 5 Picks
Go Pro Hero 7 Black
- Waterproof to 33 feet or 10 meters
- Touch screen
- Super Photo
- 4k video
- 12 MP Photos
- Hyper Smooth Stabilization
- 3 microphones
- Voice Control
Of course, no list of the best action camera for fishing would be complete without mentioning the GoPro HERO7 Black.
Originally designed for surfing, this camera has come a long way and with the variety of different mounts available it can go just about anywhere you want to take it- including a long day on the water.
Let’s take a look at a few of the many cool features.
One of the best features (especially with the fisherman in mind) is that the GoPro Hero 7 is waterproof without a housing. Gone are the days when you have to put your GoPro into a separate waterproof case. This device is 100 percent waterproof up to 33 feet right out of the box.
That means that you no longer have to struggle to get your device into its waterproof housing to get that sick release footage. Simply hit record and dunk it in the water.
This is really useful too in a general fishing situation because as we all know, accidents happen, water gets into your boat, you flip over your kayak, canoe or what have you.
Whereas before you probably would be jumping in that water yourself to rescue your digital camera, an action camera like the GoPro Hero 7 not only protects you from that perhaps embarrassing moment but more importantly protects your own investment.
Another great feature is the built-in hyper smooth video stabilization.
Have you ever watched those old home videos shot on a large camcorder and the fast, wobbly movements of the camera just about made you sick?
The Hero 7 Black has built-in video stabilization to give you smooth footage, much like you would get with a handheld gimbal. All I can say is, Super Smooth, Super Cool!
Now, let’s talk about one of the most important aspects when searching for a new camera: video/photo quality.
This camera is able to take 4k at 60 frames per second, 2.7k footage at 120 frames per second and 1080p at 240 frames per second.
For most of us that don’t know much about cameras that is quite a step up (double) from the previous GoPro models. And coming from someone who has shot in 4k before, the results are awesome!
Lastly, one of the reasons GoPro itself continues to command such a large portion of the action camera market is because of the many ways you can mount this thing.
If you can think of a place to put it, GoPro has a mount ready for you. This makes it very versatile and allows it to go just about anywhere.
Let’s briefly talk about some great GoPro mounts for your action camera:
One of my favorites is the GoPro Gun / Rod / Bow Mount (GoPro Official Mount).
This mount allows you to attach your camera to your fishing rod to get some sick footage.
Check out the following video to see what your footage could look like:
Another favorite amongst anglers is the GoPro Chesty.
Yes, you guessed it, this mount allows you to attach your GoPro to your chest, giving you (and your viewers) a new perspective.
Check it out in the following video:
Lastly you have the JOBY GorillaPod Tripod.
This is not your ordinary tripod, the legs are flexible meaning that you can wrap them around just about anything, taking your favorite camera with you wherever you go.
The one drawback to the GoPro Hero 7 is the price. It is relatively new to the market and thus comes in at a very high price point.
So if you are just looking for a good action camera for fishing and you are not as concerned about getting the best footage available than a good option might be to settle for a cheaper option such as the Hero 7 Silver or the Hero 7 White.
Let’s briefly talk about the differences so you can make the best choice.
First, let’s look at the Hero 7 Silver.
While the 7 Silver does have many cool features such as a touch screen, voice control and it is waterproof out of the box, the biggest difference you are going to notice is the quality of the footage.
This camera is equipped to grab 4k footage as low as 30 FPS. It has a 10MP camera and does have video stabilization. However, with that being said, it doesn’t have the same hyper smooth stabilization as the 7 black.
Next, we have the Hero 7 White.
Yes, the Hero 7 White is waterproof, it has a touch screen and it has good video stabilization. However, it is only able to grab 1080p footage at 60 FPS.
DJI OSMO Action
- Waterproof to 36 feet
- 4k video at 60 FPS
- 12 MP Camera
- 2.25-inch touch screen on back
- 1.4-inch screen located on the front.
- Rock Steady Stabilization
The next camera that we want to take a look at is the DJI Osmo Action. If you are looking for a small camera that you can take anywhere- this is the action cam for you.
Like the Hero 7, this cam is 100 percent waterproof right out of the box, giving you peace of mind that you won’t ruin your camera when out on the water. It does have 4k video capabilities as well and we are generally impressed with the footage as well as the pictures this little device can take.
In addition, it sports a Rocky Steady Stabilization so no additional gimbal is needed for that butter-smooth footage.
Speaking of footage, let’s briefly talk about what this thing can do. This camera has the ability to take 4k footage at 60 frames per second, 2.7k at 30 frames per second and 1080p at 240 frames per second.
At this point, you might be thinking the Hero 7 and DJI Osmo are very similar. And you’d be right in thinking that because they do have very similar specs.
However, there is one big difference that might make you think differently about the Osmo Action. It is equipped with 2 screens. One is located on the back of the camera and the other is located on the front.
While this might seem like a small improvement, I personally feel like it is a huge improvement for action cameras on the market. It makes it extremely easy to see exactly what you are filming when the camera is pointed at you.
Perhaps not an essential feature to have when fishing, but it definitely is a nice feature to have.
Still not sure if you should go with the GoPro or the DJI Osmo?
I encourage you to check out the following video as the GoPro 7 goes head to head with the DJI Osmo Action.
YI 4K Sports Camera
- 2.2 inch touch screen
- 4k video
- 12 MP Photo
- Gorilla Glass Touch Screen
- 2-hour battery life
- YI Camera App
- Voice Control
- (EIS) Electronic Image Stabilization
Are you looking for the best action camera for fishing, but would like to deter from the GoPro series?
If so, the YI 4K Sports Camera might just be the camera for you.
This lightweight camera has a 2.2 gorilla glass touch screen that is super responsive to touch, but is also resistant to scratches and daily use.
I mean, let’s face it- when we’re reeling in a giant bass, it’s not always easy to treat our camera with the best of care, so we need something that is tough, rugged and can withstand a few bumps here and there.
It is equipped with what is called EIS or Electronic Image Stabilization designed to give you smooth footage in those rough waters.
It also has the ability to capture 4k video in 30 frames per second, 1080p in 120 frames per second and 720p in 240 frames per second.
Like the previously mentioned cameras, it too has those cool shooting modes such as time-lapse, slow-mo, timer, and burst.
If quality is very important to you, check out their newest model the YI 4K+ which has the capability to put out 4k footage at 60 frames per second, but it comes at a higher price point.
Another great and useful feature is the YI camera app.
It is easy enough for beginners but gives you the options a professional photographer would want/need. The app allows you to edit your photos/videos and change the camera settings all from the convenience of your cellphone.
This makes editing and sharing your great fishing photos to social media almost instant and certainly easier than before.
Lastly, it has a great battery life of just about 2 hours.
Let’s take a closer look at the many features of this 4k action cam in the following video:
Garmin VIRB Ultra 30
- 1.75 inch touch screen
- 4k video
- Built-in GPS and external sensors
- Voice Control
- 3 axis image stabilization
Let’s conclude our search for the best action camera for fishing by taking a look at one of our favorite options-the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30.
This small device has a 1.75-inch touch screen and is able to produce 4k footage at 30 frames per second, 1080p at 120 frames.
So as you can see, as far as quality goes, this little cam is able to produce the same quality as most of the other cameras listed in this post.
It is also equipped with a 3 axis image stabilization that will be able to provide you with super-smooth footage when shooting up to 1080p at 60 frames per second.
There are two features about this option that I really like and would recommend especially for the average angler.
The first option is the highly sensitive microphone that is designed in a way to cancel out background noise. This is important when fishing on those windy days.
Another great feature is what they have called the G-Metrix.
This allows you to capture performance data like elevation, speed, temperature, distance and put it on your footage. While this feature certainly isn’t necessary when fishing, it is definitely a cool feature to include on your footage.
Lastly, let’s talk about mounts for the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30.
There are basically two different mounts. The first mount is very similar to the ones that you would see on a GoPro and then Garmin did something creative.
They created a quick-release mount that can be used just about anywhere. It is definitely a major plus to the action camera industry.
Learn more in the following video:
Insta360 One X
- 5.7k footage
- 18MP Photos
- 360 degrees footage
- Flow State Stabilization
- 50 FPS
Lastly, let’s take a look at probably one of the coolest action cams to hit the market. It is the Insta360 One X.
This camera is equipped with 2 wide-angle lenses that are designed to take 5.7k 360 degree videos. Yes, you read that correctly, a whopping 360 degrees.
Let’s just think about what that means.
Have you ever been on a fishing trip and you missed capturing a cool moment because your camera was facing the wrong direction? No doubt, we all have been there.
Well, you no longer have to worry about that with the Insta360. The main idea here is just to aim your camera and worry about selecting the footage later. Why? Because it takes 360-degree footage.
In addition, it is able to grab 5.7k footage, some super sick slow-mo and it is small enough to go just about anywhere.
Lastly, when you use it with the invisible selfie stick, the software automatically edits outs the stick so it literally looks like the camera is floating.
This allows you to get some unique looking footage.
Important note: This camera is not waterproof. You will need to purchase the venture case or dive case to take it in water.
Besides the fact it is not waterproof, it is a great way to add a new perspective to your fishing videos.
Take a closer look in a head to head comparison with the GoPro 7, in the following video:
As you can see from this article when it comes down to footage quality there isn’t much of a difference between the mentioned options, they all produce about the same quality footage.
So, when choosing the best one, it really comes down to your personal preference, where you want to take it and the kind of mounts/accessories that you will most likely want to use.
For me personally, I really like the many different options that are available to the GoPro market.
The best part about the GoPro camera series is that their mounts fit each series camera today and will probably continue to fit their cameras in the future.
With that being said, if in the near future you decide to upgrade your camera you won’t have to upgrade all of your accessories as well.
However, that being said there are some tough competitors coming into the action cam market giving GoPro a run for its money.
The bottom line is, choosing the best action camera has never been so difficult, which is a good thing.
Which action cam do you like? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.