We as bass anglers are lucky to have so much great technology available to us. Things like our electronics, mapping and even our rods and reels become more and more advanced every year. One of my favorite pieces of technology is the FishSens SondeCAM HD Underwater Camera. There are four times when it can make a huge difference in finding and catching more largemouth.
I find the SondeCAM to be vital when I have located a school of fish on my Lowrance units. The biggest thing I have found is just to be able to determine what species of fish they are. The Lowrance units are so good at locating fish with StructureScan and DownScan, but it is sometimes pretty difficult to determine what kind of fish you are seeing.
In the past, I had numerous instances where I fished and fished for what seemed like the mega-school only to finally catch one and realize they were all white bass or some other species. Since I have started using the camera, it eliminates the guesswork.
Using the camera for spawning fish is a great tool. One of the things that I like about dropping the camera on bedding fish is that you get an up-close look at the temperament of the fish. You may see them quickly moving their fins or flaring their gills and this is a sign that they are very aggressive.
Fish Under Docks
This is one of my favorite uses for the SondeCAM because you can see so far under a dock. It is really interesting to see all of the fish and get an idea of how they are positioned. Often you will drop a camera down and see that they are all suspended or see that they are holding to the shallow posts of a dock. This makes it really easy to replicate a pattern and refine your approach on a long stretch of docks.
Like fish that are offshore on ledges and humps, sometimes it can be hard to tell what kind of fish your electronics are showing. Dropping a camera down on them eliminates all doubt and you can get a clear picture of both the species and size of the fish that are below you.
Also, in a brushpile, sometimes a fish deep in the brush will show up on your graph as an extension of that brush pile. They often blend right in with a bigger object if they are holding tight to it or are buried in the tree. The SondeCAM makes it easy to see those fish and saves you time if all you are seeing is something besides bass.
There is no wrong time to use the SondeCAM, but when fishing for largemouth in these four scenarios I always rely on my camera.