A set of eyes above the water certainly helps when fishing, but a view beneath the surface can provide an edge unlike any other. The FishSens SondeCAM line of submersible cameras achieves this by helping anglers and fishery researchers identify underwater structures and scope out fish habitat.
“The SondeCAM initially started with the hull camera in mind,” said Trevin Fondriest, SondeCAM product manager. But hull cams have limited usefulness, Fondriest said, and it didn’t take long for a more versatile product to emerge. “It kind of just developed into the drop cam it is now,” he said.
At the core of every SondeCAM model is a low-lux, ultra-wide image sensor from Sony that captures visuals in sharp, clean color. An impact- and scratch-resistant lens ensures continued performance in a variety of underwater conditions.
All SondeCAM models connect natively to Lowrance HDS Touch Fishfinders, displaying underwater video directly on the top-line electronics that anglers swear by. The optional SondeCAM in-line DVR unit records video without complicated wiring or hardware configurations, allowing users to study fish habitat off the water, or relive exciting encounters.
“The Lowrance fishfinder connectivity really keeps you from having to carry all that extra equipment on the boat,” Fondriest said.
Designed to provide years of service, the SondeCAM is protected by front and rear bumpers and a marine-grade anodized aluminum body rated for depths up to 100 meters. Competing submersible camera models sacrifice durability for a slim profile, making body damage and cable tears a common issue. The SondeCAM camera cable incorporates high-flex coax, power and signal conductors, abrasion-resistant polyurethane jacket and an internal Kevlar braid for added strength. A topside quick-connect allow the SondeCAM to be deployed and stowed in a snap, and adapters allow the device to be freely towed behind a boat or controlled with an attached pole.
SondeCAM’s unique design, Fondriest said, makes it “a little more expensive, but a lot more durable.” And out on the water, its reliability is going to be on anglers’ minds more than its price tag.
Whether conducting research or hunting for a lake’s sweet spot, the SondeCAM WQ model improves upon the features of the original SondeCAM with water quality profiling capabilities. A precision temperature sensor offers at-depth measurements. Users can connect a YSI dissolved oxygen or pH probe for further functionality and swap between probes on the fly. A magnetically activated switch simplifies sensor calibration into a one-click process.
The last product in the SondeCAM line is one of Fondriest’s favorites. The SondeCAM mini incorporates a small-yet-robust camera into a truly tiny body. Unlike other similarly sized cameras, the mini features an aluminum body just like its bigger brother, improving stability and eliminating the need for added weights. The downward-looking video sensor and small footprint could make this version of the SondeCAM perfect for ice fishing, Fondriest said.
High-quality video, convenient electronics integration and a built-to-last design set the SondeCAM line apart from competitors. Whether you’re catching bass or researching walleye, SondeCAM will give you the view you need beneath the boat.