From early sub-ice exploration with the big, cumbersome underwater cameras of the early 1990s, to the covert surveying with micro systems today, underwater viewing has always been about solving mysteries. Understanding fish movement and responses to various lures remains the primary motivation in fishing for me.

What’s fascinating about underwater observation is that it’s like a walk through unfamiliar woods. When viewing the aquatic wilds through an underwater lens, each lake and piece of structure and cover are mesmerizing. No two vegetated flats, rocky points, or river channels offer the same mix of elements. Each alters fish movement and response.

Micro Missions
Underwater cameras keep the mystery alive. For nearly 20 years, friends and I have researched and scouted out a dozen or more small backwoods lakes every winter. We often make long treks down logging roads, toting a hand auger and backpacks with a couple rods and small boxes of tackle. Beginning last winter, we traveled lighter than ever, stowing palm-sized Aqua-Vu Micro cameras in our coat pockets.

The Micro is an incredible fish-finding tool. It’s not much larger or heavier than a TV remote, so survey work is easy and efficient, especially in water less than 20 feet deep. In smaller lakes, a few hours of surveillance nearly always turns up a relatively accurate profile of the lake’s inhabitants.

Using Micro cams as scouting tools, we’ve found amazing gems as well as plenty of duds. We’ve uncovered tiny lakes that contain monster yellow perch. We’ve viewed stunning gold-tinted black crappies in shallow bog-stained waters. Other lakes offered unexpected walleye schools and populations of monstrous largemouth bass. We’ve also slogged through tough terrain with barely a bullhead to show for it.