There’s something uniquely frustrating about getting the perfect catch but having no way to document your success. A handy tool for any 21st-century fisherman is a GoPro camera. While it may seem like overkill if you’re a bit more old school, these things can get some incredible underwater shots.
An action camera can help you document the fishing situation underwater and snap some brilliant pics once you’ve caught a beauty. As a general rule a GoPro is easy to use, waterproof and built to work flawlessly outdoors. This makes them a great tool when fishing.
This article will run through what we think are the best GoPros for fishing. We’ll touch on what makes them great for any angler and how to make the most of them when outdoors.
Most of our recommendations will be GoPro branded, but it’s worth mentioning that there are plenty of other action camera brands out there that also do a fantastic job in this context.
Our Top Picks For The Best GoPro For Fishing
If you’re looking for the best GoPro for fishing, the list below contains some of our favorites. Keep your budget in mind and find your next fishing companion.
1. GoPro Hero 7 Black (The Premium But Affordable Option)
If you’ve ever plunged an action camera underwater before, one thing you may have noticed is how shaky the footage can be. The GoPro Hero 7 does a phenomenal job of tackling this issue. The GoPro “HyperSmooth” technology is designed to deliver gimble-like performance without a gimble in sight.
This can take your fishing footage to a whole new level and makes it much easier to actually see what’s happening underwater. If you like to document your setup process or your glorious day-long fishing trips, the time lapse function on this GoPro is for you.
This feature lets users effortlessly capture extended videos while subjects move around a scene. A well-positioned GoPro on a tripod can create a brilliant video that documents your whole day. If you go fishing with a child and you want a unique way to capture those memories, this is a great option.
The GoPro Hero 7 is waterproof up to 33ft, making it more than capable of getting some stunning underwater shots. One of the best GoPro features added in recent years has been the nifty voice commands that respond to your voice hands-free.
We’ve ranked the GoPro Hero 7 this highly as it gives you a lot of the more modern features you’ll love while staying significantly cheaper than the more recent Hero 8 and 9.
- Waterproof up to 33ft
- Super smooth footage
- Intelligent voice commands
- The battery life could be better
2. GoPro Hero 5 Session (The Mount on Your Rod Option)
One of the things that sets this GoPro apart as an excellent choice for fishing is its size. The GoPro Hero 5 session uses a much smaller footprint than some of its siblings. This can save a fair bit of space for your other fishing gear and accessories.
It also makes the Session 5 a great candidate if you need a camera that can mount to your fishing rod. The tiny square shape of this camera means it virtually disappears once you’ve got it set up. The single-button design makes this a wonderfully straightforward piece of kit.
The GoPro Hero Session 5 doesn’t have a touchscreen like some other GoPro options. What it does have, though, is the option to subscribe to GoPro Plus. A subscription with this service adds a new level of functionality to your camera. Your footage can be instantly uploaded to the cloud each time you shoot, for example.
The companion app for this kind of functionality is very easy to use. An extra subscription isn’t always necessary, but it brings some nice perks if you can afford it. This camera is waterproof up to 33ft. Add this to the handy size and slew of other features, and you’re dealing with an excellent GoPro for fishing.
- Comparatively tiny size for rod mounting
- Auto-uploading with GoPro Plus
- Straightforward, hassle-free design
- No touchscreen which may be a let down for some
3. GoPro Hero 6 (The Great Value Option)
This model is a little older these days, but this is exactly why it’s made it onto this list. The Hero 6 is now considerably more affordable than brand new action cameras. Depending on what you need your camera to do for you when fishing, you might be much better off with this option.
The familiar GoPro ease of use and performance are still here. You’ll still be able to shoot 4K video and control the camera with an intuitive touchscreen. While you will miss out on some flashier features like the latest image stabilization, this camera is no slouch.
The Hero 6 is waterproof up to 33 ft which should of course be one of your main concerns when looking for a new fishing camera. A great thing about slightly older models like this one is that you can often find great value deals on sites like Amazon.
This listing we’ve included, for example, offers an extra battery thrown in for good measure. Other deals can include bonus accessories and cases. It’s worth thinking about what you actually need a fishing camera for. If your requirements are fairly simple, take advantage of great-value deals like this.
- An excellent value camera with some great deals
- Still performs very well
- Waterproof up to 33ft
- Lacks more modern features and design elements
4. GoPro Max (Awesome 360 Videos)
The GoPro Max may seem like overdoing it to some, but others will fall in love the moment they start using it. This camera has three microphones and two cameras. The result of all this extra tech is that the GoPro Max can produce stunning 360º videos and 270º panoramic stills.
This is a great GoPro for fishing videos that are truly immersive. Another thing we love about this model is the live streaming capabilities. If you have a mobile internet connection, it’s super-simple to set up a live stream of your fishing.
This could also be used to keep an eye on a favorite fishing spot if you set up a camera on location. Depending on what you get up to in the water, you may find the “Hero Mode” on this camera useful. In short, this mode gives your footage a stunning “cinematic feel”.
It’s leveling technology that keeps your videos buttery-smooth throughout. For action shouts of your fishing, features like this can be a godsend. When fishing at particularly beautiful locations, the panorama mode on this camera will produce images with far more scope than a traditional action camera.
The technology built into the GoPro Max makes it seriously impressive and a no-brainer for more adventurous fishing shots.
- 360º videos and 270º panoramas
- Buttery-smooth “Hero Mode”
- Live streaming features
- Only waterproof up to 16ft
5. GoPro Hero 9 (The Latest Model)
This is the one to get if you know you want the latest specs. All the familiar features like a touch screen, voice control and ultra-high-quality footage are ready and waiting, but they’re turned up a notch or two for good measure.
One great improvement to this model is the battery life. It lasts up to 30% longer than older GoPros. Another thing we love about this camera is the ability to remove the lens and modify your setup with additional accessories.
The Hero 9 can be fitted with flash, microphone and lens accessories that amplify different aspects of your gear. If you know you have specific requirements that need a little more juice, this option is the way to go.
This camera can shoot in 8x slow motion that results in some incredible videos. If you position your GoPro just right, you could get jaw dropping footage of a live fishing catch! Just like the GoPro Max, this camera comes with some great live streaming functionality too.
It’s more powerful than some people need, but it’s well worth the money if you can afford it.
- Next-level performance
- Shoot in 8x slow motion
- Modify you gear to suit your needs
- It’s pretty expensive
6. Akaso EK7000 (The Ultra-Budget Choice)
To round off our list, we’ve got an off-brand option. We’ve included this camera to emphasise that GoPro isn’t the only name out there; there are plenty of other brands with decent options too.
This option from Akaso is remarkably affordable when compared to some other cameras. The footage and stills are still reasonably high-quality, and the unit is waterproof up to 131ft. If your fishing or diving takes you way down into the depths, the Akaso EK7000 is worth considering.
It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, but in some contexts – the simple options work best.
- Very affordable
- Handy time lapse feature
- Waterproof up to 131ft
- A little underpowered compared to the competition
Best GoPro for Fishing – Things to Consider
Once you’ve picked up a new action camera for your fishing exploits, it’s worth getting clued up on how best to use it. This section will explore how to get the most out of your GoPro and take your fishing trips to the next level.
Mounts and Accessories
Too much clutter can get in the way when fishing, but the right accessories can makes your GoPro much more effective. There are a wide variety of GoPro mounts that make them much easier to hold and position in the water.
Say you want to record some fish swimming a few metres away from you underwater. This process becomes much easier when you use a mount with an extendable arm, for example. The right tripod can also elevate your time lapse shots to a new level.
GoPro cameras are excellent. With the right accessories, they’re indispensable.
Double and Triple-Check Your Case
All modern GoPro cameras come with waterproofing as standard. This is one of the things that makes them an excellent action camera to use when fishing. The thing to remember is that the waterproofing on a GoPro is often achieved with an included protective case.
This is what seals the elements out and protects your GoPro from the outdoors. For this reason, double and triple-check that your case it firmly closed before submerging it in the water. We know this sounds like a no-brainer but trust us, mistakes like this happen to the best of us.
Check Your Depth Tolerance
Another thing to keep in mind is that each GoPro can have a different max depth tolerance for water pressure. The GoPro Max, for example, can go up to 16ft deep, while other GoPro Hero models can go further to 33. It’s best to make sure before ruining your shiny new GoPro.
Maintenance for Salt Water
While all modern GoPro models come with waterproofing as standard, salt water can leave residue that may creep into your unit if you regularly open the case on your camera. It’s a good idea to wipe down your camera thoroughly after each fishing session to keep your GoPro in optimal working order.
The best GoPro for fishing will be different for everyone. Not everyone cares about next-level video stabilization and video quality. On the other hand, features like these are essential for some people.
It’s worth taking the time to consider what you want to achieve with your fishing camera. This will make it much easier to choose the right model for you.
Whichever camera you choose, we hope you get some great shots with it.