Top 5 Benefits of Using Infrared Thermal Cameras for Night Fishing

Infrared thermal Cameras for Night Fishing

While most experts agree that fishing during the day is easier, some fishers favor fishing at night. In truth, fishing at night has its advantages:

  • There are fewer boats at night, which translates into less noise and less disturbance of the water.
  • Temperatures during the night are cooler, especially in the hot humid summer.

That said, fishing at night has disadvantages, including reduced visual capacities and of course, the increased difficulty of navigation. Luckily, recent developments in inexpensive infrared thermal cameras (learn more here) are making night fishing far easier and safer.

What Are Infrared Cameras?

Also called thermal imaging cameras, these devices are based on the premise that everything emits a heat signal.  The device detects an object’s heat energy and then converts and processes the signal to create an image.  The camera also creates a thermal profile of objects; different objects will radiate various temperature signals and subsequently, different images.


Benefits of Using Infrared Cameras

Thermal cameras come in a variety of types including hand-held and fixed-mounted versions. The mounted versions often have more advanced capabilities than the handheld versions, but both have great functionality at night.

Traditionally, infrared cameras were a preserve of the military and other commercial users. However, with reduced prices and increased technological development, these cameras along with other fishing electronics are now widely available for recreational uses including sports fishing.

Advantages Of Using Infrared Cameras for Night Fishing

There are some ways through which thermal imaging cameras have made it easier to fish at night.

1. Easier Navigation

The biggest problem with night fishing is diminished visual clarity. As a matter of fact, fishing at night traditionally takes a lot of guesswork and a reliance on the 6th sense.

Infrared cameras help to eliminate the unknown; the guesswork. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the ease of navigation also depends on the type and strength of the camera. Infrared cameras are when navigating through narrow channels and harbors.

2. Easier To Scan For Obstructions

Because of the reduced vision at night, it is often hard to detect and avoid obstacles. While this may not always have dire consequences, it may put the vessel and its crew at risk of significant danger. Since everything emits a heat signal, infrared thermal cameras easily detect obstructions allowing fishers to avoid them.

Common obstacles include floating logs, lobster gear, crab pots, and high-fliers among others. Those who are fishing in the deep seas may also use thermal imaging cameras to detect whales that tend to linger on the surface of the water at night and subsequently avoid bumping into them.

These cameras are also quite useful in identifying other floating structures such as weed lines, kelp paddies and other floating vegetation which are usually hard to see at night.

Infrared Cameras

3. Detection Of Temperature Breaks

Heat breaks are those areas in the water that attract baitfish and predators. Most infrared cameras are capable of detecting the slightest changes in temperature even when these changes occur between the bottom and top parts of a wave.

Thermal imaging allows fishers to see rips, tidal edges and even birds and marine animals that signal the presence of fish.

4. Fish On The Surface

Fishermen using infrared cameras at night are also able to spot baitfish on the surface of the water at night. In fact, the thermal cameras also help to predict the different sizes of fish and in essence make it easier to identify and catch trophy fish.

5. Less Stress

The difficulties of fishing at night make it a rather stressful activity. After all, people may worry about their safety in the water.

Infrared cameras have capabilities of reading heat signals of objects that are up to 5 miles away with some cameras even having capabilities that are three times greater than that. As a result, fishers can even go at speeds of up to 12 knots even when actual visibility is limited.

There is no denying that a lack of visibility can create some level of tension and anxiety over the unknown. This may affect some crew members and dampen the fishing experience as a whole.

With infrared thermal cameras, it is easy to eliminate these feelings of anxiety and disorientation hence giving crew members a much-needed confidence boost.

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One comment

  • I’m glad that you brought up how using an infrared camera at night can allow one to additionally spot their baitfish. My old buddy from college and I are interested in going on a fishing trip together. We’ll be sure to look into night fishing charters, as we have never done this activity in those hours.

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