GOFISH Cam, based out of Austin, TX was founded by two brothers, Brandon and Ryan Austin. A shared love of fishing and an entrepreneurial spirit, along with years of market testing and product development, has resulted in the latest in specialised action-cameras designed for the fishing industry.
I recently received one of their cameras for testing and review. The GOFISH Cam crew definitely did their homework while developing this product. Employing a great combination of simplicity, rugged construction, and feature- rich technology, this is an awesome piece of gear. I have no doubt that this sleek camera will provide anglers with a multitude of new and unique ways to enhance their fishing experience.
Designed to help capture your fishing adventures from a true fish- eye point of view, this unit is rigged in-line with your bait or lure, allowing for unmatched visual fishing excitement. You can troll, cast, or drift fish with ease and with no interference with most angling applications. The hydrodynamic shape allows you to deploy this camera anywhere within the water column, on the bottom, or floating on top. I can also see employing this camera as an effective scouting tool prior to actually fishing.
GoFish Cam’s Co-Founder, Ryan Austin, came up with the concept in Trinidad while travelling with friends. While sailing on a Catamaran in the Caribbean Sea, a few locals were fishing off the back. Ryan had been an angler all his life and watched in anticipation. The locals had a huge bite and everyone jumped out from their seats. Unfortunately, the fish got off the hook and the locals started to debate what kind of fish it was, how big it was, and if they should go back. That’s when Ryan thought – well what if they could see underwater using technology? That’s when he had his “ah- ha” moment.
When Ryan came back to Toronto, Canada he shared this idea with his younger brother Brandon Austin, now Co-Founder & CEO of GoFish Cam. With some startup experience, a keen mind for marketing, a shared passion for fishing, and an intense entrepreneurial spirit, Brandon decided to join Ryan in what would become GoFish Cam.
Over the next few months Brandon and Ryan would spend their time researching the industry in depth. Between setting up interviews, and speaking directly with over one thousand anglers, every effort was
made to accurately understand what it was that that anglers wanted, and truly needed, in this type of camera.
Using this detailed market research, the two brothers developed the first prototype of the GOFISH Cam, launched a successful Kickstarter campaign, and over the next two years would embark on a journey of a lifetime, along with the rest of the GoFish Cam team, in building and launching the GoFish Cam and Mobile App. Brandon and Ryan definitely accomplished their goal of better understanding the underwater experience in fishing and identifying what that could help solve in this growing niche.
GOFISH CAM FIRST IMPRESSIONS
First, allow me to thank the brothers Austin for thinking about packaging! It may seem like a small, unimportant detail but it matters. Sometimes I think it will take a crow bar and a gas torch to break open a box these days! This is a well-thought-out package and easy to access, a very nice touch.
The camera is front and center here, clearly visible on the top of the box, in a clear showcase. I think this was on purpose and you’ll see why when you get it: My first thought was that it looked like a matte- black, “stealth” submarine. It has stabilising fins, a streamlined, hydrodynamic shape, and it just evokes “cool”. The camera itself is sturdy to the touch and has a nice heft to it. You definitely don’t feel like you have to handle the GOFISH cam with kid gloves.
In the box you will receive the camera, a short USB cord for charging and connection to a computer, tablet or phone, a carrying case, a cool decal (always welcomed and it amazes me that more companies don’t do this-hello, free marketing!), and a very cleverly designed float ring, that I will discuss later. You will need to provide a microSD card (it will hold up to a 64 GB unit) and download the mobile app for either iOS or Android devices. The unit has a self-contained, long-lasting battery and a ton of features, all designed for ease of use and maximum enjoyment.
You can access the guts of the union is by unscrewing the nose cone, revealing the USB charging port, power switch and video selection, as well as a slot for the microSD card. This area is waterproof, sealed with three (3) O-rings, and all the connections feel secure and well positioned for
easy access. You can also control the camera and settings using the free app, which is available for download easily through your mobile device of choice.
On the camera end, you will find a large lens surrounded by a green LED ring for the night vision feature. (when you activate it, you’ll see the glowing green ring, further adding to the cool-factor!). The night vision affords surprisingly good video in dark or murky conditions. WI-FI capability gives you the ability to stream the footage to your mobile phone. A rugged wire rests beneath the unit, allowing you to tie one end to your mainline and the other to your bait or lure.
Another unique feature that I haven’t seen on other cameras of this type is the included GOFISH float ring. It fits around the unit by simply sliding it over the end. This additional bit of genius pulls triple duty, acting as a float for top-water applications (it will afford you a cool “top-down” view while recording), providing the ability to live stream the footage direct to your mobile device, while also enabling you to retrieve the camera if it breaks free, a nice bit of security and piece-of-mind.
Rounding out the amazing feature list of the GOFISH cam:
- you’ll enjoy up to four hours of battery life
- a quick charging battery
- tough armour casing that withstands depths of up to 150 meters (about 500 feet).
You also get full control of the camera settings. This includes battery life, the ability to record, review, edit, and distribute the video on your phone via the free app.
EASE OF USE AND QUALITY
All these features are great, but they don’t mean anything if the video footage isn’t “post-worthy”, right? No worries, the GOFISH Cam team took care of business here as well. The camera shoots in full HD video, allowing you to select between 1080P @ 60 FPS (frames per second), 30FPS, and 720P @ 60FPS.
As you will see here, and on their website (www.gofishcam.com),
the quality is top-notch! Smooth, clear, and precise are words that spring to mind in my testing so far.
Additionally, allow me to bring THIS to your attention: the GOFISH cam is the only product that I am aware of that automatically breaks the footage down into one-minute segments. This is another fine example of how in- tune the company is to the market. Let’s face it: with some exceptions, one minute of video is the sweet spot before we are ready to move on. I love filming video of the entire fight, but editing afterwards is NOT in my wheelhouse as a top skill. Consequently, many of my videos sit on my computer, not getting views on the various media platforms as intended. Since GOFISH built the camera to record in one-minute increments, that will no longer be an issue. That makes this component of the GOFISH camera a game-changer, in my opinion.
One issue I have had with packing and deploying other action cameras that I own (and love) is their ease of use while also keeping track of other gear and focusing on the fishing. I don’t like when technology consumes me when there I can be fishing. I don’t feel that way with the GOFISH Cam. Its size and shape allow for easy storage and there are no extra components, cases, or attachments to contend with. I can rig it on the rod I am using or on a separate outfit designated just for filming purposes. It is really an enjoyable experience from start to finish. Having everything contained in one easy package makes all the difference when I choose what camera to grab.
So far, I have tested the camera in local farm ponds, trolling and drifting for striped and spotted bass in Lake Lanier, and in the saltwater marshes of the Golden Isles in Coastal Georgia. The GOFISH cam has performed admirably in each environment. I’m already planning several other trips this year and see this camera being the ideal unit for a kayaking excursion.
The quality, ease, and functionality of the GOFISH cam will undoubtedly be a big hit in the fishing industry. It’s certainly worthy of a top spot on your wish list this year.
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS
So, what’s next for GOFISH Cam? I talked with Brandon personally and he offered these insights:
“We have a handful of accessories we’re looking into and a few new possible versions of the camera. We’re also constantly working on mobile app updates and upgrades”.
With respect to his vision and mission for the company:
“We want to set our company apart from others by being a community of anglers that runs the company. Not just a company dictating what it thinks its users want. Prior to building any new products we always plan to crowdsource our community of users and let them vote what’s next”.
Clearly, this young company has its finger firmly on the pulse of how tight knit the fishing community is. They also appreciate the inherent value of including its end-users in producing the next great action camera.
Currently, you can purchase the GOFISH cam via their website at www.gofishcam.com. I also would expect to see some dealer activity in the near future. Like everything else about the camera, GOFISH has constructed the website well, and it is easy to navigate. You will get access to videos, customer testimonials, a blog, and information about how to use of camera system.
Their customer service is excellent, with quick response to inquiries via chat or email. They also provide prompt updates about shipping and super fast delivery times. I particularly appreciate that you will likely be communicating directly with Brandon or Ryan if you have a question or concern. You can email the company directly at [email protected], check out FAQ, and download the Instruction Manual.
Now get out there, cast a line, don’t forget to hit record, and GO FISH!!!
Until next time my friends: May you have tight lines, fair seas, and salty smiles.
Capt. Jon Fine