OpenROV as Sport Fishing Aid


Hello everyone!

I’ve done a bit of searching to see if I can find anyone who has specifically asked about using the OpenROV as an aid in sport fishing, but have come up empty-handed.

I’ve always had a fascination with bodies of water, big and small, and the creatures that call them home. I’m an avid catch and release fisherman and there are several fishing locations around my home that I’d love to explore with an OpenROV. I’ve been following the Trident for some time now and have seen its release date change from Fall/Winter 2016 to Spring/Summer 2017. While disappointing, I can be patient(if I must) and can either wait for the Trident, or purchase the OpenROV 2.8. I am always eager to learn new skills and love building electronics, so I am not intimidated by the build process on the 2.8.

Before making a rash decision, I wanted to check with you all first. Given my use case, which product would be more useful for me? I’m not sure if there are differences in the level of sound generated between the two, but that would be a big factor. Seeing underwater fish habitat is my current primary goal, but I think it would be a real treat if I could actually see some of the local fish species in their own environment. I could envision scenarios where I don’t really fish at all and spend my time investigating a lake or pond.

Thank you for your time!


If you want to look at fish in places with currents, the faster trident would be a better choice. If currents are not an issue, either one should do


Fish aren’t really phased or scared away by my 2.7 ROV, I’ve had schools of small fish engulf it and an inquisitive puffer fish swim straight towards it and check it out. As @maierj said currents are the bigger factor. The trident comes equipped with a better camera and better lights (optional extras for the 2.8). Either way you will have a great time investigating the underwater world.


Thank you for the replies!

I’m not entirely sure how severe the currents are in my local bodies of water. I have absolutely no basis for this assumption, but I don’t think they would be that severe. I am definitely willing to upgrade the components on a 2.8 if necessary.

@Brendan Good news about the fish not being frightened. That is exciting!


Good news everyone! I was lucky enough to receive an OpenROV 2.8 as a Christmas gift which was completely unexpected and probably one of the best gifts I have ever received.

I am currently tracking down all the necessary tools and materials I will need for the assembly process and I wanted to check with you all about the upgrades I may want or need given my use case.

My main priority is adding two external cube lights to improve lighting in deep and/or muddy/silty water.

Second, I would like to upgrade the camera to the Pro model. This is one with which I struggle. How much will I gain from having the upgraded camera? I recently watched the 360 degree youtube video filmed with the Trident and the Nikon KeyMission 360 and was blown away. Unfortunately, the KeyMission is getting some truly awful reviews at this point. As such, I am wondering if I would be better suited with an upgrade from the stock camera to the pro until a better aftermarket 360 degree camera comes to market.

Third, I think the IMU would be great to have from a pure data standpoint, but do I really need it? Is there anything I am missing for which it would be integral?

Lastly, the upgraded batteries.

Do I have my priorities mixed at all? Anything I may be missing?

I appreciate the responses so far and look forward to being a true member of the community.


I have built the Pro Camera-HD Upgrade and can say that the quality of the video picture is much improved over the stock HD camera that comes with the OROV 2.8.

As far as the the IMU/Depth Sensor Module goes, it can help you stay on a set compass heading and it can provide depth control so you are not constantly having to watch your depth. I have built two of the Modules and they both functioned correctly after being calibrated.

I have also added two of the external light cubes to my Hybrid BR/OROV ROV and they definitely do function much better at illuminating objects at deeper depths compared to the 2.8 Controller Board’s LEDs.

Before starting assembly of the OROV 2.8 I would read all of the great build advice on this Forum to make sure you build it right the first time. Remember, measure twice, cut once.:slight_smile:



@TCIII Excellent advice! Particularly the portion about measuring twice and cutting once. This was a gift from my father-in-law, who mentioned how difficult he thought the kit would be to put together. No pressure!!

I am glad to hear that I am mostly on the right track with regards to upgrades. I think I’m going to pull the trigger on the Pro Camera-HD Upgrade and two external lights and pick up the IMU/Depth Sensor Module after testing if I feel it is necessary.


Hi there.
I have a 2.8 and I’m very pleased with its performance. My opinion, for what its worth, is that you seem to be trying to do everything at once. Why not assemble the kit first, get your feet wet (literally), find out how everything works, then start to think about upgrades? There’s plenty to go wrong without worrying about external lights HD upgrades etc!
Good luck with it.


Also, having read your first post, I hope you will be fascinated enough with the fish and their habitat so you won’t need to kill or traumatise them.


My biggest concern when fishing is that I leave no trace myself, leave the area in better shape than I found it, and that I release any fish I happen to catch back into the wild, unharmed. I use barbless hooks and handle the fish as little as possible.


That’s really good. I’m afraid there are lots of “sport fishermen” here in Scotland that think nothing of hauling huge Rays out with bullhooks, holding them up for a selfie then chucking them back in again, only to die later many metres down.
Maybe I have a hunting gene missing but I don’t understand the need to catch anything, whether it be a fish, or a deer, or a bear, unless its with a camera. It’s just not on my radar.


I am saddened to hear that those types of actions extend across the pond as well. We see people doing similar things in Ohio. People are so focused on getting that epic selfie with the fish that they just caught that they don’t stop to think about the welfare of the living thing they just hauled out of the water. Lots of bass fisherman do this, but people treat catfish the worst. They are ugly as sin, but I will never understand what drives people to treat them in such a way. I think it just comes down to a lack of respect. They don’t understand that they are abusing a fungible resource and that someday down the road, those fish they enjoy catching may not be there to enjoy. It isn’t just the treatment of the fish, though. People litter so much. I understand that littering is a fact of life in most parts of the world, but why do people leave fishing line behind when it can so easily tangle birds and other wildlife. That is undoubtedly my biggest pet peeve and I keep an eye out for it wherever I go. /soapbox

I grew up in rural community where hunting and fishing were very much a facet of everyday life. I initially was excited about hunting when I turned 12 but I was never able to get comfortable with killing an animal when it wasn’t absolutely necessary. I’ve always been fascinated by bodies of water and so fishing has somehow stuck with me. I still have a hard time squaring my enjoyment of the activity with the obvious issues inherent in catching fish. I figure I can be a proponent of conservation and best fishing practices while I figure it out :slight_smile:

Sorry for the long-winded, slightly off-topic post. I appreciate the thought-provoking discussion though!


I hear you and am with you all the way with your philosophy on the treatment of marine creatures!

We have quite a few marine habitat preserves here in FL to help preserve our aquatic heritage!

I did buy the Pro Camera-HD Upgrade and the IMU/Depth Sensor after I had gotten my Hybrid ROV up and running.

Pay careful attention to building up the Pass Through and Non-Pass Through End Caps so as to keep the cutouts and wire harness passage aligned.



I do appreciate the views expressed. I think it is a slow process of encouraging people to treasure wildlife and marine environments and creatures and see the glorious diversity in it. Changing hearts and minds. It sounds like you’re definitely a caring and compassionate person and will get much excitement from the ROV exploration.


I love this thread. I am glad that you now get to explore your local underwater world. Regarding your questions i would follow @e4andy with the idea to start simple and add in more features as you need it.

For what i found most useful: I would definitely go with the IMU, as it helps a lot with navigation, especially in low visibility environments. Regarding the camera, i prefer to attach an external action camera to the ROV that takes nice footages over the Pro camera. I navigate with the internal camera and have the high quality video on the action cam. Any GoPro for example would work here.

Regarding lights, remember that the ROV already comes with four LEDs, for me (having to struggle with muddy water) the light cubes would not help, as they just increase the blur from the particles. I can confirm, that fish don’t bother the ROV and you can get close up shots.

Hope your are having a good time assembling. Let us know if you need help!


Great insight, @Fe3C

I was looking at the external camera as an alternative to the upgraded one so it is good to hear that is an option.

I believe a majority of the local places I will venture will have silty/muddy water, so it is likewise good to know that the light cubes may not be as beneficial as I once though.

I haven’t started assembling yet! I am anxiously awaiting my acrylic cement :anguished: