Picture this, you’ve been out fishing a few hours when you come across the mother lode. Fish light up your fish finder like the 4th of July and you start jacking them left and right, thinking how awesome the footage from your GoPro is going to be. But when you go to check the camera, you’re dejected to see it’s been off for some time now thanks to a dead battery. Image via EastTNFishing.
The last thing you want to worry about while trying to get good fishing footage, is if your GoPro is still on and how long the battery is going to last. You certainly don’t want to hit the glory hole at the exact moment the battery dies.
You have two options to fix this problem. You could keep the GoPro turned off until that big moment arrives, but how often have you been able to correctly anticipate the fish biting? The other option is to improve your GoPro battery life so that you can fish freely without worry if it’s recording. Now, let’s explore the ways and means to make a GoPro battery last for an entire day of fishing.
According to GoPro these are the continuous recording times you can expect for various GoPro models when using a fully charged battery and Wi-Fi turned off:
- Hero4 Silver – You can expect 120 minutes hours of battery life on the lowest power consumption, which is 4K/15fps, with the Wi-Fi and LCD screen turned off.
- Hero+ LCD – With the Wi-Fi and Touch LCD both turned off, you can expect 150 minutes of recording at 720p/60fps SuperView setting.
- Hero – The regular Hero camera is estimated to have 165 minutes of recording time at 10809/30fps.
Of course heat and cold from weather conditions will each reduce the battery life, as will stopping and starting the camera, or leaving the LCD screen or Wi-Fi turned off. So realistically, at best, you might only get 1-2 hours of video recording. So if the batteries don’t last long enough for fishing, what are you supposed to do? We’re glad you asked because there are solutions to this frustrating and common problem.
One of the ways to increase battery life is to simply buy a bunch of extra batteries and change them out when they die. Some of the best aftermarket batteries are sold by Wasabi. The Wasabi power kits are very popular and highly rated. You get several batteries in the kit and even comes with a dual battery charger. The batteries themselves are actually known to perform a little better than those you can get directly from GoPro, and they are much cheaper.
They feature batteries and power kits that will seriously extend the run time of your GoPro camera. For example, they have a 1260mAh battery that will give you 1.5 hours of extra run time. They have a 2500mAh battery that will give you 3 hours of extra run time, and they also have a 2780mAh battery that will allow you to record an extra 4 hours. These are all internal batteries, and they fit perfectly into their respective GoPro cameras.
If you are going with someone and you can use a hand-held addition, Wasabi features a 5200mAh battery inside of the handle that will provide up to 5 hours of run time. That’s one easy to carry battery that just about gives you all day performance.
Try on a BacPac
For increased run times without changing batteries, GoPro has a larger battery called the “BacPac.” You will get, roughly, one extra hour of battery run time using the battery BacPac. So a couple of BacPac batteries could get you pretty close to all day battery life.
The downside is they aren’t the cheapest solution. Yes, they are made and marketed by GoPro, but the reality is that they are not particularly cost effective. Absolutely they will work, but if you want the best price and the longest performance, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
For fishing, we believe the best way to extend the run time of your GoPro is to use an external battery. You can use either your boat’s battery or an external battery pack to power you GoPro all day without worry, and your only concern is when your memory card will fill up.
For external batteries, any battery that has a USB connector can be used to power a GoPro camera. Some of the best externals are made by Anker, with the largest one rated at a staggering 13,000mAh, and that should easily give you 8 to 10 hours of continuous run time. Better still, the cost would be similar to an actual standard GoPro internal battery. That’s true cost effectiveness right there.
Use Your Boat’s Battery
To utilize your boat’s battery, you’ll need to purchase something called a “Battery Eliminator”. These are cables that either connect to the camera or fit in the battery compartment, and have a USB or 12V Cigarette plug on the other end. Most boats have one of these power connectors in the driver console, but they can also be added very easily.
The nice thing about using a Switronix Battery Eliminator, is that you don’t have to worry about charging all those extra batteries. As long as your boat is charged up in the morning, you are good to go. The cables are usually 10 feet long, which is more than enough to plug in and use your favorite GoPro mounts anywhere on your boat or kayak.
Which is Best?
Any way you go, extra batteries, or external power, we’ve shown you how to find the power you need at a price you can afford. Each option will improve your GoPro fishing experiences, and you’ll be recording better videos before you know it.
My camera is always dying when I’m out hiking and fishing so I’ve been looking for ways to make it last longer. I like that you suggest using an external battery because it can be charged and power all day. I’ll just have to keep an eye on the memory cards space like you said at that point. Thanks for sharing!
Also, advertised here, there is a company now offering waterproof battery back packs, that I believe attaches to the hero 3 and 4 waterproof housings. They boast 6 and 12 hour battery life. I assume this would be on the most meager settings… still a great option!
I use the battery eliminator with a cable gland through the back door of the housing, to maintain water resistance.
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