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The Best Outdoor Electronics for Bass Fishing
Bass fishing is a pastime enjoyed by many throughout the year. As long as there is a chance of a good catch, and conditions are favorable, fishermen will head out. There is a great sense of adventure in heading out onto the lake, or down the river.
It takes great skill to find the perfect spot, lure in the fish and bring in a great catch. Some seasoned professionals can do this on instinct and love the sport. Others are more than happy to employ a helping hand with some modern tech.
The following guide covers some of the most interesting and important outdoor electronics for bass fishing. Readers can learn about:
- the importance of GPS systems and fish-finders
- high tech apps and gadgets to improve performance
- when to stick with some of the old-fashioned tools, like paper maps and satellite phones less sophisticated tech that no bass fishing boat should be without.
The Old-fashioned Approach Or The Modern Approach to Bass Fishing?
Some anglers like to do things the old-fashioned way. There is something a little more romantic and appealing in waiting for the bite and learning the best places to fish. Others turn to technology to improve the experience.
Why spend a season learning about the fish’s habit when you can watch them on a device? There is nothing wrong with employing a few electronic tactics – but only to a point.
Many of the tools in this guide are essential to the experience and helpful. Others are a little more questionable because of their function and in-depth analysis of the sport. The final choice of their worth is down to the user.
Modern bass fishing means a range of interesting electronic devices that can help fishermen out.
There are lots of ways that fishermen can make their fishing experience a little more convenient and effective. Most of the time, this involves a little guidance from some outdoor electronics.
The first problem that fishermen face is locating the best spot to fish. This is especially tricky in a previously unexplored lake or river. Location devices can help steer users in the right direction. Then there is the difficulty in finding the fish under the water and setting up for a good catch. Others like to go even further with their tools and data trackers. Electronic devices worth some consideration include:
- GPS systems for location
- depth finders
- fish finders for details underwater
- apps and trackers for data on the fishing experience
- electronic lures to attract the fish
Start off with a reliable GPS system before the fish-finder
(Source: Babe Winkelman)
There are different ways to bring GPS to the boat. Some fish-finding gadgets mix GPS and sonar for precise locations. However, it also helps to have a more fundamental GPS system to track the location of the boat – not just the fish. This is essential when heading out for large stretches of unknown water.
The best GPS systems will have clear, color displays with accurate markers on location and other landmarks. Routes should be easy to follow, and the controls should be easy to use. Buyers should take note of the size of the screen, the reliability of the signal, the battery life and other key features. User reviews should separate the best and worst.
On that note of route finding and reliability, fishermen shouldn’t altogether abandon the old-fashioned paper map. GPS system offers a modern approach to route planning and markers out on the water, but they only go so far.
Paper maps are a great starting point for a better idea of the wider landscape. They can highlight size, depth and the relation between lakes and rivers. It is also much easier to annotate a map with information from previous journeys.
Then there are the more dedicated fish-finders and depth finders to locate the fish.
Getting into position on the lake is just a start. The best bass fishermen find the perfect spot by reading the topography of the lake and watching fish behavior. This is much easier with a depth finder and fish-finder.
Sonar fish-finders are a great way to locate a shoal beneath the surface. The best devices offer a clear display with data on the fish’s depth and location, as well as the number of individuals. There is a choice here between a dedicated fish-finder, with a clear focus on sonar, or one that combines sonar and GPS. There are some different features to look out for with these top location devices. The best offer the following:
- a clear display in either full color or grayscale
- the best possible resolution for an even better image
- a dual beam system for greater coverage.
Dual beam sonar systems are better able to determine the depth and location of a target. Single beams tend to offer 20 degrees of coverage, while dual beam model takes this up to 60 degrees. The clarity of the display is essential to read data and pick out individual fish. The color screen is often the easiest to read. However, there is also the fact that grayscale may be cheaper. As for the resolution, the higher the figure, the better.
Data tracking outdoor electronics for more detailed information
Data tracking isn’t important to all bass fishermen. It all depends on the purpose of the trip. Some people are out there to have fun and are happy to lose track of how many casts they made. Others have a more competitive edge and want to better themselves. This means gathering data on all kinds of aspects of the experience.
There are different high-tech trackers around that bass fishermen can use to learn about their form and progress. These devices attach to the rod to track the motion of both the rod and the line. The smart device keeps track of information on things like the casts made, the patterns when reeling in and even whether or not the fish fought back.
Fishermen can take this data, record it for future reference and learn from the experience. One such device is the AngLR Tracker. Users love it for its small, lightweight design and reliable information. There is also the bonus that it comes with a free Android app. This means that user can view the data on a connected mobile device.
Cell phones aren’t for making calls while onboard a bass fishing boat
This accompanying app shows that potential of mobile tech in fishing. There are apps for everything these days, and plenty for fisherman. These apps place tools into the hands of fisherman with simple touch screen controls and fun features.
Keen fisherman should take some time to browse through the options on their operating system. There should be plenty compatible with either Android or iOS. There will also be plenty of free ones out there that are worth a quick test run. Even so, they won’t be quite as high tech as some of the more sophisticated ones. It is also worth consulting forums and other guides for what is hot in fishing apps.
What About Some Electronic Fishing Lure? Is That a Step Too Far?
There are some mixed views on electronic fishing lures. Some will use these alternative devices to help them attract the fish. Others feel that it is a step too far and takes all the sport out of the situation. These lures have motions and lights in them designed to attract the fish and improve the appeal of the bait. This may work, but it isn’t the same as using a trusted, well-crafted lure and learning about the process. Data tracking with rod-based devices are extreme, but they aren’t catching the fish for the fisherman.
There is more to outdoor electronics for bass fishing than a good fish-finder.
The tech above highlights some the tools that fishermen can enjoy to improve their catch. However, electronic devices for bass fishing go further than these technical aids. There are also some other helpful devices that may come in handy on board the boat. Some of these may already be a part of every voyage onto the lake. Others may become forgotten because of their simplicity. Bass fishermen should also consider the following:
- a satellite phone as well as a cell phone
- a camera
- a charging system for all those batteries
Why should bass fishermen also carry a satellite phone when heading out fishing?
As seen above with the apps and tech, a cell phone is a helpful tool for many fishermen. They are a user-friendly tool for those that want to improve their catch and their data analysis. There is one simple problem with the cell phone. That is coverage.
Users can play around with as many apps as they want if they have enough battery life. But, what happens if they need to contact others and there is no service? There is a strong likelihood of this way out in the middle of lakes and remote locations.
A satellite phone is a great alternative because there is a better chance of coverage. They are therefore far more reliable as long-range communication devices. This can help if there is an emergency onboard the boat, or if fishermen lose track of time and need to call home. They aren’t the most attractive or up-to-date devices, but they work. The best models have a tough, weather-resistant build, simple buttons and little else.
What about a camera?
There are two different ways to bring cameras into bass fishing. One is fun and straightforward, and the other is a little more technical. Many fishermen will enjoy the chance to take photographs of the day and the catch. This is a great idea for those that plan to throw back their catches and enjoy the sport.
Companions on board can use the digital camera to take sharp images of the best catches before they go back in the water. It is also a great way to take records of the area and conditions. A simple DSLR with an SD card works fine.
Others like to take the idea of cameras and image capture further with cameras on the ends of the lines. Some high-tech gadgets record images under the surface for a new viewpoint on the catch. Some will use this as a learning tool. Others have great fun watching the bass swim up to the lure and grab hold. This is more of a novelty than a necessity.
What happens when all of these electronic devices run out of battery life?
There is something that some may overlook on the subject of all those excellent electronic devices. Each device has a battery and a finite battery life. Cell phones with apps, GPS systems, and other fancy tech are useless if the battery dies.
So what should bass fishermen do in this situation? The ideal solution would be some form of simple electricity supplier and charging station on-board. It is easier than ever to rig up a great solar power system on boats, no matter their size and capabilities. These solar systems can provide reliable power to all the necessary gadgets – with energy left over for the unnecessary ones too.
The best approach is to keep it fairly simple and reliable when it comes to outdoor electronics for bass fishing.
It is far too easy to get tied up in electronics for bass fishing. Before long, a boat becomes kitted out like a piece of military tech. This may help with precision and data about the session, but it takes some of the fun out of it.
Bass fishing is as much about the joyful, leisurely trip as the quantity of fish caught. A few must-have gadgets will send fisherman on the right course, such as the GPS, fish-finder and satellite phone. Some of the cameras, apps, and data logs are just too involved. The best approach is to pick and choose between the best options available and see actually helpful and enjoyable.