Sure, there’s a fisherman’s hunch. But in today’s world it can be said that an angler’s catch is directly proportional to the tools he uses for fishing. Here’s a rundown of top equipment that trophy hunters use to pull in prize catches.
Precise water-temperature readings are critical to finding thermal changes. “Smart water temperature” sensors like the Si-Tex SST-110 provide an accuracy of two-hundredths of a degree. This one stands alone or delivers temp readings to any instrument on the boat capable of receiving its data.
Find flocks of birds hovering above the surface, and fish will be underneath. Pros use 30 kW to 60 kW radar ($30,000 plus) that spot birds 30 miles out. But a 6 kW radar ($6,000 plus) with a four-foot open-array antenna can detect birds from a 10-mile distance. And broadband radar from Lowrance and Simrad works, from under $3,000.
The latest advance in sonar is CHIRP technology. A CHIRP (compressed high-intensity radar pulse) transducer has the ability to sweep above and below its operating frequency to paint a much more detailed picture than normal fish finders do. Check out transducers and fish finders from by Garmin, Simrad and Raymarine.
Reading the Bottom
Most manufacturers of electronic navigation charts in both chart card and computer software form offer enhanced and detailed depth charts and 3-D views of the bottom. These graphic presentations help all boaters navigate shallows and are extremely valuable to anglers in locating fishing areas. Humps are clearly defined, as are canyons and other bottom structure that are known to hold fish. Software makers C-Map, Garmin, Navionics, Nobeltec, MaxSea by Furuno and others provide bathymetric cartography and special fishing cartography for ocean and inland waters. Pictured is a screen shot of C-Map by Jeppesen 4D cartography, with new features for the spring 2012 release, including high-resolution bathymetry, 3-D presentation, fishing data (information boxes with available game-fish records, regulations and images) and Jeppesen’s enhanced database of wrecks.