You want to head for the hotspots armed with the latest and greatest boating tech? Of course you do. We anglers take out mission seriously and we’ll utilize every advantage at our disposal to get out there faster and safer, then catch more, bigger fish — and a dose of modern tech provided by cool new products like these can help you do it.
Ace in the Hole – The Bivy Stick
What Is It? A satellite communications device that bumps text messages to and from your cell phone, with worldwide communications capabilities.
Cool New Tech: Similar products have been around for a while, but the miniaturization of these units just gets better and better. The Bivy Stick is now the world’s smallest satellite communicator (about half the size of a deck of cards) and weighs a mere 3.5 ounces. Recently purchased by ACR Electronics, the Bivy Stick has been marinized to IP67 standards and can run up to 120 hours.
Why Anglers Care: It allows you to stay in touch with and gather intel from fellow anglers even when out of cell range. Plus, it increases your safety margin.
Electric Storm: ePropulsion Electric Outboards
What Is It? A line of electric outboards from three to 9.9 horsepower.
Cool New Tech: A migration from lithium-ion to LiFEPO4 (lithium iron phosphate) battery tech is resulting in safer, less expensive electric outboards which have (about) twice the power and half the weight of lead-acid deep-cycle batteries. The integrated batteries are shaped like outboard cowls and clip onto the shaft.
Why Anglers Care: While the ePropulsion line is currently limited to very small motors, in-the-field use has proved they’re vastly superior to standard electric boat motors. While they’re currently ideal only for small jon boats and car-toppers, larger sizes are sure to follow soon.
Control Freak – Garmin OnDeck
What Is It? A remote monitoring and control system for your boat, accessed via the Garmin ActiveCaptain app.
Cool New Tech: Integration with a Garmin system and the increase in the number of digital switching boats means this system brings integration to a new level. It also stores your boat’s data in the cloud for 30 days.
Why Anglers Care: Having access to information and receiving alerts for things like bilge water level, boat location, and battery levels brings a lot of peace of mind. Plus, with this system, you can start up the a.c. or flip on the courtesy lights before you even arrive at the dock.
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Forward-Looking Fish-Finding – Garmin Panoptix and Lowrance ActiveTarget
What Is It? Fishfinders that paint a real-time image of what they see on the LCD screen. Garmin pioneered the tech a few years ago when they rolled out the Panoptix, and now Lowrance has created their own system called ActiveTarget.
Cool New Tech: Utilizing high frequencies (ActiveTarget pings at 500- to 1100 kHz), multiple transducer elements, and software that stitches the transducer returns together into one picture, the imagery they produce is almost like watching the fish through a digitized camera.
Why Anglers Care: These systems allow you to literally watch the fish you cast to and see their reaction (or lack thereof) when you present them with a bait or lure. Note, however, that a bow-mounted trolling motor is a must-have for enjoying the advantage to its fullest (since mounting a transducer on the motor allows for aiming the beam).
SharkBanz Fishing – Zeppelin
What Is It? A brand new device that is proven to turn away incoming sharks to your catch.
Cool New Tech: Using patented magnetic technology researched and tested by marine biologists on predatory shark species, Sharkbanz Fishing tackle overwhelms a shark’s electroreception, creating a highly unpleasant sensation that can stop the ocean’s Taxman in his tracks – protecting your catch, gear, and good time on the water. Sharkbanz tackle does not harm sharks or repel other fish.
Why Anglers Care: Shark predation on hooked fish is an exploding problem and anglers are incredibly frustrated to be losing their catch and conservation efforts to the hordes of sharks that seem to have blossomed in the last few years. A device that helps save some of these fish is a welcomed advancement to fishing tech.
Seeing Sideways – Humminbird Apex 19 MEGA SI+
What Is It? The latest and greatest MFD from Humminbird, with a 19-inch screen and a glass bridge style housing.
Cool New Tech: Humminbird’s MEGA SI+ imaging isn’t entirely new, but it is a favorite among anglers who depend on side-scanning. What is completely new is the ability to enjoy it with a 19-inch MFD because previously, the largest units available were 15-inchers.
Why Anglers Care: The 19-inch screen size brings Humminbird into the big leagues and fans of the MEGA SI+ imaging systems who had always wished for bigger, more potent MFDs now have that option.
Power House – The Mercury Verado 600
What Is It? The world’s largest outboard engine in production today. The Verado 600 is a V-12 that displaces 7.6 liters and weighs in at 1,260-pounds.
Cool New Tech: This is the first outboard engine ever with a two-speed transmission, which shifts automatically and so seamlessly you almost can’t tell it’s happening. It also has an articulating lower unit; when you steer the top section of the motor doesn’t turn, enabling the engines to be mounted closer while also expanding the steerage by about 15-percent.
Why Anglers Care: Because you can get to the fish faster on bigger center consoles with outboard power. Plus, you’ll have MORE POWER than any of the other guys up and down the docks.
Digitally Speaking – Suzuki DF115BG and 140BG
What Is It? A refresh of Suzuki’s epically popular and uber-reliable 115- and 140-hp outboards.
Cool New Tech: With these new versions Suzuki adds drive-by-wire capabilities, which were only available on larger models up until now. Fuel economy also gets a five- to seven-percent increase and alternator output is bumped up to 40 amps.
Why Anglers Care: These improvements give a nice tech-boost to proven platforms.
Power Pack – Weego N44s
What Is It? A jumper pack the size of a cell phone.
Cool New Tech: The lithium-polymer power cells hold 50-percent more than the N22 this unit replaces and provide enough juice — 440 cranking amps — to turn over a 7.0L gasoline or 3.5L diesel engine.
Why Anglers Care: Because missing out on a fishing trip due to a dead battery sucks, and getting stuck out on the water due to a dead battery sucks even more.
Outboard IoT – Yamaha Teams with Siren Marine
What Is It? Yamaha outboards partnering with Siren Marine to bring their engines into the Internet of Things.
Cool New Tech: Siren’s cellular connectivity will constantly monitor engine data and beam the data stream to dealers and service centers.
Why Anglers Care: You’ll no longer have to worry about keeping track of things like when to have the oil changed since the system will do it for you and alert your dealer. When issues arise service centers will instantly see the fault codes, and in the long run engine reliability should improve as regular maintenance and service are tracked.
Aid with an App – Zoll Mobile Rescue Systems
What it is? A first aid response kit that’s color-coded and alpha-numeric labeled, which works in concert with an app on your phone.
Cool New Tech: The app is designed to provide instructions and walk you through using the medical supplies to treat everything from cuts and scrapes to broken bones. The color-coding and labeling make it easy to provide medical attention quickly, without having to flip through the pages of a guide or hunt for the right supplies.
Why Anglers Care: If you fish far offshore or deep in the backcountry where medical assistance might be hours away, the combination of the kit and app could prove to be lifesaving.
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