Jan 5, 2017

Fishing Technology You Don’t Want to be without
By: Glenn Walker

The sport of fishing has come a long way from sitting on the bank of a creek with a stick with some fishing line tied to it. The rods and reels we use now are manufactured out of space age; ultra-light/strong materials and the lure choices anglers have to use for targeting fish are endless. One of the most interesting things to examine is the technology that has become available in the fishing world, which allows us as anglers to learn things about the water we are fishing quicker and allow us to fish more effectively.

We all know that fish have keen senses underneath the water and what we do on the surface is heard by them; sometimes it affects them and other times, not so much. With the HydroWave H2 unit from T-H Marine Supplies, you are able to emit sounds into the water of a predatory fish engaged in feeding.

The HydroWave incorporates both Lateral Reactive Technology (LRT) and Vibration Reactive Technology to generate a predatory feeding response from the fish you are targeting. The speaker is mounted on the trolling motor and emits sound into the water that replicates certain scenarios, such as spawning bait, feeding frenzy and schooling bait.

The speaker output is in form of a Tactile Sound Transmission (TST) and can be compared to a human putting ear plugs in. You’ll be able to feel the sound of a sub-woofer, but they won’t be able to hear what others are saying around them, that is how fish hear.

The HydroWave unit has a 2.5” liquid display that tells you what sound you have playing, the volume and if you are playing it on a continuous basis or delayed on intervals of 15, 30, 45, 60 and 120 seconds. The H2 unit comes preloaded with 16 sounds and has the ability for expansion packs to be added.

Ever since fisherman first began using depth finders, the amount of information they were able to learn about a lake or river increased dramatically, along with the amount of time it took to learn those things dropped from how long it used to take. The evolution of the electronics fisherman have in their boats has gone from a flasher, to a fish finder that would not only show you the depth, but show an emblem of a fish when you went over one, to today’s electronics that would rival the electronics on Navy vessels in the past.

Today’s electronics not only have your traditional 2D sonar, they have side imaging (SI), down imaging (DI), GPS mapping and finally sonar that gives you a picture of what is in front of your boat. Now, I’m not saying that you must have a depth finder that has all of these capabilities or you won’t catch a fish, because we all know that the fisherman still has to make the cast and present a lure properly to a fish to get bites, but the information an angler can derive from these modern fishing electronics is incredible!

Now I could go into great detail and great length of all the functions of these units, but I feel keeping things simple is key for anglers to understanding what technology they have available to them. Here is how I use the following sonar capabilities on my Humminbird Helix 10 units:

  • 2D Sonar – This is the red, green, yellow image that many anglers have come to know and look at when they are on the water. There is nothing wrong with this technology, as it still allows anglers to quickly gather information about the water they are fishing.
  • Side Imaging (SI) – I use this function when I’m looking for new forms of fish holding structure, such as rock, brush piles or when the opportunity presents itself, suspended schools of bass.
  • Down Imaging (DI) – Down Imaging is what I commonly tell people is like an x-ray, as it takes the image from your traditional 2D Sonar and gives you a much clearer image of what you are looking at. Meaning that what you thought was a weed clump is actually a tree in the water.
  • GPS – I feel that GPS is one of the most important features that an angler can take advantage of with today’s fishing electronics. Not only can you save the exact fishing hot spot so you can return later, but by adding in a mapping chip to your unit, like the LakeMaster Plus card, you can unlock a plethora of information. A key feature that helps an angler keep the boat in that key depth range is the depth highlight feature, meaning if I know I need to be looking in the 11 feet for bass, I’ll select that on my Helix unit and the mapping screen will highlight everywhere on the lake that is 11 feet deep, plus/minus whatever increment you set. The other feature that has helped me tremendously is the ability with the LakeMaster Plus card to have the screen show a satellite image of the water I’m fishing. This isn’t a real-time satellite image, but when fishing rivers, like the Mississippi, I can see what backwater areas are super shallow and others are navigable.
  • Forward Looking Sonar – Humminbird offers this in their 360 technology and what I like to use this for is too search for scattered pieces of fish holding cover. This could be a lone boulder on a flat or an isolated weed clump.

No angler leaves the boat ramp without their cell phone, so it is no shock that we have app’s on our phones that benefit anglers, one example of such app’s is the ScoutLook Fishing app. I rely on this free app while I’m on the water to get pinpoint weather forecasts, which is key to rigging your tackle. Why you may ask, well as I’m selecting a tungsten weight for my Texas, Carolina or Drop Shot rig, I want to use the smallest size weight as possible that will allow me to maintain contact with the bottom, this dictated many times by how strong the wind is.

If you are an angler that fishes with multiple people, or maybe you rent a boat, you can take those fishing hotspots with you, as you can save your fishing locations right to your phone and return anytime you want. Also with this app, it has the ScoutLook FishLog, which you can record information about your catch. By tracking my catches I can make notes about what I caught the fish on and what the weather conditions were. This way I can see what patterns exist on a certain body of water or even a certain section of the lake.

As you are looking at your fishing and boating gear this offseason, take notice of what technology you have and how you could improve your day on the water by taking advantage of all the new, helpful technology that is on the market for fisherman today.

Glenn has been fishing tournaments for over ten years, spreading his passion and knowledge of the sport via articles and videos. He keeps busy fishing events across the Midwest and on the Mississippi River. Glenn's sponsors include: Bass Boat Technologies, Ducky Products, Humminbird, Jeff Belzer Chevy, Mercury Marine, Minn Kota, Plano, Rayjus, Seaguar, Simms, Snag Proof, T-H Marine, The Rod Glove, TroKar, War Eagle Custom Lures, Wright & McGill and Zoom Baits. For more information check out glennwalkerfishing.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/glennwalkerfishing.