Understanding the way a sonar's transducer works is key to optimizing the system's performance.
Exciting new electronics offer real benefits to skippers, whether they fish inshore from skiffs or prowl the oceans in world-class sport-fishing yachts. Size and performance have become less closely related in new units.
Current GPS systems offer private boaters compact design with nearly military-level function.
Not all sonar screens are created equally.
With every technological advance, radar sytems gain precision and become more user-friendly.
Undertand every feature before buying that next VHF radio.
From the cockpit, I watched the marlin swim along beneath the trolled starboard lure, move over to give the port offering a good look, then dart back to the starboard rig - suddenly batting it once, then grabbing it. Most anglers would miss all this drama, none of it raising a ripple on the surface until the final strike. Now anglers can see it all, as well as change lures - trying different colors and fine-tuning lure actions - and check every step of the way to see how fish react to each effort. And you don't need a scuba tank and an underwater sled to do it.
Operating a boat at night can be a risky and stressful business. Realistically, most loran and GPS units shouldn't be relied upon as the sole means of navigation at night. Obviously, being able to see in the dark is a great advantage. Night vision equipment makes locating buoys, reading channel markers and spotting other public or personal navigation markers much easier. Hazards, such as floating debris, shoals, poorly-marked jetties and boats running without lights, can all be readily seen and avoided.
Digital cartography offers a good-news, bad-news situation as far as the consumer is concerned," says Magellan's Jim White. "The good news is that these terrific technologies let fishermen see at a glance where they are in relation to features like harbors, channels, markers and other points of reference. The downside to the consumer is that without an established standard, all the competing technologies out there can be confusing."Which Way to Go? Electronic charts come in two formats, raster and vector. Raster charts are scanned electronic duplicates of paper charts.