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How Marine Electronics Have Changed Over The Years
You might think that an activity like fishing doesn't change much. There's fish, the fishermen, tackle, and a boat, right? Not quite.
Consider all of the technological advances has seen since the turn of the century; the internet has exploded onto the scene, mobile technology is still expanding, and electronics have become more sophisticated. The sophistication of technology and electronics has reached fishing as well.
The benefits of GPS are many, and the applications for its uses have reached past what the United States' Department of Defense (the DOD actually owns/ controls GPS technology) ever fathomed. One of GPS's main uses is travel. With GPS, people can pinpoint their location and then pinpoint another location with directions leading from one to the other. In fishing, GPS has proven essential in anglers' ability to mark hot spots and honey holes for future fishing excursions. Fishing, like real estate, is all about location, and the ability to find the exact location on a lake, river, or in the ocean can lead to fruitful fishing. Recently, GPS has improved in a number of ways. One big improvement in recent years has been the ability to transfer GPS data to computers. Once the computers download the specific locations, or "waypoints", the waypoints can then be stored forever, without fear over breaking the GPS and losing your data. The waypoints can then be shared with friends or fellow anglers. Or, if the spot is a real good one, it can be kept secret like an old family recipe.
Perhaps the most important fishing electronic device in the game, sonar is an integral part of any fisherman's arsenal of gizmos. The benefits of using sonar include:
- The ability to determine water depth
- The ability to find areas where there is underwater structure that would attract fish
- Seeing if fish or bait fish are present
- Bottom contstruction and contour
The latest and greatest thing to happen to sonar is CHIRP technology. CHIRP, which stands for compressed high-intensity radar pulse, more accurately pictures what's going on below the surface by creating a number of pulses across various frequencies. Sonar that doesn't use CHIRP technology simply detects the response when a single ping is emitted. CHIRP does the same thing, only on a grander scale across multiple frequencies. The result is a more accurate depiction of the area being detected underwater. Consider the difference between a single note played on the piano versus a number of notes being played simultaneously to create a harmonic chord.
The best anglers in the world are only the best because they can find the fish. With radar, anglers can tap into some of the best fishermen in the world: birds. That,s right, with radar anglers can track flocks of birds and follow them to schools of baitfish which will, in turn, lead them to bigger fish. It might seem crazy or over the top, but birds have both an instinctual drive to catch the fish themselves, keen eyesight to detect their prey, and the best view you can have when searching for schools of fish. Consider it like picking Nolan Ryan for your dodgeball team; his skills are a valuable asset you can use in order to win the big game, or land the big fish.
Nothing can beat the experience and determination of a great angler, but these electronics that continue to advance technologically can increase an angler's chances of landing those whoppers.