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    This Helix Motor Drive pod is designed as a drop-in electric propulsion unit for Wilderness System’s Flex Pod OS-compatible kayaks. It fits in a specially designed scupper built into the boat.

    Electric propulsion update

    Today’s electric propulsion systems can replace everything from kayak paddles to outboard motors, and fishermen are finding them more proficient than ever.

    August 19, 2016 at 9:00am
    This screen shot shows Furuno’s Target Analyzer engaged and indicating two red targets approaching. The Echo Trail feature shows the shadowy paths of the moving objects to help avoid the vessels.

    Furuno’s new small-boat radar

    Ask three fishermen what they like most about their radar units and you might well get three different answers.

    The most-experienced user might tell you it ties with sonar as his most valuable fishing tool.

    July 19, 2016 at 9:00am
    This is a daylight shot of a work barge moored about 200 yards from the Binox unit.

    Digital binoculars for night or day

    Binoculars have always had a place in my outdoor life. I keep a pair handy in a storage compartment in my boat, in my truck’s console and in my hunting pack.

    June 19, 2016 at 9:00am
    CHIRP technology lets a unit show baitfish clouds in an unmistakable manner and easily separate fish from submerged trees.

    Marine-grade software updates on your electronics

    There was a time when updating your electronics meant buying new units.

    We gadget-minded fishermen understood that keeping up with technological evolution meant replacing our fishfinders and navigation units every eight to 10 months.

    May 19, 2016 at 9:00am
    The iBall camera has a strong magnet built into its base for quick and secure mounting wherever you need it.

    Put your hitch ball on TV

    When hooking up to your boat trailer, how many times do you have to get out of your tow vehicle and walk back to check on the stormy relationship between its hitch ball and the trailer’s coupler?

    April 19, 2016 at 9:00am
    ProNav Angler adds electronic super powers to a “dumb” trolling motor with electric steering and then lets you manually or automatically navigate and position your boat as you fish.

    Phone-in boat control

    There seems to be no end to the number of ways smartphones and tablets can help us. Just about the time I thought I couldn’t be surprised by another smart-electronics revelation, I discovered that they can now operate a bow-mounted trolling motor.

    March 19, 2016 at 9:00am
    The screen on this Furuno Navnet unit shows that the boat is right on its course line as the heading and course over ground numbers match.

    Understanding Navspeak

    Looking through an owner’s manual for a new GPS navigation unit, I was surprised at how much the manual assumed I already knew. Some of the terminology was so poorly explained I don’t know how a newcomer to GPS navigation would figure it all out.

    February 19, 2016 at 9:00am
    Garmin’s new echoMAP 4 series units have 4-inch screens with 482 vertical pixel resolution.

    New Garmin combo units CHIRP and draw their own maps

    Garmin bills its new echoMAP CHIRP models as a series of “entry-level” combination sonar/GPS units with built-in CHIRP sonar technology, but I think the term “affordable” fits better.

    We covered CHIRP here a while back, but let’s take another look at it and review why it’s important to our boating and fishing.

    January 19, 2016 at 9:00am
    Big-screen combo units provide great visibility and allow different elements to be displayed for greater fishing flexibility.

    Sometimes bigger and better are separate improvements - Big-screen GPS units allow for greater fishing flexibility

    Back when big-screen LCD fish finders started appearing on professional tournament anglers’ boats I discussed them with walleye pros Scott and Marty Glorvigen.

    December 19, 2015 at 9:00am
    Marine grade electrical components cost more but are specifically designed to handle the marine environment.

    ‘Marine-grade’ means more than you might think

    Owning a boat long enough to pay it off has a dark side. I usually own a fishing boat about 15 years — long enough to get it set up just right for me and, unfortunately, long enough to see electrical problems develop.

    November 19, 2015 at 9:00am
    Modern fish finders offer nearly photographic images of what’s under your boat, but if you are letting the computer decide what it shows, you aren’t getting everything out of your investment.

    High-tech developments haven’t changed sonar basics

    Current-generation sonar units show the underwater world with a level of realism fishermen could only dream of 30 or 40 years ago.

    October 19, 2015 at 9:00am
    MotorGuide’s new X5 cable-steered motor has a sleek look to go with its impressive new performance enhancements.

    New trolling motors solve old boat-handling problems

    One of fishing’s truths is that more casts mean more fish in the boat. And anything that eliminates distractions and saves time helps you make more casts and lets you pay more attention to your fishing.

    Minn Kota’s new Ulterra motor was designed to do just exactly this.

    September 21, 2015 at 9:00am
    The international satellite-aided search-and-rescue system is about to take a giant step forward in efficiency.

    What is Meosar?

    Delving into the COSPAS-SARSAT system can quickly have you drowning in alphabet soup.

    Governments love acronyms, abbreviations and virtually unknown terminology in general, but bear with me and we’ll spoon through it to reveal a coming improvement that should excite anyone who goes where they might need rescuing.

    August 20, 2015 at 9:00am
    Simrad’s new HALO pulse compression radar scanners feature curved pedestals and a range of about 20 feet to 72 nautical miles.

    Simrad’s new Halo radar solves problems

    Some things about radar that used to be considered common knowledge are no longer valid — and some, of course, never were.

    July 20, 2015 at 9:00am
    If you have enough time for a 3- to 5-amp charger to top off your batteries between trips, a pulse charger like this Xtreme Charge model can clean and condition their plates while maintaining a full charge.

    Smart battery charging 101

    Fishermen learn the easy way or the hard way that how long a trolling motor battery lasts depends on how competently they charge it. I’d go so far as to say that proper charging can be more important than how well the battery is built and how much you paid for it.

    June 18, 2015 at 9:00am