How fishermen use their electronics, part 2
3/1/2021

Most veteran fishermen have a sixth sense borne of years on the water about where, when and how to catch different species of fish. Add to that frequent advancements in fishfinders and other onboard electronics and the catch results are even more impressive. Marine Electronics Journal asked avid angler and veteran electronics and boating editor Chris Woodward to drill down a bit on how fishermen actually use their sounders, which features and functions are most important to them. Last week, part 1 waded in with comments from a few professional guides, anglers and electronics manufacturers. The discussion continues in the final installment below.

By Chris Woodward


Some of that disparity [in what the pros look for in their electronics, as reported in part 1] might rest on perspective. While cruisers might have the upper hand historically, anglers have definitely developed greater interest in recent years. In fact, electronics makers have improved their user interfaces to the point where it’s easy to navigate through choices that once required a technical manual. That reduces the intimidation factor.

"We know that the vast majority of customers use 10 to 15% of what a unit can do,” Raymarine/FLIR Marketing Manager Jim McGowan says. "So, we need to set it up so that out of the box, it’s not intimidating.”

The first time a buyer turns on a Raymarine unit, he sees a startup wizard. As an angler walks through the questions and answers, for instance, the unit becomes configured for fishing. "Some of the menus change around depending on what profile you selected. For instance, a fishing unit will show water temperature in more places than one set up for cruising.”

Most units also run quite optimally in auto mode, which is a godsend among anglers, particularly those who avoid pushing buttons for fear of changing or breaking something. Having a unit that turns on and immediately shows you the right information also reduces the learning curve. "We know that a customer is not going to pick up a manual,” McGowan says. "We don’t even provide it printed anymore. The PDF is about 600 pages long. That’s how much stuff that unit can do.”

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