Thursday, July 01, 2010
A wave of new products takes angling to a new level
Technology is making its mark on just about everything we do. Consider how high definition has changed the way we watch television. E-mail and texting have revolutionized the ways we communicate. Navigation devices have replaced maps in many of our cars. Google has made finding information on virtually any topic a snap.
So it’s not surprising that technology is rampant in many of our recreational pursuits – including catching fish.
Lures with Lasers
Top fishermen practice for long hours to develop laser-accurate casting aim. Now, some are using laser-equipped lures as well.
LaserLure incorporates a water-activated laser beam to attract fish and cause them to pursue the light the same way cats and dogs will frantically chase a laser dot shined on the carpet. Inventor Bruce Young discovered the laser’s effect on fish when he inadvertently pointed a jeweler’s laser at his aquarium and saw the fish react aggressively. Subsequent tests showed the same effect on a wide variety of fish.
Endorsed by Bassmaster Elite’s 2006 Angler of the Year Mike Iconelli, the LaserLure promises to attract and catch fish in fresh, brackish or salt water. Its realistic “3-D” eyes and shiny red hooks — said to mimic an injured fish — claim to enhance the bait’s effectiveness. Locally, the lure is available at Virginia Outdoorsman for around $15.
Nice and Steady
Lakers who take
notice of passing bass boats likely have wondered about the gangly appendages
affixed to the transoms of serious fishing machines. When the nation’s top
anglers were at SML for the third stop on the Bassmaster Elite Series in April,
nearly every boat sported transom-mounted attachments protruding a few feet
above the outboard’s cowling.
The system is called Power-Pole Shallow Water Anchoring. It uses hydraulically activated legs that can be lowered to the lake bottom to hold the boat on station. With the poles deployed in water up to 8 feet deep, a boat stays in one place. Fishermen can cast to a shoreline nest where spawning bass have been observed, or repeatedly cast into the shadows of a dock house – without having to use their trolling motor to keep the boat situated. This conserves battery power and lets the angler concentrate on casting rather than maneuvering.
them as easy-to-set shallow-water anchors,” said angler Bill Ward of
Ward’s power poles were purchased from Angler’s Choice of Martinsville for about $1,800 each, plus $250 for a remote control no bigger than a key fob. A handy guy, he installed them himself.
supposed to hold firm in anything up to 30-mph winds,” added Ward’s fishing
companion, Phillip Vanderveer of
Underwater sights and sounds
Of course, to be successful, an angler must present his baits where the fish are – as well as when they’re in the mood to feed. Here again, new technology comes into play.
The latest in underwater imaging from Lowrance and others is capable of producing views on a fish-finder screen reminiscent of Jacques Cousteau’s underwater scenes. Instead of blips and squiggly lines, anglers see nearly photographic images of bottom topography and cover.
sonar is a factor in every tournament that I fish,” said professional angler
John Crews of Salem. “It is a must for serious off-shore fishing. At a recent
Elite Series event on
Advances in sight technology are being accompanied by sound as well. Biosonix recently introduced an underwater speaker system that broadcasts recordings of target species feeding on schools of shad and other prey fish. To fish, it’s similar to hearing “Dinner is served.” The sounds are stored on a digital chip that can be customized by region and fish type. The speaker itself is typically mounted on the shaft of a trolling motor, so it’s lowered into the water when the angler is in position and ready to cast.
The most advanced sonar systems run upward of $2,500. A Biosonix speaker setup can be purchased for about $600 and a suction-mounted LED light runs about $65.