Fishing Has Gone Mobile
Phones, phones, everywhere there's phones. Like many of you, we have noticed an increase in the functionality and usefulness of our phones. As fishermen, we used to worry about losing a phone to the lake, or worse, receiving a call that means we need to stop fishing! However, with the improved cameras and GPS capabilities, we would find it difficult to go fishing without our phones nowadays.
When Navionics released their lake map application, it gave anglers an affordable way to get lake information delivered right to their phone. With exceptional detail, and ease of use, this app has been revolutionary for the fishing industry.
Fast forward a few years and we welcome another achievement that has equal if not greater potential for revolutionizing the industry. Vexilar Inc. has created Sonarphone, a sonar tool that sends the information directly to your wifi enabled device. Vexilar has always led the way in terms of marine electronics, and this new product line does not disappoint. There are 3 options available that provide fishermen the ability to match their needs.
The T-Pod is the most affordable option running for right around $130. This is a castable pod that sends real time sonar information to your smart device. The T-Pod can be trolled behind the boat or you can cast and retrieve the pod to gather information about the structure around you. Perhaps it's greatest feature is that you can now run sonar all around the boat as opposed to directly beneath you. We see this unit being used primarily for shore and kayak/canoe fishing.
The next models will be discussed simultaneously due to their very similar features. The T-Box SP200 and SP300 models are in-boat devices. The only real difference is that the SP300 is portable and can be attached via a super strong suction cup to any boat and it has it's own battery. The SP200 model is designed to be permanently mounted to your boat and attaches to your boats electrical supply. The T-Box models send the same wifi signal to your device allowing you to see what is directly below your boat. This system will seem very familiar to those running traditional sonar equipment. Priced between $150-$200, these devices are substantially more affordable than most other models with similar features.
However, that is not where it stops! If you use your T-Box in collaboration with your Navionics phone app, you can have real time lake-map charting occur on your phone or tablet! The device will sync with your app and redraw the lake contour lines on your device. This gives you a much more accurate understanding of the structure you are fishing. Check out the photos below to better understand the feature.
The image on the left represents the preloaded lake map. The image on the right shows the actual lake structure after it was drawn using the T-Box attached to my canoe. When lake maps are created, the map makers approximate many of the features, especially on the smaller, lesser known lakes. With this tool, you can now have a clear understanding what what lies beneath. Other companies offer similar capabilities, but they will cost you about 5 times as much. This is a game changer!
We used the SP300 last season and were very impressed. This year we will also have the T-Pod with us as we hit the open water. We will be posting videos soon to our Youtube page to show you more on how it works. If you have ideas, questions, or comments about the Sonarphone products, visit the Vexilar website or shoot us an email.