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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 24 at 3:30pm
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 26 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 22 at 4:00pm
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 26 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 26 at 9:00am
Garmin’s new echoMAP 4 series units have 4-inch screens with 482 vertical pixel resolution.

Garmin's GPS/sonar combo units create custom 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 26 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 26, 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 24, 2015 at 9:10am
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 22, 2015 at 6:35pm
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 24, 2015 at 4:05pm
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 26, 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 26, 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 4:00am
Weego’s Professional model is the company’s largest unit, and it’s still practically pocket sized.

Portable power

The last time you were miles from anywhere, turned your boat’s ignition key and heard nothing, what did you do?

No, I mean after you ran through the appropriate part of your vocabulary.

May 26, 2015 at 9:00am
Panoptix’s view can be altered to show depths in colors, making it easy to determine depth of cover, contours and fish at a glance.

Almost live TV

One of the most-difficult aspects of teaching fishermen and boaters to interpret conventional sonar screens has been getting them to understand how a screen picture is made.

April 26, 2015 at 9:00am
The new Bio-Lume LED light array is a fish magnet that works after dark in either fresh or saltwater. <br />

New high-tech night-fishing light

Crossing a bridge over a southern reservoir on a summer night can treat you to a light show that really makes you want to wet a line.  When the bite is on and the word is out, the flooded timber can be dotted with enough lights to look like a field of stars.

March 26, 2015 at 9:00am