Few sports or pastimes can bring you more enjoyment and frustration than fishing.
When the going is good, you could wrap an old shoelace around your hook and pull in a fish. Conversely, when times are tough you couldn’t pay a fish to take a nibble of your lure.
Fortunately there is a bunch of tech on the market which can make finding and landing that prize catch a little easier.
Below is a range of gadgets which will make you a better fisherman (or at least look the part).
Garmin echo 511c Fishfinder
The Garmin echo will act as your eyes under the water, with its 5-inch 480 x 640 display showing you where your next catch is hiding.
The device has an HD-ID sonar built in with a 77/200 kHz transducer, which offers “extra-sharp resolution and detail on fish and structure”.
“The echo 551c has wide viewing cone angles (60/120 degrees) optimized for targeting fish beyond the sides of your boat in deep or shallow water – in addition to Smooth Scaling depth-range adjustments and sonar history rewind,” said Garmin.
Recommended retail price: R5,349.
Motorguide Xi5 Sneaker/Trolling Motor
Once you’ve found the fish, you need to keep your boat in the right place – while remaining as quiet as possible.
The Motorguide Xi5 trolling motor (sneaker motor to local freshwater fisherman) promises super-quiet performance along with remote control functionality which lets you steer from anywhere on the boat.
A wireless foot pedal control is standard with the freshwater models, while the seawater models include a hand-held remote. All electronic components are sealed, ensuring no water and dust affects them.
Retail price ranges between R28,0000 – R36,000, depending on which model you purchase.
Watch the Motoguide remote control in action, below.
Shimano Crucial Rod + Shimano Citica Baitcaster
This one is for the bass fisherman.
The Crucial spinning rod is the “perfect action rod for just about every bass technique known”, and is constructed out of graphite with alconite guides and cork handle grips.
Shimano also offers a range of baitcasters, including the Citica. The Citica baitcasters sport an S3D spool and SVS Infinity braking system, and come in either 7.2:1 and 6.3:1 gear ratios.
The Shimano Crucial 6’8″ rod is available for between R900 – R1000, while the Shimano Citica 200G7 sells for around R1,400.
Deluxe Sand Blaster Bait Caster System
The Sand Blaster Bait Caster System takes away the frustration of trying to cast your line out past the breakers when sea fishing from the shore by firing a frozen bait bullet (with your hook attached) up to 270m out to sea.
The system uses compressed air and a long tube to fire the bait “out where the big fish are”. The bait bullets must be made by the fisherman out of provided moulds, while shooting the payload only requires the pulling of a lever.
The system is available for R12,899 in South Africa.
The video below shows the bait rocket in action.
Triton 20 TRX
The Triton 20 TRX is one of the top bass boats the company offers. As the name suggests, the boat is 20 feet in length, and comes with a 155 litre livewell capacity for all the largemouths you catch.
The boat supports a horsepower range of 175-250, so speed is taken care of from that end. A fuel capacity of 174 litres and a built-in ice chest means you can spend long periods of time on the water, too.
Pricing on bass boats varies in South Africa, and you may be able to find a good, cheaper second-hand model for sale. The US pricing of the boat is $49,995, which includes a Mercury 250 ProXS motor.
We must state upfront that the Seabreacher is not ideal for fishing. In fact, it is pretty useless for fisherman. Its closed cabin, loud engine, and predilection for making huge splashes when jumping out of the water means most fish in a 1km radius will be scared off.
What the Seabreacher does offer, though, is next-level cool points. Taking this to the dam means you won’t need to catch fish to impress onlookers.
The X model is the “most advanced submersible watercraft” the company has built to date, and can jump out of the water at angels up to 90°. The craft also includes a snorkel-mounted camera, with a video feed sent to front and rear LCD screens inside the vessel.
The price: $81,000.
Seabreacher X specifications
- Engine: Rotax 1500cc 4-stroke engine
- Power: 193kW
- Fuel capacity: 52l
- Length: 5.18m
- Width: 0.9m
- Wingspan: 1.9m
- Weight: 612.35kg
- Crew: 2 seats
The video below shows the Seabreacher X in action.