New fishing technology offers us the ability to venture into these depths, opening up a new world of fish-catching possibilities.
In what we can see, which is what's above the waterline. But it's what's happening beneath our feet, under the boat, that matters most.
By M.D. Johnson & John Geiger
The Power Ray
Drones are everywhere. They isolate military personnel from hostile forces while flying unmanned combat missions, as well as assist law enforcement and firefighting agencies in saving lives.
Drone technology is now available to fishermen, and soon you'll wonder how you were ever previously on-the-water, without one patrolling below-the-water.
Aerial drones have finally reached the underwater world, and bass anglers are now seeing more than ever before.
PowerVision's PowerRay (AKA underwater robot) can dive to almost 100 feet, while the internal Wi-Fi system can transmit images and data from up to 262 feet away.
Download an app, and get the drop on wary largemouth bass before they ever know what's up. Or down.
Tired of casting? An optional remotely controlled bait drop option is available.
Our thinking here at Game & Fish is that regular sonar, CHIRP and other technologies have come so far that they virtually already see through the water and show us what we need to see without "traveling there" like this drone does.
Another big factor is that the visual aspect of the PowerRay is a big liability — that is, so often lakes and rivers are a mess of sediment, which makes seeing anything at all often impossible.
As a curiosity, and a toy, this thing is awesome. As a practical fishing tool, not so much.
Aqua-Vu HD10i Pro
Bassers are sure to love the big 10-inch Daylight View screen on Aqua-Vu's wildly popular HD10i Pro underwater camera. With TouchZoom technology that puts what's seen almost within reach, the HD10i Pro has at its heart Aqua-Vu's modular XD camera capable of displaying depth, temperature, direction and everything from top to bottom.
Humminbird 360 Imaging
Before now, anglers were limited to "seeing" what was underneath their bass boat.
Well, the folks at Humminbird have changed all that, thanks to their 360 Imaging Technology.
As the name implies, this remarkable innovation allows for a detailed 360-degree view of the underwater world.
Structure, big bass and a whole lot more just went from invisible to plain as day.
The company that gave us the little green box back in 1950s is bringing tech like CHIRP and SideScan to anglers who can't afford the high-end models. The HOOK2 TripleShot has CHIRP, SideScan and DownScan, and can be had for $399 in the 5-inch-screen version. Anglers can pick and choose all types of combinations of screen sizes and tech for their budget. Check out lowrance.com for options.
Hydrowave KVD H2
It's no secret that sound attracts fish. The folks at Hydrowave are taking full advantage of this natural occurrence, with their H2 Feeding Stimulator. Featuring acoustics crafted by tournament legend Kevin VanDam, the H2 offers 16 custom sounds, plus nine additional tones, designed to attract an array of game fish, including both freshwater and saltwater species.
Garmin Panoptix PS31
The wait for all-seeing sonar is over, thanks to the Panoptix family of electronics. Featuring Garmin's innovative forward-monitoring technology, the Panoptix PS31 transducer is compatible with a long list of Garmin depthfinders, including those in the popular echoMAP and GPSMAP series. Bass anglers will love the LiveVu and RealVu 3-D views.
Marcum Recon 5+
Want big power from a pocket-sized unit? Search no longer, as Marcum's Recon 5+ underwater viewing system leaves no bass-hiding stone unturned. With a 5-inch flat LCD screen, lithium battery operation, darkwater LED or infrared lighting, 110-degree field of view, and a built-in DVR with external recording capabilities, this is the unit for serious bass hunters.
No fishfinder? No problem. The iBobber is a small, lightweight castable sonar unit that synchs with the angler's Smartphone, Google Watch or iWatch to provide up-to-the-minute information about what's happening below the surface. Ten hours of battery life and a 135-foot maximum depth. It seems tailor-made for bank fishermen.