Sales of electronic fish finders is expected to hit $879M by 2030, almost double the figure for the year 2020*.
For centuries, fishermen have used trial and error to figure out where the fish are biting. But thanks to modern technology, those days are behind us. These days, fishermen can pinpoint exactly where the fish are (and what kind of fish they are) using fish finders. But how do these devices work? And how have they changed the fishing industry? Let's take a closer look.
How Fish Finders Work
Fish finders use a principle called SONAR (sound navigation and ranging) to detect fish. Here's how it works:
The fish finder emits a sound wave that travels through the water until it hits something (like a fish). The sound wave then bounces back to the fish finder and is converted into an electrical signal. This signal is then displayed on the screen of the fish finder as a picture.
The first fish finders were bulky and expensive, which meant that only professional fishermen could afford them. But thanks to advances in technology, fish finders have become smaller and more affordable—so now even recreational fishermen can enjoy their benefits. And the kayak industry has adopted electronics for fishing kayaks, further growing sales of fishing electronics.
How Fish Finders Have Changed Fishing
Most professional fisherman depend on some type of electronic to help them find fish. The boats they use now are decked out like the cockpit of a modern airliner. Many use GPS devices to help identify potential fishing areas, as well as sonar devices that can help locate fish beneath the surface.
Before events, the pros will "pre-fish", which means that they'll fish a little in areas where they think there will be fish, but it's more about "marking" areas where their electronics locate fish and structure for them to target when money is on the line. Without these tools, it would be much more difficult for anglers to win tournaments. Imagine, all they'd have to use is their intuition and skill. How did they ever cash checks?
While fish finders have made it easier for fishermen to catch fish, they've also had a profound impact on the fishing industry as a whole. Here are just a few ways that fish finding electronics have changed fishing:
- Fish stocks can be monitored more accurately. By knowing exactly where the fish are biting, fisheries can target specific areas for conservation efforts.
- It's easier to catch fish without damaging the environment. Using a fish finder means that you don't have to cast your line randomly—you can target specific areas and depths, which reduces your impact on delicate ecosystems.
- Fisheries can track data over time to see how populations are changing. This information is critical for making informed decisions about conservation efforts, fishing quotas, and more.
- And doesn't it stand to reason that having electronics on your boat would actually help save fuel? Knowing where the fish are and going straight to them versus motoring around to find them seems logical to me. I don't have any hard metrics on this, just my sometimes logical reasoning.
How Fish Finders Have Changed The Industry - The Last Cast
Fish finders have come a long way since they were first introduced, and they continue to get better every year, with smaller footprints and higher resolution screens. And now, these electronics are so sophisticated that on one button push, you can be on the spot where you pulled the big one out last week.
Whether you're a professional fisherman or just enjoy going out on the weekends, a good fish finder can make all the difference in terms of your success (and enjoyment) out on the water. So if you're thinking about buying one, we say go for it—you won't be disappointed.
If you want more on fish finders, read our review on the 5 Best Fish Finders For Kayaks here.
Cheers to the outdoors,
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*Allied Market Research, June 6, 2022