When most people think of advancements in fishing electronics technology, they usually think of bigger and better displays or touchscreens. At I-Cast, Vexilar Inc. introduced the SonarPhone, a sonar fishfinder that transmits a signal via Wi-Fi to any android or iOS smartphone or tablet. The announcement was received with some skepticism, especially from those unfamiliar with Vexilar products. I talked with many anglers and they were worried about the quality of the display, coverage or Wi-Fi, and battery life. Well, I found that the SonarPhone coupled with the Navionics Boating app is nothing short of awesome.
I like the freedom of taking the SonarPhone out in my kayak (because a lot of the lakes I fish have no power motors restrictions--not even electric motors are allowed) and not having to permanently mount it to the hull. I also like the fact that there is no more craning my neck to see the fish finder screen (like in a boat) since the screen is wherever I put it. Plus, with smartphone technology being as good as it is, the display is as good or better than any color fishfinder I have ever seen; it shows fish arcs and bottom density just like a traditional fishfinder.
During testing, I found the Navionics lake charts worked extremely well with the SonarPhone. Using the Navionics apps charts I could follow the underwater structures and confirm that I was on them by using the Sonar application. If I wanted to follow a particular structures depth—let’s say 20 feet--having the splitscreen kept me on track.
I highly recommend the SonarPhone. It will be in the water every time my kayaks are.
All I need now is to have the fish bite.
William Duff (Skeena Outdoor Writing and Photography)
Navionics products for use with the most popular GPS chartplotters include Navionics+, Navionics Updates, Platinum+, HotMaps Platinum, Gold and HotMaps Premium. Download Navionics Boating for free on iPhone, iPad, Android phone and tablet, and Windows tablet and PC from iTunes , Google Play, and Windows Store or view charts online via WebApp.