ORLANDO, Fla. — The marine electronics segment of the industry is taking full advantage of this year's ICAST show to introduce its latest technologies, focusing on sonar and fish-finding products.
The International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show, held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, has drawn a record 12,000-plus registered attendees. It's the largest sportfishing trade show in the world, organizers say.
On Wednesday, Lowrance became the second marine electronics company to recently come to the market with a sonar technology that delivers live views of the underworld. Lowrance StructureScan 3D gives fishermen the ability to see fish, bottom contours and structure on the company's Lowrance HDS Gen3 fishfinder/chartplotter.
Lowrance is owned by Navico, which also owns B&G electronics for sailboats and Simrad electronics, which are geared primarily toward coastal boaters. StructureScan 3D is also available on the Simrad NSO evo2 and Simrad NSS evo2 navigational systems and their multifunction displays.
Just six months ago at the Miami International Boat Show, Garmin International introduced its version of sonar technology with real-time views of the water column and bottom. Panoptix gives users the ability to see all around their boat in real time — forward, backward, sideways and down. Its multibeam transducer uses a phased-array scanning technology.
Striking, detail-oriented 3D images are created when the Lowrance HDS Gen3 display is used with the SideScan 3D Skimmer transducer and StructureScan 3D module, Lowrance marketing director Gordon Sprouse told about 75 members of the media and fishing and boating industry at a press conference, using a three-sided, wraparound overhead projection screen.
Garmin's Panoptix product is already on the market; the Lowrance Structure Scan 3D will become available in December. I've used the Panoptix technology with Garmin's 7612xsv plotter/fishfinder. The ability of the technology to show images of fish and structure forward of the boat should help anglers avoid spooking fish and bait and give them more time to prepare their casts. I hope to try the Lowrance product in the next few months, as well.
Raymarine was also busy promoting and showcasing its latest sonar innovations, such as the eS Series HybridTouch multifunction displays with the Lighthouse II operating system and the Dragonfly 4 and 5 standalone color display fishfinders with CHIRP sonar vision and wireless mobile device integration. Raymarine's line of ClearPulse Sonar Modules come with digital filtering technology that eliminates unwanted clutter, the company says.
Navico also used the press conference to unveil its GoFree Hooked fishing app, which allows anglers to track their location; record each catch they make with photos, stats and a location marker; and share trips with friends. The company also promoted its new HALO radar technology, which Trade Only covers in an article in the August print issue.