Great Outdoors: Fishing Gear

Since I’m from New Orleans, that pretty much makes me the only Cruncher who has ever been on a boat. Yea it’s a stereotype, but in this case it’s true — I’m from NOLA and I grew-up fishing.

There is good reason for it though, fishing is one of the most relaxing activities on the planet. It’s peaceful and detached and it offers a lot of time to avoid responsibility. Needless to say, I don’t get to do enough of it these days, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t.

Featured here is a collection of boating and fishing gear that should jump start your career as a avid angler. Once you get going, be sure to send me your fish stories so I can live vicariously through you.

Humminbird Matrix 77c Fishfinder
A good fishfinder is a staple of any properly equipped boat, and Humminbird is one of the best. The Matrix 77c is a one-stop boating utility capable of doing pretty much everything imaginable.

In addition to finding fish (we’ll get to that in a minute), the device gives weather updates so you don’t find yourself caught in the midst of a storm. It also supports an optional GPS unit that allows you to monitor and store locations. So the next time you stumble upon that sweet spot, you won’t have a hard time tracking it down again.

But now let’s get down to business. This is a fishfinder, and find fish it will. The 77c features DualBeam PLUS sonar that can reach depths of 1500-feet. It can also monitor temperatures so that you budding fishermen can find the ideal spots for whatever fish you seek. Finally, and possibly coolest, it utilizesFishID +, a feature that can accurately ID those jigs in the water. The beauty of this is that it allows you to cast around things like hard head catfish and focus specifically on the good stuff.

Minn Kota Riptide SE Saltwater Trolling Motor
Equally important to fishermen is a good trolling motor. This allows you to scoot around in fish-filled waters without scaring the fish. This is what my dad uses and he loves it.

It is composed of premium-grade marine alloys that help prevent it from rusting due to saltwater immersion. And the shaft is made from a virtually indestructible composite that allows it to flex on impact — it’s so strong that Minn Kota guarantees it for life.

Sony CDX-HS70MW Everything-Proof Head Unit
You probably shouldn’t be listening to music while trying to land that fish, but after you’ve hit your limit (or drank enough that you don’t care about fishing anymore), it’s not a bad idea to have some tunes available. Fortunately, Sony has got you covered.

Last year it introduced this head unit that is resistant to salt, water and sun, the three most destructive elements in fishing. It’s also satellite radio-ready, which seems to be quite useful — unless you’re keen on listening to whatever crazy receptions you pickup out in the water (I don’t recommend it… seriously).

Extrasport Solistice RetroGlide Flotation Vest
Alright let’s get one thing straight, flotation devices are lame and a total pain in the ass, but they’re a necessity. Too many variables exist that could leave you incapacitated and in the water. In which case, you’ll be glad later that you were wearing it.

Fortunately, some vests suck less than others. This offering from Extrasport is one such example. Featuring a ton of zipper pockets, it provides a distinct utility beyond making people think you can’t swim. Additionally, it has a baja mesh back for a breathable and comfortable experience.

Humminbird SmartCast RF45 and RF25
Not all fishing takes place on your boat, or even on a boat, in which case, I’d like to close, precisely as I opened: with a fishfinder. The Humminbird SmartCast RF45 is a line mounted Remote Sonar Sensor (RSS — yea, I know) that allows you to take the fish finding with you. The device can monitor depths of up to 120-feet and it can detect water surface temperatures. It also features a flashing light so you can see it at night.

If you also purchase the RF25 display, you have a truly portable solution. It mounts to your pole and has a range of 150-feet. If things like this existed when I was a kid, I probably would have had a happier childhood.