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For some anglers, the thought of using their smartphone in the boat causes anxiety! With the threat of dropping your phone in the water, battery dying, or getting it all slimy after a nice fish, some might have second thoughts about bringing their phone with them when they hit the lake. But with recent technology additions to the fishing world, can a fisherman really afford not to have their phone with them on the water?

Now, anglers have the ability to find lake maps, underwater structure, use sonar, drive the boat, enter tournaments, and don’t forget, take pictures of their catches, all from their handheld device. Did we mention call for help? With all of these great features, bringing your phone or tablet on the water can be a great advantage and if done right, can significantly enhance your time on the water. Don’t forget, it will also help you show your buddies that your personal best catch was really that big (keep your arms outstretched).


One of the main problems anglers face when on the water with a phone is keeping their phone charged. You never want to have a dead battery when you get that trophy catch or you find yourself in trouble some distance from the launch. There are quite a few solutions that can help to keep your phone charged the entire time on the water. Most are quite reasonable in price, easy to use, and provide all the charge you may need for a full day on the water.

Portable Chargers – There is a range of great portable charger options on the market and some for as little as $11 on Amazon.com. There are also quite a few higher end chargers that will allow for charging of multiple devices at the same time or provide your phone with more than one charge. These portable chargers can be charged up the night before you go out on the water, and by simply plugging in your USB cable, your phone can be charging on the go. Even the cheapest chargers tend to give your phone at least one full charge. Some of the higher end chargers can charge phone batteries 3-4 times before they need to be charged themselves. Bringing these along with you can give anglers some real freedom when on the water.

On-board Charger

On-board DC Chargers – There are also quite a few options that allow for you to charge directly from your on board boat battery. A USB plug can be spliced directly into your power source similar to the wires of your trolling motor. This option allows for charging of your phone as long as your boat battery is charged and will have minimal impact on your boat battery’s charge. Install of these is fairly simple and can be done with minimal time and tools. One other advantage of these types of chargers is they are also relatively cheap, selling for around $12 on Amazon.com. 

Solar Charging Unit

Solar Charging Units – A slightly more expensive option, solar charging panels take advantage of something you almost always have while out on the water, daylight! These options run around $40 on Amazon and there are quite a few options to choose from. Some options even work to charge your trolling motor batteries while you fish and can help to extend the run time of your trolling motor. Other, smaller options, give you the capability to charge your phone with USB plugs and include various charging cables. These solar charging units are some of the most useful charging devices and, as long as it’s partly sunny, will be a reliable option.

Mounting Options

Constantly pulling your phone out of your pocket can be a pain when trying to fish or troll. Being able to mount your phone on the dash of your boat or next to your fish-finder can be a great advantage to keeping your phone ready as well as limiting accidents that could happen. There are quite a few options available that can hold a phone and tablet  while also keeping your devices available for use.

RAM Mount

RAM Mounts – RAM mounts are a great way to mount devices on your boat and allow for movement around the boat in different situations. RAM allows for mounts from a cheaper X-Grip style to a more high end ruggedized style. These mounts allow for you to place RAM balls or the holders around the boat and allow for transfer of your devices from point to point all around the boat. These mounts are also very useful for mounting of a ProNav device when installing it on top of the trolling motor.

Magnetic Mounts – Another option available is a magnetic mounting option. These may not work as well on the water when running on plane or fishing in rough conditions, however they are great for still fishing or trolling and are a cheaper option. This option involves placing a magnet on the back of your cell phone that can connect to another magnet placed around the boat. These options also allow for plenty of movement throughout the boat and can be great when mounted on the dash.

Phone Cases

Phones and tablets can’t swim, and this is why phone cases are so important when taking your phone out on the water. There are a wide variety of cases that can address many problems that anglers face on the water–some give up some usability while others may hurt your pocket a little more. Overall, there are a few high quality cases that fulfill most of your needs on the water and we encourage you to find an option that works well for you.

Waterproofing – Waterproofing your phone is obviously one of the biggest concerns while out on the water. While most phones have waterproof abilities now, the added comfort of having a waterproof case is a great advantage. These types of cases can range from a simple plastic baggie all the way to some of the higher end OtterBox or LifeProof style cases. There is a large range of OtterBox and LifeProof offerings that allow users to select different waterproofing options as well as prices. One of the great things about these cases is the ability to remove the case and wash the screen. No one wants to have worm guts or fish slime on their screen, but with a nice case that can be removed, this is not as much of a worry!

Floating – Having a waterproof phone doesn’t mean a lot if you drop your phone in 40 feet of water! This is why having a floating option can be important if you’re accident prone. Some have created home-made options for their phones while others choose to purchase off the shelf options. Lifeproof provides a “life-jacket” type device that fits over the existing case and allows for floating. Some cases allow for a small string or wire to be attached to the outside, and this allows for attachment of a float. A small piece of pool noodle or a small float can be attached to your phone and give it the floating ability in case of an accident. If making a homemade float, it’s always a good idea to test your float and make sure it is buoyant enough to prevent your phone from sinking. 

Lanyard Case

Lanyard Cases – If floating options aren’t for you, attaching your phone to a wearable lanyard is another waterproof option that should keep your phone out of the water. These options come in a case form or could be attached to your current case or phone. Some of these cases even give the option to float using their comfort neck strap! While these cases will almost surely keep your phone out of the water, you may sacrifice comfort as most phones can be quite heavy and holding it around your neck all day could become uncomfortable.

Customers ask us all the time about keeping a phone out on the boat, and hopefully a few of these solutions above will be able to answer some of the questions about protecting your mobile devices. If you have a solution of your own, feel free to send us an email and info@pronavmarine.com or comment on any page where this is shared. We always love to hear our user feedback and encourage you to submit your own tips and tricks.

ProNav Angler Motion Controller

Another solution on the horizon to these phone obstacles is our BRAND NEW Handheld Controller. Check out our ProNav Angler Motion page to learn more about this game changing addition to the ProNav system. Stay up to date with our website as well as social media pages so that you can follow this groundbreaking technology.