Love it or hate it, technology has become a part of every fisherman’s life–one thing we can all agree on is that the rapid rate of innovation brings about continuous change and thus the need for continuous learning to our beloved sport. Chartplotters are getting bigger and more advanced, sonars practically draw the fish for you, and trolling motors are automatically driving the boat while you fish. Perhaps one of the most useful technologies to make its way on the fishing boat in the past decade is GPS anchoring (also known as Spot-Lock, cordless fishing, and digital anchoring).
What is GPS Anchoring?
Gone are the days of dropping a heavy anchor, chain, and endless amounts of rope on top of the hidden structure you were hoping to fish. This snarl-prone mess only manages to create countless opportunities for tangled lines and lost trophies while stirring up the bottom, clouding the water, and spooking fish. Why not just push a button?
GPS anchoring is a technology that can complement many different styles of fishing from casting, to jigging, to drop shot fishing, and more. Using the anchoring function on your trolling motor keeps your boat on the structure that you want to fish by adjusting the motor speed and direction to hold the bow of your boat directly on a GPS waypoint. When you anchor using your trolling motor, the bow of your boat becomes a pivot point that always faces into the prevailing forces of nature, namely wind and current. With a rope and anchor, your boat pivots about the anchor, tracing an arc that increases in diameter with every foot of anchor rope between anchor and boat. This can make it next to impossible to keep your boat on top of prime structure and make an effective fishing presentation.
Many anglers enjoy fishing big water in pursuit of gamefish such as pike, muskie, walleye, bass, and panfish. The bigger the water, the more important it becomes to be able to precisely target key spots. Often times making small, calculated moves is an effective strategy to cover an area effectively. Using a rope and anchor is both time-consuming and rigorous–most anglers are limited by the number of times they are willing to repeat this process in search of fish. An angler opting for the tactic of “run and gun” fishing will more often than not find fish quicker and more consistently than the angler that stays in one spot.
A big benefit of pushing a button to anchor is the ability to instantly lock on to the coordinates of a school of fish, bait, or structure that you might encounter while drifting or trolling. Being able to stay on top of fish and hold tight within 5-10 feet without making any noise is a game-changer–there’s no need to ever waste any time trying to calculate your “drift back” and “settle in” with a rope and anchor again.
Using the GO TO ANCHOR feature, you can easily move your boat to where you want to be positioned by setting a cruise speed on the electric motor, allowing you to keep casting as you approach your next spot. This feature also allows you to revisit productive spots and anchor on the exact coordinates where you caught fish before as opposed to having to drive to your spot and hit a button when you want to anchor. What good is a waypoint on your hotspot if you can’t use those coordinates to precisely position your boat there again and again?
A couple other common situations where a GPS anchor really shines are fishing in flowing rivers with current and deep water structure. In a flowing river situation, it is often impractical or even unsafe to anchor due to tricky currents and anchor eating snags. A properly sized electric motor can hold most fishing boats in river currents exceeding 2-3 mph. The other situation of deep water eliminates the need to carry 5 times the length of anchor rope compared to the depth of water. On top of that, it can be difficult to get a good anchor hold in deep water, which makes it next to impossible to end up positioned over top of the precise structure or fish that you intend to fish.
Gone are the days of lining up landmarks, tracing compass headings, and navigating by paper charts! It’s time to give up battling winds, currents, waves, and anchor ropes. The GPS anchoring feature takes all of the frustration out of fishing, allowing you to focus on catching!
The ProNav Angler brings together all of the advanced boat control features that you’ve ever wanted, including GPS anchoring, at an affordable price. ProNav Marine has designed this device to function as a rope free anchor (what other brands call Spot-Lock or Pinpoint GPS), holding your boat at the exact GPS location of your choosing. By using thrust and direction of the motor, the ProNav Angler can fight the winds and currents that you are sick of battling, allowing you to focus on fishing.
ProNav connects to your phone or tablet (both IOS and Android) via Bluetooth, allowing you to select anchor points on a LIVE MAP VIEW, or at your current location at the simple tap of your screen. When you locate a productive fishing spot, you can easily store locations on the ProNav Cloud where you will be able to share with ProNav friends or keep your secret spot secure and access it again the next time you hit the water!
All of the features of the ProNav Angler work off-the-grid and do not require a cellular connection.
Using the latest in mobile cartography (mapping) technology, ProNav offers integration with Navionics nautical charts, allowing you to access up-to-date contour maps along with detailed satellite imagery. A lake map chip for a chartplotter typically costs about $150 per region and does not provide satellite imagery. The Navionics integration with ProNav requires a yearly subscription paid to Navionics starting at just $9.99 (can vary depending on use of a tablet vs. cellphone) for all of North America–ProNav does not charge for their mobile application and ability to integrate with Navionics. With this being delivered via a cloud-based platform instead of a physical map chip, all of the maps are constantly updated, allowing you to have the most accurate picture of what lies beneath the water. Using the Navionics maps with a ProNav device, you can easily select an anchor point on the edge of a contour so that you can jig and cast in likely spots. Using the GO TO ANCHOR function, you can easily adjust your position as needed and revisit saved waypoints.
Picking Apart Complex Structure with ProNav Spot-On GPS Anchor
Using a GPS anchor system allows you to swiftly pick apart complex structure on large bodies of water. Using digital lake maps is a great place to start–a lot of the planning can be done off the water and right at home. The ProNav Angler app allows you to create and save an unlimited number of anchor points, which can be locked onto with one’s trolling motor using the GO TO ANCHOR function.
Some of the structural sweet spots that can easily be found using Navionics fishing maps include rock humps, deep troughs, inside turns, outside points, dock pilings, and submerged cribs. All of these types of structure can be seen in the above illustration–the orange marks correspond to anchor points that position the boat within casting or jigging range of likely fish holding structures.
Crappie anglers love to work the dock pilings and submerged cribs to locate schools of fish and target them with slipbobbers or casting small jigs. Bass and walleye anglers consistently focus on rock hump structures and windswept points throughout the season. Weedbeds tend to grow along many of the inside edges with soft bottom, creating great cover for pike and musky. Each of these points concentrates fish at times throughout the season, making anchoring a great option for anglers that enjoy a more active style of fishing.
One-Year Satisfaction Guarantee with Purchase of ProNav Angler!
With ProNav, you can say goodbye to hidden costs, complex setups and hours of reading through instructions. ProNav is a one-time buy with a two-year warranty AND a one-year satisfaction guarantee! Putting the customer before profits, ProNav is so confident in the product that they are willing to take all of the risk out of buying it. Available at ProNavMarine.com, the ProNav Angler is the ONLY one time, up front purchase to give your boat the most advanced autopilot technology on the market today.