Best Marine Electronics: 2013 Best of the Best Award Winners

We didn't winnow the more than 100 Best of the Best entries down to 15 winners by sitting at a desk and reading marketing copy. Instead, our experts took the tackle on the water and fished with it--hard, in all kinds of conditions. What survived the rigors of testing in experienced hands is here--the Best of the Best.

Fishing electronics are evolving at an astounding rate, with features that weren't dreamed of only two or three years ago. Among those innovations, Minn Kota's latest entry is most impressive. --John Merwin

With the i-Pilot Link, your bow-mount trolling motor and your main sonar-GPS can be truly interactive. Commands issued at the sonar unit will be implemented by the motor. Installation is fairly simple, involving a new motor head for certain Minn Kota motors coupled with an Ethernet cable connected to compatible Humminbird sonar-GPS devices.

Among the numerous modes available is Go To, in which you select a pre-recorded waypoint on your sonar-GPS unit. On command, the bow-mount motor will power up and self-steer you to that spot. Another mode, Follow Contour, allows the motor to self-steer along a specific under-water contour line as displayed on the main unit's digital lake chart (requires LakeMaster digital charts).

There's lots more to this, which you can find at minn​kota​motors.com. Meanwhile, a big tip of the hat to Minn Kota for doing a wonderful job of integrating normally disparate devices. Price: $800 ****minnkotamotors.com