Marcum Recon 5 For a committed ice angler such as myself, the new Marcum Recon is a must-have. I’ve used underwater cameras for a few years, and it doesn’t get more exciting than watching a fish inhale your jig live on screen. Such cameras also let you know exactly when to set the hook, upping your catch rate. My biggest issues with the cameras I’ve used, however, are that they tend to be big and heavy and are, by and large, incompatible with recording devices. The Marcum Recon 5 solves these issues. It is a compact, portable unit with built-in recording capabilities. It stores up to 32GB on an external Micro-SD card and is able to play back and delete footage. Plus, the display switches from black and white, providing an amazingly crisp, clear image. Marcumtech.com; $299.99–$429.99 Marcum
FLIR Ocean Scout TK Night vision can be vital for anglers plying either fresh or saltwater after dark. Traditionally, the biggest obstacle to acquiring such capabilities has been the enormous cost. FLIR’s Ocean Scout TK is the first thermal night-vision camera available at an affordable price. The camera lets you see other vessels, landmarks, buoys, floating debris, crab pots, marine mammals, and anything else in the water at night; it would also be an invaluable tool should a fisherman go overboard. The Ocean Scout TK is designed to withstand wind, rain, and even a drop in shallow water. Moreover, it can store 1,000 JPEG images and four hours of video, and has a five-hour rechargeable battery. Whether you use it for navigation or in an emergency, the Ocean Scout TK would be useful for anyone on the water once the sun goes down. Flir.com; $599.99 FLIR
Garmin Striker One look at the Garmin Striker fishfinders could make you think these were four-figure units, but that’s not the case. In fact, the largest unit in the series will cost only $500. The new line of fishfinders features CHIRP traditional sonar, in addition to CHIRP DownVu and SideVu. For those unfamiliar with these technologies, I can assure you that finding them all in one unit at this price is unheard of. The display on the Striker is crisp, and though the 7-inch screen would be my pick, anglers would not be missing out with the 3.5- or 5-inch models. Each are equipped with built-in GPS and a waypoint map, making it easy to mark favorite spots, brush piles, stumps, and rocks. Garmin.com; $119.99–$499.99 Garmin
Humminbird HELIX 10 Shortly after I watched a demonstration of the HELIX 10, it was crowned Best of Show for electronics at ICAST 2016. And for good reason. Aside from the incredible technologies packed into the HELIX 10, it has a huge, incredibly detailed, crisp display—on which I could watch the Giants game on a Sunday afternoon. With these output capabilities, coupled with GPS chartplotting and high-def down and side imaging, this unit is nothing short of perfection. The ContourXD base maps are compatible with Humminbird LakeMaster charts, allowing them to display the landscape in intricate detail. Best of all, this ultra high-end piece of electronics is still moderately priced. If I had to pick one unit to stick with for the next 20 years, this would be it. Humminbird.com; $999.99–$1,499.99 Humminbird
As happens every year at ICAST, all the big names in electronics unleashed new, high-powered, high-priced, cutting-edge chartplotters and sonars. It would have been easy to get the skinny on each model and compile a list of the latest and greatest for 2017. But that wouldn’t be any fun, and the majority of those products are out of most anglers’ budgets anyway. Among the usual suspects, however, I uncovered some very exciting electronics, including an affordable night-vision device, a portable underwater camera, and, believe it or not, a phenomenally priced fishfinder. Here they are.
Be sure to read our other reviews from ICAST 2016.
Five Top New Reels for 2017
Five Truly Innovative Fishing Lures for 2017
Five Top New Rods for 2017