What electronic equipment do I need to go sport fishing and how do I set it up?

What does the average sport fishing professional use to catch more fish you ask? Well if you already have your fishing equipment then let’s look at the electronic equipment.

GPS

While you will probably have a GPS connected, it will be necessary to set this up with your sport fishing software. This is even possible remotely in some cases.

Make sure your GPS is NMEA-0813 standard! NMEA-0813 sounds a bit complicated but it is a standard for electrical and data communication that is understood by all marine electronics. It also lets you convert the GPS data to your VHF radio on your boat in case of an incident so that your VHF can then relay your positioning. For more info on NMEA-0813 click here. There is also a new NMEA standard, NMEA-2000 that will eventually replace NMEA-0813. This new standard will provide a higher baud rate (more information per second can be sent) allowing for multiple speakers at any one time amongst other improvements.

Sounder

Professional sport fishing has become more sophisticated and now most sport fishing professionals are using sounders that are capable of providing the bathymetry of the seafloor as well as capturing shoals of fish. If you have a waterproof environment then you can connect up your sounder to a software and in some cases in can be done wirelessly.

Perhaps you have also asked what is a sounder exactly. The real difference between a sounder and a sonar is that a sonar scans 360 degrees, whereas a sounder, also known as a fixed mount transducer scans for fish and the sea floor in one direction.

When searching for sounders, you should look for one that is labelled as a “fish finder”. For TIMEZERO software, if you pick up a Furuno fish finder, you will get full compatibility for TZ Professional v3 (for compatibility check the Furuno website). The following features are displayable directly within the software: Sounder Echogram, Accu-Fish, Bottom Discrimination.

Let’s take a look at what these features provide:

Sounder Echogram Display

This feature displays fish with amazing clarity by cleaning up the “noise” from the sounder. But not only does it find and display fish, it can identify fish and provide historic data (up to 3 minutes), so you won’t miss a thing! There is also the possibility to geolocate the fish so you can get to the spot where the fish are more accurately.

Accu-Fish

This feature is designed to analyse the data and estimate the fish size (of individual fish).

Bottom Discrimination Display

This feature’s main purpose is to locate a gold mine of a fishing ground or just the best spots in your local area, to maximise your catch. It determines what the seafloor is made up of, so for example, it can determine whether it is mud, sand, gravel or rock. It does this by determining the filtration rate of the sounder echo waves.

For more information on the TZ Sounder Module, click here

Sport fishing software for PC and or MFD

While MFDs have recently been a very popular choice with products such as the TZ Touch 2 being ideal sport fishing gear, sport fishing software is now a great choice. TZ Professional v3 with the Sounder & PBG module will allow you to do more than you think!

One example of how software helps you capture fish smarter is using your sounder connected to your PC to scan and collect bathymetry data in real time. If you are looking for a specific type of fish in a certain area, then having accurate bathymetry data will let you know where your best bet is by highlighting areas of only a certain depth.

Once the fishing area has been configured, you can manually configure the contour lines to be as precise as 0.2m which will display a new contour line every 5th contour.  One problem that even the most expert of sounder users encounter is that the colour doesn’t always change when focusing on certain depth lines, which is another advantage of our TZ Professional v3. It can be manually colour coded, meaning that even when you get into precise measurements, the software is as easy to read and understand as ever. From there you can scan the sea for fish until you hit gold.

PBG software evolution

The evolution of PBG software for PCs has developed a lot over a short space of time. This image shows the evolution of resolution that you can display (recently increased two-fold, now 1.5m x 1.5m). Extrapolate PBG data automatically in real time with seamless customizing of brush size, is just one of the advantages of TZ Professional v3 navigation software. Another advantage is that TZ Professional v3 will even automatically identify and remove “erroneous” PBG data which will definitely be an addition for you to really use your sounder to its fullest potential.

And just one more of the many improvements with the new PBG module is that you can edit the 3D imported database (no longer limited to just the user data).

For more information on TZ Professional v3, click here.

How do I set up my instruments?

Ok but getting the electronic equipment is only half the battle, how do I connect everything up and know whether it is working or not before I set out on my boat? Let’s take a look at connecting instruments and what the different types of electrical specification are.

The equipment must be in either NMEA-0183 or NMEA-2000 in order for the information to be compatible from one instrument to another. In order to connect instruments, there are actually 2 different connectors: RS-232 and RS-422.

The RS-232 is your standard PC COM port and you probably have one on your PC (although now the majority of laptops have now switched to HDMI).

Example of Connecting GPS to PC

The image shows how the PC only requires two wires to be connected as it is only receiving information from the GPS. You will know if your GPS is running RS-232 or RS-422 by the amount of wires it has. RS-232 has 3 wires (transceiver, receiver and common ground) whereas RS-422 has 4 (2 transceiver and 2 receiver wires).

With Furuno depth sounders you can connect directly via a network cable or by RS-422. So if you are going down the route of a RS-422 connecter and you want it to connect to a serial COM port then you will have to use a RS-422 to RS-232 adapter.

The RS-422 differs from the RS-232 in that it does not use a common ground wire, instead it uses 4 wires: TD-A (Transmit Positive), TD-B (Transmit Negative), RD-A (Receive Positive) and RD-B (Receive Negative).

Adapter Setup

Depending on whether you want to talk back to the sounder or not, you may wish to connect up the TD-A and TD-B wires of the converter, however in this example let’s just look at receiver wires. The white wire from the converter needs to be connected to the RD-A and the black wire to the RD-B.

Why does RS-422 provide more accurate data than RS-232?

The RS-422 differs from the RS-232 by having two wires each for sending and receiving and then detects the voltage “difference” between them. This provides more accurate data because the noise that can cause erroneous results affects both wires in more or less the same way and seeing as the receiving side only detects the difference in voltage, it eradicates the noise problem.

Let’s look at setting up a Serial to USB adapter

Having already established that a serial port won’t work for modern day laptops, let’s look at how to connect a serial to USB adapter. You simply need to go to any electric store and pick up a converter. Once you have the hardware, download a driver (either from the CD that comes with the converter or online) which will then allow the PC to recognize the instrument in a virtual COM port.

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Make sure that these converters are compatible with RS-232 or RS-422

Once everything is set-up you will need to go into the Control Panel and make sure that your PC can see the virtual port in Device Manager. As soon as you have everything in order you can go out and start fishing smarter by catching bigger fish in the best areas!

Entretien avec le pêcheur sportif Guillaume Fourrier


guillaume Fourrier

Pourquoi avoir choisi TZ Professional v3 by MaxSea ?

A vrai dire, il y a plus de 10 ans que je connais les avantages de MaxSea (version 7 à l’époque). J’étudiais mes dérives à la maison sur les cartes Raster précises. Je ne l’utilisais pas en mer et j’ai toujours rêvé de personnaliser mes cartes en fonction de ce que voit le sondeur grâce à la bathymétrie. Il y a 2 ans, j’ai voulu passer un cap et j’ai embarqué sur mon semi-rigide, une version moderne de MaxSea TIMEZERO couplée avec un combiné Garmin GPSMAP et une sonde CHIRP. J’ai alors capturé un bar de 8,6 kg homologué record du monde.

Continue reading

Team Ashram Qualifies for World Marlin Championships in Costa Rica!

MaxSea is proud to be a partner of The Ashram Fishing Team. This Australian-based team recently participated in the “Seasport Charters Marlin Cup,” using MaxSea TimeZero PLOT on board. Here is their account of how the tournament went.

The team is made up of Sangeeta Menon, Andy Ziepe, Mark Jarrett and Rhyss Whittred. The Seasport Charters Marlin Cup was hosted by the Perth Game Fishing Club in Jurien Bay, and ran from February 20-23rd.

Jurien Bay is approx. 400km north of Team Ashram’s home port and boasts some excellent game fishing species. The winner of this tournament receives an invite to compete in the Offshore World Championships in Costa Rica for 2015.

Rhyss Whittred gives us his account of the tournament:

Team Ashram's boat“For our team this was the first major tournament we had competed in since I purchased my Wellcraft 270 and revamped the electronics to include Maxsea TimeZero PLOT and Furuno’s latest technology. I can’t say how keen we were to compete and in fact one of the teams there had the reigning world champion angler on board Valkoista (Craig White).

It was a 3 day tournament with your 2 best days fishing score counting towards overall championship points. The night before the tournament commenced I downloaded the latest Maxsea weather file and carefully worked out our fishing plan in line with sea surface temp, currents and plankton.

We headed out and had a cracker of a day. The Maxsea oceanic data was spot on and my team was fantastic with their art of angling and we managed Southern Blue Fin, Striped and Yellowfin Tuna to give us some great points of 2,850 points and our nearest competitors were on 375 points.

Saturday dawned and I planned to go to the same area north where we had done so well Team Ashramthe day before. Alas, the water temperature was down 2 degrees, with no bait and no birds. We could hear others on the radio with great fishing results. Unfortunately I had left my mobile phone at the hotel and couldn’t download a current weather file. We were now at a complete low and did not turn a reel for the day.

The next morning I was up very early and downloaded the weather file and made a plan of attack. In fact the good water and temperature breaks we had 2 days before where now 40kms south of Jurien and we needed to get among it. With the early start we got down there in time for lines in at 6am and once again we tagged our limit of tuna and returned to port.

The scoring by other teams was very good and it was an absolute pleasure to have revealed that the Ashram Team picked up Champion Boat, Champion Female Angler, Runner Up Male Angler and Champion Tag and Release.

So my friends at Maxsea, I thank you all for your cutting edge technology and how it all worked in so well with my Furuno equipment and helping us to win this tournament.”

– Rhyss Whittred

Thanks Rhys! And best of luck for the World Marlin Championships in Costa Rica!

.

.
Plot CTA

US NOAA Raster and Vector Chart Updates

Updates from March 20, 2017

We just wanted to let you know we have fresh new NOAA charts for both Raster and Vector format. There is also Block charts update only available for TZ Professional v3. Please consult the list to see which charts are involved.

Check out our Facebook page to find examples of the improvements to the charts and find out about big changes in an area near you that you may not have been aware of:
Vector | Raster

Example Screenshot of West Palm Beach NOAA Vector Chart

Chart references:

  • MWRUSAMAP10.1 NOAA Raster Charts
  • MWVSUSAMAP11.1 NOAA Vector Charts & USACE Inland Charts
  • WARUSBCMAP4.1 USA – Gulf of Mexico Block charts NOAA

 Find these charts now available in our chart catalog.


News from March 6, 2014

These US charts have been updated and are available as of March 3rd, 2014 in our Chart Catalogue:

MX NOAA Chart update


The following NOAA chart versions are now available:

NOAA Raster chart coverage (left) and NOAA Vector chart coverage (right)
NOAA Raster chart coverage (left) and NOAA Vector chart coverage (right)

Updated Information

  • Updated NOAA Vector Charts (S57): This Edition adds 71 new Vector Charts to the library as well as many other chart updates.
  • Updated NOAA Raster Charts: This new edition includes the latest chart updates that can be found on the NOAA paper charts.

Read full information about these chart updates in this PDF file.

Example of improvement to the NOAA vector charts: now buoys are numbered (right)
Example of improvement to the NOAA vector charts: now buoys are numbered (right)

NOAA charts are totally free of charge so you can download them right now, to make sure that you’re using the most up-to-date chart data available for US waters.

.

5 Tips for Choosing the Best Nautical Chart

In Search of Fish with Maxsea TimeZero

This week, MaxSea partner Olivier Journaux, A.K.A. Cpt. OJ, gives his advice on how to find the best fishing spots. He does this both by using the right onboard equiment, and by understanding the types of areas that certain fish like to be found. Cpt. OJ is an accomplished athlete who now provides sport fishing lessons in France. 

When fishing with a line, jigging or vertical bait fishing, it has become essential to be extremely precise. In my line of work, I coach recreational sport fishing.

For this, it is important for me to position the boat as close as possible to the fish so that my customers can enjoy close contact with the beautiful fish.

It is also essential to constantly discover new fishing areas, which allow me to manage the amount of fishing in each spot. In this way, I take one or two fish per area out of the water and practice the “catch and release” technique that I described in this earlier MaxSea blog post here.

Then I move on to another area before returning again several days later.

cpt oj

Finding predator fish

To catch a predator fish, first we must find the place it is most likely to be. This is obviously the biggest job, the hardest and longest one to master.

Where are the fish

95% of the time, bars, shade-fish and saithe can generally be found near the water surface. They position themselves above their prey and upstream of the current. The pout, their main food source, usually hides in hollows. As a result, it is very common to catch bars and lean on rock surfaces as this is where the pouts can be found.

Onboard equipment

To be able to localise the fish, it is essential to have a sounder and GPS system with nautical charts. Unfortunately electronic charts are never 100% accurate. Maxsea TimeZero PLOT or MaxSea TimeZero SportFishing are perfectly suited to fishing as it allows the user to record the sea floor and generate their own, extremely accurate chart of their favourite fishing grounds.

Useful features within MaxSea TimeZero

A computer with MaxSea TimeZero connected to the GPS and sounder can store unlimited depth points, and adjusts for the current water level depending on the time and date (integrated tide information).

This means that by simply navigating in your fishing spot, you are simultaneously saving thousands of contour lines and the precision of your seabed data becomes increasingly sharp.

Thus, in places where all charts tell you that the bottom is flat, you discover hidden contours, sometimes more than 10m high over distances of 500m long. All you need to do is to explore the area with your sounder.

MaxSea offers the ability to create whatever you want, ideal routes, specific marks that can represent fish, rocky peaks , buoys, wrecks etc.

Then you can also add comments to each mark. In TimeZero software, you can consult classic hydrographic office charts, and add your own bathy data, and even record a bottom classification to view the type of sediment in each area

two fish

Types of spots favoured by fish 

Depending on the direction of the current, we can have a good idea of where fish are most likely to be found.

They are usually

  • upstream of the current and
  • above the rocks (the highest point)
  • just below the first step of a rocky “staircase” if there is one in the area. They like these spots because it means that they are high up yet sheltered from the current. It is often a favourite spot for saithe when the current exceeds 1.5 knots.

By following these steps, I personally found wonderful fishing areas in the rocky waters of Antioch and Breton in France where I came across beautiful fish that had never previously been disturbed by humans.

Read more about Cpt. OJ on his website (in French) by clicking here.

You can email him at olivierjournaux@neuf.fr or call him on +33 (0) 6 50 58 56 59.

.

.

MaxSea TimeZero SportFishing

Learning how to Release Fish Caught in Deep Waters

People often ask the question: Is it possible to correctly release a fish caught deeper than 20 – 25m underwater (sea bass, white fish etc.)?

In this post, we are happy to share advice on this subject from the experienced fishing guide Olivier Journaux, who teaches in la Rochelle, France with MaxSea software on board.

“Cpt. OJ” as he is known, is a high-level athlete (who was a successful windsurfer in the years 1984 to 1989) and a triathlete at national level for almost ten years in France. Then he practiced spearfishing intensively until the year 2004, and has coached for more than 15 years different sports including swimming, triathlon and national windsurfing 2000-2004. Now the sportsman has become a fishing guide and he certainly is as committed to this endeavor as he has been all along.

Read more about Cpt. OJ on his website (in French) by clicking here.

Here he shares his knowledge about fishing:.

It’s certainly not always easy. Over the last three years, we have been releasing white fish without taking them on board and in the end we didn’t enjoy it very much: no pictures, no memories, it’s a shame!

Since then, I have discovered the solution to this problem – using a syringe with a large needle (purchased from a pharmacy, with a pink tip) to puncture the fish after it has been Releasing fishcaught. I inject the syringe in the fish’s lower abdomen immediately after catching the fish. The fish then “deflates” quickly.

This happens because there is a release of gasses in the bladder that accumulate suddenly when the fish rises quickly through the water, experiencing a sudden change in pressure).

Just after injecting the fish, it quickly recovers its normal breathing in clear, fresh water. Then just rub the fish’s belly and push the air towards the needle so that the fish can recover. The fish then suddenly reverts to a normal position i.e. belly down.

 Releasing fishLearning a successful method to release the fish is a great satisfaction for me and obviously for all of my students too, who can enjoy the beautiful fish in a very good state of health, the picture can then be taken calmly with the fish is a good state of health. And for the record – we have already caught two fish that we had already caught previously. This goes to show the relatively low concentration of fish in the water.

Of course, this technique works well for sea bass and this has allowed us to release many wonderful fish this year which is great news when you consider that the fish population suffers a little more each year.

A last comment on the 2010 season: more and more people are making the decision to release the fish that they catch, and I mean all of their fish. There is no obligation to do so, the only rule we have is a limit to the current quota of fish kept on board since I began fishing in 2006.

Now, in order to avoid unnecessarily keeping fish, I ask everyone on board to state the number of fish he wants to keep or release so that we can know how to manage the quota of the day. I have also experienced days on board where every member of the crew wanted an absolute no-kill policy for fishing, much to their credit.

Releasing fish

Regarding sea bass, we need to inject them differently. First you need to count to the fourth dorsal fin, go down perpendicularly until the lateral line, count another 6 scales below and then slide the needle under a scale so that you can inject it in straight. Remember to check that the needle is not clogged before injecting it (do a small test first… we love these little fishies!)

For fans of the motto “All fish caught must remain on board,” they will eventually need to start releasing fish back into the water. The sea should not be thought of as a space of total freedom where everyone can do what they want, the sea is not for everyone, it belongs to itself and we “earthlings” who are destructive par excellence to everything that surrounds us, must each respect the sea in our own small way…

.The sea bass can then be released back into the water in excellent condition and return to its old life with a lot of pleasure.

Releasing FishingSo, all this is to say that the needle syringe is an essential tool for the angler of today who fishes in deep water areas who is likely to catch fish whose quick ascension through the water and expansion of internal gases will probably prevent them from going back down without your help.

.

Goodbye, happy fishing and see you soon!

.

For more information about this topic (in French), please click here.

.

MaxSea TimeZero SportFishing

MaxSea TimeZero Spring 2013 Releases

This Spring, we’released 2 new software versions, 1 new module and a software upgrade. Here’s the summary:

MaxSea TimeZero Recreational v2

  • Windows 8 CompatibilityMaxSea TimeZero Recreational v2
  • Advanced planning according to tides and tidal currents
  • Major improvements to the presentation of AIS information
  • New Progress Bar (Date/Time)

Click here for more information

Advanced Routing Module

This module allows advanced sailors to manually control and adjust the weather fileAdvanced Routing Module parameters in order to get more accurate results. It also introduces the variability notion, helping the skipper to identify the particular moments in the navigation where strategy choices are critical.

Click here for more information

MaxSea TimeZero SportFishing

  • Real time PBG dataMaxSea TimeZero SportFishing
  • User-friendly interface
  • Seamless NavNet 3D connection
  • Free weather forecasts and oceanic data display directly on navigation charts to help you to detect the best fishing areas
  • Includes all of the nautical charts for one MapMedia Wide area
  • Built-in AIS/ARPA function

Click here for more information

MaxSea TimeZero Racing

  • Professional user interfaceMaxSea TimeZero Racing
  • Free weather forecast service
  • AIS/ARPA built-in function
  • Transat Mega Wide chart area
  • France and United Kingdom current zones
  • NN3D and FAR 2xx7 advanced compatibility
  • Advanced Routing Module: This NEW module brings many new features which complete our basic Routing Module (reliability index, polar % and configuration of the weather files over time)
  • PosReport Module: It allows racers tracking during an ocean race

Click here for more information

And last but not least…

The MaxSea TimeZero App is available now!