Market Niche We Sort of Knew We Had: Fish Finders

OK, I'll admit it — I actually knew this was an electronics market niche, even before I saw the movie Jaws . But with the advent of GPS, fish finders have not only become more high-tech, they've become a premium product market with price tags up to $3,000. The least expensive are about $80.

Fish finders use components such as transmitters, transducers, amplifiers, and LCDs. The main technology is SONAR and works the same way navigational equipment does (on a much smaller scale). According to the Website

    The concept of many electronic fish finders is simple; however, how they actually work is far from straightforward. Almost all fish finders work using sound waves. A small electrical impulse is released and converted to a sound wave, which transmits through the water. Initially, the sound wave is narrow, but as it penetrates the water, it spreads into a beam. The frequency is inaudible to both humans and the fish. When this sound wave hits an object, it transmits back to the original source, and then shows its results on a screen. The device calculates the distance to the object by using the amount of time between the sound wave leaving the unit and returning. Depending on how good the fish finder is, it will then display the size, shape and even give you an idea as to where the fish is located. The display will often show you the bottom of the bed, alongside all plants and sediments. Each fish finder has its own symbol for what it believes may be a fish, and it displays this information on the screen.

I'm no more a fisher than I am a smoker, so I don't have any first-hand experience with this market. (See: Market Niche We Never Knew We Had: E-Cigarettes.) For folks that run fishing charters, fish finders must be an invaluable tool. They are no doubt a necessity for commercial fishing.

For pleasure fishing, though, is it cheating?

Since we are higher up on the food chain and actually have the ability to invent this kind of stuff, I'd say it's every fish for itself. I'd suggest a more high-tech name for the market, however: ichthyoid location devices, anyone?

14 comments on “Market Niche We Sort of Knew We Had: Fish Finders

  1. AnalyzeThis
    May 20, 2011

    “For pleasure fishing, though, is it cheating?”

    Well, obviously “cheating” is subjective so you'll get different answers on this, but yes, I think it's cheating.

    To use an analogy, is it really hunting if you already know where the animal is? Not much of a challenge if all you need to do is follow a map, aim at the target, and fire your gun. It's kind of the same if you already know where the fish are; now all you have to do is hook them.

    I don't have anything against fish finders and if people want to use them, that's fine… but for me it's also kind of cheating because it would be cheating ME out of part of the fun of fishing: sitting around, relaxing, hoping you'll get a bite, etc. At no point in my ideal fishing experience do I point a gadget at the water to pinpoint in advance what I'm going to catch.

    But that's just my opinion: to me, fishing is a relaxing pastime. Not a tactical assault on fish.

  2. SunitaT
    May 20, 2011

    For pleasure fishing, though, is it cheating?

       In my opinion it is cheating. We shouldn't overuse technology. Overuse of this technology will lead to exploitation of natural resources and will eventually create  imbalances in nature. I feel over-use of this technology should be restricted.

  3. AnalyzeThis
    May 20, 2011

    @tirlapur, well, it's a little late to restrict use of this technology… commercial fishermen of the past couple decades sure as heck haven't been relying on luck to haul in their catches!

    Yes, there are certainly issues with the exploitation of the seas and over-fishing, but technology is not the cause of that problem. But getting into that would be a different discussion and not very relevant to this site, I'm afraid!

  4. Barbara Jorgensen
    May 20, 2011

    LOL DennisQ. I was hoping I'd get such a response…In my mind, it's like going deer hunting with an automatic weapon. The odds are stacked against the deer.

    Tactical assault…love it…thanks!

  5. SunitaT
    May 21, 2011


     Thanks for the reply. I know technology is already being used but my point was purely with respect to the point : “For pleasure fishing, though, is it cheating? “. All I wanted to say was atlease we can avoid using technology for pleasure fishing.

  6. Anna Young
    May 21, 2011

    @ DennisQ, I  agree with you. This will be tantamount to cheating. I wonder what the pleasure really is, if I already knew what to do?

  7. SP
    May 21, 2011

    Nice articel. I didnt know we have fish finders and people use them in business.

  8. prabhakar_deosthali
    May 22, 2011

    For people whose past-time is fishing , it is better not to use such tool. But for the fisherman, whose daily life is depending upon the catch he gets out of those rough seas, why not?  This is just an additional tool for that fisherman which helps him get his production with less effort and hence lower cost. His productivity is going to be increased. So , he will as well use such tool and make more profit.

  9. Nemos
    May 22, 2011

    In my neighborhood, I can count at least four maybe   five shops that selling fishes. So it is very difficult for me to understand the motives made someone an amateur fisherman. I can't understand also the need to fish with hi-tech equipment while they are fishing for hobby and not for feeding their selfs.

    So I think amateurs that they are using a sonar to catch fishes certainly is cheating.

  10. Taimoor Zubar
    May 23, 2011

    I think it's a natural move by the fishing industry to increase the use of technology to improve productivity, just like every other industry.

    Obviously, the equipment they are using contains various electronic components. Since we are at a forum that links electronic suppliers and manufacturers, let's post a question to them related to this. As a supplier or manufacturer, have you supplied electronic components to fish finder company? Have you been contacted by one to get a price quote or an idea about the products?

  11. elctrnx_lyf
    May 23, 2011

    Is this technology really useful for the proffesional fishmen, I say yes. When they are in the middle of the sea and if finding the fish becomes this simple then it is definitely will save lot of time. But why did we take so long to invent these devices or commercialization?

  12. Clairvoyant
    May 23, 2011

    Elctrnx_lyf, these devices have actually been around for many years.

  13. Tim Votapka
    May 23, 2011

    Funny memory I have on this very subject. Years ago I was at an Arrow Electronics BBQ where I was talking about high-tech ways to catch fish in a small pond nearby. One of the execs at the time, snorted and said in his best Southern drawl, “You want to catch fish with tech. Heck I'll show you how. Give me a stick of dynamite. I'll get you the fish.”

  14. saranyatil
    May 24, 2011

    If we use such devices for pleasure fishing all the fun is gone and it s no more a good past time.

    Using these devices it self requires lots of practice and effort to master them and later we need to use for past time i think MASTERING THE DEVICE WILL BECOME A PAST TIME INSTEAD.

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