High-tech fishing gadgets


Adam Darack is the IT administrator for the town of Edgartown. He will be writing regularly about the technological issues facing Island business owners. Got a question? Send it to onisland@mvtimes.com with the subject line “Dear Geek.”

Dear Geek,

I heard your kids are frequent visitors to the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby weigh-ins. You must love to fish and you’re a geek, so do you use any special technology during Derby season?

  1. Erby

Dear Mr. Erby,

My kids always have fun with the Derby, and I have long proclaimed it as the best five weeks of the year, hands down. Before I start, I should mention that I am a member of the Derby committee (I play a minor role, and support the other members, who do what I consider to be the heavy lifting), and I would like to publicly compliment and thank the rest of the committee, volunteers, sponsors, and of course, the participants for making it as special an event as it is.

What role does technology play in my Derby experience? There are two devices I’m using daily to enhance my Derby experiences; my cell phone and my new GoPro video camera.

My cell phone plays a huge role in keeping me involved in the Derby on a day-to-day basis. I constantly visit mvderby.com, the Derby website, for its wealth of information, from tide charts to live, up-to-the-minute results.

On my phone I use an app called Windfinder. This app tells me the predicted wind up to a week in advance, and might be my most useful source of information. I can handle some rain, I don’t always have the opportunity to fish the correct tide in the short windows of time I can get on the water, but if I’m going out in my boat with the kids, wind is the deciding factor. (Sleep and homework should be the deciding factors, and I admit to apologizing to more than one teacher about this, though the homework does in fact get done.) I’m not looking to have anyone I know get sick and chum the water from my boat, so I stick to the shore on most of the windy days.

I use Facebook to post pictures of my kids at weigh-ins, and recently posted this: “While this looks like a pic of two happy, content children, anyone who knows my kids knows one of their smiles is holding back the payback she’s planning on her brother for getting a bigger fish than her … great night for them though. Fishing > Homework tonight.” Soon after, I realized that one of my kids’ teachers would see the post; whoops! She loved it, though, and I thank her for sharing in the enthusiasm.

My newest favorite bit of technology is something I recently purchased, a GoPro Hero4 Silver edition in a waterproof housing. A couple of weeks ago I took a friend fishing, and he had one of these. He raved about it, and when I saw the HD video it took, I was hooked. (Ironic, since I don’t hook a tenth of the fish my kids do, but I really got this for them.) With a suction-cup mount attached to my center console, the camera recently recorded my daughter fighting a few bluefish, as well as some candid moments of us having a funny conversation while trolling a rip at sunset. My kids are 8 and 12, and I can only imagine how they will feel when I play a compilation of these videos for them years from now. I’m hoping it will mean half as much to them as these experiences mean to me.

Wishing you tight lines,