Fishing electronics are a valuable tool in today's world of fishing. They are also expensive and protecting your investment will make your days on the water more enjoyable and certainly more productive.
Every fisherman has most likely had his electronics go down at one time or another. And it usually happens at the moment of truth, when you are ready to go fishing. Repairing dirty, moisture-stricken electronics doesn't happen instantaneously. Electronics are finicky and identifying the problem may take the help of a trained technician.
We all know, but don't always practice, the idiom that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. However, once you experience a fishing electronics failure, because of neglect, the cost of repairs or replacing the unit will provide incentive to do better next time.
Removing electronics from a boat is not the only way to protect them. Cables are still left exposed, which will absorb moisture and dirt. Covering the cables with a simple plastic bag and cable ties is better than doing nothing. If you use this dimple method, make sure the bag opening is pointing down. Let gravity work with you to keep water away from the cable ends.
Dielectric grease is a better option. Place a small mount of grease on the end of the plug to fill the holes. This will prevent water and dirt from getting into the holes. When you reconnect the cables to your unit, there still will be no room for moisture and dirt to enter the system. No alux conductive grease is another option.
Turning the power off to your unit will also help protect it from corrosion. If you can't flip a switch to turn the power off, pull the fuse. If the cables or unit ports get wet while the power is on, the equipment will corrode quickly.
A cover like the Cabela's Sonar Screen Cover for your electronic unit is another good investment. Raptor Fishing Technologies Inc. makes covers which improve screen visibility by blocking the sun's glare, while protecting the unit from adverse weather conditions.
Unfortunately, anglers must also consider protecting their valuable fishing electronics from more than the elements. Theft is a common problem, because electronics can be removed from a boat quickly and easily. Thieves know the value of electronics and often have a ready market for them. Losing a piece equipment worth hundreds or maybe thousands of dollars is a stiff blow to any fisherman's budget.
Removing electronics from a boat when not in use is the most obvious answer to the theft problem. However, it is not always practical to do so. Securing electronics with hardware such as security nuts and bolts is a relatively inexpensive option. Another consideration is to mark your electronics. a hidden mark may help with recovery later. On the other hand, marking electronics with a fixed, visible tag with your name and contact information will deter thieves.
Taking a little extra time to keep your valuable fishing electronics protected from both the elements and thieves will keep you on the water and finding fish without interruption.