If you’re a serious angler time on the water is important. Accurate location, weather and tidal info is key to maximizing your effort. This guide will help you find the best fishing watch for your needs.
If you’re an inshore expert, an angling watch with tide information is critical. But if you make long treks into the backcountry looking for elusive trout, a fishing watch with navigation is crucial.
This article with help you find the right fishing watch whether you’re stalking snook or trekking for trout.
Best Fishing Tide Reading Watch
Analog Tide Watches
When you’re looking for a watch that can calculate tides, you have a couple of technology choices. You can go with digital or analog watches.
Tides may seem complicated, but their cycles can be predictable. Analog tide watches are usually powered by a dial that completes a full rotation in 12 hours and 25 minutes.
This means that if the tide dial is pointing to the 12 o’clock position, then, after 6 hours and 12. 5 minutes, it will be pointing to the 6 o’clock position.
Then, after another 6 hours and 12.5minutes, it will be back at the top of the watch or the 12 o’clock position.
So, how does this help you tell tides?
Well, on the west and east coasts, the average tide cycle is 12 hours and 25 minutes. That means that from high tide to low and back to high it takes 12 hours and 25 minutes.
Analog tidal watches have an extra dial that operates on this 12 hour and 25 minute cycle. To use them you need to know when the high tide is at your location and then set it on the tide dial.
You do this once and from then on, the watch will be good to go for that locale.
Of course, if you move to a location that’s significantly far from the first, you’ll have to reset your tide dial.
Many anglers prefer analog tide watches. They like that it frees them from having to deal with pre-loaded locations in digital tide watches. You also don’t have to worry about batteries that only last a day or 2. It’s just a matter of personal preference.
Digital Tide Watches
Some of these watches can show tidal, lunar phase and barometric pressure data.
For lunar phase and tide data, you usually have to enter a home city into the watch.
Once you enter the home city, the watch will give lunar and tide data based on information that is stored in the watch. This means you don’t need to be connected to a network to read this data.
The downside is that you’ll need to remember to change the home city if you’re fishing somewhere else.
This is not a huge problem given that these watches usually come with hundreds of pre-programmed cities.
Casio Men’s Pro Trek PRW2500R Tough Solar Digital Sport Watch
The Casio PRW2500R is a watch that does it all. It includes an Altimeter, Barometer, Compass, Thermometer and more.
As for fishing features, it will give you lunar and tide information, after you select the closest city from a pre-programmed list. If you’re computer savvy, setting this all up should be no problem.
Users report that tide and lunar phase data is very accurate when you’re in the pre-programmed city.
This watch is also water resistant to 200 meters. This will ensure that any wave or rapids you encounter won’t penetrate the watch.
The barometer included with this watch will provide measurements in Hecto-Pascals or inches of Mercury. There is also a trend chart for barometric pressure.
Finally, there is an extreme levels indicator for rapid falls or rises of pressure. Many anglers observe that sudden increases in barometric pressure can put a damper on fishing. Having this data can help you predict when the best and worst fishing times are.
Best Fishing Watch For Boaters
Garmin Quatix 5
The Garmin Quatix 5 brings a new level of connectivity to fishing watches.
The Quatix lets you stream data from your compatible chart plotter. You can get speed depth and wind info sent directly to your watch.
It can even let you control your boat by accessing auto pilot software. You can actually steer your boat from your watch!
If you don’t own a boat there are still many great features.
It comes with built-in profiles for paddle boarding, kayaking and canoeing. These profiles will allow you to record your calorie burn for those activities.
If you’re a kayak angler, this can really come in handy if you want to track your fish catches and your calorie burn. It also has a heart rate monitor for workout tracking.
As for navigation features, the watch does come with high-sensitivity GPS, a compass and an altimeter.
Finally, for monitoring weather changes, there is also a barometer.
There are 2 versions of the Quatix 5: The regular version and the Sapphire version.
Features exclusive to the Sapphire version are as follows. It has wifi connectivity, a stainless steel band and a scratch resistant sapphire lens.
If you don’t need all these features, there is also a Quatix 3 model. This model includes Altimeter, Barometer and Compass as well as boat streaming data. It also has fishing, tide, and sailing apps.
It has great navigation features. For example, you can set your current course and the watch will help keep you on that course. The watch will dial will have a pointer to the course you’re trying to keep. I really love simple compass like navigation tools like this.
Best GPS Fishing Watch
Suunto Traverse Alpha
The Traverse Alpha is the ultimate watch for anglers who like to take on long treks in search of remote fishing.
It comes with top notch navigational features. For example, the bread crumb view will show you the route you have taken and make it much easier to find your way back.
It also has a built in topographical maps and a digital compass. These maps can come in very handy whey you’re trying to find hidden creeks in valleys.
Anglers will also like the pre-programmed lunar phase data as well as the sunrise, moon rise, sunset and moon set times.
To keep you alerted to weather changes, it also has barometric pressure graphs and alarms.
Having this information at your disposal will help you find the best fishing times in your location.
Hook And Gaff King Tide Watch
The Hook And Gaff King Tide watch is an elegant solution for anglers that need to know tide times.
It’s an analog watch that operated on the tidal cycle times. To set it up at your location you just need to know the high tide time once.
You then activate the tide dial and you’re all set. From then on, the tide dial will point to the 12 o’clock position at high tide, and to the 6 o’clock position at low tide.
What’s ideal about this watch is that you can set it to the exact tide times at your location. Additionally, there’s no need to worry about charging batteries every day. This is an ideal watch for inshore anglers.
The King Tide Watch also looks great. If you’re into simple elegant designs, then this is the watch for you.
You can get it in 3 different dial colors including blue, gray and white.
The strap material also has options. Choose from dive, nylon or leather straps. These materials also come in a variety of colors.
The hour markers and hands are illuminated at night. So, if you’re a night angler, you can view the watch without affecting your night vision.
Finally, the titanium case is not only rugged, it’s also stylish.
I used to think that the idea of fishing specific watches was gimmicky. I no longer believe that’s the case.
New watches for fishing, boating or being outdoors can truly help you become a better angler, boater, or trekker.