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What Are GPS Watches And Are They Suitable For Kayak Fishing?

Fishing GPS Watches For KayakingWhen You Lose Your Way Will You Need One Of These?

GPS fishing watches are generally multifunctional watches with a built-in Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver that allows navigational locational purposes. The GPS watch will pinpoint your location, show the route you have taken, and provide a route back to your desired destination, hopefully getting you home safely.

Conclusion: Yes, GPS watches are suitable for kayak fishing, and for me, I would not be out on the water without one now. I know how easy it is to allow the current to take me and who knows where I will end up next time.

Why you may one day need GPS on your fishing watch:

Imagine being in your kayak in the middle of your favorite lake, and suddenly, heavy mist for fog appears. How will you know which way to paddle? With the GPS function on your fishing watch, you will be able to pinpoint your location and know which way to head off without getting into a panic. I know I lose track of time when out fishing, especially when catching, so this is a handy tool I would not want to be without for that just in case scenario.

What functions do fishing GPS watches include?

GPS fishing watch functions include:

  • Wireless (BlueTooth) and USB connectivity capability.
  • Map display
  • Route guidance
  • Altimeter
  • Barometer
  • Route tracking
  • Touchscreen
  • Data Log
  • Activity tracker
  • Compass
  • Pedometer
  • Some are Solar Powered

Here are more functions you may find on your fishing GPS watch:

  • Thermal resistance
  • Shock resistance 
  • Water resistance 
  • Sports Apps included
  • Heart rate monitors built-in
  • Pulse Ox meter
  • and many, many more functions.

Here are my top 12 tips on selecting a fishing GPS watch suitable for kayaking:-

  1. Solar or standard battery – My preference is for one that is solar-powered to ensure you can maintain charge without carrying an additional charger. Solar-powered recharging will also help maintain water resistance as the watch’s back would not need to be opened.
  2. Brand awareness – Ensuring you select a well-known brand in case after-sales support is always a good idea. You need to know if something goes wrong you don’t need to try and contact China (or elsewhere) for customer support.
  3. Price points – Purchase the best GPS fishing watch you can. money may be a little tight but spending a few extra pennies now may be advantageous long term as durability is important.
  4. Functionality – Check that the watch has ALL the functions you require. If you want a watch with barometric pressure have you checked its incorporated within the watch?
  5. Guarantee – Check the guarantee that comes with the watch and if there is any additional guarantee that you can purchase to cover longer periods of time. Ever bought something that seemed to last a month or two just outside of guarantee? For a few dollars extra you can extend the coverage on an item that is many hundreds of dollars. Pennywise is always best.
  6. Environmental conditions – If you intend to do mainly ice fishing, will the watch cope with the regular plummeting temperatures? It no good having a new watch if the first time out it lets you down. Is the watch suitable for regular saltwater immersion?
  7. Feedback and questions – Make sure you check all feedbacks left for the watch selections you are considering. Reading questions that have been asked and answered offer improved insight into areas of information you may not have thought about.
  8. Size and weight – Ensure you check the watch is the correct size for your wrist. You may wish to ensure the watch will not be too bulky for the wrist and if you have a wrist like mine, you may need an extra-long strap!
  9. Aftercare service – Are spare parts (straps) and repairs available and who will fit them for you because we are not all watch repairers are we?
  10. Robustness – Is the watch robust enough for you on a kayak and out fishing for long hours?

Here is an example of a fishing GPS watch I would consider:-

  Garmin Instinct Solar, Solar-Powered Rugged Outdoor-Fishing GPS Smartwatch (View Amazon details here)

10 reasons why I would recommend this watch:

  • Wide color selections are available.
  • Solar-powered for extended battery life.
  • Built-in 3-axis compass.
  • Barometric pressure readings.
  • Altimeter readings.
  • Multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo).
  • Tracks in more challenging environments than GPS alone.
  • Dedicated fishing and hunting activity profiles.
  • Smart notifications (when paired with a compatible smartphone) to see messages right on your wrist.
  • Compatible with Xero, Astro/Alpha, and inReach products to further enhance tracking, navigating, and communicating in the wild.
  • (View Amazon details here)

Please note: “As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.”

Have you considered these four questions before making your purchase?

  1. How does a GPS watch work? GPS works through triangulation between the GPS watch and satellites, enabling pinpoint location capability, which is good for me when I get lost again.
  2. Why do watches have GPS? Fishing watches have GPS to help you confirm your location, especially having followed a stream or trail for quite some time. We all know what it’s like to trek off after that monster fish and suddenly realize we have been walking for hours without a thought regarding the time. There are multiple global navigation satellite systems available, and each will add a benefit of its own to your fishing watch capabilities. GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo are examples worth considering, and these are incorporated in the Garmin Instinct Solar Watch which has over 8400 reviews.
  3. What does GPS enabled mean on a watch? Some watches will allow you to select whether the watch captures the tracking data or not by switching the function on or off. Depending on the GPS Fishing watch chosen, you may also need to download mapping services such as Google maps, so check if this is already included. Some smartwatches will also allow you to track a loved one, so having your GPS enabled will help them know where you are, which I think is very important.
  4. Can a GPS watch be tracked? Yes, they can be tracked, and as I have indicated earlier in this article, your loved ones can also follow your location, which is a great add-on benefit unless you spend too long at the wrong sort of watering hole! Personally, I would not worry about ‘Big Brother’ watching you; just enjoy your fishing knowing you have the added safety function built into your watch.

Here are 4 top-selling popular brands of GPS fishing watches available from Amazon USA:

  1.  Garmin (View details here)
  2.  Apple (View details here)
  3.  Fitbit  (View details here)
  4.  Polar (View details here)

Please note: “As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.”

I hope this list has been an excellent start for you in getting some ideas. Now, feel free to enjoy the rest of the year out catching your favorite fish species, knowing you have the added safety function of the GPS function built into your new watch.

Article Conclusion: 

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I hope you have enjoyed this article and that the information provided has been of great help to you. The article has provided several items based on their feedback ratings that can be deemed well worth considering.

If you have found this page to be of help to you, it would be awesome if you could share this page for me. (Thank you).

Good luck in your future purchases and I hope the above details will be much enjoyed.

Legal Information: is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and also participates in affiliate programs with other sites.

Please note: “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.” is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.

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