Angelo and I just returned from the Garmin pro angler summit at their headquarters in Olathe Kansas and let me tell you, it was information packed. Information that comes from the pro anglers as well as the Garmin professionals (engineers etc.)
The beauty of a summit like this is 2-fold. First, it brings together anglers from all parts of North America in multiple genres of fishing and as well, places us all in the most technologically advances electronics facility in the continent. Very exciting.
After flying in Monday afternoon, we of course hit happy hour (we’re Canadian eh’), followed by a great supper, a workout at the hotel gym with my new cardio buddy Ang and then an early night to bed for the following “mega” day.
This was the biggest, longest day on the list; jam-packed full.
Ang and I were in the “red” group (along with Canadian BASS Garmin touring pro Chris Johnston). Our schedule was a product announcement/overview, Sonar, Transducers, LiveScope, EchoMap Ultra and the new Force trolling motor.
It’s amazing to hear the Garmin staff rifle through transducer choices and mounting positions, different chart-plotter units per boat style, the features of a new revolutionary electric trolling motor etc. etc. They know their stuff and they know how to deliver a message.
During this session, I was somewhat surprised that Garmin is routing most of the pros to the EchoMap Ultra line up. Only because the GPSMap series has been the standard pro units up until now. I say great move Garmin! Unlike a lot of the pros attending the summit, Ang and I have been running both GPSMap and EchoMap units. In the same week, we have used a GPSMap 8412 and 7608, an EchoMap Ultra 10 Portable and then move to an EchoMap Plus 9 and “every” unit we use, we love.
The EchoMap series does everything that anglers need and require to make us all better at our trade.
Loads of info: great day!
Wednesday was all about cartography, updates and the Active Captain app. Again, it was loads of information from both sides. The cartography (mapping) session was extremely interesting as to hear the touring pros ask for different features to be added and then the Garmin engineers jotting down every single point, with new ideas to explore. The beauty to this session was Garmin seemed happy to take on the challenges.
A very small portion of Garmin’s pro team. From left to right, Scott Martin, Marianne Huskey, Jimmy Houston, Jason Christie and Brett Chapman.
All in all, this was Angelo’s and my second Garmin Summit and again it was well worth our time attending. At an event like this, one will inevitably learn something and in the process, meet new friends in the large community of the great sport of fishing.
As for the consumer wondering what they can get out of this. Once the Garmin tech team dives into the suggestions and all the anglers start running the new units, there will be lots to talk about!
Lastly I can’t forget, bass fishing legend Jimmy Houston is now on the pro staff… let the stories begin!
Time to fly home.