Markfish Electronics

By: JOHN WILLIS, Photography by: JOHN WILLIS, SUPPLIED, Video by: JOSH ROBINSON

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  • Trade-A-Boat

If only your Furuno sonar could talk to your Simrad, Garmin or Lowrance GPS. Now it can and the fish better watch out!

Markfish Electronics
A little box with magic powers, the power to make Furuno talk to your GPS/Plotter

Modern fishing techniques demand high performance from our electronics. We not only need to see the fish but we need to record the position and depth information accurately at speed, enabling us to cover plenty of water. Markfish allows you to pinpoint hotspots so you can return to the action quickly.

Furuno’s FCV (commonly known as a 585, 587, 620, 627 or the latest 588 and 628) and VX are among the most successful standalone sonar units on the market but many users combine their exceptional depth-sounding capabilities with other brands of GPS and chartplotters. Tagging a fish as a waypoint can be frustrating when your primary interest is the depth sounder but unfortunately the ‘mark’ button on the Furuno sounder doesn’t work with non-Furuno system combinations.

So Melbourne electronics guru Michael Fitzallen and his IT geek mate Abe Cypryus have invented a handy converter called the Markfish that sends data both ways. This creates full interaction between the Furuno FCV series and many other brands’ GPS and multi-function screens, provided they have NMEA 0183 input/output ports. Michael said: "This easy-to-install magic little box completes your fishfinder installation and brings your lonely, mysterious ‘mark’ button to life by combining the best in the sounding business with the most popular GPS/chartplotters."

Markfish Boat On Water

With a recommended retail price of only $280 the Markfish isn’t expensive considering the benefit it provides. It is easy to install – simply connect a series of colour-coded wires to the NMEA ports on each unit. The list includes many models from the popular Simrad, Lowrance and Garmin ranges as well as some older Raymarine models too; there’s a compatibility list on the website. Fitzallen said: "A colour-blind bomb technician could throw this one together!"

We tested the Markfish fitted to a magnificent Edencraft 233 with a Furuno FCV 588 sounder and a Garmin GPS Map 5012 on a most enjoyable morning in Port Phillip Bay and the results were impressive. We ran directly over structure at speed and located individual fish and bait schools. It was very easy to identify that exact spot with the Markfish by pausing the sounder, then scrolling back to the right spot and placing crosshairs directly on the target. This instantly stored the waypoint in the GPS/plotter with a unique name for us to return to the exact location. Bingo!

Markfish Demonstration

This compact little unit is about the size of a matchbox but will be ideal for marking bait balls, pot dropping, structure and even as a speedy safety device. I see tremendous advantages for those targeting deep-drop broadbill swordfish, blue eye and all sorts of offshore ooglies. Then there’s fast tracking of snapper schools when they’re out feeding on the mud, mahi mahi on a partially submerged object and a multitude of other inshore and freshwater applications.

The Markfish has been tested in all climatic extremes and has a three-year warranty. It’s a solid state unit in a sturdy weatherproof housing, which should allow unlimited function for many years of successful operation. Markfish is now shipping its ingenious little gadget to the world, with dealers all over Australia.

For more information and to order yours head to: www.mark.fish.

 


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