Infrared thermometers aren’t just tools that you can use for automobile or HVAC diagnostics. More companies are now making these thermometers to fit a wider range of needs, including those of game fishermen. The temperature of the water can affect fish activity, and an infrared thermometer made especially for fishing can help you read the water temperature with greater efficacy.
The Benefits of an IR Thermometer for Game Fishing
Water temperature can affect a catch, even if it is a slight change. In some cases, a warmer water temperature means less oxygen for the fish, which increases their mortality rate if they’re caught and then placed back into the water. In addition, certain fish just have an “ideal” water temperature in which they’re more likely to bite. A quality infrared thermometer can help you estimate the water’s conditions.
What To Look For in an Infrared Thermometer
Game fishermen have different needs from the average IR thermometer user. Accuracy should be on everyone’s list of top features, but even more so for fishermen. Catfish, for instance, are most active when the water is 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius); Rainbow Trout are most active at 61 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius). Placing your hand in the water gives you only an idea of the temperature, but an IR thermometer gives you a thorough calculation.
Another important feature to look at is the distance-spot ratio. You need a thermometer that will give you an accurate measurement, even if you’re holding it from several inches away. One of the downsides of cheaply-made IR thermometers is that they lose accuracy if they’re not held at a precise distance. Lastly, you’ll want to look for a thermometer that is easy to carry and can fit into or fasten onto your fishing vest or clothing. The last thing you want is to lose an expensive thermometer in the water.
One of the best infrared thermometers to consider is the Kintrex IRT0401 IR thermometer. Out of various infrared thermometers, the Kintrex seems to provide the most accuracy and portability (it can easily fit inside the breast pocket of a fishing vest because it’s only a little larger than a thumb drive). While the distance ratio is only 1:1, the thermometer is waterproof and delivers results within a second. Another thermometer worth looking into is the NorCross Marine Waterproof Infrared Thermometer. It’s readings are quicker than the Kintrex’s and it provides a larger distance-spot ratio (5:1); however, it’s accuracy is off by plus or minus 4 degrees. On the other hand, the NorCross is both waterproof and it floats.
Getting a quality IR thermometer is important if you know that it is a tool you will use often. You need a thermometer that delivers accurate and consistent results, and that is highly portable for those livewells.