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Is fishing too much work? Let your smartphone steer the boat

Dec 1, 2016

The Next Idea

At this time of the year, we're hearing a lot about the economic power of hunting in Michigan. But it turns out that fishing packs an even larger economic punch. Fishing brings in about $2.4 billion to the state.

Our latest guest on The Next Idea has helped to create something to help anglers come away happy when they set out on the water. And it comes from an unexpected source: your smartphone.

Travis White is the co-founder of ProNav in the Upper Peninsula and he came up with the ProNav Angler mobile app, which recently won an award in the Accelerate Michigan competition.

The app connects the trolling motor on your boat through a bluetooth connection with your smartphone or tablet. You can control the trolling motor with your device, or you can set a route that you want to travel and the app will put your boat into "autopilot" and you can focus on trying to get a few nibbles.

For anyone who has ever gone fishing, there's always someone who has the less-than-exciting job of keeping tabs on the boat's positioning on the lake. According to White, this app allows anglers to "set it and forget it." 

Listen to the full interview above to hear about how the idea came about, what to do when you're fishing in an area that has poor cell phone reception, and the journey from getting this project from the idea phase to the app store.

The Next Idea is Michigan Radio’s project devoted to new innovations and ideas that will change our state.

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