Those who love to fish know that the right gear makes a difference to the success of your fishing trip. Whether it’s rods, reels or bait, you need to have the proper equipment to bring in the fish.
That extends to watches. As the technology has advanced on timepieces, it has meant that a good fishing watch can provide an advantage in this sport as in many others. A fisherman watch makes a great gift for the outdoor enthusiast in your family, or an ideal addition to your own gearbox if you’re an avid angler.
When you’re looking for a good fishing watch, there are certain features that should be considered. A tide watch is important for some anglers, particularly for those who spend a lot of time deep-sea fishing or fishing from shore in a coastal area. Some anglers like to watch the phases of the moon.
Others may be content with a solid sport watch that they can wear in the boat and use on shore as well. A men’s fishing watch can generally be worn by men or women who love to fish.
So let’s take a look at the top fishing watches, and the considerations for choosing a good fishing watch for your needs.
Best Fishing Watches
|1||Casio Pro Trek Solar Fishing Watch||Buy On Amazon|
|2||Suunto Traverse Alpha Fishing Watch||Buy On Amazon|
Best For Low Budgets3Timex Intelligent Quartz Tide Temp Fishing Watch
Best For Low BudgetsTimex Intelligent Quartz Tide Temp Fishing Watch
|Buy On Amazon|
Hide other buying options
Best Overall4Garmin Quatix 5 Fishing Watch
Best OverallGarmin Quatix 5 Fishing Watch
|Buy On Amazon|
Best For Higher Budgets5Casio GWF1000 Frogman Fishing Watch
Best For Higher BudgetsCasio GWF1000 Frogman Fishing Watch
|Buy On Amazon|
Hide other buying options
|6||Casio Men's Pathfinder Fishing Watch||Buy On Amazon|
1. Casio Pro Trek Solar Fishing Watch
As the name suggests, this timepiece is created for backpackers, hikers, and people who usually have an active outdoor lifestyle (whether it’s for work or for fun).
Equipped with Tough Solar Power technology, the Pro Trek PRW2500T is a solar-powered, digital sports watch. This means that you can use sunlight to recharge the battery, which will hold about 5 months on a full charge with all the features available and without any further charging. In Power Saving mode the watch is supposed to last for about 23 months.
Other features that make this watch stand out are Multi-Band Atomic Timekeeping, Tide Graph, Moon Data, digital compass, altimeter (with the possibility to save data), barometer, thermometer, and more. In addition, its water-resistance and EL backlight with afterglow, make it a fantastic tool for divers and people who are usually around water.
As a timekeeper, the Pro Trek is equipped with a stopwatch, countdown timer, five alarms, full auto-calendar programmed until 2099, 12/24h formats, and more.
In terms of design, this is a rather bulky watch with lots of buttons and plenty of information displayed at almost any time. Still, due to the titanium bracelet, it is not as heavy as you’d expect. It’s also complex, due to the multitude of features it has to offer, so it takes a bit of reading the instructions and playing with the settings to learn what it does.
- Durable design with lots of cool features
- Bi-directional stainless steel compass bezel
- Atomic Timekeeping for increased reliability
- Solar-powered with a good power reserve
- Good water resistance
- The interface is a bit complex
- The design is bulky and large
- You must take it off for accurate temperature reading
2. Suunto Traverse Alpha Fishing Watch
A stainless steel case, durable nylon textile strap that repels water, and a knurled stainless steel bezel are the main elements to suggest the Traverse Alpha is a watch designed for rough conditions. There’s also the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass that protects the intelligent mechanism and a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery.
The watch resists at about 100m in water and has the necessary features to become a valuable resource for outdoor adventurers, hikers, hunters, fishers, and more. First, the GPS/GLONASS navigation module is paired with hunting & fishing tech tools such as automatic shot detection (keeps track of your shots), moon phase calendar, automatic breadcrumb trail (to find your way back), sunrise alert, and weather trend alert.
It also has a red backlight, so the dial is visible during nighttime without attracting attention. There’s also a built-in flashlight to illuminate surroundings and can connect with your smartphone via Bluetooth (to receive notifications).
Lastly, this is a great accessory for when you’re moving in unknown territory as it provides access to topographic maps, altitude profiles, and has built-in barometric pressure.
- Super-durable build and scratch-resistant lens
- It looks great on your wrist & is comfortable
- Advanced GPS features
- Lots of tools for outdoorsmen
- Good battery life
- GPS acquisition can be a bit slow
- It doesn’t change the time zone automatically
- The temperature sensor is placed on the back case
3. Timex Intelligent Quartz Tide Temp Fishing Watch
- Distinctive 4th hand functionality with a tide tracker that counts down to the next high or low tide.
- The temperature sensor provides readings in Celsius or Fahrenheit
- The electronic compass has an adjustable angle for increased accuracy regardless of your location.
- Sporty look with a black watch face and red and white markings.
This black analog watch has white and red markings on the face. It features a stainless steel case, mineral glass crystal and adjustable black silicone strap.
The features are ideal for a regular watch as well as for the outdoor adventurer. There are the standard hour, minute and second hands and a date window at 6 o’clock. Then, the distinctive 4th hand functionality with a tide tracker counts down to the next high or low tide.
High tide is indicated at 12 o’clock and low tide at 6 o’clock. Once you set the tide to the current location, the indicators will count down the number of hours to high tide or low tide.
There is also a temperature reading that can measure air or water temperature, in Celsius or Fahrenheit. Finally, the compass directional ring helps with navigation. Timex knows how to make watches, and this one has the standard Indiglo backlight that’s a big part of the Timex reputation.
- Water-resistant to 330 feet (100 meters), making it suitable for swimming or snorkeling, but not diving.
- Adjustable silicone band ideal for outdoor conditions.
- Features the Timex Indiglo light-up watch dial and luminous hands.
- Thermometer measures air and water temperature.
- Very busy watch face.
- You should remove the watch from your wrist to get a more accurate temperature reading.
4. Garmin Quatix 5 Fishing Watch
The Garmin Quatix 5 is a smartwatch specially designed for people who are passionate about water sports. As such, it comes with preloaded activity profiles for a wide array of adventures such as kayaking, canoeing, and more.
In order to be stylish and comfortable, Quatix 5 comes with a stainless steel case and bezel, side buttons, and the Quick Fit band system that lets users change the band without any tools. In addition, the back case is fitted with sensors that will read your heart rhythm and create a performance progress chart based on the activity you’re doing. There’s also a 3-axis compass, a gyroscope, satellite navigation and tracking, and a barometric altimeter that will help guide you on the water.
Lastly, you can connect your Quatix 5 with compatible Garmin chart plotters and devices for various sailing notifications, data streaming, and features. There’s also a sail racing assistance module and access to the Connect IQ store where users can download a series of faces.
- The watch comes with an impressive set of features
- It can connect with other Garmin devices on a boat
- Built-in heart-rate sensor, GPS, 3-axis compass, and more
- Sail racing assistance module
- Users can change the face of the watch as well as the band
- Comfortable to wear and eye-catching
- The range is not that great
- The Fusion link only works with specific models
5. Casio GWF1000 Frogman Fishing Watch
- Provides tide and moon data.
- Includes a dive timer.
- Multi-Band atomic timekeeping means it receives radio signals several times a day to keep the time accurate. Signals are in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Japan and China.
- World time in 31 time zones, including Universal Time Coordinated and 48 cities.
The Casio G-Shock line is known for being ultra durable, with a mineral glass, shock resistance and high water pressure resistance, making it popular with military personnel and more. It’s water resistant to 656 feet and includes a diver timer.
It also provides tide and moon data, used in a number of outdoor activities. The time itself is accurate due to the atomic timekeeping, which means it receives radio signals several times a day for up-to-the-second accuracy. It has Universal Time Coordinated technology, with 31 time zones, 48 cities, and the ability to have automatic daylight savings time turned on or off.
The Tough Solar technology means the watch stays powered even when you’re using battery-draining functions. A full auto backlight with afterglow makes it easy to read in any conditions. Interchangeable bands means you can change up the look of the watch.
- The G-Shock line resists centrifugal and impact forces, as well as high water pressure.
- G-Shock is used by military personnel, law enforcement, surfers and outdoor enthusiasts around the world.
- Water resistant to 656 feet (200 meters).
- Tough Solar power technology ensures stable operation while using power-hungry functions.
- Some will find the price tag high.
- Not everyone needs the high-end durability and features of the watch.
6. Casio Men's Pathfinder Fishing Watch
As part of the Pro Trek PAG-240 Series, the Pathfinder is a timepiece designed for the outdoor adventurer. It is durable (100m water-resistance), it comes with full auto EL backlight and is equipped with Self-Charging Tough Solar Power (no need for batteries as long as the watch is exposed to sunlight or UV light).
In addition, the Pathfinder is fitted with a series of features for people who need to manage in the outdoors. As such, it has a built-in triple sensor (Altimeter, Barometer/Thermometer, and Digital Compass), time information on 31 times zones (48 cities with city code display, daylight saving on/off), and the bezel is imprinted with directional markings for taking bearing measurements.
Other features that make the Pathfinder a great accessory are 5 daily alarms, 1/100-second stopwatch, countdown timer, 12/24-hour formats, and a battery power indicator. Lastly, the watch is comfortable on your wrist and the side buttons are easy to access.
- User-friendly interface
- A solar-powered timepiece with quartz movement
- Lots of features for outdoors adventurers
- Automatic EL backlight
- Durable & comfortable design
- The temperature sensor is on the back, against the skin
- The strap is a bit short for large wrists
Fishing Watch Buying Guide
This may be the most important consideration when choosing a good fishing watch. If you’re planning to fish, you’re likely to get wet, so your watch has to have even a basic water resistance.
It’s better to go for enough resistance to allow for immersion in the water, rather than a watch that can handle a splash or two. When fishing, you might have to stick your arm in the water, or you might get caught in the rain. So water resistance is a key feature of a good fishing watch.
A higher water resistance rating means you can use it for swimming or snorkeling, as well as fishing. And if you’re interested in diving, you’ll need to look for a watch that is rated for diving.
Similar to water resistance, you want a sport watch composed of materials that can handle the outdoor elements. That includes a case that’s water resistant, as already mentioned.
But it also includes a strap that can handle splashes, getting caught on the side of the boat, or getting rubbed by fish slime. A silicone or durable resin band is best on a fishing watch.
You may also want to look for an extra durable scratch-resistant covering on the watch face, and you may even want shock resistance and more than just the basic water resistance, if you plan to use the watch in extreme conditions in and out of the boat.
The features you want on a fishing watch are as individual as with other sport watches. You may want a simple waterproof watch that will be easy to read in any condition, so you know how long you’ve been on the water and when it’s time to head home. Or, you may want a more advanced sport watch with all the bells and whistles for fishing and so much more.
Having a compass capacity on a fishing watch is great if you need to navigate. You may even want a watch with ABC capabilities – ABC referring to an altimeter, barometer and compass. A watch with these three sensors can help you determine elevation, environmental pressure, and your current heading.
The altimeter provides elevation data, helpful if you’re hiking as it aids in accurately monitoring ascent and descent, but that may not be as necessary when fishing – unless you hike to your fishing locations.
The barometer predicts weather changes by showing short-term trends in air pressure, which could be very valuable if you’re in a boat in the middle of a large body of water or on a mountain fishing in a creek. And the compass provides your heading or direction of travel so you can return home after your day is done.
You can also look for a fishing watch that has GPS functionality, which may be better for your needs than a compass alone.
Using Global Positioning System satellite technology, a GPS helps navigate, including tracking your course, setting waypoints, and other benchmarks that help you ensure you know where you are in the wild, whether on a lake or an ocean.
If you plan to fish in coastal areas, cast from a beach area, or do any deep-sea fishing, a tide watch or tide guide is a feature you may want to consider.
Many fishermen monitor how the fish bite by the movement of the tides. At the very least, a tide watch feature will let you know when the water near the coast will be low, helping you plan your fishing day accordingly.
Many fishermen also swear by the phases of the moon when it comes to determining the ideal time to fish. So a watch that reads moon phases or the lunar phases may be desirable for some.
This is a personal choice, as you don’t necessarily need to track your heart rate when fishing. But those who fish are often outdoor adventurers, participating in other sports, and it may be desirable to have functions that support those other activities.
Those outdoor enthusiasts may want wrist-based heart rate technology, activity tracking such as steps taken and miles traveled, and other fitness features as well as the functionality that’s beneficial on a fishing watch.
Depending on your interests, you may want a fishing watch with some extra bells and whistles. Some watches have built-in profiles for tracking performance in other sports, such as running, hiking, kayaking, and more.
There is even the option to get a watch that can be used for sailing, with features like tack assist, a starting line and a finish line, and waypoints just like a race course. A backlight and luminous hands are nice features if you’ll be out in low light, such as dawn, dusk or overcast skies.
If you want absolute accuracy, you can look at timepieces called atomic watches. That means the watch connects with radio signals several times a day to ensure it’s always accurate, and it updates automatically when you move through time zones or into daylight savings time.
Style & Design
Style and design is once again a personal decision, but it’s not a surprise that most sport watches or those that would be used as a fishing watch tend to be sporty looking.
A fisherman watch often has a fairly large watch face, in part to display the many features that are components of a good fishing watch. The band is often relatively thick as well, able to withstand the rigors that come with outdoor activity. In fact, those who want a sports watch or fishing watch usually prefer a sporty, chunky style.
And then there are choices of either an analog watch with multiple functions that are controlled by toggles on the side of the watch, or smartwatches that operate with a touchscreen and connectivity to wi-fi, smartphones, and other products that offer functionality.
A smartwatch usually needs to be plugged in to charge, so the battery life is a consideration if you’re planning long fishing trips or will be away from power for long periods of time. Battery life is usually impacted by how many features you use on the watch and how long you keep the functions active.
A good fishing watch can be as important as the rest of the gear that an angler has at his or her disposal. Some fishermen like to monitor tides and moon phases.
Others like to use their watch for other sports, including water sports like sailing or kayaking or land adventures like running or hiking. Some anglers want to monitor their health by tracking activity, steps taken and heart rate.
And still others just want a water resistant watch that looks good and keeps accurate time, perhaps with an alarm to alert them and ensure they know what time to head home.
With our guide to the best fishing watches, you can choose the features and functions that are best for your needs, and enjoy your days in the great outdoors with a timepiece that’s perfect for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
A fishing watch is not just a solid sports watch that you can wear in the boat and use onshore as well. Many fishing watches include GPS, tide and moon phases. Some watches have built-in profiles for tracking performance in other sports, such as running, hiking, kayaking, and more.
There is even the option to get a watch that can be used for sailing, with features like tack assist, a starting line and a finish line, and waypoints just like a race course. A backlight, night light and luminous hands are nice features if you’ll be out in low light, such as dawn, dusk or overcast skies.