We all tend to use our sounders in different ways to find fish and save our favourite fishing spots. These are features on my Lowrance that I use to help me prefish for competitions and work out new systems.
Insight Genesis social maps – Many of you may not be aware of this fantastic product. It allows you to download / view maps and get a great idea of bottom contours and fishy looking areas without leaving the comfort of your couch. Last year, I was lucky enough to qualify for the Hobie Grand Final. I was up most nights in the lead up to the tournament studying areas that have been mapped and looking for places to have a flick come pre-fish day. The other handy thing is once you have mapped a new area, you can create your own individual map for the area.
Sonar – I am a big fan of trying to match my lures to what the fish are feeding on as well as the locations they are feeding. Fish feed on a variety of manmade structure and natural structure. Your sonar will give you not only the depth and water temp, it will give the bottom density and the ability to distinguish between a silty muddy bottom and a rocky solid bottom.
Side/Down Scanning – I personally use my side imaging 80%of the time. Having the ability to scan and see fish lurking on structure that you visibly can’t see is a huge advantage from guys just using normal sonar. I will often side scan a bank then mark the key features on the GPS, after allowing it to settle I then go through and fish it. I have many times come across a rock bar or snag and found bream hanging in a school just waiting in ambush for a feed to drift by. The down scan is great for distinguishing schools of bait fish and larger fishing hanging amongst them as well as cleaning up your sonar image to give you better detail as to what the images are revealing.
GPS – We all know that you use your GPS for saving your fishing spots. Some other handy tips are to save tracks while running across shallow water areas on different tides often saving you time from having to idle to your spot when you can run flat out. Use drift tracks if you are fishing in open water areas and trying to keep your boat in a similar water depth, as this can be very handy to follow your track or alter them in search of different zones to fish.
I Hope these features and tips add to your arsenal to go out there and catch more fish