First Session with StructureScan 3D

Paul Malov talks about the experience of using StructureScan 3D for the first time to locate fish-holding structures.

Having used the ‘traditional’ StructureScan module over the last couple of years to help me find schools of fish, bait and underwater structure like rock piles, sunken logs and manmade structures, I was really keen to get some first-hand experience with the new StructureScan 3D module from Lowrance.

When you first unbox the StructureScan 3D module and transducer, you will notice that the transducer is much beefier in size, compared with the LSS-2 transducer. This is due to the improved design, to provide greater image clarity and increased scanning range under water.

If you are installing the transducer for the first time, ensure you follow the instructions in the user manual carefully and pick an appropriate location on the transom or bottom of your boat. The goal is to mount the transducer in a location where clean, uninterrupted water can flow under the transducer, giving you the best possible image.

You have now mounted the transducer, mounted the StructureScan 3D module, wired and plugged everything in, update your compatible Lowrance unit with the latest software – you are now good to go!

Accessing the 3D view is simple – when you are on a ‘Structure’ screen, in your right hand menu is a toggle named ‘3D’ – all you need to do to view the 3D view, is to toggle that button to ‘On’.

First impressions are – Wow, what an improvement in clarity to the Left + Right StructureScan view. The addition of the 3D view, gives users a whole new perspective and eyes under water especially around structure, like piers and jetties!

I believe that the 3D view will come in especially handy offshore when fishing for pelagic species like tuna, marlin, kingfish – in being able to locate and mark schools of fish and bait balls out on either side of the boat, without having to drive over the school directly, to mark them. This will save us all time sounding around and give us more time to fish!

Our first session out with the new StructureScan 3D module was in Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne, Australia – where we idled past an old abandoned pier which I know normally holds good numbers of fish.

The key with this place however, is how far in amongst the pylons are these fish holding! The traditional StructureScan screen showed me some fish hanging close to the edge of the pier with bait balls suspended high in the water column, but these fish weren’t interested in chewing.

However when we flicked over to the 3D view, we were able to see suspended fish 4-6 pylons deep, so that was the area we decided to concentrate on and were rewarded with some small Snapper, which go really well on light spin gear in amongst the barnacle encrusted pylons!

To get the best StructureScan 3D image quality, I’ve found a relatively slow speed of 4-8km/hr to be ideal when sounding around. In terms of settings, there’s not a great deal that you have to do to get a great picture, but I suggest having a play with the contrast settings and colour pallet to suit your needs and the time of day for easy viewing.