ORLANDO, Fla. – Everything is better live, which Garmin discovered Thursday when its Panoptix LiveScope took the ICAST Overall Best of Show award.
A crowd of more than 100 gathered in the New Product Showcase to see which of the 25 category winners would be voted by media and buyers as winner for the 2018 convention. Garmin’s winner is a live scanning sonar producing high resolution images that are easily recognizable.
“Two years ago, they brought out Panoptix, and it changed the way that I fished,” said Elite pro Jason Christie, who is sponsored by Garmin. “I’m no longer fishing what I can see – I’m fishing what’s in the water.”
The greatest benefit is knowing exactly what’s there. Christie said before that an angler would have to interpret what he was looking at, and might not always get things right.
“Now the LiveScope, there’s no more translation in your mind of what you see,” he said. “What you see is actually what is there. You can see the fins on the fish. You can see the bark on the tree.”
Christie and fellow Elite Fred Roumbanis both used the LiveScope during the Lake Oahe event, and Roumbanis said he watched the big fish of the tournament, a 5-pound, 6-ounce smallmouth, eat his bait. He could tell when a “skinny walleye” came off the bottom and could pull his lure away.
“You can tell the actual species of fish,” he said. “You’ve never been able to identify them. Now you can see and even understand how they’re related to structure.”
Christie said he received and first turned on his LiveScope on the first day of practice for Oahe. There were a few settings he had to change, but otherwise nothing else was different.
“You have to learn to make a couple adjustments, but it’s just an easier picture to understand,” he said. “I don’t have to translate anything. You see the fish, the bottom, the rock, everything.”
“And it’s live,” Roumbanis added. “You’re not looking at history. Most times you’re looking at a screen, you’re looking at history.”
Swindle says this product will stick
Gerald Swindle was found in the booth of the Tackle Management award winner, the Lure Locker by Tak Logic Lure Lock, and he says the product is sure to stick.
“There’s a patented gel at the bottom that holds your lures in place,” he said. “What I really like about the gel is holds everything, treble hooks, worm hooks and weights, perfectly in place. Terminal tackle doesn’t bounce around. Even if it falls over, it’s all in there.”
And it doesn’t get rattled around, even on rides in rough water. Swindle said shaking a box with 50 or so treble hooks can work on the coating and dull hooks.
“To us, it’s nice to know that VMC hook is as sharp as it was when I loaded the boat,” said Swindle, who added Lure Lockers come in three sizes, with or without the gel. “To me, they designed the ultimate product for fishing, and I use it for hunting. I put my broadheads in it. Lulu (Swindle’s wife) has one in her suitcase right now for jewelry. The concept of the sticky pad has taken it to a whole new level.”
Sometimes it’s the little things
With a Neko rig all the craze, the right hook with just the right angle can make all the difference, Elite pro Chad Pipkens said. He was at the Eagle Claw booth showing off Trokar’s new Neko Hooks, which utilizes a O’Shaughnessy bend to better keep fishing buttoned up.
“If the fish are going to shake, the corner of their mouth gets caught in this little gap,” Pipkens said. “As opposed to rounded, it can slide out more. It doesn’t swing out as easy. They don’t have as much leverage.”