My midseason electronics update

Back in early February I wrote a column — Three brands of electronics — detailing why I was going with all three major brands of electronics. I also promised a couple of updates throughout the season that would give you my perspective of how they worked out for me. 

Here’s my midseason update…

After five events with all of the new electronics technology, I have to say it is very cool stuff. I’m still in the early stages when it comes to learning all the details. They’re all a little different, and they all operate differently. 

A quick reminder: I have the Garmin Panoptix LIVEScope on the front, Humminbird MEGA 360 Imaging up front, Humminbird on the console and Lowrance front and back. I have the Lowrance Active Target Live Sonar system, but it’s not yet installed.

Each one of the technologies has their place. I am really glad I have them all. Even at shallow, dirty-water events I’m surprised at the little things that make a big difference in my fishing. 

At the 2021 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Pickwick Lake, I was fishing a specific type of bank for a portion of the event. I found that even fishing between 2 and 4 feet deep I was able to scan around and see depressions and ditches in the shallow water. Those were the areas where I caught most of my shallow bass. I didn’t see the bass, or any other fish. I just saw the depressions from 40 to 60 feet away. It was helpful.   

The 2021 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Tennessee River was similar, but different. I caught most of my fish with a shallow crankbait and a Z-Man ChatterBait. The key was rock, especially isolated rock. The Mega 360 is the deal for this kind of fishing. It shows hard rock and gives you an accurate reading of exactly where it’s at.

I had a Top 10 finish. The Mega 360 was a big part of that. 

But you don’t have to have a strong finish for all this technology to help. At the 2021 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Lake Fork I finished 76th. That’s not something to call home about. Nevertheless I kept fishing hard. You never know when one keeper might make the difference at the end of the year. 

At the end of one day I had four keepers in the boat. I fished points with a jerkbait with no success looking for that last bass. On the way in I stopped at one last point. I scanned it with LIVEscope. I saw a brush pile off to the side with shad on top, and a few dots that I thought might be bass. I made a cast to it. I never would have made that cast if I hadn’t seen the brush pile. I caught a keeper — small, less than 2 pounds. 

That might not seem like much given the heavy weight brought to the scales by the top anglers, but it could make the difference between my fishing the 2022 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk, and not fishing it. We won’t know for a few more months.  

With four more events on the schedule and the Lowrance Active Target still left to install I feel like I’m just getting started. Nevertheless, I can say for certain right now that the money I spent on all of this equipment was money well spent. Actually, invested might be a better way to say that. 

Once the season is over, and I have more experience with everything, I’ll give you a complete breakdown of what I think each system does and what it’s best at.