Tag Archives: shot

Humminbird 360 First Hand Experience

radioworld shirtI was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to get a day on the water with our Humminbird rep John Noel this past week to learn about their 360 Imaging sonar.  My initial impression of the 360 (before I got on the water with one) was it is pricey and too large for most people to even consider.  A $2000+ transducer that is almost the size of a 6’ Talon was just too much for me to get over.  My opinion completely changed after seeing it in use and how practical a tool it truly is and it WILL help you catch more fish.

Humminbird and Minn Kota have done an awesome job at designing their new Talon/360 brackets.  John’s boat had a dual 8’ Talon setup and on the starboard side the 360 adapter bracket was mounted there.  With all this mounted to the transom there is no question it is busy looking.  However, with all the benefits of this technology that outweighs the downside in my mind.

S00004John had the Lakemaster Chart loaded in his 998c SI unit and we navigated to our first fishing spot a mile or so offshore.  Once we arrived we deployed the 360 through the menu in the 998 and began to see exactly how the rock piles on the shoal laid out.  The boat was equipped with a Minn Kota Terrova with iPilot Link which makes navigating while fishing extremely easy.  Through the remote control we had full access to the list of waypoints in the 1198c SI mounted on the bow.  At a low trolling speed we used the iPilot Link to take us from waypoint to waypoint (which were rock piles on the shoal).

I caught a couple of small fish dragging a tube behind the boat and one that I marked on the sonar.  John was fishing for bigger bites with a jigging spoon but didn’t have any luck.  My eyes were opened to the effectiveness of the 360 when I noticed something off to the side of the boat as we were slowly moving to our next waypoint.  I picked up a drop shot with a Jackall Cross Tail tied on and cast in the direction of a rock pile we didn’t have a waypoint on.  After my weight hit the bottom I felt rocks and after dragging it a few feet I got a solid hit.  The fish ended up being a 3 1/2 pounder that I never would have caught without the 360 revealing that structure in perfect detail to me.  I was able to repeat that a few more times throughout the day.

S00003

On the 360 there are range rings that show you the distance away from the center (the boats location) so it’s easy to gauge how far you need to cast to reach a target.  When you purchase the 360, Humminbird includes a GPS antenna that has a built in compass heading sensor.  This is what lines up your 360 imaging with the direction of your boat.  When something shows up on the screen to your left it’s actually to the left of the boat so you know right where to cast.

One other thing I noticed about the 360 is that when the boat was stationary the image was much more defined.  This is because the transducer rotates which creates the movement you need for high detail images.  Just like with side imaging your boat needs movement for the best detail.

If you ever get a chance to see a 360 in action it won’t take long before you too are convinced of the value of having this on your boat.  All it took for me was one fish.

-Lawren

Transducer Shield and Saver Installation

Radioworld Pro Staff Danny Dunn had his Lowrance Structure Scan transducer mounted on the side of his jack plate with the standard mount supplied by Lowrance.  After about a month of fishing his rusted bolt and twisted bracket needed a face lift to ensure his side imaging sonar was performing properly.

Danny’s boat has a 8″ Slidemaster jack plate which makes a perfect mounting surface for the Transducer Shield and Saver mount.  The best part of all is that you don’t have to do any drilling into your boat.  These mounts will use the factory holes on most jackplates.  Let’s take a look at how he mounted his Lowrance LSS-2 10″ transducer with Transducer Shield and Saver.  Notice the before and after pictures…what a difference!

Transducer Shield and Saver has mounting solutions for transom mount and trolling motor mount transducer.  These mounts not only secure your transducer, but they also prevent it from being damaged in case of an unexpected impact.

-Lawren

A Weekend of Fishing Fun

In our last few blogs featuring Radioworld Pro-Staff Danny Dunn we heard how his electronics helped him take a win and a top 3 finish in his recent bass tournaments.  Well, even while enjoying a relaxing day on the water with is daughter Sarah, he still relies on his electronics to make his day a successful one.  The following are Danny’s words on his weekend of fishing.

“Sarah and I took advantage of the low winds and ventured out to Lake Ontario Saturday. I was especially looking for new water this trip and used Navplanner with my high def (1-foot contours) Hotmaps chip to find shallow flats with tight contours that had access to deep water, deep meaning in the 25-30 foot range.

I believed the fish would be deeper and with the warming afternoon coming the fish would head shallow to feed. The shallow water was key!  It had to have sand and chunk rock but not miles of it, sporadic was the key. Basically they were areas I thought the fish would use in the spring to spawn in.

The tight contours meant the fish would have almost immediate access to the shallow/deep water and it would be a key point to intersect fish moving up or down the break. I didn’t believe the fish would travel 100-200 yards to transition from 30 feet to 8-10 feet I believe the sharper and quicker the drop, the better!

When I arrived in the morning and put the Hotmaps chip in my HDS8 I zoomed it out to 4 miles and that allowed the tight contours to jump out right in plain sight. I then placed a waypoint at each end of the contour line as a start and finish point.

My plan was to use the front graph (another HDS8 networked to the dash unit with StructureScan) and stay on the break moving along the deep break looking for fish. I ran the unit in split screen.  Chart mode on one side and sonar mode on the other, alternating back and forth between down scan so I could really see bottom composition (ex. sand/rock/gravel).  When I saw a fish on the graph I would literally drop my bait down to the fish. Sarah and I went 12 for 16 on fish we saw on the graph.

I ran 3 spots before I found fish on the break.  If I didn’t see fish on the graph I didn’t fish it. One of the keys for this day was running the Minnkota at 30% and keeping my eyes on the graph. Now as a note; speed is totally dependent on wind direction and speed.  I found that if I was moving too fast on the trolling motor I couldn’t get my bait down to the fish in time, remember we where fishing as deep as 30 feet of water. Scroll speed was also important to ensure the data I was seeing on the graph was current and right below the boat not 20-feet behind.

For baits we used a dropshot with a ½ oz Tungsten cylinder weight. Reason for this set up is the cylinder drops fast than a round weight and Tungsten is significantly smaller in size for the same weight again effecting the drop rate. Once on the bottom we just kept a tight line and waited for the fish to grab it.  No shaking it or movement at all.  As for the bait it was a Xzone Slammer all the way….as for color…sorry dude….none of your bees wax!…lol

Line was 10lb braid, again, thinner line diameter fast drop rate and a 12 lb fluorocarbon leader of about 10 feet. The reason for the longer leader is that if I’m fighting a fish at the side of the boat I want the knot on the reel and no weak points. For rod we used a 7 ½ medium heavy rod. The longer rod helps pick up the line in deep water.

One last thing, we set the hook! No sweep sets in 30 feet of water. These fish have hard mouths and we needed to drive the hook home, sometimes I would set the hook once or twice more to ensure I was driving it home.

Later in the afternoon we slowly moved in the shallows looking for cruising fish, you couldn‘t miss them. We could see down 18 feet as the water is gin clear so in the shallow 2-4 feet it was like you could just reach out and touch them!  The fish were up there to feed and not shy at all. We could have caught them on top water lures which would have been fun, but I don’t like the hook up ratio so we stuck to Tubes and Drop shot. It was a blast!

In a nut shell between the HDS units and the Navionics mapping I never would have been able to condense my efforts on specific areas. Its cut my searching time but at least 80%. Even though I was just fun fishing I ALWAYS like to catch fish and to share that with my Sarah just completed the circle.” – Danny Dunn

Thanks for sharing your story with us Danny!  There is some great insight there on how to take full advantage of your electronics! Fall is one of the best times to get out for bass and with the cooler weather here and the water temps dropping this puts the fish into feed mode.  Put the tips Danny shared to use and you too will have a successful outing.

 –Lawren