Recent advancements in modern electronics and technology inside the boat have progressed so much in recent years with mapping, underwater cameras, and trolling motors just to name a few. All these tools speed up the fish finding process, which is crucial when you only have so many hours on the water each week.
Combine that with technology where your trolling motor and your fish finder talk together, and you can run your boat with your smart phone or a handheld remote from anywhere inside the craft. Today’s technology makes us more efficient on the water and helps us catch more fish at the end of the day.
This week on AnglingBuzz TV, we’re talking all about modern electronics and how to utilize them to maximize your time fishing. Our guest host is Joel Nelson, and we’ll be covering down on a multitude of topics including HD mapping, 2D sonar, Down-Imaging, Side-Imaging, 360 Imaging and more.
Nick: “Joel, what are a few keys to finding fish more quickly utilizing the tools that you have at your disposal in today’s day and age?”
Joel: “I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m a big map nerd. In the big scheme of things, mapping is really the first feature I use on my electronics to find fish. The nice thing about maps is you don’t even need to be on the lake to make use of it. Prior to going out on the water, you can scroll through the map, analyze situations depending on the species you’re looking to fish, and then identify key underwater structures and areas of the lake that I’m going to fish on any given day. I like to make a game plan before I even take the boat off the trailer.
“At this time of year, maybe it’s early season walleye. You’re concentrating on shallow shoreline flats, points developing weed beds, rocks, and rubble. Figuring those things out on a map, getting a game plan going for the day, and going after that kind of structure is a great way to target fish before you get to the lake.”
Nick: “There’s no doubt that walleye are a fan favorite here in the Upper Midwest, but where should I be looking if I want to catch bass or panfish right now?”
Joel: “For crappies and bass, you should be focusing your efforts on some of the shallower bays, channels that warm up quickly, reed beds, developing cabbage beds, milfoil fields, and fallen isolated wood. All that stuff is really critical cover that gathers fish. Those fish are moving outside of spawning areas and many of them will spread out on flats directly adjacent to that.
“You’re also going to look at water temperature early in the season. Warmer water can certainly concentrate fish and depending on some of the weather patterns, you might only be able to catch fish when the water is a lot warmer than the surrounding areas.”
Nick: “There are large numbers of fish up shallow right now, but what will you do to find them as they begin to move deeper as the season progresses?”
Joel: “2D sonar has been around forever and it’s really the key to finding fish anywhere deeper than 10 feet of water. It’s probably the best feature you can have to quickly comb over water and find bait fish and game fish in some of those moderate to deeper water environments. I can accurately see fish on my boat going an upwards of 20 miles per hour or more, so that’s where 2D sonar’s strengths fit in.”
Nick: “Another technology that’s really grown in popularity in recent years is Side-Imaging. Could you just take a moment to explain what Side-Imaging is and how you utilize it?”
Joel: “For those anglers not familiar with this technology, the best way I can explain Side-Imaging is it’s an underwater x-ray that shoots off the side of the boat. It’s a great tool for identifying cover elements such as rocks, wood, and clumps of weeds that fish tend to concentrate on. It’s easy to drive over a point, a sunken island, or a flat and drop those coordinates on your Side-Imaging screen and transpose them on the map. Once you’ve done that, you have a milk run that you create from your Side-Imaging that sets you up for the rest of your fishing that day. The key is really to use your electronics to their maximum potential and the way you’re going to do that is employing your mapping first, 2D sonar, and maybe Side-Imaging third. I think that’s the best way to go about it.”
Nick: “No doubt about it, Joel, modern electronics have come a long way. Heck, now they even have technology where not only can you see underneath you, but 360 degrees all around the boat. It’s wild stuff.”
Joel: “Yeah, now that you found them, it’s really up to you to figure out what they are willing to bite. It’s time to start casting!”