Ahead-facing sonar has modified the sport in the case of discovering and catch bass. The evolution of expertise has given anglers one other software to seek out fish quicker and be extra environment friendly at making them chunk. In 2017, when The Bass Tank’s co-founder John Soukup certified for the Forest Wooden Cup, he was one of many first to have forward-facing sonar and is taken into account one of many pioneers of Garmin’s Livescope.

Soukup could have been new to the brand new expertise in 2017 however has since received a whole lot of hundreds of {dollars} utilizing Garmin electronics put in at The Bass Tank. Specializing in installations, The Bass Tank is a full-service marine electronics store that not solely sells merchandise to anglers, however additionally they set up and practice prospects the right way to put it to use. From creating an influence harness to make sure correct voltage to every unit for max readability, Soukup tried to be taught all the things attainable to move alongside to purchasers, and he spent over 250 days a yr on the water throughout the firm’s first two years—with over 1,000 hours so far.

Soukup has utilized his expertise to fish professional-level occasions and notched two Nationwide Skilled Fishing League (NPFL) victories in 2021 alone. By absolutely understanding the expertise, he has change into a go-to within the trade by coaching different skilled anglers to get essentially the most of their electronics.

Forward facing sonar

“There may be a lot extra to be realized, and at no level do I believe you may simply be a ‘livescoper’ and beat one of the best anglers on this planet,” Soukup mentioned. “You must perceive fish habits and the right way to apply the software to the fish and associated methods. In 2021, my inaugural win on the NPFL path, I used to be 100% utilizing Livescope to catch fish from brush piles and in open water.”


How does it assist?

The misunderstanding with forward-facing sonar is which you can merely add it to a ship and simply magically discover fish. That couldn’t be farther from the reality. Soukup notes that first figuring out the areas the place Livescope can succeed has helped him when studying the expertise and utilizing it in tournaments.

“I’ll establish areas of the lake the place I can Livescope one of the best, after which I’ll look and see if the bites are attainable,” he mentioned. “Incorporating that type into your apply interval is totally different, and one issue is water readability. You want cleaner water for fishing a jerkbait with Livescope and an setting the place the fish will keep in a single basic space with out transferring an excessive amount of.”

Relying on the season, and the part of the spawn, he’ll goal locations the place the fish are coming to, and can find high-percentage areas that can maintain fish all through multi-day occasions.

“Three widespread areas are bridges, marinas and ditches/bluffs,” he mentioned. “One other piece of canopy that Livescope has given anglers an enormous benefit is in timber. We are able to fish for bass extra successfully than ever earlier than. By transferring by on the trolling motor and looking out; figuring out areas of the creeks which might be being utilized; in search of bait in open water; Livescope merely places us round extra fish and you’ll inform the dimensions of the fish with out catching it.”

Livescoping Gear


Alpha Angler 6-foot, 10-inch medium-fast Jerkbait Topwater Rod paired with a Daiwa Tatula SV

In terms of slinging round jerkbaits all day, he doesn’t get too sophisticated. An Alpha Angler 6-foot, 10-inch, Angler Slasher paired with a Daiwa Tatula SV does the trick.

forward facing sonar

“Total, it’s among the finest rods I’ve dealt with. The size is vital, it is not too brief, its excellent for brief twitches and I don’t need the rod tip to the touch the water or my elbows touching the deal with.”

The Daiwa Tatula SV has a shallow, lighter spool and is ideal when fishing lengthy, exhausting days. Paired with the Angler Slasher, is the one setup he depends on based mostly on years of testing.

“I don’t have big palms, and that reel retains the entire arrange balanced and lightweight, I don’t need to really feel like I have to be aggressive,” he mentioned. “It permits me to fish a jerkbait for days and commit; It is extraordinarily balanced and I can fish it for days. We’re not out right here focusing on essentially the most aggressive fish anymore—it is extra like focusing on inactive fish. Lots of occasions they get hooked within the sides or solely have one hook. And not using a web, this rod has made my touchdown ratio undergo the roof.”


Twelve-pound Sunline Sniper Fluorocarbon

“Lots of people suppose the lighter line will get the jerkbait to go deeper, and again within the day we used to make use of 4- to 6-pound monofilament, however at the moment, fluorocarbon really sinks and I’ll go as much as 15-pound line to get the baits deeper,” he mentioned. The one situation is heavier line impacts the motion of the jerkbait. When it’s a very clear water state of affairs, I’ll go right down to 8- or 10-pound, however 90% of the time, I take advantage of 12-pound Sniper for the castability and its stronger for fish round cowl.”

Ten-pound Sunline Crank FC Fluorocarbon

“The opposite possibility,” he mentioned, “and its one I’ve been enjoying round with, is 10-pound Crank FC. It is a very castable line, very clean, and extra has just a little extra stretch. I used it finally occasion, the 10-pound take a look at Crank FC and I’m liking it—I’ll swap.”


Soukup breaks his jerkbait choice down into two classes: a pulling bait and a twitch bait. Each are extraordinarily vital and figuring out which one to decide on may be the distinction in getting bites from inactive bass.

forward facing sonar

“For pulling baits, you need the motion, the bait coming to you and transferring a whole lot of water,” he mentioned. “If fish are feeding with their lateral strains, pulling baits get their consideration—my alternative is a Smithwick Rogue. That bait is such a staple for the Ozark areas, Grand Lake, when you might have 2 to three ft of visibility and large shad. Lots of guys use these Rogues and it’s the pulling motion that will get it performed.”

For cleaner water, extra highland reservoirs, the motion switches to twitching type baits. He’ll use extra increased finish, Japanese type jerkbaits in these situations.

“When fish are utilizing their eyes to feed, you want a bait that strikes heavy facet to facet, however not away from the fish,” he mentioned. “Preserving it of their strike zone longer will temp extra fish to chunk.”

Soukup provides that one of many hardest elements of jerkbait fishing with forward-facing sonar is figuring out the fish you’re seeing. What kind of jerkbait motion do you want? How far will the fish come as much as eat? Do you want a much bigger invoice bait to get down farther?

“One other key piece when fishing round cowl—timber, bridges, rock, and so forth.—is you want to deflect cowl and maintain the hooks off the wooden.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *