Step 3 - Get a home for the Livescope
The Garmin technology proved to be such a huge asset for the ice fishing season, it was an immediate need to get the transducer set up for the Crestliner FishHawk. Last year, I used the Fishing Specialties https://fishingspecialties.com/ mount set up for a Crestliner integrated rail. The unit costs $250. As I've looked around the internet for other options, that seems to be the price range for this set up. I plan to use this mount this open water season, but I am using it in the back of the boat for my partner, as I have Garmin's original Panoptix on the console of the boat. I found that the Fishing Specialties mount was well made and a nice unit, but it didn't stow and deploy well enough for it to not be kind of a pain to go in and out when running from spot to spot. I wanted something more nimble for tournament fishing. With this spring's advent of the Garmin perspective mount, this became a necessity. I watched 50 Youtube videos on homemade PVC mounts. All were functional. All were ugly. So, off to create my own...
My parts list:
2 - Telescoping Fittings 3/4 pipe by 1.25 fitting - $1.89 each
1 - 5 ft of blue furniture grade PVC 1-1/4" sch 40 - $11.50 each
2 - 5 ft of black furniture grade PVC 3/4" sch 40 - $7.43 each
2 - blue external couplers 1 1/4" - $3.72 each
2 - 45 degree elbows 3/4" - $2.22 each
2 - End cap 3/4" - $1.07 each
1 - RAM Double Socket Arm 6 inch B size - $18.99 each on Amazon
1 - RAM Torque Large Rail Base B size - $18.99 each on Amazon
2 - RAM Track Ball with T-Bolt Attachment B size - $9.99 each on Amazon
1 - RAM Tough Claw Medium Clamp Base with B size ball - $39.29 each on Amazon
1 - RAM Double Socket Arm 2.5 inch with B size ball - $12.99 each on Amazon
Total Cost = $145
My prototype is built and ready to be water tested. I am awaiting the delivery of the Garmin perspective mount to attach to the bottom of the transducer area, but I am pleased with the way it sits and functions on dry land. The key to the build was that that furniture grade PVC has just a thick enough wall to not fit in the telescoping fitting. Why was not fitting a key?! Well, after sanding the interior of the telescoping fittings with an 80 grit sandpaper, I could establish the perfect fit and tightness of the turn, which will allow the transducer to stay wherever you turn it.
I will be getting a YouTube video up soon on the on water use!
Step 2: What's going on the boat
The sophistication of today's electronics has changed fishing. In the information age, the one the that is changing the fastest is the rate that everything is changing. There are some incredible advances in today's fishing electronics that are undoubtedly game changers. In this blog, I am going to talk about my set-up.
I am running two Garmin and one Humminbird units on my boat in 2020. The image above diagrams the location I am planning to put the units. The ECHOMAP Plus 7 inch at the console is going to be hooked up to the side image transducer (hull), the high speed transducer (hull) and the Panoptix PS22 at the side rail of the rear angler fishing area. This way,my son (partner) has the ability to scan his casting area for fish and cover using the fishing innovation transducer mount that is made for the Crestliner integrated bracket. This unit will also have the Garmin Side Imaging transducer hooked up. This transducer will allow me to see fish and cover on both sides of the boat. I will be able to mark places to fish while slowly graphing around the areas I want to take a closer look at.
I will be running two graphs at the bow. One will be utilizing the integrated transducer in the Minn Kota trolling motor. I'll use a Humminbird Helix 7 DI GPS, hooked up to the trolling motor. This unit will be primarily for having access to down imaging at the bow. Down imaging allows you to identify the cover that you are encountering. The image below demonstrates the difference between standard sonar and down imaging.
Lastly, at the bow, I will be running a 9 inch Garmin unit that I will use for mapping and Panoptix LiveScope in the NEW perspective mode. This is the view that is an absolute game changer, in my opinion. Not only can you see what's in a 135 degree area in front of you, you can identify the cover, AND see the moving fish that are relating to the cover. Incredible. You can see the fish on the screen and cast to them. I am super excited to use this new technology this upcoming tournament season. I felt pretty good about my chances when I couldn't see exactly what they were doing. This is incredible technology.
Garmin's bluetooth enabled smartphone app (ActiveCaptain) and wireless network that is integrated allows me to upgrade each units software, and share information between all my units and my phone. Any waypoint I collect on one unit is saved and displayed on each unit. I can be sitting on my couch, doing research on a lake and save waypoints that I want to fish right on the mapping on my phone. When I get to the boat and connect the Garmin WiFi network with my phone, all my units sync. This is a great feature that eliminates the need for running networking cables around the boat for each unit. Awesome technology!
These strange times have got me thinking about a million things. As a father, my brain has been working overtime trying to make sure everything is in order to keep my family safe during this pandemic. The one that I have been able to count on to keep myself sane and take a mental break, is preparing for this open water fishing season. This season will be special.
My oldest son will be graduating from college this spring, and is already home during the quarantine. We’ve fished in tournaments together in the past, but most of our fishing has been recreational runs after work. He was a college scholarship golfer, and while he has a love for fishing, the summers and summer weekends have been spent preparing for golf tournaments.
This summer, we are teaming up to fish the Wisconsin River Bass Tournament Series. The series will be held on river impoundments and some of the best lake chains in North Central Wisconsin. The summer will be filled with challenges, but are they really challenges when you’re fishing? Given the current events and this pandemic, I am really looking forward to the challenges involving figuring out bass. I know many of you feel the same way.
Goals? I want to see if we can make the championship. That’d be fun first year as a team. If you want to come along on the tour, you can. We’ll be updating.
Step 1: Get the boat and get it ready