How to Find Good Fishing Spots with Forward-Looking Sonar

As anglers, we’re obsessed with using our fish finders to identify fish, and rightly so. An equally important use of electronics is finding the ideal structure and cover for the target species. Pro bass angler Bill McDonald takes to the Great Lakes and explains this concept with smallmouth bass, demonstrating that finding big boulders equates to finding bass.

-Garmin GPS Map XSV Chartplotter:
-Garmin Panoptix™ LVS32 Transducer:
-Minn Kota Ultrex Trolling Motor:
-Team Lew’s Pro Speed STick LFS-X5 Spinning Rod:
-Lew’s Custom Pro Speed Spin Spinning Reel:
-Seaguar Smackdown Braided Line Flash Green, 15lb:
-Seaguar Tatsu Fluorocarbon Line, 10lb (for leader):
-Strike King Rage Swimmer:

It can be challenging to find bottom-hugging fish, especially when they’re situated in and among hard vertical cover. For smallmouth bass, hard-bottom areas with rocks and boulders are ideal habitat — find these areas, and you’ve usually found the fish. McDonald explains how to use a combination of side imaging and forward-looking sonar (Garmin Panoptix/LiveScope) to find the best spots, then put baits on target without driving over the fish and risk spooking them. It’s an effective 1-2 punch that’ll help you focus your fishing efforts in productive areas.

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