This week I had 3 more opportunities to help fellow anglers out by working with them on the water and on their own boats to get their sonar units tweaked to be as effective and understandable as they can be for our clear, limestone lakes here in Central Texas.
On Thursday I worked with George Feagan of Temple. George is a U.S. Army veteran who now serves fellow veterans in his work at the Veterans’ Administration. George and his wife are very active lay ministers in their church and have fished with me once before on Belton Lake. They are super decent people and I’m glad that I could help them out. George has a simple, functional 15 foot aluminum center console equipped with a Lowrance Elite 5 HDI sonar unit on the console and a bow-mounted Garmin Echo 100 black and white sonar unit on the trolling motor.
About 2 hours into our session, all the pieces fell into place and George was able to find fish with sonar, hang with the suspended hybrid we’d worked to find, and effectively present a bait to them.
If you look at the sonar screen, you’ll see the entire lower half of the water column is filled with the yellow and red-colored streaks given off by the hybrid stripers George and I found with his sonar. The fish he’s holding to the left and right of the screen came out of this school. Once we released them, we both went right back to catching them out of this same school!
On Tuesday afternoon I met up with Jay Stidham of Waco. Jay is the director of national and industrial accounts for CHS Crop Nutrients and is an avid couples’ bass tournament fisherman. Jay, believe it or not, found a really nicely equipped Ranger bass boat on e-Bay not long ago. He has upgraded the electronics with a Lowrance HDS 9 on the console and an HDS 7 on the bow, which share StructureScan capability through a LSS “Blackbox”. Before launching we made some basic adjustments to the transducer positions, then launched and tweaked the units screen by screen, focusing on the colored sonar, the StructureScan, and the charts, in that order. By the time we were done, there was little left for Jay to do the next time out but turn the unit on and recall our interpretation lessons.
Jay Stidham — a satisfied sonar session student and fan of the “Easy Button”. Please don’t ask me where to find that button on your Lowrance unit!!
Last, but not least, this past Tuesday morning I fish with Jason Weisberg of Walburg, TX. Jason is by far the most advanced participant I’ve had out on one of my sonar sessions. Jason has a real analytical mindset and really began taking his fishing seriously after booking a sonar-intensive fishing trip with me in the heart of winter last year. Despite terrible conditions, we boated fish, all thanks to the locating properties of sonar. From that point he went from an occasional, bait-dunking night fisherman to a very intentional angler, fishing mainly on Georgetown and Buchanan. Jason has a deep 21′ Wellcraft center-console with a Lowrance HDS 9 Touch and HDS 7 on the console, and an HDS 5 on the bow — all networked together, and connected to a Motorguide Xi5 GPS trolling motor with an NMEA gateway to connect the trolling motor motor with HDS units for the sake of positioning by GPS. Additionally, Jason has an LSS-2 StructureScan / factory transducer along with an Airmar P66 transducer able to be “seen” by all networked units. Jason really did not need any tweaks to his equipment, as he had done lots of research, played with his units, and used them in “real life” scenarios. What he wanted was someone to look over his shoulder and “verify” that all was set as he thought it was, and to help verify his interpretation skills. I was able to help him in that regard.
See that grin?? That’s because of that mixed school of white bass and hybrid striper showing between 30 and 40 feet on Jason’s bow-mounted HDS-5 which we were able to watch our slabs fall into and hook fish from. This scenario played out multiple times over a rather slow morning on the water with bright, calm conditions.
If you are reading this and are thinking about having me come out with you, just give me a call. I charge $90 for 3 hours on your boat working with your sonar on either Belton or Stillhouse. I have openings available during weekdays up until Spring Break when I’ll need to get back to fishing 100% of the time.
Give me a ring at 254-368-7411. Looking forward to helping you get the most out of your Lowrance, Humminbird or Garmin unit.
Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide
Belton Lake Fishing Guide
Owner, Holding the Line Guide Service
254.368.7411 (call or text)
GUIDE’S WEBSITE: http://holdingthelineguideservice.com/