There’s nothing more exquisite than watching a fish intercept your fly or lure , rejections are almost as exciting as takes from fish , perhaps more so ? . Im lucky enough to have spent quite some time tropical flats fishing over the years and the sight fishing aspect is the major pull , you just cant beat watching a fish eat your bait . These days Im far more focused on my domestic bass fishing and the pursuit finds me fishing all manner of depths and locations. Once I find fish in more than 50 foot of water I tend to focus almost exclusively on vertical fishing with metal jigs or Fiiish lures . I often fish heavy ground with all manner of nasty pinnacles and snaggy lure munchers , snagging the bottom has become par for the course when the tides ripping hard and the fish are hugging the bottom or tight in behind the lumps . I have lost upto 20 lures and leaders in a session between myself and my clients . If the fish are hard on the ground you have to get that lure right in amongst them , somedays they wont budge from the sea bed .
In the old days I would have to intercept the information the fish finder displays and then try to fish the ground accordingly with a huge element of guesswork or even worse try to convey that information to my clients quickly . The problem with traditional sonar is all the data is historical . With Panoptix you get a live feed , its like watching your lure on a TV screen . I can track the bottom and constantly adjust the lure to suit . That in itself is already revolutionising my vertical jigging , theres nothing more exciting is watching the fish , swimming back and forth below the boat . I can see a fish 30 feet to port or starboard accelerate towards the lure , whats quite shocking is just how many fish will come along and inspect my offering before turning away . It has to be seen to be believed just how many fish are sniffing your baits without you ever knowing . its almost depressing to see so many rejections take place down there. Mackerel shoals are fascinating to watch , they take the form of tornado as they swim around in circles and flutter from one side of the boat to the other . Sharks are big blobs on the screen that just linger or circle slowly . As time goes by I can actually see the different rhythms and formations fish of down there .
Traditional Transducer and Panoptix in the background , Yes Im spoilt !
Panoptix ” Dome” Transducer fits nicely onto the Gill Bracket on Zen2
Traditional Sonar Vs Panoptix
As I have started , Panoptix is a live feed and traditional sonar provides us with historical data , in the old days what you see you have already missed. Both systems have strengths and weakness’s . The one advantage traditional sonar has over Panoptix is the fact that as time goes by you get to know the shape and colour of the different arcs and blobs on the screen. I hunt Bass in a sea dominated by Pollock. Separating the wheat from the chaff is an essential part of my daily routine. I now have the best of both worlds as I have the Panoptix down in conjunction with traditional sonar .So now as I drift over the ground I watch the panoptix for the first signs of action then cast my eye on the split screen and double check I am watching Bass . In a nutshell Im spoilt rotten and it would be hard to imagine having to go back to old fashioned blobs and arcs telling me what I have just missed ! No fish is safe now !
Its early days for me with Panoptix but I already know it would be hard to go back !