Spotting Slabs: The Garmin Livescope Advantage

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Fishing today can be quite different than in yesteryear. We now live in an ultra-modern age, where numerous technological advances play an ever-increasing role in nearly every facet of life. These advances have even begun to entwine themselves in the leisure activities which we enjoy in our free time, with fishing being no exception.

The role that these advancements play in fishing is perhaps most evident when speaking of the various fish finders that have recently become available on today’s market. While the use of fish finders is certainly nothing new, the ability to watch fish in real-time as they swim below your boat’s hull certainly is. For those using recently released, scanning sonar units such as Garmin Livescope, this is a reality.

B&M Crappie Pro David Jones on Livescope

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While many associate the use of high-tech sonar units, such as Garmin’s Livescope, with the world of competitive bass angling, this futuristic technology has also made its way into the world of crappie fishing as well. Guides, professional anglers, and avid slab seekers from every walk of life have begun employing the use of Livescope on their boats in recent years.

One such angler is B&M crappie pro David Jones.

Jones has fished to a high level of success on a number of the nation’s most renowned competitive crappie circuits and also guides on Green River Lake, a tributary of the Ohio River found in south-central Kentucky. Jones is not at all shy about sharing the benefits of Livescope use, and says that the technology has revolutionized the way that anglers pursue crappie.

“Livescope has absolutely changed everything. I heard a guy say the other day that Livescope is the best thing in fishing that has been invented since the boat, and I tend to agree with him,” said Jones. “You literally see the fish moving around. You can even see your jig bouncing up and down, and watch as the fish bite it.”

The Livescope Advantage

David Jones also feels that the advent of Livescope has led many crappie anglers to vary their techniques from those used before the new technology’s unveiling. “I used to spider rig a lot. Livescope has now led many people to start fishing a single pole,” Jones said.

The reason for this sudden shift in technique stems from Livescope’s ability to provide anglers with direct insight into the watery world of crappie across the country.

“People now fish one pole, while watching the screen on their Livescope and catching them that way. It is like a video game. You can see everything,” Jones continued.

“I used to go brush pile to brush pile, looking for crappie. I would fish a brush pile for 10 or 15 minutes, and then move on to the next. Now, I will ease up to a brush pile, drop my trolling motor, and check the Livescope for fish. If there isn’t any, I will move on. It saves time by not fishing unproductive spots, and saves money on bait,” Jones said.

Livescope at Work

To further illustrate the virtues of Livescope use, Jones often relays a story told to him by professional bass angler Scott Martin.

Martin was fishing an FLW Series event on Lake Cumberland in Kentucky, and had boated his five-fish limit for the day. With his co-angler in the boat as well, Martin headed up a creek, filled with stick-ups and trees.

Upon arriving at an initial piece of structure, Martin did not cast, even though his co-angler did.

After boating a couple of quick fish, the co-angler inquired as to why Martin had not thrown to this particular piece of structure. What Martin said next, David Jones remembers well.

“He told him that the five he had in the livewell were bigger than the fish holding on that bush. He was watching the Livescope and knew this. Now, what does that tell you,” said Jones?

Crappie Fishing in the 21st Century

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David Jones (photo via Josh Boyd)

For those that have been in a boat when Livescope was used, the level of awareness that such a unit provides is astounding. In fact, it can be quite humbling to look back at the early fish finders which captivated the minds of anglers in the not so distant past.

So what is next for fish-finding sonar? Although few can say, it seems safe to assume that it will be difficult to best Livescope.

“Maybe they will come up with something that tells you a fish’s weight, and has the figures labeled on a fish as they swim by,” Jones said jokingly.

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