Serious crappie anglers gain another new tool.
It’s been less than a year since the Garmin LiveScope brought more excitement to crappie fishing than a livewell full of 3-pounders. And now, there’s even more, a new “Perspective mode” using the same technology and a simple rotation of the transducer.
In addition to the existing LiveScope forward and down modes, anglers can use the Perspective mode for overhead visibility that’s perfect even in shallow water.
To understand the new tool, one only has to understand the meaning of the word “perspective” — the art of viewing objects on a two-dimensional surface to give the right impression of their height, width, depth and position in relation to each other when viewed from a particular point.
Although the new brackets are a few weeks out from being on the market, Louisiana anglers Tim Hebert and Andre Smith from Thibodaux got a jump on its use by constructing a homemade bracket and using both LiveScope down and Perspective imaging to help them to a sixth-place finish in the Crappie Masters Louisiana State Championship on Lake D’Arbonne. They landed two 7-fish limits for a total of 28.44 pounds and a big fish of 2.77 pounds.
“There’s no question using the LiveScope down-imaging and the Perspective mode helped us in the tournament,” said Hebert, a member of the Crappie Psychic fishing team. “I can see the Perspective mode also playing a big role for bass fishermen in the future.”
There are two ways to rig up the new Perspective mode. Anglers who already have LiveScope can just buy a hinged Perspective bracket to let their transducer tilt from down-imaging to Perspective (150-degree forward) imaging. You can use that without another transducer or screen; the bracket costs about $100.
But to change between the two modes, anglers have to lift the transducer out of the water and physically reposition it by turning it sideways to enable the new Perspective mode to see a wide view of what’s in front of the boat.
The more expensive way to do it is to buy a separate transducer, depth unit and bracket — which can run as high as $4,000 or more, depending on the size of the screen. That way, anglers can see both ways — directly below and in front of the transducer and in a 150-degree semi-circle around the boat at the same time.
“That’s a little out of the average fisherman’s price range, but it’s amazing technology,” said Hebert. “You are going to need it to compete regularly in big tournaments. The biggest advantage of LiveScope and Perspectives is it gives you a live, real-time view of the fish. When the fish were so spooky because of all the pressure, it enabled us to see the fish far enough away to cast to them and catch them before they spooked. Once they got nervous, there was no catching them.”
Hebert also feels like the original LiveScope down mode, in combination with a separate Humminbird Mega 360, is a great way to go as well. Even though they come from different manufacturers, the LiveScope can give anglers a live view while the Mega 360 can give detailed images of structure, down to the smallest branches on sunken timber. He plans on using them together for the ultimate in crappie fishing.