Garmin Livescope Crappie
I quit tournament bass fishing in 1989, I hung pretty well finishing second in a Red Man and qualifying for one all American. Most of my practice time was spent finding fish and getting on a pattern. That goes back to the invention of the cell phone and laptop. My learning curve would have to be a lot sharper than the coronavirus for me to get back in the game. I received a good education on what that entails from Pro Crappie Angler James Lasswell. Lasswell has about $7,000 worth of Livescope and Side Imaging electronics on his boat and that is probably a low guess. He asked me to go spider rigging with his Garmin Livescope and Side Imaging. If you or I with traditional down-imaging were to encounter 23 docks, we would fish them all, with side imaging, he would only fish the three that had fish.
My friend’s newest toy is a Garmin Livescope for crappie fishing. He has it above another electronic mounted on the front deck. We can have a split-screen with GPS on one side showing our coordinate and the contour of the bottom. The other half shows stumps, rocks, and fish. The livescope shows your lure and how the fish react to it.
Experiences Lasswell has already had with the Garmin Livescope while crappie fishing include a crappie approaching his jig and slapping it with its tail. It will inspect the lure then swim away or swim up and inhale the lure. “I think the crappie slapping the jig means they are not feeding, but don’t want the intrusion,” he said. You can see it plainly on the Garmin Livescope when spider-rigging.
His radar devices also come with side imaging (SI). If there are 23 docks along a shoreline, you might fish everyone. Say, only three docks have fish under them, those will be the only ones Lasswell will fish. This works equally well while side-scanning weed beds.
This crappie pro and I went fishing last Saturday at Mississinewa Reservoir. The lake was 12-feet low. Outside the main river channel was about one foot of water. With the navigational chart and the GPS, traveling upstream was a breeze.
New To Spider Rigging With Garmin Livescope
I have never tried spider rigging. This day would teach me a lot. Because this is a difficult system to embrace, Lasswell chose 11-foot B & M rods for my first lesson.
He had two brackets with four rod holders on the front of the boat. Behind those were mounts for two swivel boat seats, side by side. Indiana law allows three poles so two rod holders were left empty.
Each outfit was spooled with high visibility 10-lb. test line on casting reels. The rod tips were very light and sensitive; similar to ice poles. “A big crappie may break these rods. If you hook a slab let me net it,” he explained.
On the business end were two jigs tipped with plastic grubs. They used to use a half-ounce sinker above the jig but now use a heavier jig on top to keep the offering straight down.
The wind and shorter poles put us at a disadvantage. My buddy often had to run the trolling motor at high speeds, thus spooking some of the fish.
When we began catching fish, I was instructed to bring the crappie straight up to avoid the other lines and then swing it back to the boat. Failure to do so can result in three tangled lines.
Upriver we met two friends. They were using 14-foot rods. Fishing at a depth of five feet, one would raise the fish straight up out of the water, then let out line to lower the fish as they either swung it into the boat or netted it.
This type of fishing demands total concentration fixated on your three rods. Watching birds and enjoying scenery will cost you fish. We caught over 20 fish and kept 11.