Thursday, September 05, 2019

Using Side Scan to catch Stripers

 These screenshots are clickable, click to enlarge

 These screenshots show subtle nuances that can make a big difference in going fishing versus catching fish. This time of year on Lake Anna the Oxygen is poor and the baitfish population is off the charts which can make catching Stripers very difficult. I rely on my Simrad units to exactly locate fish and present my baits right in their faces to provoke a strike. Again this time of year Stripers are not aggressively feeding which makes them hard to catch. When I see tight schools of fish like these usually they are not feeding. Notice how compact the schools are under the boat and looking at side scan you can actually count each individual fish just to the left of the boat. I was moving about 5mph and by size of the fish on side scan I could tell these were smaller Stripers [small dashes with no shadows behind them]. 

 This is a pic taken a few seconds later showing another small tight school of fish off to right of the boat. I had increased my boat speed up to about 10 mph but I noticed shadows behind the fish telling me the fish were larger fish. With structure scan the faster you go the less defined the picture is. I maneuvered the boat 60 feet to the right and hooked up. Notice no fish on sonar but side scan picked them up. If I was not using side scan and only sonar I would have never seen these fish.

 This screen shot shows a nicer fish on sonar at 22 feet and off to the right side are a few scattered fish. I would rather see this than a tight balled up school, these Stripers are more likely to feed. Again I move my boat slightly to the right to provoke a strike. One fish under the boat vrs 8 or 10 to the right, no brainer!

 Now I had slowed down and saw a few fish under the boat on sonar but about 100 off to the left side of the boat. Side Scan again showed me where the majority of the school was enabling me to put my boat over the fish. These were punks as you can see by the small dashes on side scan. Also these are non feeding fish because they are so tight and no streaking is going on.

In this shot Sonar shows a few Stripers under a small school of bait at 25 feet. In the middle of the screen are a couple of nice fish but looking at side scan off to the right were more nicer fish [longer dashes and larger shadows]. We hooked up here and caught 25 inch Stripers. Side Scan is invaluable when hunting fish that are not aggressively feeding  and turn a dog day into a productive day. When the Stripers are feeding and you locate you boat over the fish hold on to your rods!

Next month Greentop Sporting Goods is having its Outdoor Expo.
Come join us at the Navico booth under the big top to see the latest
products but more importantly to visit us and ask us any questions you
may have about your Lowrance or Simrad units. We can show you the 
features and benefits these incredible depth finders pack into each unit 
and help you become a better fisherman. We can also help you upgrade 
your whole system or hook you up with one of the latest transducers. 
Inside will be the complete line of products Navico has to offer with Guru
Steve Lane there to assist you. Don't miss this event! 

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