Opening Cast

Tim Huffman

I’m a conservative ol’-timer so change usually doesn’t come easy. I can remember being late to switch to digital cameras because slide photography was high quality and I didn’t want to learn something new. After the switch, I’ve saved over a thousand dollars a year with the elimination of slide film and developing. I get more good shots because I shoot 200-700 on-the-water shots during a photo shoot or when shooting a tournament.

I didn’t like switching to a Mac computer six years ago due to price and a big learning curve. However, it has been much more reliable, great tech support the few times needed and it has many operational advantages. Again, change was good.

So what does this have to do with crappie fishing? The talk in fishing circles is the Garmin LiveScope. It’s new, takes a little time to learn, but has proven to be a fantastic tool. I’ve watched a few teams do nothing but keep jigging poles in the air while using their boat (transducer attached to trolling motor) to search for crappie, more specifically, large crappie. Once found, they drop the bait on the fish and it bites or it doesn’t.  A fisherman can chase fish until they stop, or, pitch out in front of them as they are moving. There is less wasted time fishing spots with no crappie.

Like the digital camera and Mac computer, the LiveScope is a tool. It isn’t magic that guarantees crappie, but is effective, especially when jigging, but helps analyze cover for slow trolling, too.

Some fishermen are saying the units should be outlawed from tournaments because they are too much like a camera. A few said that about Side Imaging, 360 and Mega imaging, too. They are expensive, so your budget, techniques and seriousness will determine if it’s worth it for you. The bottom line is simple…change doesn’t always come easy but it’s a part of anything we do, including crappie fishing.  

Good fishin’ & God Bless,

Tim Huffman, Editor/Sr. Writer