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Last week I hired a guide to take some employees out for a day. Talking fishing all day was well deserved for these guys. One of them had used this guide before so no problem booking him.

Crappie were staging out from the banks; guide would cruise timber in a creek channel and dial us in via livescope to a specific tree that held one or two crappie. I'd say 60% of the fish took the jig immediately and another 10% were coaxed into biting. Some spooked and some didnt eat. This guide has been in front of these high-powered electronics since they hit the market several years ago. He knew his stuff. Pointing out carp, gar, catfish, and then crappies. He was an ace with boat control. It was a great day.

I'd been in a friend's boat with livescope but pinpoint targeting one or two specific fish was not in my what he was looking for. I think the scope helped us find groups of fish.

I learned a couple things with the guide (other than I need a new boat with Livescope !)
1) Jig presentation - we didn't jig. We kept the jig above the fish and let them come to it. If they didn't smack it immediately, a slow rise often triggered them to come up. Even the rise and fall of the waves cause some to spook. I thought this was fascinating to keep the jig stationary. I'm not a seasoned crappie fisherman so maybe this is old news to you guys but good for me to see 'live'.
2) Flatheads and Blues - These fish were a little hard to view on the livescope (since they dont have scales). The guide knew what he was looking for and he helped point them out to use. Often as we approached a tree with a big catfish on it; the big ones were often the surface. They would watch them cruise up and down the timber. They seemed to be a little more skittish than the crappies and would cruise away when the boat got overhead.

A great day on the water and amazing to see a pro work the livescope.

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Do the bass pros use that technology during their "scouting" days before a big tournament starts?

I would love to see which lure and retrieve/presentation elicits a bass strike, versus what they ignore!

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Bass pros are allowed to use LiveScope during tournaments. Hard to win without using this $$ technology, pro bass fishing has become a rich man's game. Many pros spend most of their time with their head down staring at the Scope, not fishing at all, until they spot a bass on LS.

Not everyone is pleased, as this tech substitutes money for what used to be skill.

Last edited by anthropic; 03/15/23 01:19 PM.

7ac 2015 CNBG RES FHM 2016 TP FLMB 2017 NLMB GSH L 2018 TP & 70 HSB PK 2019 TP RBT 2020 TFS TP 25 HSB 250 F1,L,RBT -206 2021 TFS TP GSH L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS RBT -234, 2023 BG TP TFS NLMB, -160




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Wow! I was wondering if it was allowed during their pre-fishing.

It is insane that it is allowed during the actual tournament!

Under certain conditions, I suspect I could outfish the best fisherman in the world if I could use the livescope and they could not.

That is the equivalent of putting me in a 911 turbo for a car race, and putting the professional driver in an unmodified '77 Chevy Pinto. The grossly inferior driver (me) would win every time. That is no longer a contest of "skill"!

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Agree 100 percent. LS should be banned at tournaments, but this is tough. I suspect the makers are significant sponsors.


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I'd love to see them have to fish without ANY electronics, including pre-fishing. But like you said, the sponsor money talks.


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You both are absolutely correct. Further, I am a free market guy. If you put in the money to set up the tournament, then YOU get to make the rules. (So I have been bitching about something I believe the tournaments clearly have the right to do!)

That being said, I completely support the use of Livescope as Jambi described in his OP. The goal of fishing is to catch fish!

Anything that improves the catch rate of employees getting a break from hard work, or little kids, or even crusty old b*stards like me, is a welcome addition to our "tackle box" as fisherman.

The potential benefits to pond management professionals is also an intriguing possibility for this new tool.

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Have you priced one? I did a while back. It's not just the price of the unit, I think the transducer and other necessities to get it to work are "extra".


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I was watching some livescope video of guys snagging spoonbill, absolutely crazy, would literally watch their snagging weight and the positioning of it in relation to the fish and know when to rear back and snag the fish, and not even bother putting a hook in the water till the fish was spotted. I m not really sure how I feel about that because of the ability to literally empty a lake of fish with minimal effort.
That being said, I am going to have a guy come to my lake to do some research on fish quantities and mark some brush piles that I cant see from the surface but am getting hung up on them.
They are a serious upgrade from older technology, an old depth finder that gave some basic info like the presence of fish, water temp and overall depth. I am surprised that they will be used in tournaments, but like was mentioned, without sponsors those tournaments don't happen, and Garmin and them are a big part of that sponsorship, not to mention the amount of money they have invested in R and D to develop the product, and as long as the same tech is available to all the entrees it should be a level playing field, Id guess it will just take a lot higher score to win a tourney, its definitely a huge business.


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I believe that's part of the problem: The same tech is not available to all the participants, only those who can pony up extra thousands of dollars. And without the tech, you have virtually no chance to win.


7ac 2015 CNBG RES FHM 2016 TP FLMB 2017 NLMB GSH L 2018 TP & 70 HSB PK 2019 TP RBT 2020 TFS TP 25 HSB 250 F1,L,RBT -206 2021 TFS TP GSH L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS RBT -234, 2023 BG TP TFS NLMB, -160




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I coach some technical sports (polevault, highjump, triple, etc). Not long ago is was against State rules to share video with kids during competition. Not all districts could afford video cameras so it was an unfair advantage to the wealthier districts. Now the rules have lighted up considerably as there are cameras everywhere and it's no longer a shift based on money. Money is always going to be an issue but I'd prefer competitions to be based on skills, not purchased performance. With that said I would absolutely love to get one of these things on my pond for an afternoon of toolin around!

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Originally Posted by anthropic
I believe that's part of the problem: The same tech is not available to all the participants, only those who can pony up extra thousands of dollars. And without the tech, you have virtually no chance to win.

As was shown in the Walleye Tournaments, lead is cheap! LOL


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Originally Posted by anthropic
I believe that's part of the problem: The same tech is not available to all the participants, only those who can pony up extra thousands of dollars. And without the tech, you have virtually no chance to win.

The same tech is available to all the participants. Whether or not they have the money is a different issue. Having said that, I'm not a big fan of the live scope or $4,000 anchoring trolling motors. It's like giving MLB batters aluminum bats.


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The spoonbill records have been smashed the last few years by the livescope runners....I'd still like to sling hooks in the river and find them that way (which will be here in the next week or two)

I don't tournament fish so whatever they want to do is fine with me!

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Last December (2021), the state of KS equipped 6 boats, 3 with Live scope, 3 with std sonar and rounded up 40 participants in 2-man teams, divided Cedar Bluff into north and south zones and spent 3 weeks using anglers 2 days at a time fishing with live scope on one day and std sonar the next.
I was able to be a part of this. When the Data was published, it was determined that Live scope had no affect on catch rate, in fact it was reversed, more fish were caught with std sonar than Live scope. We also were not fishing for spoonbill. If they figure that out, it is what it is.
Even with Live scope, you still don't know (on most sport fish species) if they are crappie, shad, carp, whitebass, etc.. It's real easy to get hung up on trying to catch a fish that is not what you think it might be.

Last edited by Snipe; 03/16/23 08:42 PM.
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Originally Posted by Snipe
When the Data was published, it was determined that Live scope had no affect on catch rate, in fact it was reversed, more fish were caught with std sonar than Live scope.

It's real easy to get hung up on trying to catch a fish that is not what you think it might be.

Snipe,

Wow - that is a fascinating study to implement!

Do you think your last line is the "money quote" and the real reason that Livescope underperformed?

I can't imagine catching fewer fish with MORE information. However, spending 5 minutes throwing artificial lures at a large carp would certainly have wasted the time you could have used to cover more water.

If a Livescope were within my budget, I would love to be able to gather the information about which bait presentation/retrieve elicits a strike.

I have fished many times with the person in the front of the boat throwing a crankbait with no strikes, and then the person in the back throws a plastic worm in the same spots and gets LMB. Some days the opposite occurs, and it appears that LMB are coming from long distances just to strike at a loud, rattling crankbait.

I would love to be able to observe the fish behavior in real time! I would assume that my learning curve would then have a much steeper upward slope.

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Awesome info Snipe! I'm always curious about real world results. Sometimes they aren't what you would expect!

After reading this thread I went to YouTube to see what this livescope is all about. Many say they can tell what species they are looking at. I assume that experience helps a great deal. If you pull up to a submerged stump that traditionally has crappie on it, livescope shows fish, you catch a crappie, you can determine the school of fish are crappie. Next day pull up to same stump and there's no fish so you move on. I don't see how this would be better than traditional sonar though. I guess since I don't have either it's a mute point for me.

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Originally Posted by catscratch
Many say they can tell what species they are looking at. .
I'd say our crappie guide knew pretty well what we (ok I mean HE) were looking at... The scope reads density so a hard scaled carp is brighter than a catfish. Another property of the scope is the beam is somewhat incremental; reading the beam and noting the fish is 36" long this is likely not a bass but a trash fish. Small fish appear small. You could make out a gar by the profile. Behavior observations with time in the saddle will make most a better targeted fisherman.

The channel we were fishing was a known staging area prespawn so identifying the targeted crappie wasn't random by any means.

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I bet that the guys that are familiar with how the Livescope reads would be much more adept at using it to catch fish (and determining fish species when showing on the screen) than people that have not used it for any length of time.

I'd love to seen how that test in Kansas would have played out if 20 of the people were using Live scope for the previous year for as many days as a bass tournament fisherman has used them in the previous year.

Just like a person that has been using a shotgun for a long length of time and has practiced seriously at shooting clay birds vs a person that has shot shotgun for the same length of time buy hasn't practiced seriously. Their scores shooting the same course will vary greatly. I have proven that scenario to be fact with the group that I shoot with on a monthly basis.


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