Dean Silvester – Bass Fishing With StructureScan 3D

StructureScan has been a pivotal instrument in helping me locate bass since its inception; there are two simple reasons as to why it is so effective for me. Firstly I utilise the left right view to scout wide of the boats standard sonar in search of various structure, bait schools and on some part schooling bass. Secondly I use the DownScan function as a type of lie detector against the 83/200 sonar to show fish that are hidden or buried in heavy structure and sitting atop rock piles etc. Both of these 2D functions will remain important tools for me in the future as they will still help in determining exactly what is happening beneath the surface.

StructureScan 3D has taken this technology one step further, locating bass and fish holding structure has never been so interactive and user friendly. I spend the majority of my fishing time trying to locate bass or likely fish holding structure, catching them is the easy part. User interaction with the 3D scan takes out a lot of guess work and enables me to pin point the exact position of the fish. On top of these functions the 2D scan is now clearer than ever before with the transducer upgrade that comes with the 3D set up. When set to left right StructureScan I can easily change between 3D and 2D whenever I feel the need with a simple one button press. 3D enables me to view a full 180 degree picture of beneath my boat and I can now rotate that screen in numerous ways analysing what I am looking at to see the finer detail of what I used to look at and interpret myself in 2D.

I utilise the StructureScan 3D to find fish in a large areas as quick as possible, I can see as far to the side of the boat as 600feet. However I typically only run with the width of 100-120 feet depending on the depth of the water. With 3D function turned on I can easily navigate a river bed breakaway whilst scanning the top edge, base of the ledge and on the river side all at the same time. Key importance to me is being able to rotate the screen and interpret the information in a simple fashion, I can easily identify the exact depth of the fish as well as how they are referencing to the breakaway or other structure that I locate them on.

Whilst locating fish is the major part of the equation the second part is determining their mood or physical position in the water column. Searching for schooling bass with standard sonar is very time consuming as it only covers a small portion of the bottom, this is where StructureScan 3D aids in covering more water out each side of the boat. Previously I would use the StructureScan 2D to locate fish wide of the boat then travel over the top of them with a combination of DownScan and sonar to interpret how they are sitting or if they are even bass. Now with 3D I can now analyse the information displayed on the screen to determine if I need to check it out or just keep searching, this is saving massive amounts of time, and in tournament fishing time is always of the essence. Once I locate fish I then use the 83/200 sonar information to determine whether a fish will bite or what type of retrieve I may need to incorporate in order to get a response from them.

It is early days for me with StructureScan 3D although I am already impressed, I find myself using it and trusting its capabilities more and more, one of the functions I found simple yet useful is the overlay of waypoints on top of the 3D display. Saves me switching pages and allows me to see precisely what I marked and why the fish are there. I am looking forward to fine tuning it to suit me as I do with most of my sounder settings, once I have mastered target sensitivity and vertical enhancement it will make StructureScan 3D my go to page in most situations whilst searching for that elusive big bass.