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Forward-Facing Sonar is Changing the Bass-Fishing Game

A southern tournament angler scores the first time using new tech.

Forward-Facing Sonar is Changing the Bass-Fishing Game

Watching bass react to lures in real time helps tournament anglers fine-tune their approach. (Photo courtesy of John Soukup)

Forward-facing sonar has helped this Oklahoma angler dial in the bite in multiple tournaments.

John Soukup fishes regional and national bass tournaments across the country, most often traveling to reservoirs throughout the Southern states. He's found LiveScope to be particularly useful on Toledo Bend, a massive impoundment on the Texas-Louisiana border.

"I’d never fished Toledo Bend in early spring, but I was able to place fifth in a tournament by targeting pre-spawn bass in brush along deep drops that I could see with LiveScope," he said. "I never made a cast unless I first saw the bass on the screen."

Soukup noted that being able to see bass in real time reveals how they're positioned around brushpiles and helps him determine the likelihood of getting them to bite.

"Some days they're positioned extremely tight, almost within the brush. Those fish can be hard to see and hard to catch," he says. "Other days, they're above and around the brushpile, which usually makes them easier to target and more catchable."

Additionally, Soukup has found advantages in being able to see bass respond to a lures in real time, citing an experience from the same tournament on Toledo Bend.

"I found a school of big bass under a dock with LiveScope, but they wouldn't react to my jig. Since I could see they were quality bass, I spent two hours trying to upgrade my limit by targeting one of these bigger fish with various lures," he said. "I finally fired a jerkbait under the dock, let it sink down over the bass, started slowly reeling the lure and saw one follow it out away from the other bass. I cast back under the dock and was able to catch that fish—a 5.7-pound kicker—because I had changed its lethargic behavior. What’s even more interesting is that I tried different colors of jerkbaits before getting the fish to finally respond."

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