Skip to main content Skip to main content

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."

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

Crash Course: How to Fish Swim Jigs for Bass in Heavy Cover

Crash Course: How to Fish Swim Jigs for Bass in Heavy Cover

The swim jig is a big-bass lure in a small package; learn how to fish it now.

Classic Winner: Berkley

Classic Winner: Berkley's New Stunna Jerkbaits

Developed with Bassmaster Classic winner Hank Cherry, the Berkley Stunna is a proven bass catcher. Pure Fishing's Kevin Malone shares details with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2021 in Orlando.

Beyond the Bait: Are Bladed Jigs Good Baits for Catching Smallmouth?

Beyond the Bait: Are Bladed Jigs Good Baits for Catching Smallmouth?

Bladed jigs are one of the hottest trends in bass fishing right now, but what makes them so effective? In this episode of Beyond the Bait, we'll answer that question especially as it relates to smallmouths and go over some tactics that will result in more hookups.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now