Transducers and Related Items
If it floats, we’ve probably got the right transducer for it.
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Powerful, completely customizable
and easy-to-use ONIX first step in classic trifecta: locate, catch, eat
EUFAULA, Ala. (March 22, 2014) – Humminbird Field
Marketing Manager Bill Carson is an honest-to-goodness fishhead. Left to his
druthers, he’d spend every waking minute aboard his center console boat teaching
fellow anglers how to find and catch more fish with electronics.
As the former Tournament Director
of the now-defunct Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series, Carson knows a thing or two
about finding and catching fish, especially brawny pelagics, although he’s just
at home fishing crappies on freshwater lakes, rivers and reservoirs, especially
in the spring and fall.
“There’s still that kid in me
that absolutely delights in catching crappies,” says Bill Carson. “Plus, when
it comes to table fare, they’re awfully hard to beat.”
Truth is, since the recent launch
of the Humminbird® ONIX™ at the 2013 Ft. Lauderdale International
Boat Show, Carson has been using the powerful new technology to find and catch
pretty much everything that swims: from largemouth and spotted bass to stripers
and walleyes to crappies and redfish.
“Second only to bass, panfish are
America’s fish. So a big part of Humminbird’s job should be to show anglers how
our technologies can help them find more panfish faster. And ONIX is the cat’s
pajamas. It gives anglers an unprecedented level of customization, so a bass
fisherman can set it up for the way he fishes, a walleye guy, redfish angler,
crappie fisherman and so on.”
Just this past week, Carson took
a break to fish crappies on Georgia’s famed Lake Lanier. Running two ONIX10ci
HD SI units, one at his console, the other on the bow, Carson says the new
units are amazingly fast, powerful, customizable and easy to use. “ONIX
eliminated a ton of guesswork and put me on crappies fast.”
Like a lot of waters in the
country right now, Carson found crappies pushing up shallower from wintering
areas to pre-stage near shallower spawning habitat on Georgia’s Lake Lanier.
“These pre-staging areas can mean
areas close to structure, like wood or docks. On Lanier manmade structure is
key. For example, I can idle by a boat that’s backed into the water off a dock
and and the outdrives will actually hold fish. It’s not unusual to find
crappies hanging around the crud on a lower unit hanging in the water.”
Carson’s typical M.O. is idling
parallel to docks with Side Imaging, looking for fish in and around the
floating platforms, pilings and underwater cover. His favors the larger, shaded
platforms of community docks which often hold massive schools of crappies.
“Side Imaging allows you to
quickly identify which docks have fish on them and which don’t. It’s a great
filter. No wasted time on areas with no fish.”
Yet, as was the case on Carson’s
recent outing, a cold front moved in, pushing crappies away from docks and out
over adjacent, deeper water.
“There just weren’t the numbers
of fish under the docks that there should have been. So, I looked to the other
side of the boat away from the docks with Side Imaging. Once I found them with
ONIX I was able to highlight a specific depth contour and keep idling that depth
contour until I found the biggest schools.”
Carson’s magic depth was the 30-foot
contour on his Humminbird LakeMaster map, which he set with a variance of
plus/minus five feet a touch slider via the patented Depth Highlight feature,
which highlighted the area in green for easy navigation.
“Since crappies typically look up
to feed, I like to present my bait a foot or two above them in the water
column. My set-up usually comprises 8-pound braid with a 2- or 3-foot leader of
8-pound fluorocarbon. I like braid for immediate hooksets on deeper fish; the
soft tip of my rod prevents any ripped lips.”
While filling his livewell with
slabs destined for the dinner table, Carson stumbled on an underwater tree in
relatively shallow water, illustrating how Humminbird Down Imaging can be a
crappie angler’s best friend.
“I was following that 30-foot
contour when I approached a point and discovered a tree that had broken off and
fallen into the water. You can clearly see the wood and fish suspended off of
it in 10.5 feet with Down Imaging. So, not all crappies will suspend into
deeper water during a cold front. Often, they will hold close to cover like
Anglers using ONIX say that the
Down Imaging view is sharper than on previous Humminbird units.
Carson explains: “The ONIX has a new all-in-one transducer that has a dedicated
Down Imaging transducer element built in. Historically, unless you used a
separate XNT 9 DI T transducer with your Side Imaging unit, all DI images were
created out of two Side Imaging overlays. Now it’s a dedicated transducer with
a 455 kHz beam with an approximate 75-degree cone for stunning imagery.
“You also have an 800 kHz
setting, but at 45 degrees, it’s narrower. I typically want to use 455 kHz with
DI for the same reason we want to use it with Side Imaging: bigger playing
field. The only time I switch to 800 is when I’m looking for something that is
very hard and reflective, like a car, an airplane or something metal. I might
use it in boulder fields or rock piles, but nine times out of ten I’m using 455
Speaking of fast operation,
Carson says the visual icons on ONIX make operation a breeze.
“The upper left hand corner shows
an arrow with a little brown box. What this tells me is I was looking at the
screen in multi-pane view. Most likely, I had Down Imaging, Side Imaging, 2D
Sonar and a chart in a custom wire frame view all at the same time. Then, I saw
these fish on the tree so I simply touched the DI view window with both fingers
and had it snap to a full-pane view, which is what you have in the illustration
He adds that on the top right of
the screen you can tell at a glance what other integrate technologies are on
and running. “The top right of my screen tells me left-to-right that my GPS,
Sonar, and 360 Imaging are all on, my trolling motor is deployed, and iPilot
Link is engaged.”
The ONIX Side Imaging view reveals
a majority of crappies off to the right of the boat, which gradually becomes
Simply touch one of the view with two
fingers and it will snap to a full-page view of that particular screen shot. Notice
the crappies on the left hand side of the boat. The chart indicates that the
boat is Spot-Locked, notated by the anchor icon. The green line that trails
left indicates the direction the trolling motor is turned. Also notice the
saved waypoints where Carson marked other fish.
In this image Carson is no longer Spot-Locked;
instead, he’s moving around with the Minn-Kota Terrova, looking for active fish.
The ONIX Side Imaging view reveals suspended fish off to the left of the boat. Note: Look above the “H” in “kHz” on
the SI view and there’s another school of fish in deeper water!
Carson: “You’ll notice in this
screen grab fish are not showing up in 2D sonar because of the narrow
transducer cone and the fact I am running in Clear Mode with minimal
sensitivity. There are times, especially with smaller fish like crappies, when
Max Mode – even in shallower depths like this – works best with panfish. Simply
adjust the sensitivity until the fish that you see in Side Imaging and Down
Imaging begin to appear.”
At the end of the day, Carson
says the new Humminbir ONIX is the first step in a beautiful trifecta: locate
fish, catch fish, eat fish.
“I tell you what, that meal of
fried crappies was the best meal I’ve had in a long time: fresh guacamole,
sliced fresh jalapeno peppers, steamed taco shells, and perfectly fried fish …
Pretty hard to argue with that.
Humminbird ONIX Crappie Case
Study #1 officially CLOSED.
For more information, please visit Humminbird at www.humminbird.com. Requests for product specifications, customer support and general inquiries should be made through our Customer Service Department.
For media/editorial inquiries, please contact: James Edlund Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics, Inc. consists of the Humminbird, LakeMaster, Minn Kota and Cannon brands. Humminbird® is a leading innovator and manufacturer of fishfinders, fishfinder/GPS combo units, ice flashers and digital depth gauges. LakeMaster® is the premier brand of high-definition electronic fishing charts. Minn Kota® is the world’s leading manufacturer of electric trolling motors, as well as offers a complete line of shallow water anchors, battery chargers and marine accessories. Cannon® is the leader in controlled-depth fishing and includes a full line of downrigger products and accessories.