Garmin Panoptix Livescope Makes Catching Big Smallmouth Easier

I’ve been working a lot with our Garmin units, trying to dig deeper and deeper into each “fish-finding” screen. (These screens include Traditional, ClearVu, SideVu, Panoptix, etc.) People may think that guys like Angelo and me instantly turn our units on and start seeing fish in every direction. The truth is we turn the units on, and then we take on a learning curve just like everyone else. Yes, we get more time on the water than the average angler, but that simply means if we take the proper time to study, we will shorten the learning curve. This is important in our business.

When something new and innovative like Panoptix (click on the Panoptix Forward and Down buttons) comes along, the entire fishing world must go into learning mode. For me, that’s where the fun begins.

Garmin LiveScope

Now that LiveScope has been around for a bit, I’ve had some time to study the screen and come up with a daily game plan as to when and where to use it. It’s something that you really have to work with to become efficient with—but let me tell you, it’s one of those fishing aids that builds extreme confidence. Plus, it’s a ton of fun!

To expand upon the LiveScope learning curve, I believe that one needs to break it down by species of fish. Smallmouth are different than Largemouth; Walleye are different than Muskie, etc. Trust me, you really notice this with LiveScope.


This is a Garmin LiveScope screenshot taken last fall. It’s evident that this is an upright tree on a lake bottom located at the low point of a drop-off.

With so much to learn and a plethora of modern-day technology, there never seems to be enough time.

My New Buddy: Chesty-Cam

To get another angle or view of what goes on when not shooting TV (just out learning and enjoying), I decided to strap on the chest-mounted GoPro and just go ahead and shoot tons of footage. At first, I thought this would be great for my records and for reference down the road (in other words, I’m getting older and older). Then I also heard from a bunch of Fish’n Canada fans and buddies that they would like to see stuff like this, too. They said they would love to see “non-TV-style” filming.

Let us know if you like this type of video and if you want to see more.

The following video is a sequence I shot of a gorgeous Smallmouth Bass. I attribute this catch 100% to the use of Garmin’s LiveScope—from start to finish. Although I was throwing a creature bait for Largemouth or Smallmouth, I really feel that pretty much any slower moving bait like a weedless tube jig, a wacky-rigged soft stick worm, etc. would have also worked.

Where to Go from Here

Next up on my LiveScope learning curve: different fish species and the latest and greatest from Garmin, Perspective Mode. Back to school again. Hopefully, I’ll have a report to follow.

16 Replies to “Garmin Panoptix Livescope Makes Catching Big Smallmouth Easier”

  1. I see it Pete! It’s actually “Hidden in Plain Sight”!

    A lot of professional fishermen have been using the Gopro “non-TV-style” filming process. Youtube is full of this stuff. It relays a sense of the viewer being right there in the boat, behind the camera. A feeling of having all that fish finding electronic technology, such as the Garmin Panoptix Livescope, at their fingertips. In some instances , better than T.V.

    That’s not to say, Fish n’ Canada productions have become just another victim of the Corona Virus. On the contrary. These tumultuous times have taught us how important it is to adapt to any given situation. Like separating the chaff from the wheat, we must institute only those things which benefit us to a greater extent.

    In my opinion, complementing or otherwise blending the Gopro technology into the regular Fish n’ Canada filming, would enhance the overall product. A so called “Social Distancing” bonanza that would continue to be useful, even after this pandemic has passed.

    You cannot afford to wait for perfect conditions. Goal setting is often a matter of balancing timing against available resources. Opportunities are easily lost while waiting for perfect conditions.

    This my friends, is one of those times.

  2. Hey Pete, I like the GoPro videos. While you were fishing for Bass there was a shot of a canoe in the logs away from shore. No people. Any idea on what was going on?

    1. Great question Survival, I thought the same thing when I saw it. That canoe broke loose from a cottage and ended up “in the wood”. About 10 minutes after I left that spot the canoe owner came by with his motor boat and towed it home.

  3. Chesties are a great way to film. I have yet to try this, even though we have one.
    I will say this though, from my perspective:
    Being a woman….it is a little more physically challenging to use. Certain things get in the way. LOL!
    I have yet to actually try this for my YouTube channel, but one day I may have to do it.
    For now, I am just sticking with my Olympus TG 5 and mounts.
    But… I do have a new problem with that. The camera socket is made of plastic and the threads are stripped; and that makes it hard to keep camera steady.
    Thanks for telling us about using the chestie and GoPro. Something else for me to consider in the future.

    1. Great commercial right Scotty? Very well produced. Bill Dance is always hilarious.

      As for LiveScope, it has changed the way Angelo and I use our electronics. We absolutely love it. I just convinced my buddy to “add” on a Garmin unit with LiveScope even though he runs competitors units on his boat. He is freaking out as to how awesome the Garmin setup is.

      Let us know if you get a LiveScope addition for your Garmin fish finder and if you have any questions, we will surely try to help you out.

Leave a Reply

Back to top