Livescope Lessons – Forward View vs Down View vs. Perspective View

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Presented by Garmin

Ang – “I’m wondering if forward view is our best bet right now”? 

Pete – “Agreed, we’re on em’ good here, let’s change it to down view”!

Ang – “You know that perspective will give us the best “perspective” right?”

The above scenario, of course, deals with the viewing modes of Garmin’s LiveScope technology and really is a daily routine of the Fish’n Canada boys while in the field. It truly has changed the face of not only their fishing but fishing in general. 

A few years ago, the technicians at Garmin had created a whole new method of finding fish (and structure and cover) all in real-time. That in itself was huge, however, Garmin went one step further. Not only can you now see fish out in front of you, but with an adjustment of the LiveScope transducer, you can see below you and as well from a bird’s eye view!



This is by far our favourite mode of LiveScope and is definitely the most used of all three throughout the world. In a nutshell, once you get used to it, it’s scary-effective!

We’ll try and explain a common situation. 

Let’s say we are fishing for Walleye and or Smallmouth Bass in a gorgeous northern Canadian lake. With our bow-mounted trolling motor deployed, we turn our bow Garmin unit on and choose LiveScope. Immediately we put the unit into Forward View and simply start scanning the fishing area by rotating the trolling motor shaft/housing. What we are seeing is (look at the image to get an idea) the entire water column from surface to bottom, out directly in front of where our transducer is pointing, and even a touch under the boat. 

Ultimately, the more water we cover, the more fish we will see. When we see a fish, we cast out and hope for the best. It’s that simple and can be very fast.

This video shows the forward view in action:


Down View looks somewhat similar to Forward View, however, there are some significant differences.

With a simple change of transducer position (usually 1 “click”) a LiveScope transducer turns from forward viewing, to down viewing. The two screens look similar but as you can see, the transducer position “Zero” on the screen has changed to the middle.

When you change views you will also see that the range has changed automatically. This is because the transducer needs to span out in two equal directions. Be sure you look out for this reduction in range. You could be working in Forward View at 70 feet from your boat but when you change to down, you’ll be cutting well into that long range.

We love the Down View for ice fishing (however, Forward works well too), dropshotting (open water), or anchored in one spot.


Perspective View is probably the most unique of the three and, once mastered, becomes another essential tool for anglers.

In our limited amount of perspective studying, we find it a great shallow water tool. When fishing 5 feet deep or less, Forward View becomes less effective (to us at least) than in, let’s say, 15-25 feet deep. As well, fish locked on the bottom are difficult to see on Forward View. As for Down View on our boat, in the shallows we don’t use it.

On Perspective, however, anglers can get a great view of fish roaming a shallow flat even if they are close to the bottom. Yes, you really have to know how to read this screen but it is by far our favourite for shallow water fishing.

Perspective View is also great for schooling fish. It’ll blow you away as in this video of Ang studying LiveScope in this interesting mode:


So how does someone new to LiveScope know which mode they are on?

#1: Your graph will tell you (we suggest running through the menu and setting your orientation to “Auto”)

#2: We highly recommend you get used to physically looking at the different positions of the transducer. Get it in your head. That way, it just becomes a simple adjustment.

#3: Use the stickers!

These are reference stickers that attach to a LiveScope LVS32 transducer. Depending on which side of your trolling motor you mount the transducer on will dictate which of the above stickers are used (only 1, not both).


There you have the three LiveScope modes that the world is raving about. We suggest that you familiarize yourself with all three of them. Ultimately you will find your own personal fishing situations in which each mode will benefit you.

Have fun scoping!

Fish'n Canada

The Fish’n Canada Show first aired in 1986 with phenomenal success. In 1988 the program went coast to coast on CBC, the first North American weekly fishing show to broadcast on a national network. In 1992 the show went into syndication adding Global Television Network, prominent CTV and affiliates, and several cable networks. The move resulted in unprecedented fishing audiences. With the addition of WFN U.S. and The Sportsman Chanel Canada today the Fish’n Canada show dominates the airwaves with a national weekly reach of 3.5 million and ama of over 450,000 easily making it one of the most-watched “outdoors” programs in North America.

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