Pete holding big bass

Using “Traditonal Style” LiveScope

I just wanted to write a short blog piece noting how impressed I am with the latest in the world of fishing electronics, more specifically, Garmin’s Panoptix Livescope. Angelo and I have been hard at work studying all the latest technology on our Garmin fishfinder/GPS units and let me tell you: It’s intriguing, complex and extremely fun once you get into it.

On a recent trip, I was using the Panoptix LiveScope mode in more of a traditional style rather than “literally looking for live creatures.”

Water conditions were not great for physically seeing weedbeds (even with polarized sunglasses). Instead of having to hover over the weeds searching with the traditional fishfinder screen, or puttering along with my side viewing screen, I simply spun my LiveScope transducer 360 degrees to find a weedbed and, specifically, the front (deep) edge and some very important fringe weeds leading in.


In the above photo, my boat is positioned right on top of the big zero in the “10.8ft” text in the screenshot. LiveScope looks forward, down, and even slightly backward—or, in my case, slightly under my standing position on the bow of the boat. The depth of the water breaks up (gets shallower) from around 14 feet to 11 feet. The main weeds started at about 19 feet in front of my boat (transducer) position. By casting out a short 20-foot launch, my craw bait hit just inside the thickest part of the weedbed and very close to the outside edge (deep weedline). The Smallmouth that I caught was sitting just on (or very close to) that edge.


Quite honestly, it was one of the easiest patterns I’ve put together in a long time because of its simplicity. Incidentally, you can do the same with the original Panoptix mode.


This beauty smallie pushed my scales at close to 5 lb. Garmin’s LiveScope is honestly the main reason I caught this fish. Think about it: Without seeing those weeds or even knowing where they were, I’d either be casting randomly (which doesn’t happen very often anymore), or I wouldn’t cast at all.

Technology plays a huge role in modern-day fishing; embrace it and learn!

Pete Bowman

3 Replies to “Using “Traditonal Style” LiveScope”

  1. Thank you Pete for your very astute synopsis. Your intrepid intercession into the Hydrogen Monoxide world of Fish Finders was certainly up to my challenge. Acknowledging the facts as they were presented definitely has it’s benefits.

    The Flip Side :
    Careful study of the Garmin Live Scope image in the above article indicates these electronic gadgets are more closely related to Radar. On the other hand, I would not go so far as to define a Fish Finder as such.

    Note : The term RADAR was coined in 1940 by the United States Navy as an acronym for RAdio Detection And Ranging.

    Radar is a detection system that uses radio waves to determine the range, angle, or velocity of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. A radar system consists of a transmitter producing electromagnetic waves in the radio or microwaves domain, a transmitting antenna, a receiving antenna (often the same antenna is used for transmitting and receiving) and a receiver and processor to determine properties of the object(s). Radio waves (pulsed or continuous) from the transmitter reflect off the object and return to the receiver, giving information about the object’s location and speed.

    All marine radars are used to measure the bearing and distance of ships to prevent collision with other ships, to navigate, and to fix their position at sea when within range of shore or other fixed references such as islands, buoys, and lightships. In port or in harbour, vessel traffic service radar systems are used to monitor and regulate ship movements in busy waters. I should also mention, marine radar antennae radiate a vertical fan-shaped beam.

    Since a Fish Finder DOES NOT determine the speed or bearing of any underwater object (fish), nor does their transducers constantly rotate 360 degrees, makes these differences quite dramatic. In essences, this is further proof that fish finders should NEVER be used for navigational purposes.

    So all you angling enthusiasts, fish finders are a simple electronic commodity in many aspects, they find fish.

    1. Just don’t tell Ang that we need radar on the Princecraft as well Calvin or he’ll have to register it with the Navy; wait a minute, I think he already has!

      Ships ahoy mate.

  2. Hey Pete, rigging the Princecraft FNC 1 with marine radar might not be a bad idea. “Bearing” in mind the “range”, “speed” and “navigability” of your watercraft, coupled with the fish you both intend to “detect” and ultimately “target” including the “radio wave” to ratio aspect, I feel such a system should be on your “radar”.

    Garmin has a few affordable units that won’t break the bank. The the Simrad Halo™ radar which offers a hybrid between traditional pulse radar and CHIRP pulse compression technology that will fit right in with all you techies. If you are more traditional minded angler, check out the Garmin GMR Fantom 6′ Open Array Radar.

    Just watch out for the incoming space craft and guided missiles.

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