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Catt

Seeing in 3D

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jwo1124 posted a commit in his tread Bass Depth-Activity Level-Lure Choice that just screamed at me this is the next topic the newbie needs to learn.

This is what he wrote:

I'm glad I shared this thread too. I think the information struck me interesting because I could start relating more to depth and really start taking into consideration the water column. As anglers we are in a boat, or casting from shore and all we see is a vast blanket of water. Sure we can see under a little depending on water clarity, brightness of the sun, or with the use of polarized sunglasses, but we don;t really know what goes on under the surface as much as we like to think we do. We have to start thinking where we are in relation to the fish, and how we can get to them, meaning get our lure to them. And to do this effectively we must think about where the fish is in relation to us, where they are in the water column, how are they related to structure and cover, what are their activity levels, and what is the best lure to tempt their inner most hard wired predatory instincts.

The more fisherman use their imagination and put together an image in their mind about what is actually going on below the surface, the better they will become at fishing. We need to start seeing the unseen. This is why anglers use GPS and sonar fish finders as well as the use of the under water camera. But we do not see in graphs, or sonar blips. We can see these images on a screen and put together what they mean, but they do not immediately translate to how we would see the image with our own eyes. And that is what must be down, we must take any and all raw data we are provided while fishing, and put it into the most understandable image as possible.

Here is where I'll add my portion:

The hardest thing some anglers to learn is how to take a one dimensional topographical map or a one dimensional depth finder view and turn it into a three dimensional image in their mind. While 3D depth finders and Side Imaging Technology is a gigantic leap in the electronics field it would still behoove the angler to learn how view structure in 3D with out this technology. Once the angler learns this they take a huge step in becoming a more productive angler.

This is why when I back my boat down the ramp the first 2 thing I do is start the engine and turn my depth finder on. I don't care if I'm running at wide open throttle, idling, running the trolling motor or fishing my eyes is constantly scanning my depth finder. If I not anchored and after I have caught a couple bass before I leave an area I'll idle over a scan the exact area with my depth finder. Even on structure I've fished numerous times I'm constantly scanning my depth finder looking for details

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I have been PM'ing Catt today about this thread.  I went out yesterday with the 3D mindset, which is something I haven't ever thought of, and had the best day of deep water fishing.  It was incredible.  

If your not doing this when your out on the water, you need to!

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Each year I'm totally amazed by the number of anglers I meet that do not fully understand structure or how to truly identify it, read it, and then fish it effectively. Yea they know all the right words, have all the right equipment, but are totally clueless when they hit the water.

They do not understand bass use structure, breaks, break lines, and deep water as their means of travel. These features are used at all times, regardless of the weather, season, lake type, or mood of the fish. Just as bass are controlled by their basic needs to reproduce effectively, feed efficiently, and prosper during extreme seasonal changes. Their movement is controlled by structure, breaks, and break lines so keeping this in mind one can simply connect the dots to figure basses movements shallower or deeper.

Remember above how I related that after catching a couple bass I would idle over to that area and scan it with my depth finder? What was I looking for? I'm looking for breaks and break lines leading to where that bass was thus piecing together the 3D view of that structure.

The key word in the whole thing is STRUCTURE. The use of 'breaks" and "break lines" is completely secondary as to where you and I must look for the fish. Our first guide is "structure." The "breaks" and "break lines" on, or connected to, the structure are where we "pinpoint" the fish. Buck Perry

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Well Ryan some get it some don't & when it comes to structure most don't  ;)

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Thanks for the info Catt. Always appreciate your posts.  ;)

Is a depth finder necessary in identifying structure? I know a c-rig can be a good tool but I'm not sure where to start........

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A depth finder is helpful but not necessary; Carolina rigs have been used for this purpose for years and are still used to find sweet spots.

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Ok here's one more y'all asked about ;)

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If you guys don't mind, I will help to give a mental picture as to what you see on the screen, verses what your mind should be projecting.

I will make a quick sketch, I have no photo's but at least it will give a mental picture and help project what you see on a one dimentional screen.

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This is going from North to South, imagine yourself fishing a flat grass bed and you come across an image like this on your sonar, this is what it looks like on my old X96.

I am going to seperate these image's into 4 different ones, and take one frame from the begining, one in the middle and one at the end of a structure, the first is what appears to be a hump, but take a closer look at the picture, in the far right, the bottom gets deeper than the grass flat and there is no grass showing.

post-28162-0-07768200-1335389213_thumb.j

The second image is still us moving in a straight North to South direction, a couple of things to note have come into view, the image of the hump has now moved more toward the center of the screen and has become a little more pronounce with some different shapes and some darker colors.

post-28162-0-18193200-1335389291_thumb.j

The third picture is also traveling the same direction, but now it looks almost like the first one again.

post-28162-0-19036100-1335389370_thumb.j

So with that, what should the bottom look like? this picture should give you an idea. traveling North to South, North being in the low left corner, South being in the up right hand corner, this is approx 300 feet in length.

post-28162-0-20651700-1335389418_thumb.j

I fished this particular image when I first saw it with a C-rig to get a good feel for what I could picture on the surface, I felt pretty confident this is what I had put together in my minds eye.

3 weeks later, I went fishing with a friend that had down scan and side scan sonar, it was really cool to be able to put a picture together in my mind and have it be close to what we saw that day.

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@jimf see if this helps & @Team9nine fell free to add to this!

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When I roll back over spots I was fishing, I'm amazed at what I see on the graph.  Sometimes the micro structural elements aren't there, though that's gotten a million times better with DI/SI.  I still feel like the graph and the contour map gives me basic structure layout, and the jig tells me the fine details.  If it's a really good day, the jig tells me nothing.  Those are the days it never hits the bottom before getting eaten. ;)

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One dimensional charts? Maybe the World IS flat. Y'all fresh water guys are funny.

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13 minutes ago, reason said:

One dimensional charts? Maybe the World IS flat. Y'all fresh water guys are funny.

 

Of everything contained in this thread that's all ya can add?

 

Talk about funny ;)

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Reading sonar is enjoyable to me . Often I do more scouting than fishing .  I cut my teeth using  a Humminbird Super Sixty .  Looking at those flashes and trying to determine if they are fish , cover or  what was difficult for me but following contours with it was simple  . Todays digital units are easy to read . My old Eagle Fish Mark 320 paints the prettiest pictures in black and white . I converted it into a portable unit and take it to small lakes . I now have a downscan unit that I'm toying with . The detail with it is incredible . To me the easy part is interpreting structure . Cover was the more difficult part but the downscan usually  removes almost all doubt what is down there .  

 

   Humps , points , channels , saddles ...   should be  obvious even with an antique flasher .

 

Oops   This is a seven year old thread .

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I have to admit, part of me gets bummed out by the advances in technology we've seen, specifically mapping and SI/DI. This is because prior to these technologies, I think it's fair to say that 80-90% of anglers were really lost when it came to offshore fishing. As mentioned above, most simply couldn't make that mental picture in their head of what was down there and how it all laid out based on what their flasher or LCR was showing them. Even when you took people out there and tried to explain exactly what you were fishing, how it laid out and where to cast, most still didn't get it.

 

Thanks to the technology available, it's like a whole new world has been opened up for most of these guys. Guys who would have never in their life considered dropping $1500 bucks on a finder purchased them without hesitation. The ability to now "see" a picture of what is down there as opposed to "imagining" what is down there made all the difference IMO.

 

One good thing though (in my view) is that most of these guys are still "cover oriented." I used to refer to them as the "look, I found a tree" crowd. Most still don't have an understanding of the entire picture, that relationship between structure, breaks, breaklines and deep water that Buck so drilled into some of our heads.

 

The other thing I believe is that while the technology has undoubtedly increased the ability and effectiveness of the average angler, it has actually made the "old school" guys who could do it all with flashers and paper graphs already, downright scary. I know I can now map and understand a small lake (<1500 acres) in a single day. Buck always said the guys who learned Spoonplugging without the use of electronics always turned out to be the best - because they had to be. They didn't have the benefits of technological aids. I think you can make that same argument to some degree today.

 

-T9

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This is great stuff indeed! I think the new advances in sonars & gps systems today are great. However, I think something is lost when an inexperienced angler jumps right into it full bore. Starting off with a "hand line" depth finder.....progressing to that wonderous "Green Box".....then purchasing my first LCR.....those are educational steps that are priceless in developing the kind of knowledge that makes a good fisherman today. Maybe the technology can by pass that? Maybe it can't? I feel none the worse for wear for having experienced it first hand however. :)

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My light bulb moment was when I stood on the deck of my boat and see fish on my finder in 60 feet of water then watch my lure (dropshot) drop through the water column and finally watch the fish move to my lure and I set the hook, I knew I was going to have to learn to trust my electronics.  Before I used them more to identify cover and structure more than the fish themselves but as the electronics improved and I upgraded, I now use them to find fish.   

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15 minutes ago, TOXIC said:

My light bulb moment was when I stood on the deck of my boat and see fish on my finder in 60 feet of water then watch my lure (dropshot) drop through the water column and finally watch the fish move to my lure and I set the hook, I knew I was going to have to learn to trust my electronics.   

  I have never done that . Sounds like fun . Those kind of  depths are too deep around here . 

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I won't put up the picture because it is too embarrassing but on a trip to Lake Lanier, I spooned a bluegill out of 75 feet of water.  One of only 3 fish caught over 3 days.  :lol:

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This thread displays some of 'the nuggets' that makes this site an angling Gold Mine.  

 

@Team9nine I'd agree with your sentiment regarding advances in technology.

 

Clearly "seeing' something can be & is often helpful but having some idea why & how whatever it is may or may not be of some importance, is better.   So while having some equipment offers the ability, there's more to the story; which I'll admit to being a life long student of. 

 Which is another reason this forum is what it is  . . . . solid example while on the subject of electronics ~   @Wayne P. 

 

:smiley:

A-Jay

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@A-Jay & @Team9nine I agree with the advancement in technology!

 

When I teaching anyone we start out on paper topographic maps. What I see students doing is concentrating on "screen shots" on structure & not seeing the whole picture.

 

If we take @RoLo Cartography - The Art Of Paper Fishing According To Rolo, our resent discussions about Buck Perry, & threads like this we start "seeing in 3D".

 

Example: many anglers learning structure fishing will fish the outer end of a point only. If the fish ain't there they leave!

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We have discussed this topic in detail many times yet it surprises me when bass anglers don't know how to visualize the terrain underwater. Look around you, the unwater terrain is the same as the above water terrain.

Everyone can buy a topographic elevation map of the area where they live, dry terrain to compare and learn how to read that map, what those lines look like and apply that knowledge to underwater terrain

I assume everyone can see their world in 3D.

Tom

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I dont think there are that many people who cant read a topo map or a depth finder . They may not know what to look for but thats a different story .

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