Speed Scanning for Efficiency
Spring is a great time of year to find bass staging (both post-spawn and pre-spawn) in the best available grass in the lake, which can be sparse. If you’re lake is just starting to grow good vegetation, a great way to find the best stuff in the lake is through a process I call speed scanning. This process involves 2d scanning of the lake, but instead of idle speed, we’re moving around 25 to 30mph!
If your lake is already full of grass, you may want to slow down and use side scan and down scan to find little subtleties. If you want to find that one little patch of fresh green vegetation that attracts an entire ecosystem, here’s what I’ve found is an efficient way to do it.
Set-up: This process works best with an externally mounted skimmer transducer. I know most bass fisherman like the “shoot through” internal transducer, but the external skimmer gives a much better reading, especially at speed. I like the Lowrance HDI transducer because this transducer allows me to speed scan with down imaging if I choose to. You will want to make sure you get the placement of this transducer just right. A great way to get the proper level is to tape a yardstick to the bottom of your hull. You will want the transducer to line up so the yardstick splits the transducer horizontally. This allows water to flow on the transducer, but doesn’t put the skimmer too far into the water where it may be subject to colliding with stumps, rocks etc.
Now that you’ve got your transducer mounted properly, you’re just about ready. Set your screen to display chart and sonar with an even split, or a slightly bigger map if you prefer. Pick out a flat close to a spawning area and start “mowing the law” (back and forth covering the entire flat). Make sure your track/trail feature is on, and you can cover about a 10-20ft swath depending how deep you’re scanning. I recommend using 83khz frequency because this give the widest cone. When you find that one patch of nice tall grass, you know you’re in business.
If you apply this simple technique this spring, I guarantee you will find fish faster!