Recently, Scott Turnage from G3 Sportsman set out to break in a new boat for his show. With nothing more than an echo 100 on board, a simple day out on the lake turned out to be an ideal day for fishing:
Most hardcore fisherman feel they have to have the latest greatest technology when it comes to finding fish. No doubt, it is easier, you can pinpoint certain species and, better yet, get much more detail on structure. I, in fact, have been spoiled over the years as well but it wasn't that long ago we used simple graphs to catch fish…lots of fish.
On this particular day, my job was to run and break in a new G3 Eagle 170 for an upcoming video shoot we had planned for later this month. The only electronics on the boat was a Garmin Echo 100. No frills, simple to operate. A black and white fish finder with a retail cost of around $100. After an hour or so of trolling around the lake, I decided to turn on the Echo 100 to check my depth in a cove I was running in to escape the wind. To my surprise, the unit had a very clear screen with much more detail in the display than I anticipated. I could read depth, water temperature and contours of the bottom. With my curiosity heightened, I now wondered if this little unit could pick up structure. As I trolled deeper in the cove where I could see standing timber, the screen lit up with more and more detail of the trees and fallen timber below. Pretty cool but, the ultimate question was, can it find fish?
Now, no fisherman worth his salt would ever be on the water without at least one rod and reel. Even if it were just to run a boat for testing. Here in Missouri, the dogwoods are blooming, the water temps are in the low 60's, and to me that means crappie! So, on to the big test of my little Garmin. I cut the big motor off and turned the Echo 100 (mounted on the console) to where I could read it while running the trolling motor. After several minutes of recon, I soon started seeing (or was hoping I was seeing) small schools of fish holding tight to cover in 8-10 ft depths. Were these really fish or was it loose debris from the structure? The third cast answered my question when a 12" crappie came splashing to the surface and into my boat.
I caught a limit (15) of keeper crappie that afternoon and I'll have to say it felt good knowing you don't have to spend a lot of money for electronics and still catch fish. Is it still easier with the more sophisticated units? You bet it is but on this particular day, armed with my small Echo 100, I caught a limit of fish and had a blast using the simplest of methods in doing so.
What started as a boat test turned out to be a great day fishing!