BassWestUSA - March/April, 2011, Page 41

OPEN TO INTERPRETATION

Shallow Water

W I T H D O U G VA H R E N B E R G

Sonar

Original Magic Swimmer

Magic Swimmer SOFT

SHALLOW

water anglers in the past have had to use their lure, rod and reel to locate sh and where the structure was away from the boat when they made casts. Side Imaging Sonar has changed the way anglers can target and sh shallow waters. By shallow waters I mean less than 10 foot. Traditional 2D Sonar has a limited area of coverage that normally does not extend out past the end of the boat so it has been used as a depth nder not a sh nder. For Example 20 Degree sonar typically found with the 200 kHz frequency on modern sonar only provides area coverage equal to 1/3 of the depth. So in 9 foot of water you have 3 foot of area coverage. Many sonar systems today feature dual beam sonar with 20 and 60 degree sonar coverage but even the wider 60 degree sonar has limitations. 60 degree so- nar only covers an area equal to depth. So in 9 foot you get 9 foot of coverage close to the width of most bass boats; so the angler is not getting very useful coverage data except depth on his sonar system. Humminbird Side Imaging Sonar (when mounted on the trolling motor like this image was captured with) not only increases the coverage area but allows positive structure and sh ID. In only 1.6 feet of water depth, we are covering 100 foot of area coverage, 50 feet to each side. But the most awesome feature is what we can learn about what we are shing and making casts to. On the left side we can see three groups of bait sh or the so- nar shadows created by the high frequency sonar of the bait sh schools. On the right we see a complex network of roots and stumps. If you review closely you will see two sonar shadows from the stumps. A sonar shadow is actually the absence of sonar created because the sound wave was re ected back to the transducer already. So it cannot extend further. The easiest way to think of sonar is like a ashlight beam. Once it lights one side of the object it doesn’t extend any further. Same thing happens with sonar. Sonar especially high frequency sonar cannot go around corners so it cre- ates a shadow effect or sonar shadow. As we know bass like edges or ambush spots to target food sources. This stump was not visible above the surface and what made it even more special is it was home to a bass that I bet was watching the bait sh on the opposite side very closely. When I presented my bait, this sh took advantage of the easy meal. Without Side Imaging Sonar, I would have never known these stumps were there without making numerous casts to learn what structure was there. Side Imaging Sonar is a valuable tool and especially for the shallow water angler. Coverage Area, Coverage Area, Coverage Area. Doug Vahrenberg is spon- sored by: Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Outboards, MinnKota Motors & Chargers, Humminbird Electron- ics, Navionics Charts, Transducer Shield and Saver, LuckyCraft Lures, Dobyns Rods, Daiwa Reels, Dave’s Custom Baits, Omega Custom Tackle, Browning Eyewear, Bull- Shad Swimbaits, AGCO & Massey Ferguson Farm Equipment, Doug- Vahrenberg.com. BWU

The ORIGINAL Magic Swimmer is the tournament proven king of jointed, hard swimbaits.

Fast-sinking models now available, plus sinking and slow sinking

Fast-sinking versions swim on the drop, without any angler action

Perfect for power fi shing due to their innovative engineering which allows for a wide range of retrieval speeds

8 sizes in all, ranging from 3 1 / 2 ” inches to 9”

Preferred swimbait on the BASS Elite Tour, key lure in wins by Todd Faircloth, Kenyon Hill and Jason Williamson

NEW! Magic Swimmer SOFT, with exactly the same look and swimming action of the original but can be fi shed weedless.

Pre-marked rigging holes in nose and body for perfect hook placement

Package includes the SEBILE Soft Weight System

Stunning hand-painted color fi nishes

Not just a swimbait, but a very effective jerkbait; also deadly when fi shed on Texas, Carolina and Drop-Shot rigs

For Magic Swimmer fi shing tips, and to see all models and colors, visit:

www.Sebileusa.com

March/April 2011

»

41