| ||When Garmin first introduced Panoptix, I was sitting in a well-lit room
surrounded by bass pros like Scott Martin, Jason Christie and
Greg Hackney. The speaker called Panoptix “All Seeing Sonar,” then
unleased a video that showed Panoptix LiveVu Forward in action. |
My immediate impression was that the Panoptix display was easy to
read…the bottom contour was instantly clear as was the small school of
suspended fish which, according to the screen, was about 30 feet in
front of the boat and about 10 feet below the surface.
It was also clear the fish were moving.
The next thing we saw was a small blip appear above and behind the fish
that headed down in what we all recognized as the dive curve of a
medium diving crankbait. The fish on the screen responded to the bait
instantly, chasing it for several feet toward the boat before turning
back the way they had come.
The video was a stunning display of the power of Panoptix and the room
went instantly electric—this new tech shows bottom, fish, bait, and
your lure, in real time. It even allowed you to pinpoint fish location!
The speaker then switched the conversation over to the second Panoptix
option—LiveVu Down and that’s when the walleye/smallmouth fisherman in
me edged a bit closer to the front of my seat.
Panoptix, we learned, offers three distinct down views:
1. LiveVü Down -- provides real-time
moving sonar images of what’s below the boat. Unlike traditional sonar,
however, LiveVu Down doesn’t just show you depth and fish, it also
shares the fish’s precise location, port or starboard, and the distance
from the boat to the fish.
The value of this information is impossible to overstate…Panoptix gives
you the ability to precisely present your bait to visible fish…and
witness their response in real time.
Tournament walleye anglers are successfully using Panoptix LiveVu Down
to successfully present multiple lines to individual fish (calling out
simply “right” or “left” to fishing partners).
Target separation is superb, as is sensitivity…on my last trip my
partner used a small barrel swivel above his jigging spoon and both
were easily visible on screen.
2. RealVü 3D Historical – Provides a
history of the entire water column including bottom contours and fish
in three dimensions. Fish and bait stand out in vivid colors. This is a
superb tool for targeting suspended fish while trolling.
3. RealVü 3D Down -- Digitally scans the
area below the boat from front to back and side to side. A full 3D view
of the area under the boat is constructed, showing bottom contour
changes, fish and structure, even while stationary.
I have used all three “down” views over the past two years. For most of
my vertical walleye presentations (jigging, live bait rigging and
bottom-bouncers) and while dropping-shotting smallmouth, I go with
Pinpointing fish is the biggest reason, but I’ve found that watching
fish response to my presentations is also extremely valuable. In some
cases, the fish move quickly to the bait and strike, but other times
they simply follow, ignore it completely or even spook. In all cases,
this information is helpful in building effective patterns quickly.
I have the Panoptix PS30 transducer on the stern of my Ranger 620FS. I
want access to the cleanest water at low speeds for the best available
images. I rely on traditional sonar when running at high speeds; I
often run a split screen with LakeVu mapping and LiveVu Down when on
Gamin allows you to easily adjust the beam angle on LiveVu Down to
adjust for speed, boat direction, etc. In most cases, reading fish and
baits presented beneath the boat is possible, but not always.
There’s one other plus---Panoptix—both LiveVu Forward and LiveVu Down
are deadly effective for ice fishing.
LiveVu Forward makes it easy to locate fish up to 100 feet from the
hole, and LiveVu Down provides insane target separation beneath your
hole, that come in handy when fishing with others. You no longer
question which bait a fish is responding to and you can watch fish
moving several feet to each side to each side of the hole.
Panoptix is a technology that continues to impress.
here to see Panoptix on Garmin.com
Steve Pennaz is a hall
of fame angler and host of Lake Commandos television series. He is
highly skilled at finding and catching fish on new waters.