Struc tur eS c a n
BY MARC MARCANTONIO
whatyou need toknowabout
magine sonar images so obvious everyone in
your boat understands what they see. Bass
fishing has changed many times over the
years. Flashers first unlocked the mysteries of the deep, then paper chart recorders, then LCD
sonar units. What stayed the same was confusion
about what the units were trying to show.
Those who worked hard to learn sonar
interpretation were rewarded with secret fishing
locations that produced success where others
didn’t venture. The nonbelievers used to outnumber
those who spent valuable casting time hunkered
over their electronics. With no shortage of excuses,
the nonbelievers survive to this day, but with
technology like Lowrance’s StructureScan 3D, they
are endangered species.
Despite greater acceptance of sonar as being
indispensable for tournament fishing, it still remains
a mystery for casual anglers. Many don’t understand
the concept of sonar, and have no clue how to
interpret the display. GPS mapping systems added
to the confusion. Military and outdoor enthusiasts
who learned to read paper topographical maps easily
adapted to modern mapping software. Armed with GPS units in conjunction with sonar signals, these anglers are quick to learn how to read and trust sonar displays.
Without real world experience to validate sonar display information, casual anglers are often lost trying to interpret standard, two-dimensional sonar, let alone side scanning sonar or down scanning sonar. These anglers can now look at a three-dimensional display of a Lowrance unit and easily understand what the bottom looks like beneath the boat. Boulders look like boulders, weed beds are sketched true to life, creek channels clearly show cutting through a flat bottom, logs and trees are easily determined, and other important fish holding structure and cover are revealed. Maybe best of all, baitfish and larger fish are easier to see than ever.
HOW IT WORKS
The magic starts with a special transducer. StructureScan 3D sends out multiple sonar signals that scan from the surface to the bottom, in a thin slice