The upcoming Bassmaster Classic on Lake Conroe, Texas is set to be a shallow water event with bass in all stages of the spawn. Even with during the spring, Bassmaster Classic contenders fishing the event feel like their electronics will be crucial to locating bass. Shaw Grigsby, Dean Rojas, Ish Monroe, Edwin Evers and James Elam all weigh in on how Lowrance will be vital to their success.
Spring Electronics Usage
Many anglers spend all of their time shallow during the spring and will rely on their electronics less or even turn them off when fishing shallow water. “This is an awkward time of year with bass in all stages of the spawn, but they will be shallow, but I will still be relying on my Lowrance units at the Classic,” says Dean Rojas.
Waypoints and Trails
The use of electronic mapping has changed how anglers locate spots and return to them in search of winning bass. At the Bassmaster Classic, Lowrance pros to rely on their maps throughout the event.
“It sounds really simple, but making sure that you have your trails being recorded is really important. On a lake like Conroe, where everything looks the same with docks everywhere, having your trails visible helps me make sure I can keep track of places I haven’t hit yet and then get back to the good locations,” says James Elam.
Marking waypoints is another aspect that will come into play at the event according to Shaw Grigsby. “GPS is huge in the spring and especially at an event like this where the fish may be in deeper brush piles. After the fish spawn they often head to the brush piles and during the pre-practice period, I marked as many as I could find.” Grigsby has a method for marking his waypoints and utilizes both text and symbols to categorize the different spots. “I like to mark brush piles with the big stop sign or American flag symbol because they are easy to see,” he shares.
The Insight Genesis mapping from Lowrance allows anglers to see underwater contours and also allows for the different bottom composition to show up as different colors. “The great thing about it is that I can easily find the hard bottoms because they show up as red. This is great when the fish are spawning, but even if they are done spawning I will be able to quickly see where they did spawn and work backward to find their post-spawn locations,” shares Elam.
Rojas agrees with the benefits of Insight Genesis and feels that the mapping alone will help him prepare for the lake. “The mapping is great for finding those creek channels and contour lines. The lake is pretty consistent for depths so the depth shading option really helps to visualize those slight depth changes,” he says.
Edwin Evers agreed and uses Insight Genesis along with Navionics mapping to get two different perspectives. “Insight is great for finding those hard spots with the different color variations and Navionics gives you the pinpoint contours,” he says.
Before marking those waypoints, an angler must obviously find them first. One of the best ways to do that is by idling and watching StructureScan and StructureScan 3D.
“Without a doubt, I’m going to be using the StructureScan to find cover near the docks. With the new StructureScan 3D transducer you can get a better picture in much shallower water,” shares Evers.
Ish Monroe plans to have a similar approach and to him, it is all about finding cover underneath docks that would not show up without the help of StructureScan. “The fish are going to be in all stages of the spawn and brush will be key for all of those fish. They want some protection before, during and after they spawn,” he begins. To locate these areas he will idle with StructureScan in front of the docks. “I leave my settings on auto and with StcutureScan and DownScan both on the screen I will be able to see left, right and below,” he adds.
Having both the StructureScan and DownScan technologies and using them in tandem is one way to get the most out of your units. “StructureScan for me is the best way to locate cover and then I use DownScan to get a better look and more details. I spent my pre-practice time on Conroe idling out in front of docks looking for cover, then getting above them to get a better look before dropping a waypoint,” says Grigsby.
Marine electronics are set to play a pivotal role in the outcome of this year’s Bassmaster Classic. The five pros mentioned in this article all have different approaches for how they plan to use Lowrance to win the Bassmaster Classic on Lake Conroe.