Bed Fishing Using Garmin Perspective

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If you’ve been paying attention to competitive bass fishing, it’s no secret that forward facing sonar has been dominating in tournaments across the country. While people have been using forward facing sonar for years now, there’s one new technique that just recently made a big splash in professional bass fishing. Perspective mode allows you to see the bottom composition in real time, and its quickly accounted for numerous major tournament wins. 

Some of the biggest events that have been won using this technology were the Bassmaster Open on Lake Okeechobee and the Bassmaster Elite event on the St. Johns River. These events were won by Okeechobee local Scott Martin and Canadian angler Chris Johnston. Both anglers were using Garmin Perspective to both find and catch bass off bed. While these anglers may make it look easy, it requires lots of practice to become effective with this type of technology. This features highlight exactly how, where and when to catch bed fish using Garmin Perspective. 


The typical forward facing sonar transducers is positioned straight up and down with a slight angle upwards. This is the perfect positioning for the Forward view, however you transducer requires a little adjusting for the Perspective view. This positioning requires you to turn your transducer on its side, making sure it faces directly towards the front of your boat. Another thing to note is the vertical angle of your transducer. In super shallow water you can keep your transducer level with the waterline, however in deeper water you must angle your transducer down a click for the clearest possible image.

Finding the right transducer mount is another crucial component in getting the most out of your transducer. If your running two different Livescope transducers you’re able to use the standard mounts that come with the Garmin transducer. However if your only running one Livescope transducer like me, you’ll want a mount that allows you to quickly switch between Forward and Perspective view. I’ve used a variety of different mounts, however my favorite is the Dominator Mount from Fish Obsessed. This mount allows you to quickly adjust your transducer angle without using any tools. This has been the perfect solution for quickly changing your transducer angle on the fly. 


The hardest obstacle I’ve encountered while trying to learn Garmin Perspective is knowing what to look for. My first few trips using this new technology were fairly uneventful. I didn’t really know what to look for and spent lots of time fishing dead water. However, on my third outing I saw my first real sign of life. There was a giant crater in the back of a pocket that closely resembled a bed. As I got closer I noticed a fish doing donuts around the bed. I ended up catching this fish first cast and it really clued me into what I needed to look for.

While locating beds are fairly easy, it’s important to only spend time on the ones that have bass present. The dark craters really make the fish pop, and its typically easy to see if there’s a bass present. You’ll often see smaller baitfish such as shad and bluegill present, however its fairly easy to recognize a bass compared to these smaller baitfish. The bass will typically sit right inside the bed and refuse to leave. They will often do small circles around the bed chasing off small predators like these bluegill. The closer the bass stay to the bed, the easier they are to catch. However, if the make big circles and constantly swim away from the bed they are often very difficult to catch. 


Knowing where to look is another crucial component in finding success with Garmin Perspective. Before I started using this technology I was under the impression that the majority of bass spawn on the bank. While there are fish that spawn in these area, the vast majority are offshore. One of the most consistent locations that I’ve found is looking in the middle of protected pockets. It seems like the majority of these fish spawn in the middle of the pocket where few people fish. These fish are often easy to catch as I don’t believe they see much fishing pressure. 

Another way to locate bed fish using Garmin Perspective is going down the bank. I’ll often fish down the bank while keeping on eye on my Livescope. I’d often find a few random beds scattered along the bank that wouldn’t otherwise be visible with the naked eye. This is a great way to pick up on a few extra fish that others might miss. Another location that Garmin Perspective plays a major roll is on offshore stumps. Oftentimes bass spawn tight to this cover, making them nearly impossible to see using the traditional forward view. Garmin Perspective allows you to see and cast at these fish that would otherwise go unnoticed.


Last but certainly not least, you have to get them to bite. Bed fishing on Garmin Perspective is very similar to bed fishing with your eyes, however lining up your cast can be slightly challenging. Ive found it easiest to point your boat directly at the bed fish. This increases your casting accuracy and insures your baits lands in the bed. I typically sit anywhere from 30-40 feet away from the bed, making receptive casts until I see the bass react. Once I see the fish react, I’ll make multiple casts in the same location until he bites. Another trick for being accurate with Garmin Perspective is looking for your baits splash. This is an easy way to see exactly where your bait lands and insure you putting it in front of fish.

I use the exact same baits for bed fishing on Perspective as I do with my eyes. I generally start with some sort of soft plastic. Whether its a wacky rigged Yamamoto Senko or a Texas rigged Zoom Z-Craw, this style tends to get the most bites. After I’ve made a few casts with a soft plastic I’ll often switch over to a jerkbait. This is a great way to get fish to react that otherwise aren’t willing to eat. Be sure to watch your screen to see how they react as you can often tell when you’re going to get bit. Finally I’ll switch over to either a big glide bait or swimbait if my other tactics don’t produce. This can sometimes spook fish, however it’s a great last ditch effort before you abandon the bed. Ive caught numerous big females using this method that I otherwise wouldn’t have caught.

Bed fishing using Garmin perspective can seem intimidating at first, however once you get the comfortable it quickly becomes a super efferent way to put big fish in the boat. Spending time with these electronics is the best way to find success, as its a real learning process until you get the hang of it. Once you understand what to look for, where to go and when to use it, Garmin perspective will become a necessary tool on all your bed fishing excursions. 

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