Pro bass angler and fishing guide Lee Livesay showcases the blending of technology and instincts to pinpoint sneaky high-percentage spots in expansive standing timber on Lake Fork. It’s a situation that plays out on many timber-infested lakes throughout the country. Using a mix of the naked eye, common sense, GPS mapping, and sonar technologies, Livesay walks viewers through his step-by-step methodology.
FISH FINDERS & BOAT SETUP (retail links)
- FORWARD-FACING SONAR (FFS) – Humminbird MEGA Live TargetLock: Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- 360 SONAR – Humminbird MEGA 360 Imaging: Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- MAPPING – Humminbird LakeMaster VX Premium Digital Charts, Midsouth States V1: Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- SHALLOW WATER ANCHORS – Minn Kota Raptor, 8′: Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- FISH FINDER – Humminbird HELIX 12 CHIRP MEGA SI+ GPS G4N: Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse, Buy at Humminbird
- TROLLING MOTOR – Minn Kota Ultrex MSI+, 52”, 36v (112 lbs): Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
LAKE MAPS AND IDENTIFYING FEATURES
Selecting the right starting point can be overwhelming for any angler. Livesay emphasizes the importance of his LakeMaster map in breaking down the vast expanse of Lake Fork. By focusing on creek channel swings and noting the variance between larger and smaller trees, Livesay finds sweet spots missed by other bass anglers. It’s these subtleties in structure and cover that are often the key to success. When you sync your visual observations with mapping, it helps get your boat in the right area for a productive day on the water.
DRAWING THE SPOT AND SEEING FISH
Until recently, it wasn’t possible with over-the-counter fish finders to see a fish a cast length from your boat. Livesay describes how he uses a combination of side imaging, 360 sonar, and forward-facing sonar to map out the bottom structure, composition, and cover on a specific spot. Think of mapping as a clean bottom with elevation changes. Then, think of 360 and forward-facing sonar info as the texture, that is, bottom composition (hard or soft) and habitat (cover) on and over the bottom. Livesay takes it a step further by locating schools of bass with 360 and live sonar.
PRECISION BOAT CONTROL AND MAKING ACCURATE CASTS
The ability to digitally anchor your boat with GPS technology makes painting a detailed image of a spot and casting to fish easy. As Livesay points out, having the boat remain stationary when equipped with an independently operated forward-facing sonar transducer (MEGA Live TargetLock in this instance) allows you to focus on finding and casting to the fish.
In conclusion, Livesay’s in-depth discussion of finding bass in timber offers helpful insights for novice and seasoned anglers. By effectively combining your natural observations with technology, the chances of success increase significantly.