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Lowrance Radar for Tournament Fishing

 B.A.S.S. Communications photo
The Bassmaster Classic was filled with firsts. Kevin VanDam was the first angler to win more 5 million dollars. Kevin Oldham was the first non-angler allowed on the weigh-in stage, and radar was first used in a bass boat as a navigation tool. There were several other firsts as well, and we came away from this Classic with a renewed vigor for our sport that had been lacking the last several years.

We had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Elite Series angler and 10th place finisher Gary Klein about his use of Lowrance Broadband Radar and how important it was to him at the event.

Wired2Fish: Several pro’s installed radar units in their boats for the Classic. You were one of them. What was the determining factor for you?

Klein: I knew that because the cold water from the Mississippi was dumping into the Gulf, we had the possibility of fog at this classic, more so than any other time. I also knew that fog is very unpredictable. Some areas would be clear but because of the long runs there was no doubt in  my mind that it would play here.

Wired2Fish: With that said, how long before the Classic did you prepare?

Klein: I actually made arrangements two months prior to the Classic to install it. I did the installation myself. I fabricated the mount and set it up. Let’s go back a bit. I have run the Lowrance HDS since they came out and was teased with a screen on the HDS and knew it was possible but had not used it before this event. It was everything and more, and it exceeded my expectations.

Wired2Fish: Was it hard to set up and use?

Klein: Not at all. It is easier than your electronics to learn and interpret. I ran it with mapping in split screen mode with mapping and radar. I ran it from 200 feet to 400 feet most of the time but it has a range of 24 miles. In the river I ran it at a 1/4 mile. It picks up everything above the water line — marker buoys, ships, birds, PVC pipes, etc.; you could see it all. I  ran 65 mph in fog where you could not see the front of the boat. This was the harriest run I have ever committed to. I ran 200 miles round trip and got to fish 42 minutes. I would not have been able to fish that long without Lowrance radar.

This is a modular system and uses broadband technology. It plugs into the Lowrance NMEA module.

Wired2Fish: Does the unit make any noise?

Klein: It is completely silent, and I never knew it was running except for the screen display. The permanent positioning of the antenna is critical, and it worked perfect. Once I set it up and locked it in, it was the deal. I am sure I will have the need to use it again, and it was a huge advantage in New Orleans. But from a navigation and a foggy weather perspective, it was a difference maker.

To learn more about Lowrance Radar and Broadband technologies, visit