The HELIX 12 has two primary purposes for Crews: It maps using Humminbird’s LakeMaster technology and it also sees what’s beneath and beside the boat using Humminbird’s Side Imaging.
“LakeMaster can be more detailed wherever they have mapping of it,” Crews said.
LakeMaster is Humminbird’s proprietary mapping software, which has very detailed maps of many fisheries. On lakes where LakeMaster doesn’t have a map, however, other mapping software still proves quite invaluable.
Having the Lowrance at the console as well, Crews is able to quickly compare maps from multiple sources and find the best topographic lines possible on the go.
“I still use Navionics on my Lowrance,” said Crews. “Navionics is very good. What most people don’t know is that a lot of Navionics mapping is done through user input. Users upload sonar logs to Navionics and they update it periodically based on user input. I think that’s both cool and super helpful.”
In addition to mapping, Crews uses the Humminbird to scan for cover, bait and bass alongside the boat while idling.
“Humminbird was the first with the Side Imaging and they’re still really good at it,” Crews said.
Humminbird’s MEGA Side Imaging, in Crews’ opinion, is an excellent option. That being said, he stresses that other products are really good as well.
“Lowrance is really good,” Crews said. “And with Garmin’s new transducer that recently came out, their stuff looks awesome, too.”
So if Crews is using Humminbird’s mapping and Side Imaging at the console, what’s the purpose for having a Lowrance there as well?
“Lowrance’s user interface is solid and it has great mapping and waypoint management.”
Crews prefers to mark, store and manage his waypoints using his Lowrance unit. He uses the Humminbird with Side Imaging to scan the bottom but when he sees something he’s interested in marking, he’ll actually mark the waypoint on his Lowrance unit. To be able to mark things off to the side of the boat like this, Crews is simultaneously running Lowrance’s Side Scan technology on his HDS-12.