Lowrance Structure Scan Review, Part III: Deep Water
Last summer, we gave the Lowrance Structure Scan system a first impression review, then a follow up. The system has been in place on my boat, which has a Lowrance HDS 7 display, for better than a year now. Here’s a recap of a Structure Scan experience that shows just what having this machine onboard can do for you.
One of the most fascinating experiences I’ve had using Structure Scan took place in relatively deep water at the Jack Spot, 24 miles off the coast of Ocean City. At this underwater hump, which sits in 100 foot deep water and rises to 50 feet at the top, there’s a line of a dozen or so old subway cars in 60 to 80 feet of water. Structure Scan’s ability seems to be reduced as you go deeper, and up until then I had found it most effective in depths of 40 feet or less, in the Chesapeake Bay. Would it help here, as well?
We visited the spot to fish for Tautog, which are structure-oriented fish and require you to drop your baits right on top of their heads—or go bite-less. When we got to the spot, however, I had trouble locating good returns even though I was at the very same GPS coordinates that had shown big marks in the past. So I switched into side-scan mode, and re-surveyed the area. With side-scan on the marks were still meager, until I spotted a nice anomaly on-screen about 70 feet off to one side. I placed the cursor on it, then followed my GPS to the spot, and we were suddenly over top of a nice 15 foot rise – this was more like it. We dropped anchor, and caught some beautiful tog like the one pictured here.
About a week later I was talking to a friend who’s a dedicated SCUBA diver. As it turns out, he had done a dive at the Jack Spot recently. What he told me made everything suddenly add up: the fittings in the rail cars had corroded away, and all but a couple had collapsed into heaps of sheet metal on the bottom. The ones that had collapsed provided pretty poor structure, and they held a few fish but not great numbers of them. The ones that still stood, however, held gobs of fish. We had been lucky enough to find one of them—and it never would have happened without Structure Scan onboard—in that relatively deep water.
Do you NEED Structure Scan to be a successful angler? Nah. Will it ensure great catches each and every trip? No way. But will it give you a serious advantage when you’re trying to pinpoint those items that fish gather around? Absolutely. If you fish over structure in depths from 10 to 100 feet, this system is something you’ll want to consider.