Setting up Lowrance HDS-12 GEN3 Electronics with Fletcher Shryock

(guitar music) – Hey guys, Fletcher Shryrock here, Bassmaster Elite Series pro. Wanna talk to you guys today about our eyeballs under the water, our electronics on our boats. Uh, pretty obvious, I
love Lowrance electronics. I’ve got three HDS-12 Gen3 units, Gen 3 touch units, on my Legend V20 boat. Not exactly essential to have three units, I mean, I could get by with two. But really these things are my eyeballs under the water on the Elite Series. Even if we’re fishing
shallow water tournaments there’s a lot of things
that these units can do just using the mapping features, sonar, the StructureScan, DownScan imaging. There’s a lot that I can do
with these units to help me. Everywhere I go, I become
efficient on the water. And what I wanna talk to
you guys today, basically, is about the set-ups that I use on each of my units some of my transducer ping speeds, palettes, things like that. So we’re gonna get into that stuff, and I wanna help the
beginner that, maybe– that may have one of these units, one of these HDS units on their boat. I want to, uh, help them out and get
their settings correct, so you have confidence whenever you’re using your unit, you have confidence that your settings are set correctly, and all you have to do is figure out what you’re looking at. Over the past several years I’ve been using several different electronics, and I’m here to tell
you today that the new Gen3’s by Lowrance, the touch screens, these things are just amazing. They’re so user-friendly, even for a beginner, to work through the screens. They’re super simple to figure out. My favorite thing about these
units is how fast they are. It’s amazing how fast I can
click around these screens, and how quick the processors
are on these units. I can go from screen to screen
when I’m out on the water. Sometimes you get in a hurry, and these units are able to keep up, and that’s a big deal to me when I’m out on the
water on tournament day. First things I wanna
talk to you guys about is how to set up my shortcuts and also my data overlay as well. One of the first things I like to do whenever I turn my unit on, is I like to set these shortcut keys. Basically Lowrance has allowed us to create our own pages, combining Chart and Sonar or a two StructureScan. I’m able to have a side StructureScan and a down StructureScan image, all on the same screen. And it’s pretty simple, you just click on the, uh, the plus-sign down here on the pages, and I’m able to actually drag whatever you– whatever you desire. We’re gonna create a chart with a sonar. And I can either have them both vertical, or I can have them set
on horizontal screens. So what I actually do before a tournament, I like to go to my home screen and set up the pages that I want to use. Typically, my unit here, I’m typically gonna run
my chart with my sonar it’s what this units designed for, and I like to run my side-imaging and down-imaging on my unit on the right. But these shortcut keys allow me to go through my unit really quickly, and if I wanna switch over
to a four-panel display, I can actually go to Chart, have my sonar running, my side-imaging, and my down-`imaging all in one screen. And I can quickly go back to the Main Menu and go back to just Chart and Sonar whenever I wanna make a run down the lake. So once we’ve already
saved our shortcut screens, the next thing I’m going to go is I’m going to go into that shortcut, and I’m gonna create my overlay. And what I mean by “overlay”, is my speed on my graph, my time, my water temperature, possibly my battery voltage, just in case your battery runs
low at the end of the day, I wanna keep it monitored on what my– what my battery levels are, and also my depth. And
what I’m able to do is I go into each separate page and I adjust my overlay different for every page that I have. So we’re gonna move into four-panel here, and as you can see I have my speed up in the upper left, my time below it, and my structure depth here. So if I wanted to add anything, let’s say I wanted to add battery voltage, I’m gonna press the power button, press Edit Overlay, and I’m gonna click Add up here here in the upper right. And let’s say I wanted to, uh, to add in once again, I wanted to to add in another time. I simply select the time
or I can add the date by simply selecting Date. Exit out of the screen. Now my date is right here. I can press the Zoom-In button or the Plus button to make the date larger. Or I can press the Minus button to make that overlay smaller. I can drag that around and
place it where I want to, and once that is in its place and I feel good about where it’s at, I simply click Save and now my date has been
added to my other overlay, and every time that I
go from the home screen to that four-panel screen, that new overlay that I just
added is on that screen. Now I’m gonna show you
guys what I would consider as my home screen and how I set it up. Typically on my left unit, I like to run my chart much
larger than I do my sonar. This is the screen that I’m using whenever I’m making– you know,
making run across the lake, or just figuring out where to go. I like my chart much
larger than that sonar, because it allows me to see so much more of the lake and the contours and things like that. So basically, I can go in and edit how large I want these screens. So I’m gonna press the power
button and click Adjust Splits. And I can actually make that sonar as wide or as narrow as I want it, and all I have to do if I want it to be a 50/50 split screen, I’ll drag– slide that over to the middle and I press Save. Now my sonar’s obviously a lot larger, my chart smaller, but for the most– for most of the time, I like my chart extremely large, that way I can see a lot of the details and trails and things like that to keep myself safe while I’m
running my boat down the lake. Now I wanna show you how to be a little bit more sneaky on the water by setting your key beeps. There’s nothing worse than
being out on the water and creating a waypoint, or trying to detail possibly a waypoint, and your unit making tons of beeps. You can hear a lot out here on the lake whenever it’s quiet out and a lot of times I feel like other
competitors are able to hear what I’m doing out here on the unit. So I like to turn my keys
uh– my key beeps off. I simply go from the home screen, to Settings, and right here it says Key Beeps, and I just select Off. I feel like that just
allows me to be more quiet on the water and not really notify other anglers if I happen to be typing
something into my unit. I like to use a couple
different mapping options on any lake that I go to. So right now I have the
Navionics chip in my unit. And one thing I really like about that is I’m able to, uh, change the colors of the contours around the lake depending on what depth I want to really look at. If I want– if I’m looking for a more of a deep-water bite salmon, fishing that 15-20 foot range, I can highlight 15-20 foot of water. If I’m primarily fishing
a shallow tournament, I can highlight, you
know, 5 foot and less. And how I do that is simply
go into Chart Options, I select View, and I select Depth Highlighting Range. And right now I have my
Max Depth set at six feet. So anywhere around the lake
that I start to see white, I know that’s typically six foot or less all the way around the lake. And that helps you build on patterns. If I get to a bank similar to where we’re
sitting at right here, where there’s very little white, I know that’s a very steep contour and it just helps me break
down the lake really fast. By using this Depth Highlighting Range, I can tell a lot about the lake just by looking at the shading that’s on the map. Next I want to talk to you guys about managing your waypoints and making you more
organized with your unit whenever you’re on the water. One thing I’ve learned about traveling across
the country all the time, and fishing different
lakes over the years, is I learned I needed to
start being consistent with my waypoints. So I basically created a waypoint key, in my own mind, about what certain things mean. Lowrance offers several
options you can use, from Stop signs, to just a generic blue circle, to trees. I try to stay consistent. Every time, say, I mark a rock pile, I always use rocks. Anytime I’m marking a grass line, I always use the grass icon. I try to keep this
consistent everywhere I go, that way whenever I show up to a lake that I haven’t been to in a few years, I know exactly what that waypoint means. And often times, I’ll go in– let’s say I, uh, I would like to use the generic blue dot to mark an area. Lowrance allows me to go in and make a name. I can say, uh, “North Wind” here, because this area would
be good on a North wind. Just a generic, you know,
just a generic title to help me remember, you know, to stay in that
area on a North wind, and I can label every single waypoint with this touchscreen really quickly. It helps breaking down that
body of water a lot easier whenever you go to look
over your waypoints right before a tournament. Something I would recommend, if you like to make a lot of waypoints, or you happen to fish a
lot of different areas across the country, or even in your state, is to actually save the waypoints by each lake that you visit. And after leaving that lake, clear your unit out and delete all of those old waypoints that you don’t need right away. That way your unit keeps running
at top speed at all times. One thing I really learned while fishing on the Elite Series that’s helped me a lot from day-to-day, um, is I like to set my trails different colors for everyday. Say Monday’s a red, Tuesday’s a blue, and so on and so forth. That way I can go back and remember where I was at what day for navigation purposes,
as well as where I was at and what areas I was in whenever I was fishing to help me put pieces of the puzzle
together on tournament day. So how do I change my trails on this unit? I’m gonna go to the home page, I’m going to select Trails. We’re gonna make a new trail. Let’s say today’s Monday and I’m going to use a blue trail, I select the blue trail. I select Save. Once I get in the boat on Tuesday, I’m going to simply press New Trail, select the color of the trail, and we’re gonna go to a yellow trail and I select Save. And one thing you want to remember, the same as with the waypoints, once I’m done with this lake and I’m ready to move on somewhere else, I’m actually going to go in
and select Delete All Trails and delete them out of my unit. Helps my unit run at
top speed all the time. But having all those
different trails in there, for different days, helps me mentally organize where I’ve
been and what I’ve done in the past week on that body of water to help me be more
efficient on tournament day. So next were going to move
over to my sonar screen. I’m gonna show you guys
what settings I use on that and how I adjust my unit to see everything as perfect as I can. So typically on my sonar range, I like to leave that on Auto. The unit will actually
automatically adjust to whatever depth I’m at. If I happen to go from 30 feet up to ten, it’s going to automatically
adjust all the time for me, so I like to leave the range in Auto. As far as the sensitivity goes, I like to keep my sensitivity
turned down quite a bit from the actual default on the unit. This is actually on a negative eight. The reason for that is I don’t want a whole lot
of clutter on my screen, I like my screen to stay pretty clean. I don’t want to pick up a lot of debris and small fish and things like that. I turn that sensitivity down that way when I do see an arc, I know that it’s a fish or something I really
need to pay attention to. So I definitely keep my sensitivity down. Now we’re going to talk
about what palette I use. So we’re going to go into View, and they offer several different palettes, 14 different palettes to be exact, and I personally like palette 13, the absolute best. I mean you can actually
pick one that’s white, but I’ve really found that palette 13 has the best color separation for anywhere I go in the country. I’m able to figure out whether
it’s fish or structure, or whatever it may be, very easily on palette 13. I highly recommend that. So now we’re going to move
into the Advanced menu button. So here I’m going to
make my noise rejection, I’m going to turn that to Off. I’m going to turn my
surface clarity to Off. I’ll leave my scroll speed at Normal, and my ping speed, at the console, I run at 14. At the front I run the ping speed anywhere from 16 to 18. And that’s pretty well it on the sonar. Basic set-ups, but those are the set-ups that I use when running my sonar with my chart, or just my sonar on with the full page. (guitar music) So as you can see here, I just idled up over top of a road bed, and there’s not a whole lot
of clutter on the screen. The screen’s very clean, and you can actually see some fish that are up off the road bed here. You can actually select that and zoom in. Because my sensitivity is turned down, I feel really good that the
chances are of that being a fish are really solid. If I had my sensitivity
turned up way too high, you get a lot of different images that you’re not quite sure what it is. So next I want to talk to you guys about something that changed fishing, or at least off-shore fishing, altogether. That’s the StructureScan, both the side-imaging
and the down-imaging, on these Lowrance units. So
the first thing I’m going to do whenever I pull up my
side-imaging on my unit, which is right here in my Shortcut menu. I’m gonna to select my palette. I’ve done a lot of idling off-shore, spent a lot of time with my units, I personally like palette number eight better than all of them. Everyone’s eyes are a
little bit different, some people might see
palette nine with the blue a little bit better. And you can adjust your side imaging over your down imaging
to be different colors if you prefer. But I really like palette eight on both. It gives me the best picture overall. The next thing I’m going to do, is I’m going to go into
the Advanced screen, and I’m gonna turn my
surface clarity to Off, I’m going to turn my noise rejection where that box is not checked. I want my noise rejection off and my surface clarity off. Also, I want my frequency
to be set at 800 kHz. 400 kHz is more for
deep-water ocean fishing, or any depths over 100 feet. So keep your frequency on 800 kHz. As far as the range setting, I typically will set my range not on Auto. I like to set the range myself. And a lot of people ask,
you know, what depth, or what range, you want to set it on. Typically it’s three times
the depth that we’re in. If I’m sitting in 10 foot of water, I want to be scanning
roughly 30 to 35 feet to each side. If I’m in, you know, 25 feet of water, I’m able to set that out to 75 feet. So you want to multiply
your depth by three, and that’s what’s going to give
you your side imaging range. So right now we’re in
about 15 foot of water, we’re going to call that about 50 feet to each side is where I’m going to
want to set my range. One thing I highly recommend, any time you’re using your side-imaging, not necessarily your down-imaging, but your side-imaging, is you want to get the widest
field of range possible when you’re looking at the screen. We’re scanning 50 feet to
both sides of the boat, so that’s 100 feet. So I want to make sure that
when I’m looking at this screen I’m giving myself the best opportunity to see every little detail to the left and to the right, and that’s going to make a big difference whenever you’re using your StructureScan, is making sure you keep that
field of vision on your unit as wide and as big as you really can. And that’s really why I have this– this unit on my right here, is totally dedicated to just SideScan. Because it makes that big of a difference. I want to see every single
detail that’s off to the left and off to the right. If that picture’s much smaller, maybe just down here in the corner, I’m not going to pick
up on little rock piles and logs, and things like that that are underneath the water. So pretty much at this point
it’s been a boring process getting your unit set up. But once they’re set up, have confidence in what you’re seeing. The next thing I’m going to show you is going to help you learn and help you really visualize
what your unit is showing you when you can’t look out across the water and see what’s under there. After I get done showing you a few tips that you can work on and practice with, you’re gonna have your abilities, and your confidence in off-shore fishing is going to be a lot greater. So when I was first
learning to use side-imaging and StructureScan, in the very beginning. What I started doing, is I would pick targets
that I could visually see up on the bank, that I knew looked the
same beneath the water. Take this bridge for example. You see the steps on
the side of the bridge, you see the rocks around it. So what we’re actually
gonna do here in a minute is we’re gonna idle past that bridge, and you’re actually
gonna get a good visual of what it looks like
underneath the water. And remember that. Remember the size of that bridge, what it looked like on your graph whenever you idled by whenever you were fishing off-shore. And that’ll give you a real good idea of the size of the objects. A lot of times, a major, large rock
pile on the side-imaging does not look very big a lot of times. And when we idle by that bridge you’re gonna see what I’m talking about. A lot of times the
objects are a lot smaller than what we as anglers
think they’re gonna be on this unit. So it’s a really good to get used to picking out certain objects, say a laid down tree, or a log that you know
is underneath the water, and you know the size of it. Idle by that tree. Idle by that log. Idle by that rip-rap. Try to get a good idea of the size of it, and that way you can get used to and comfortable with what your unit’s telling you and how big that stuff actually
is underneath the water that you’re looking at. When you don’t know, and can’t see underneath the water, you’ll have a better idea of what’s there. So now we’re going to take a look. We’re actually going to
go through this bridge, and take a look at what it looks like. As you can see, these steps right here on the side, we’ve got a very flat wall
running down the sides, there’s actually some
pieces underneath the bridge that you’ll see here in a second. As indicated here on the SideScan, and here on the DownScan, there’s some things up underneath holding this bridge together. But anytime you’re
using your side-imaging, you want to make sure you
keep a constant, steady speed. Side-imaging doesn’t
work unless you’re moving in a straight forward motion, evenly at all times. Right now we’re moving at
about three miles an hour and steady in that direction to get a clearer picture. So we’re coming to the
end of the bridge here, and as you can see, the steps on that bridge
are very, very small, but you can make them out plain as day. The steps are very, very small, but those are actually very big steps. I mean there could be
a five or six pounder sitting on every one of them steps. That’s how big they are. So, the point that I’m trying to make is try to line up things on the bank, get a good visual for what it actually
looks like on your graph and I promise you you’re going
to gain a lot more confidence in what you’re seeing
on your Lowrance units, and it’s gonna help you find more spots to catch a lot more fish. So now that we’ve got
all our settings right, we’ve got a rough idea
of what we’re looking at, after we looked at stuff on the bank versus beneath the water, now I’m actually going to idle over a spot that’s off the bank, that you can’t see from above the water, idle over it, waypoint it, get up on the front. And actually, I’m gonna show you guys how I would go about fishing that spot, and you’re gonna get a real good visual of what it looks like on
the side-imaging unit, and how I set up to make
a cast to that spot. So now we’re gonna start to
idle across this spot here. So here we’re gonna start
to idle across this spot, going a steady three to six miles an hour. And as you can see, looking on the DownScan, here’s the top of the road. Looking to our left here, the road is casting a
shadow moving to our left and coming back to our right. There’s the brightest return here. You can actually see some rip-rap down the backside of the road right there. So what I’m actually gonna do is pull up the road, scroll back. I love that feature, you’re able to scroll
back through your history. I’m able to scroll back. Let’s mark the top of that road. I’m not gonna mark it with one waypoint, I’m gonna mark it with a few. So we’re gonna mark it
with a high spot there, a high spot there. I marked my high spots with the circle with the crosshairs in it. There’s my high spots. Now I’ve got a line of waypoints, okay, across the top of that road. We’re gonna put a fifth
one there for good measure. Now what I’m gonna do, is I’m gonna have to scroll
back to that road bed, and I’m going to change waypoints. There’s some rip-rap on the
back side of that road bed, so I’m gonna mark that with a rock. Mark there with a rock. I’m gonna put one more rock. So basically I’ve got
three rocks in a line, I’ve got the high spots of
that road bed marked out. Now I’m gonna show you
guys on the trolling motor how I set up and make a
cast on that road bed. So I just finished up
idling over this road bed at the console. Now we’re up on the front graph. Got ourselves remotely close to this. Now the first thing that I’m gonna do, is I’m gonna look down at my GPS, and I’m gonna put a cursor in the middle of the highest spot on that road bed. I look down here on that very corner, and it’s gonna tell me the distance I am from that road bed. Right now we’re 50 feet. I try to keep myself anywhere
between 40 to 125 feet off of my targets. So right now we’re within range. And what I have on this
boat is a Point-1 antenna, and what a Point-1 antenna does, is it only stays– the cursor which my boat
is marked on this unit, is always pointed in that direction. It doesn’t go with what
direction I’m moving, it goes with what direction
the boat is pointing. Which is very key when I’m trying to line
up on this road bed. I can see very easily that
the boat’s going this way, the road is coming this way. So if I want to make a direct cast, all I have to do is simply point my boat directly at that waypoint on this screen and make that cast, and I’m gonna be able to hit that road or the rip-rap whichever I decide pretty much on my very first throw. That Point-1 antenna
helps keep me dialed in on exactly my position and where the front of my boat is pointed so I can hit that rock
pile every single time. The only thing that’s really different, settings wise, on my front graph is my ping speed. I like to run my ping speed on my sonar anywhere from 16 to 18. Now we’re going to go
back to the home screen. And I really only run one
shortcut on my front graph. It’s got a large chart, a sonar at the top, and the DownScan transducer
on my trolling motor. That DownScan really allows me to see separation on the bottom. And perfect timing, you’re actually seeing a
fish pass underneath the boat on both the sonar and the DownScan imaging. That just allows me– I
can use the both of these. Really they’re showing
me the same picture, but DownScan allows me
to see the separation just a little bit better. We’re actually drifting off our spot here, we’re at about 62 feet. I need to get the Point-1
antenna on the front of the boat pointed toward some waypoints and we’re gonna make a cast on this thing. So pretty much on my first cast I was able to hit the rock pile and that’s what’s so sweet about this. There’s a lot of set-up, and a lot of things that you need to learn to get used to these units, but once you do, it’s so rewarding. You’re able to– your offshore game is
going to pick up huge, your catches throughout the
year are gonna be awesome, and if anything, for me as a shallow-water angler, it allows me to eliminate
a deep-water bite in a real quick hurry. If there’s a shallow bite going on, I don’t feel like I waste a lot of time fishing offshore. I can go out there and fish what I want to fish in a pretty quick amount of time using the Lowrance units. And if I know I need to go
to the bank at that point, then I’m gonna get there. I’m not wasting any time. I know it’s a lot of work, but a lot of times– just the best thing that
you’re going to be able to do is just spend a lot of
time looking at your units, spend a lot of time trying
to look for structure, and fish. And you’re
gonna learn on your own, and find out your own tricks. I promise you, it’s gonna be rewarding. (guitar music)

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