The advance in sonar technology for anglers is baffling. With the incredible high-definition imagery being viewed on boats these days, there is no structure or cover left hidden beneath the surface. Which brings up a very useful tool you should be using with your side-imaging if you are not using it already. When you’re prospecting, idling along watching the screen, you’re viewing a swath of bottom that is anywhere from 50 feet wide out to hundreds of feet if you’re looking at the split-screen view from both sides of the boat. With a wider view, you don’t get the definition you would if you scaled it down, but you’re seeing structure, cover and even fish that are farther away from the boat.
In shallow water situations, when you’re likely to spook fish by driving over them, this can be a huge advantage. When you see something that looks fishy off in the distance on your screen. Move the cursor on top of it and mark a waypoint. Then, instead of idling over it for a closer look, position yourself a cast away and work it over with your fishing rod. By doing this you stand to catch fish that would have otherwise been spooked by the boat.
Today’s technology would probably be viewed as cheating by the anglers of old. It seems the next probable step is on-board 3-D printers. Instead of catching fish once you mark them, you could just print them out and be done with it.