With the rise of Forward Facing Sonar technology in the bass fishing landscape a number of market specific accessories have been introduced and slowly gaining traction in this once niche arena. Whether you’re a fan of the original Garmin Panoptix LiveScope, Lowrance ActiveTarget, or Humminbird MEGA Live, there are a multitude of new options out there to meet your specific Forward Facing Sonar needs.
These items serve as a means to accurately position your forward-facing sonar transducer more accurately out on the water. Predominantly used with a trolling motor that has built in GPS anchor technology, these devices facilitate independent movement of the transducer from the main shaft of the trolling motor. With varying price points and mechanical complexity there is an option to fit a number of fishing styles and budgets.
One of the OGs of the FFS movement is the Rite-Hite Turret system. An independently foot-controlled trolling motor mounted unit that comes in two speeds 3 RPM and 5 RPM depending on your fishing style. Quick installation and a reasonable $650 MSRP has made this a pretty popular option from early tech adopters.
DD26 Live Foot
Originally from Blitz Lures the DD26 Live Foot is a premium universal foot control option that has undergone numerous improvements over the past few years. These upgrades were made primarily to increase its durability and modularity with hardware from the 3 big Forward Facing Sonar players. These enhancements bump up the price tag to $1249 for the base unit, not including the highly recommended $200 dog bone bracket. Nonetheless, if its anything like DD26s other products a Forward Facing Sonar enthusiast will not be disappointed with this option.
Sniper Marine – Sniper Pole Pro Series
Featuring a hand control gear box and robust construction, this manipulator can be mounted to your trolling motor or over the side of you boat. Numerous extension and mounting options are available as well. MSRP $679.99
Humminbird MEGA Live TargetLock
This game changing accessory to the Humminbird MEGA portfolio is the first of its kind in this market segment. With the introduction of the new “TargetLock” feature anglers can now set a directional lock of their live sonar transducer regardless of changing boat position. Other market options required continual angler input to achieve the same desired result. The market for this accessory is limited with a price tag of $1499 in addition to only working within the Humminbird ecosystem.
Does your neck kill you after long hours on the water with forward facing sonar. If so a premium graph mount might be in order.
Beatdown Outdoors- The Ultimate
Its telescoping design with twin locking collars facilitates raising your graph off the deck up to 30 inches in a matter of seconds. The quick release base lets you take the whole upper assembly off the boat at the end of the day with minimal hassle. Made in the USA of 6061 aluminum and 304 Stainless Steel components. MSRP $550
Forward Facing Sonar Tackle:
In the coming years I fully expect much more forward-facing sonar specific tackle to hit the market from a number of manufacturers. Here are just a few items already hitting the market.
Kistler Chromium Rod and Reels
Following the release of their Series1 and Series 2 baitcasting reels. The Chromium Baitcast reel is a step up with the addition of two ceramic spool bearings and an IPX6 water resistance rating. This flagship reel can be paired with one of the two new Chromium “Scope” series casting rods with new KC8+ blanks and woven carbon ultra touch split grip. The resulting premium lightweight combo will have you focused on fish activity and make tackle management a complete afterthought. The 6’10” MH model and matching reel felt great in hand and should be an avid performer with rip bait afficionados.
Bill Lewis Scop Stik Rip Bait
Part of the GSM portfolio of fishing brands Bill Lewis is already creating new baits for the modern avid bass angler. The new Scope Stik 100 and Scope Stik 120 both feature a very pronounced side profile that facilitates easier recognition from your Forward Facing Sonar transducer. This bait line comes with an internal weight transfer system and popular Mustad triple grip treble hooks. Floating, suspending and sinking actions are available, as well as a multitude of premium finish options. Alongside coming in at a reasonable price this bait is sure to create some interest with FFS enthusiasts. MSRP $7.99-$12.99
Queen Tackle L.S. Tungsten Jig Heads
Smaller profile and denser material should translate to more bites and a stronger sonar signal return. Offered in multiple weight ranges and sizes. MSRP $8.99 to $11.99
Yum FF Sonar Minnow and Jig Heads
Part of a purposely designed system, this finesse presentation developed by pro angler Jason Christie is meant to catch suspended fish with Forward Facing Sonar technology. The #1 sized sickle hook jig head pairs well with the 3″ minnow to trigger finicky quarry on screen. MSRP $3.49 – $3.99
Jenko Buzzcut Mini
Perhaps best known for their tremor shad and “Big Wig” magnum hair jig. Jenko Fishing introduces a smaller profile hair jig with the Forward Facing Sonar angler in mind. The large profile and slow sinking action make it easy to spot on your graph when fishing open water. MSRP $6.99
It’s no secret that Forward Facing Sonar technology requires a lot of dedicated clean power to keep the transducer and graph package running all day long. Fortunately, a number of options are becoming available to meet the needs of these power-hungry devices.
Hennessey Pro Harness
Custom built in the US by Hennesy Outdoor Electronics (H.O.E.). This professional upgrade is designed to power 3 graphs and accessories at the bow and 2 graphs at your main console. It includes one 24 ft run of 6 AWG to the bow of the boat, two 14 ft runs of 10-gauge wire, a dedicate ON/OFF Switch, a dedicated 60 AMP breaker, a dedicated 6 panel fuse block, and a customized universal mounting bracket.
Why upgrade wiring for just one unit or module when you can upgrade to clean power for every unit on your boat? MSRP $450
More to come.