After making the switch from Lowrance to Simrad electronics last season, I’ve fielded countless questions on why? The answer is very simple. Both brands are owned by the same parent company – NAVICO. So it wasn’t like I was jumping ship by making the switch. Rather, since I do more offshore fishing, NAVICO asked if I would mind switching brands, since my style of fishing would better promote the Simrad line. As they’re the same family, I agreed.
My MARC VI has two Simrad NSS 12 TouchSensible (touch screen) units, and a single NSS 8 TouchSensible unit. Simrad is known for fast information processing, and these units are quick to the touch. They’re very easy to use, with countless features to help locate and stay on top of the fish.
The units utilize a BSM-2, CHIRP- enabled Airmar transducer. This technology results in up to 30-percent better definition of bottom structure, bait and game fish. What’s more, I can dial in transducer frequencies to fine-tune my readings based on depth and conditions. For instance, I now enjoy a range from 28 kHz (for ultra-deep fishing, like when day dropping to 1,900 feet for swordfish, or trolling over deep contours) to 210 kHz, (for when fishing very shallow waters, such as inlets and depths under 100 feet). The Simrad units and BSM-2 CHIRP transducer lends a working range up to 9,000 feet. And on a recent day-time swordfish drop in 1,500 feet of water, we actually marked our 12-pound lead – on bottom, as we were frequently dropping and retrieving it several feet during our drift!
StructureScan is a feature I’ve become obsessed with. This side-scanning device not only delivers an impressive, “diver-like” view off to the sides of the boat at programmable distances, but also a down-scan view. One sees not just the composite and features along the bottom, but any bait- and fish-concentrations. Watching the StructureScan is very similar to riding in a glass bottom boat. To date, it has helped me locate bait concentrations, uncover intriguing structure, and find and keep track of game fish.
I have a Simrad 4kw radar paired with a four-foot open array antennae. We use this for the obvious – navigating through rain and thunderstorms, but more so for locate working birds. I’ll set the unit on either a four- or six-mile range, turn up the gain to just shy of acquiring noise interference, and then watch the screen for any “specs” or “flecks”. If I see something, I’ll watch the screen as the antennae makes a few loops. If the “fleck” still appears on the screen after a few antennae sweeps, they’re birds! We’ll race over, find birds working, and cash in on dolphin or tuna!
And for additional safety, I’ve SIRIUS satellite weather. This lets me monitor any rain/storm activity, along with intensity and the direction it’s heading.
We’ve caught some very impressive fish (as you’ll see in my shows), thanks to Simrad. I look forward to many more productive fishing seasons using this state-of-the-art equipment.