There’s a new boat at my place. The old TABS 4200 Bullshark was great but it has now been upgraded to the new 4300 model Bullshark with a 40 E-Tec on the transom. This rig is an all-rounder in many respects, and with our plans to spend just as much time in saltwater as in fresh I was determined to find the right sounder/GPS combo for our needs. As a long standing and satisfied user of Lowrance products, I opted to purchase a Lowrance HDS Gen 2 Touch 7” unit and mounted it on a RAM bracket for total flexibility of use.
I couldn’t wait to use this mighty unit. With the instruction book in hand I spent a lot of time in the shed going over various features and procedures with the in-built simulator to get the hang of things.
Feeling supremely confident we then headed to various fishing areas to put theory into practice. Sadly, I soon realised that much of my ‘knowledge’ remained as theory.
While the HDS Gen 2 Touch hand book is very good, with instructions that explain every feature of the unit, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, like having someone familiar with the unit give you a hands-on explanation of its capabilities and numerous features. And, best of all, the ability to explain fully and then link those features to the exact sort of fishing situations that you have in mind.
I’d seen Nick Whyte of Tech Fishing fame explaining the new Lowrance unit’s major features, and the best means of using them to angling advantage, at several BCF Club Nights. For that reason, it made a lot of sense to get Nick aboard my boat so he could run through the HDS7’s major attributes in a way that would assist us with our own fishing.
With 2 decades’ experience with Lowrance products, Nick certainly knows what he is talking about. The impressive number of really large fish taken from heavily-pressured waters that are displayed on his website are proof of his vast level of expertise.
Once on the water I explained to Nick that with a 4.3m punt style craft our main fishing activities around Brisbane would be Moreton Bay, the Brisbane River, and Jumpinpin. Impoundment barra and bass are among our major flyfishing targets these days, which meant the StructureScan and DownScan modes would be playing an important part in our search for these fish as well.
First up, Nick had a good look at the installation of the Structure Scan and DownScan transducers. Both were set up in a ‘clean’ area (away from strakes) at the stern of the Bullshark and within the specified 0.3m distance of each other for optimum results. So far so good!
On the water, and under Nick’s guidance, it quickly became obvious that my choice of the HDS 7 had been the right one. It was also pretty obvious that despite all my research and study I was a long way behind the 8 ball in getting anything like the best possible use from my pride and joy.
One thing that really helped was Nick’s knowledge of shortcuts to various settings, and how to best use them. Overall I was very impressed with his ability to explain in easily understood terms just what is required to achieve a specific goal. His business motto is ‘Your Boat - My Knowledge - More Fish’, which sums it up perfectly.
Nick’s working knowledge of Lowrance units extends well back from the current generation of hi-tech large screen sounders; he’s just at home with more modest units as well. If you suspect Nick can help you get the best out of your Lowrance unit, and most importantly in your own boat, you are 100% correct.
Interested parties can contact Nick on 0422 213 669 or via email at --e-mail address hidden-- He is also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TechFishing.
A handy hint: take a good notebook or a recording device when he’s showing you the ropes or you’ll get some serious information overload!Reads: 1668