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Seaguar Report

National Walleye Tour pro and owner of The Walleye Guys guide service, Brian BashoreNational Walleye Tour pro and owner of The Walleye Guys guide service, Brian Bashore

Fishing electronics have continued to make our lives easier when locating cover, structure, and fish. These underwater eyes are highly effective tools that reduce the time to find productive fishing areas, no matter what species you target. For National Walleye Tour pro and owner of The Walleye Guys guide service, Brian Bashore, his electronics are vital for finding walleyes.

Forward-facing sonar is the hot trend in the fishing world right now, and Bashore utilizes it, but the entire package of side-scan, 2D sonar, 360-imaging, and down-scanning technology all play a role in his fishing. They work together and help reinforce what he finds on the water, each playing a pivotal role in helping him and his clients catch more walleyes.

If He Could Only Pick One

Of all the different sonar technologies available today, Bashore would choose Humminbird Side Imaging if he could only have one on his boat. It's crucial to his efforts, and he generally uses it first before refining his approach with forward-facing sonar and standard 2D sonar.

Z-Man Report

Z-Man walleye pro Dylan NussbaumZ-Man walleye pro Dylan Nussbaum

Do we really need another story about catching fish with forward-facing sonar (FFS), the singular topic that seems to invade every fishing conversation today?

If you ask any young angler today—or many old-timers, to boot—the answer would seem to be a resounding yes. “Almost every question I get these days is related to FFS,” notes Z-Man walleye pro Dylan Nussbaum, a sonar sight fishing prodigy. “Anglers want to know how to set it up, how to trigger ‘sonar fish’ to bite and especially, which lures to use with FFS and how to retrieve them.”

According to super skilled, youthful anglers like Nussbaum, fishing traditions are shifting. Young, energetic fishermen are mastering new skillsets, birddogging bogeys on fish radar and firing heatseeking missiles with military-like precision. Moreover, as Nussbaum and other FFS specialists will suggest, going one-on-one with big fish, flipping a jig and Jerk ShadZ™ on their piscine snouts is an absolute adrenaline rush.

“We watch videos and read so much about fishing with sonar these days, but I think there’s a lack of content really explaining how and why we do what we do when we’re up front, crouched over a screen, flicking baits and setting hooks. Sure, I use FFS to catch big fish and win tournament money, but the truth is, it’s also an awesome learning experience and honestly, one of the most exciting and rewarding ways to catch ‘em.”

Z-Man: Seems like the power of FFS has really been on display at recent walleye tournaments. Most eye raising are the big water tournaments, like on Lake Erie, where trolling methods that cover large swaths of water are gradually being supplanted by casting a single lure to a single fish spotted on sonar. Why are anglers adapting?

Dylan Nussbaum: Beyond the fun factor, of course, it all boils down to the fact FFS helps us pinpoint and cast to individual big fish, one-on-one with a favorite lure, as opposed to towing lures around the general vicinity of a school, hoping one will eventually eat. In tournaments, we’re looking to put five big fish in the boat each day, rather than seeking limits of smaller eater sized fish.

By Louie Stout

I know you guys are catching walleye. So why aren’t you entering them in the Midwest Walleye Challenge?

As of Thursday, only 24 Hoosiers had entered and logged 146 fish from 32 Indiana bodies of water. Oddly enough, southern Indiana – mostly Brookville Reservoir - has dominated the Hoosier entries.

However, some entries have come from Clear and Crooked lakes in Steuben County. Strangely, none have been entered from the St. Joseph River, Maxinkuckee or Winona lakes where walleyes are frequently stocked.

IDNR Report

Indiana anglers are invited to participate in the 2024 Midwest Walleye Challenge, a virtual fishing tournament that offers the opportunity to win prizes and contribute to fisheries management while providing Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fisheries biologists with valuable data on the state’s walleye, sauger, and saugeye populations.

The tournament begins March 30 and ends June 30. Only catches of walleye, sauger, and saugeye will count in the tournament.

The Midwest Walleye Challenge was piloted in Iowa during the past two years. This year it will be offered across the Midwest as part of a larger fisheries research project funded by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.