Lowrance HDS Live going deep

After fitting the new Lowrance HDS Live 12 inch Combo to our project boat we were keen to test it in some deeper water to see how it performs.

Just about all of our previous trips testing this unit have been through the winter chasing snapper on the close grounds and I must say it has lived up to the hype surrounding the new live series of sounders, with great clarity and precision fish finding abilities built in with fish reveal and other cool features like down scan and the like.

Although most offshore fisherman tend to fish reefs in the 30-60m range up and down our coastline, every now and again you will venture a little wider exploring deeper ground when the weather permits.
With a few trips under our belt and having a good handle on how the unit works we planned a trip out wide on the sunshine coast. We wanted to see how the unit performed in 60 -120m depths; this is about the limit you want to be winding up with a decent fish on without the aid of an electric reel.

The day started with some sounding around on the closer grounds trying to find bait hoping there were still some old man snapper floating around or some tasty Pearl Perch.
We were in luck as the snapper bite was on early morning but stopped just as quickly as it started, so we took the half dozen nice snapper and headed a little wider.

new snapper

 Both Snapper and Pearlies came from this little rise

 good show

The Sunshine Coast has many wrecks that are located in the depths we were looking to fish so we made our way around them during the course of the day picking up odd fish here and there, mainly small Snapper and Pearlies with the odd Unstoppable amongst them more than likely Amberjack.

Our aim on the day was to see if the unit could pick up structure and fish in depths over 100m and we were more than happy with the results remembering this is a unit that retails around $4000 for a GPS/Sounder combo in a 12 inch screen.

During my time fishing with different people I have learnt a lot about what to look for on the bottom and making sure you are fishing an area that has some form of life. What I mean by that is looking for activity with plenty of bait or small fish showing. Some spots you turn up to are just bait and nothing else and others may have everything sit hard on the bottom and not moving around, this is a tell-tale sign that predators are not in the area and by that I mean feeding fish.

Scattered Pearlies in 130m around some wire weed

wire weed


Even in early December we were able to pull pearlies and snapper from the deeper reefs as most sunny coast anglers put the bottom fishing gear away and get the trolling rods dusted off for the ever popular bill fish.


AJ with a smaller version of what were unstoppable

Aj with Aj.jpg new

The Lowrance HDS Live unit performs well in the deep with clear readings in depths up to 150m still using the standard transducer and the settings still in auto, the only adjustments I made was with the zoom to narrow the water column.

Now I know the purists are going to say that 130m is not deep but for your average punter who might get to this type of ground once or twice a year it proves that you don’t need to spend a small fortune on electronics to get a result, with the entire package 12 inch combo and transducer retailing under $4000 its proved to be great bang for your buck.


Author with a Typical Pearlie from the wider grounds