On and off the water, technology is taking over the fishing industry. From high-definition mapping to forward-facing sonar, anglers have never had as many pieces of technology to choose from. Now, anglers can take that technology to the hard water. The Humminbird MEGA 360 and MEGA Live Imaging ice bundles allow anglers to find fish, and fish holding structure faster than ever before. Regardless of your species of choice, the Humminbird ice bundles will take your experience to the next level.
Humminbird Pro Brad Hawthorne has been guiding for over 19 seasons and has seen the changes as the technology for ice anglers has evolved. In his business, it all comes down to whether his clients catch fish or not that determines the success of an ice trip. Having the latest equipment has helped make his business more successful, and makes for a fun and interactive experience for his clients.
“The things I used to think I knew about the fisheries were really eye opening when MEGA 360 was available for ice anglers. I was able to learn fish behavior and their patterns quickly and dial in the mechanics of ice fishing,” said Hawthorne. “I can now look at Lakemaster VX Mapping and drill one hole. Within three to five minutes, I know if the structure is going to be productive and I can break down what I need to do to catch fish.”
Combined with MEGA Live Imaging, once Hawthorne locates fish, and learns their behavior and travel routes, the time frame to actually catching the fish is much quicker than ever before. His approach is more efficient and the process of finding and catching fish is streamlined.
“Overall, we are drilling less holes, learning way more information than ever before possible and getting around fish a lot quicker. We make less noise, we spook less fish during the process, and even the average ice angler can have all of the same information at their disposal with the Humminbird MEGA 360 and MEGA Live Imaging bundles. The landscape overall has changed and people can enjoy more time catching fish,” Hawthorne added.
Humminbird MEGA 360 Imaging Ice Bundle
Intuitive technology has made its way through the seasons and onto the ice. For those who demand to see it all, MEGA 360 Imaging allows anglers to quickly locate and target structure, the bottom and fish in every direction around the hole. For finding productive fishing areas with fewer holes, anglers can also quickly track movement of schools of fish and know which direction they are heading, making it even easier to break down fisheries through the ice.
“From the ground up, I am super confident in MEGA 360 and what I am capable of accomplishing. Live sonar is the ‘new’ thing and very popular, but in my opinion the information I am able to return with 360 Imaging is unmatched, especially when it comes to fishing for walleye.” added Hawthorne.
With 360 Imaging, he can clearly see fish coming and going, structure, bottom layout and composition. Using those learnings and applying it to other areas, similar to open water, it allows Hawthorne to gain a lot of information and knowledge from one just one hole.
Hawthorne learned that when walleye are on a piece of structure, they are either moving around the spot, or its a passing through area that multiple fish are using regularly. With the help of MEGA 360, within minutes, he is able to gauge the ‘trails’ the fish utilize to move around and dial up exactly where the primary set up areas should be.
“The structural elements, mud to rock transitions and the visual look at the trails and routes the fish are using, the possibilities are endless. Once I learn the valuable information, I can switch to MEGA Live Imaging and get to work on catching fish,” said Hawthorne. MEGA 360 can simply be turned on and it works by itself. I can watch the returns and tell the group where the fish are coming in. They can then use MEGA Live to work the fish in realtime and get more bites overall.
With increased situational awareness, work smarter, not harder by dropping the MEGA 360 Imaging transducer down the hole and waiting for the screen to update. For run-and-gun anglers, these bundles are very mobile for anglers to locate and stay on top of fish. With a Humminbird HELIX fishfinder, it’s easy to mark fish-holding structures and return later or in open water. Mark a waypoint and return to the spot now or later in the year on open water. MEGA 360 is a vital tool for locating ice shelters on prime spots where fish are moving around.
Humminbird MEGA Live Imaging Ice Bundle
From open water to ice, Humminbird MEGA Live Imaging has changed the way Hawthorne catches fish. The live sonar return is like sight fishing at any depth – regardless of the water clarity. Watching fish move around in real-time and responding to certain baits, he can quickly hone in and get to catching. The MEGA Live Ice bundle allows for the same real-time feedback through the ice, and helps get him dialed into the best presentation to have success.
The number one benefit is efficiency. He can break down an area with MEGA 360, and start catching them with MEGA Live Imaging.
“Once I establish the area, and I know where and how fish are moving throughout, I can drill out the area and be prepared. Walleye especially will never stop moving and I can track their movement in realtime,” said Hawthorne. “I can direct folks in the group to exactly where the fish are moving and they can make it happen with MEGA Live Imaging.”
Beyond seeing the fish, the bundle allows Hawthorne to determine the mood of the fish. Whether they are suspended, moving around, determining their size and activity level will help figure out the best tactics to get bites. With a group of anglers, he is able to direct others to exactly where the schools are and get the right baits down to the fish.
“The same for panfish, bluegills and crappies, but they seem to stay put more than walleye. There is nothing like getting on a group of panfish with MEGA Live and getting clients catching them while watching everything live on the screen. Regardless of the species, I have to quickly read the water and figure out how the day is going to go,” Hawthorne added.
With MEGA Live Imaging, fish in Forward Mode to see in front of and around the hole or Down Mode for real-time returns straight below the hole. The quick-and-easy reference points on the transducer makes it easy to dial in the best sonar possible. With either mode, you can interpret how fish respond to your presentation and it allows you to best choose what to fish, make smart lure changes and determine how to present the bait. In shallower water, Landscape Mode gives a ‘lay of the land’ view and shows fish moving around in shallow structure and cover.
In addition, the Humminbird HELIX units feature traditional 2D CHIRP Sonar and both the ice flasher and Down Imaging modes. Anglers can fish the right mode for their situation below the transducer and fish comfortably. Both bundles have changed the ice fishing landscape. Anglers are having more fun with more data, and catching more fish.
For those hitting the ice for the first time with new technology, the MEGA Live Ice shuttle comes with the fish finder, shaft and transducer. If you have the unit installed on a boat, the Adapter Kit or HELIX ICE Conversion Kit allows for simple conversion to ice making it a year round value for one unit that can do both.