The new Garmin Panoptix Live Scope has provided an anglers dramatic new information on exactly how close you can approach crappie without spooking them. (Photo: Richard Simms)
Crappie anglers fishing structure, especially relatively shallow structure, often wonder how close they can approach without spooking fish. B’n’M Pro Staffer Kent Driscoll has an answer.
Using the Garmin Panoptix Live Scope allows Driscoll and other anglers to actually watch crappie live as they are fishing. On the B’n’M Blog Driscoll said it took him a little bit of fine tuning to figure out the best way to approach crappie he was marking on his unit. The sonar distance on the Garmin can be adjusted further out or closer in. Driscoll said when he’s scanning an area, he sets the distance at 40 – 50 feet, what he considers search mode. Once he marks fish on the graph, he will pull in to 22- 26 feet for fishing.
“One of my challenges is my home lake is at Percy Priest in Tennessee and it’s a clear water lake,” he said. “We always knew clear water fish were spooky but never how much until I started using this unit.”
The 26-foot distance is a cast length. To get there while maintaining his distance from the fish and structure, he rigs a slip cork and a minnow. Any closer and he says he risks spooking the fish. Those distances vary greatly, of course, based upon water clarity and how stealthy you can approach. But according to Driscoll, 25 feet is a good baseline distance to keep in mind.