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Garmin panoptix

Old 11-22-2016, 09:31 AM
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Default Garmin panoptix

We primarily troll lures for blue marlin at 9mph. Would the new garmin panoptix be a good application for us?I have not found a whole lot of information on this subject so any help would be appreciated.
Old 11-22-2016, 10:27 AM
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I have not seen much info at all on saltwater use of Panoptix and I have zero experience in your specific situation, but I will tell you about my results.

I have a PS21 - the smaller, lower power, forward view version, which I use in lakes, rivers and in the ocean. I absolutely love it, but it has limitations.

The main problem is mounting. You have to decide where and how to mount it. All of the versions will need to stick much further down into the water than any other transducer - which will mean a lot of spray at speed. There is also a maximum speed limit with them - I think 25 mph. Plus the risk of damage to the $$ ducer if you are in water with logs, debris, etc.

I chose to mount mine on a retractable pole for a few reasons. I used an old modified trolling motor mount and shaft. I cut off the old trolling motor and mounted the PS21 to the bottom of the shaft. That allows me to retract the transducer when we are going too fast. More importantly, it allows me to turn the transducer in any direction I want. That allows me to scan 360 deg around the boat as we are moving or when sitting still. I find that very very useful.

I have not used my PS21 for locating fish at the speeds your talking about. I never troll faster than about 3.5 mph for the species we target. I have used it at speeds up to about 10 mph (the max my mount can stand) many times for tracking the bottom ahead of the boat in shallow water situations where I had no charting. It is excellent for that.

We recently fished a portion of the Columbia river that has no charts. There are many shallow areas and hidden sand bars to contend with if you dont know the waters. It saved our asses a few times when the water looked deeper than it actually was. I have also used it to navigate into and through very shallow canals, ponds and lakes when pike and bass fishing. Its really handy when the "deep" water is only 3 ft deep.

The bottom line is - I have no idea how well fish type targets will show up at your trolling speeds. They do show up very well at the speeds I use - up to say 4 mph.

As far as trolling, I love using the PS21 when trolling for things like trout or walleye in fresh water. I can scan around the boat as we go and see if there are fish off to one side or the other well before we get to them rather than after we have passed by. I can adjust the depth of my presentation and/or change course as needed to target them much more precisely.

Thats fresh water. In salt I have only had a few chances this year to look for salmon and halibut and it worked pretty well there too. The main difference between our fresh and salt fishing is the ranges/depths involved. We are typically in much deeper water and looking further away.

I find the Panoptix particularly useful for finding bait balls well away from the boat and well before you get to them. You can actually see exactly how far away the bait ball is AND how thick it is AND how deep it is AND which direction it is spread out AND which direction it is moving - all in real time. Quite often you can also see if there are any game fish after them.

Ive attached a few screen shots taken in Puget Sound. One of them is a bait ball we tracked well ahead of the boat as it was being driven towards us by some diving birds and seals. You can see the diving birds near the surface just over 40 ft out and one of the seals just over 140 ft out from the boat. The other ones are other shots of that same bait ball as it changed and moved over time and a bridge support.

Its very cool and very useful to be able to watch - in real time - as the fish you are targeting move to one side or go deeper as you boat approaches. I have seen walleye and trout and herring balls move out of the boats path and/or go deeper as we approached many times.

That can actually be frustrating when they are active and wont let you catch up to them! A few months ago we chaced a large school of something in American lake for almost 30 minutes before they finally scattered and we gave up. I have no idea if they were perch or rock bass or kokanee. They were determined to avoid us and they won that day.

In the salt I think I would probably prefer the larger, more powerful PS31. About the furthest range I have seen active targets like fish, seals, birds is maybe 150ft or a little more. Smaller targets like trout to maybe 125 ft. If you had the PS31 you should get more range but I dont know how much more.

The downside to the PS31 is back to mounting - its huge!

I think for the fish you are targeting, that a Panoptix might work very well if you can get the mounting to suit your boat and needs.

By the way - note the yellow triangle off the boat icon in the upper right corner. The PS21 has a built in compass. That triangle shows which way I am pointing the tranducer for that shot.
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Old 11-22-2016, 10:58 AM
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Yrral, I'd love to see some pictures of your custom mount!
Old 11-22-2016, 12:11 PM
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Here you go. This setup works well for my uses on my 21ft aluminum deep V. I mounted it on the starboard side right by the helm so that I can easily reach it to turn/lower/retract the transducer as needed while sitting in front of the MFD.

The entire assembly can be removed from the boat with two large wingnut type fasteners in about 30 seconds. It sometimes needs to be removed for docking depending on the dock if the dock is higher than the sides of the boat. This may or may not work on a larger boat.

This setup is strong enough to handle speeds up to about 10 mph when the transducer is lowered about 3 ft into the water. Thats low enough to "look" under the boat on the port side. I can cruise at 20-25 with the transducer raised up so its just barely in the water, but that doesnt work well due to turbulence along the side of the boat.

If you had a PS31 you would likely need a stronger base mount to troll at hi speeds because its so much larger - there would be a lot more drag.
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Old 11-22-2016, 12:56 PM
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Thanks!
Old 11-22-2016, 12:59 PM
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I just happened to have that old transom mount trolling motor laying around. You can order individual parts from Minnkota - swivel mounts, shafts, etc, pretty reasonably if you dont have one to sacrifice.
Old 11-22-2016, 11:37 PM
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Thanks Yrral. Good information even if its not in my exact same arena! I think i might opt to wait for the technology
To improve for my application.
Old 11-23-2016, 04:06 AM
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I have it on my boat and would gladly sell it if it was easy to remove. https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/on-t...rod149188.html. If you are talking about the PS60, maybe that would work better on a big sport fish.

I have mine installed behind the notch on my transom so it does not work when i am moving any faster than dead idle. That being said if you are thinking you will see a marlin come take your bait I think you are dreaming.

I have tried to use it for bottom fishing, it shows the bottom contours pretty good and where the fish are holding off the bottom, but I don't use the live view much. I think for the bass fisherman on a calm lake it seems to be more useful. Then again I am not fishing every weekend so maybe using it more I would get better at it.

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