Outside of the Box Ideas for Forward Facing Sonar

Champions Tour Pro Noah Schultz Shares his MEGA Live Tips

If you follow tournament bass fishing, whether it is the Champions Tour, the BASS Opens, or the top-level tours of the Elite Series and Bass Pro Tour, you know that Forward Facing Sonar (FFS) has changed the way bass fisherman compete in tournaments, and how every tournament plays out.

The use of FFS within tournaments is a highly debated topic among tournament anglers and organizations, so I’m going to just leave that on the side, as each angler has their own opinion.

Here we chatted with veteran Champions Tour angler, our 2023 Championship Winner and Humminbird Pro, Noah Schultz to talk about some of the ways he uses his MEGA Live when competing on the Champions Tour.

During his practice time, Noah uses his MEGA Live to see if there is life down there, meaning if a spot he is fishing has bait fish on it, or any fish there in general.  “Don’t waste time on spots that don’t have fish,” said Noah.  “Once you spend some time on the water with your FFS, you’ll start to notice that bluegills are in big pods, while bass are in a group of five to ten on a spot, or cruising a weedline, and then pike are usually on their own.  Carp are big, stick out, and usually higher up in the water column.”

Knowing this Schultz can get a visual picture of what the underwater in habitants are on a spot he is looking at in practice, and if that spot is worth the additional time to fish.  Likewise, during a tournament, if he pulls up on to a spot and doesn’t see any life, Noah is likely putting the hammer down on his Skeeter boat and on to his next spot. 

Being that most of our lakes in the Midwest are weedline lakes, Noah will use his MEGA Live to get a visual picture of how the grass is growing and laying out.  He will pan around with his FFS to see how tall the grass is, and then see where the open spots are in the grass.

2023 East/west Rush Championship

“MEGA Live and any of the FFS platforms are not a turn on and plug and play piece of technology,” explained Noah.  “Every time I go out to a lake, I change my settings based on the water conditions (clear, dirty), and cover (weed, rock) that I’m fishing.  The wind can even play a factor, with one side of the lake could be stirred up and the other not.”

The off-season is a great time to do your research on how to best set up MEGA Live in your boat and understand each of the settings that can be adjusted.  This way come ice out in the spring, and that first open water fishing trip of the year, you can adjust those settings and dial in your Forward-Facing Sonar fishing techniques and have a banner fishing season.