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The epic adventures, advice, tall tales and all things fishin' from our in-house pro!


Dark Clouds Have Silver Linings

As the 2012 bass fishing season will be soon upon us, I can’t help but to look back on that dreadful day on Lake Erie, when eight minutes into blast-off in the 2nd tournament of the year I blew the Power Head on my 2003 Evinrude 250 DI. I had joined the ranks with other fellow tournament anglers and leisure boat owners with the disbelief of what had just happened. Team BaitMe thanks the fishing Gods of Lake Erie for relatively calm waters, and keeping that ugly approaching storm well south of us that day. After three hours we were able to get back to shore safely not touched by rain or better yet lightning. The Team BaitMe 2011 fishing season was finished just as fast as it started.

After the initial shock of this sickening reality I wondered what was I to do! How was I going to explain this to my favourite and greatest fan, my wife? At the end of the day, who has an “Ooops I just blew my motor account”? Fixing the old motor with a rebuilt power head with only one year warranty was not cost effective in my opinion, and brand new motors have full warranties. Although all the incentives to buy are great, they can come with a very large price tag! Finding a motor couple of years old, with low hours was definitely an option to pursue, however these kinds of deals are scooped up quickly by other boaters and anglers looking to up grade or repower.

It’s been said that dark clouds have a silver lining. It was time to get the ball moving. With a lot of internet surfing, e-mailing, and texting within North America, I had finally tracked down and found my own golden nugget, a 2011 Evinrude E-tec 250 HO. This baby had everything I was looking for including a full Warranty, a short Shaft, blue in colour, and extremely low hours. Does ZERO hrs sound good? That’s right ZERO hrs! The best part was the price which was awesome. Everything was turning around for BaitME. It was time to face the final battle, getting approval from the Royal Grand Pooh-bah. After explaining all options and applying a small puppy eyed look to my face, she had agreed and granted me authority to buy it. I think that she felt sympathetic to my situation and that my passion for tournament fishing was too great to be left with a boat and no motor! Things always get better no matter how dark they may seem at the time.


TBBA 2012 Update...

Sunday July 15, 2012: Long Point Bay, Turkey Point 
Blast off 7:00am Weigh In 3:30pm  ($130.00 + $10 Big Fish  80% Cash Back)
Sunday Aug 5, 2012: Rondeau Bay, Erieau Marnia: 
Blast off 7:00am Weigh In 3:30pm  ($130 + $10 Big Fish   80% Cash Back)
Sunday August 19, 2012: Mitchell’s Bay, Marina Park:  
Blast off 7:00am Weigh In 3:30pm ($130 + $10 Big Fish 80% Cash Back)
Invitational Classic: Saturday Sept 15, 2012 and Sunday Sept 16, 2012:
Sarnia River, Moore Town ($150.00 + $20 Big Fish 100% CASH BACK!)
Note: You must fish at least 2 of the 3 qualifiers with the same person to qualify for the classic.  All 3 count for a final weight but again must be with same partner.  Boundaries are in place for all tournaments. Lots more info here!

Lowrance Gen2 HDS® and LSS 2 Next Generation Structure Scan

Faster Processing Speed And New StructureMap™ View Highlight Upgrades To Popular Fishfinder/Chartplotter Series

Tulsa, Okla. – Lowrance, a world-leading brand in marine electronics since 1957 and GPS navigational systems since 1992 — announces the next-generation series of the world’s top-selling multifunction displays, the HDS® Gen2 High Definition Systems. Delivering the same award-winning benefits of the popular HDS fishfinder/charplotter series, the all-new HDS Gen2 provides faster processing speed and StructureMap™ view — a powerful, innovative tool that allows users to overlay and save StructureScan® sonar images on a chart for review on and off the water.

 The new Lowrance HDS Gen2 displays feature double the memory and twice the processor speed of first-generation HDS models — providing boaters with enhanced responsiveness, faster start-up and menu operation, and lightning-fast chart panning and zooming speeds. When paired with the LSS-1 StructureScan Sonar Imaging module, users can activate the StructureMap overlay and scan images directly on a chart in real-time, or create StructureMap charts of their favorite boating, fishing and diving areas.

Compatible with Lowrance enhanced basemaps, Insight™ HD cartography, Navionics® and all HDS-compatible third-party charting cards, the new StructureMap view provides a greater perspective of the areas covered by StructureScan sonar imaging. In addition, with the built-in recording capability of HDS Gen2, users can easily create and view StructureMap detail on or off the water — without the aid of a computer. 

“The all-new HDS Gen2 delivers the same feature-packed consumer benefits that have made HDS a leading multifunction display worldwide," said Louis Chemi, chief operating officer, Navico Americas. “Now, with Gen2’s faster processing speed and the new StructureMap feature, our early field-test reports indicate that boaters and anglers will be blown away by the performance and amazing views of real-time StructureScan overlay.”

All HDS Gen2 models with chartplotter capability feature an internal, high-sensitivity GPS+WAAS antenna — with an LGC-4000 external 5Hz GPS antenna available as an option. HDS Gen2 models with fishfinder capability incorporate the award-winning Broadband Sounder™ that delivers legendary Lowrance sonar performance with greater sensitivity, peerless echo clarity and underwater definition proven to find more targets. Lowrance’s premier TrackBack™ functionality allows HDS Gen2 users to scroll-back in the recorded history of Broadband Sounder or StructureScan sonar imaging to review structure or fish targets and pinpoint locations with a waypoint. To avoid losing important sonar data, HDS Gen2 continues recording throughout the use of TrackBack to ensure valuable readings are not lost. 

Designed for easy viewing in all conditions, all Gen2 models feature a SolarMAX™ PLUS display with LED backlighting, for exceptional viewing in the brightest sunlight and from wide angles. Users can also adjust the screen brightness to as much as zero-dim for low-light conditions. HDS Gen2 models offer plug-and-play operation with an easy-to-use graphic menu system for more convenient access and control of key functions. In addition, HDS-8 and HDS-10 models feature six programmable softkeys for one-button access to the most commonly used menu functions. 

HDS Gen2 built-in mapping includes a U.S. enhanced basemap with coverage of more than 100,000 bodies of water with detailed shorelines and depth contours. In addition, select HDS Insight Gen2 models come preloaded with Lowrance Insight cartography, featuring shaded-relief depth contours. Lake Insight™ inland mapping (available with HDS-5 Gen2) includes nearly 5,000 freshwater lake maps with life-like perspective of bottom structure and topography. Nautic Insight™ (also available with HDS-5 Gen2) offers a superior life-like view of bottom structure with detailed coastal and offshore depth contours, plus navigation aids for the entire U.S. coastline. Insight™ USA (available for HDS-7, -8 and -10 Gen2 models) combines inland and coastal coverage areas of Lake Insight and Nautic Insight. All HDS Gen2 models are compatible with Navionics charts, and feature Turboview™ for high-speed seamless zooming and transition between 2D and 3D modes.

Setting the new standard in performance-module options, HDS Gen2 models can be networked and are compatible with Lowrance’s comprehensive range of innovative boating and fishing marine-electronics gear — including Broadband 3G™ Radar and the new Broadband 4G™ Radar with 36-mile range and beam-sharpening for unprecedented target separation; StructureScan Sonar Imaging for sidescan and DownScan Imaging™ picture-like views of underwater structure; SonicHub® marine audio server for integrated access to music stored on an Apple iPod or iPhone; and LWX-1 Sirius® satellite weather/radio. In addition the systems connect with the complete line of NMEA 2000® sensors for affordable, real-time onboard systems tracking and engine monitoring data for improved fuel management. 

The HDS Gen2 multifunction display lineup consists of seven models: the HDS-5m chartplotter, HDS-5x fishfinder, HDS-5 fishfinder/chartplotter, HDS-7m chartplotter, HDS-7 fishfinder/chartplotter, HDS-8 fishfinder/chartplotter, and HDS-10 fishfinder/chartplotter. Featuring the same 5-inch, 6.4-inch, 8.4-inch and 10.4-inch screen sizes, rugged and stylish industrial design, and plug-and-plug connectors as their predecessors, HDS Gen2 models can be easily networked together using high-speed Ethernet cabling for waypoint and data sharing. 

AAll Gen2 fishfinder models are available with 50/200 kHz Skimmer® transducer packs for deep water coastal and Great Lakes applications, or 83/200 kHz Skimmer packs for inland fishing. HDS Gen2 models are also compatible with Airmar® in-hull or thru-hull transducers for up to 1 kW operation. Lowrance HDS Gen2 displays are protected by a 2-year limited warranty, and backed by the 5-year Lowrance Advantage Service Program.

Lowrance HDS Gen2 multifunction displays can be purchased from authorized Lowrance dealers and distributors throughout the United States and Canada. Minimum advertised prices range from $549 for the HDS-5x Gen2 fishfinder to $2,449 for the HDS-10 Insight USA model. 

Nothing better than having a Lowrance Rep on camera minutes after the company goes public with the LSS 2!

LSS2: New High-Definition Sonar Imaging System Delivers More Range and Greater Definition

Tulsa, Okla. – Lowrance, a world-leading brand in marine electronics since 1957 and GPS navigational systems since 1992, and Simrad Yachting, world-leader in the design and manufacture of professional-performance marine navigation, autopilots, communications and fish-finding systems — announced today the next-generation sonar imaging system, the LSS-2 StructureScan® HD. Raising the bar in fish- and structure-finding technology, the new system delivers more side-to-side coverage, as well as greater target and bottom definition allowing users to cover more water faster with unprecedented clarity and detail. The StructureScan HD sonar imaging module offers a new dimension in underwater, picture-like displays for more productive fishing, diving, and search and recovery.

Based on the Lowrance innovation of the world’s first and only true DownScan Imaging™ technology combined with side-scan imaging, StructureScan HD includes an enhanced transducer design that features three dedicated signals for best-in-class crisp, clear views to the left, right and directly beneath your boat. The full-panoramic, picture-like returns are now even more impressive with sharper images of structure, fish, thermoclines and more.

The new StructureScan HD system — compatible with Lowrance HDS, Simrad NSS, NSE and NSO, and B&G Zeus multifunction displays – also delivers a significant increase in side-scanning range capability. With the original StructureScan model, boaters and anglers had to choose between side-scanning farther with less detail, or scanning with less range to achieve greater detail. Now, with StructureScan HD, users will experience greater side-scanning range with no loss in resolution. In depths up to 50 feet, for example, StructureScan HD can generate sidescan views that are twice as far with greater resolution, up to 600 feet in total maximum range. That means anglers and boaters can cover more water faster, saving time and fuel while searching for productive areas for fishing, diving search and recover, and more.

“The new StructureScan HD is the latest step forward in providing the best sonar electronics available to boaters," said Louis Chemi, chief operating officer, Navico Americas. “Its unprecedented resolution and greater range offer extraordinary underwater views that will not only impress users, it will enhance their productivity resulting in more fish, more fun and more efficient use of time and fuel on the water.”

When paired with the Lowrance HDS Gen2, StructureScan HD also supports the StructureMap™ view — a powerful, innovative tool that allows users to overlay and save sidescan sonar images directly on a chart in real-time, or create StructureMap charts for a complete and detailed underwater view all around the boat. Compatible with Lowrance enhanced basemaps, Insight™ HD cartography, Navionics® and all HDS-compatible third-party charting cards, users can easily create and view StructureMap detail on or off the water — without the aid of a computer.

The StructureScan HD view also allows anglers to position the cursor anywhere on the screen to receive information on distance from the boat and target depth — for an exciting new level in precision bait or lure presentation. In addition, the synchronized TrackBack™ function featuring simultaneous scroll-back in the recorded history of sonar and mapping windows, allows anglers to find spots and set waypoints, so they can easily return to desired fishing locations. The system not only synchronizes waypoints, it allows for users to add, edit and delete waypoints from the multifunction display’s database.

The new sonar imaging system features the processing module, transducer and easy-to-connect Ethernet cable. The module features three additional Ethernet ports for viewing StructureScan HD images on up to three multifunction displays. The StructureScan HD sonar imaging module is protected by a two-year limited warranty, and backed by the five-year Advantage Service Program.

Available in April 2012, the StructureScan HD sonar imaging module can be purchased from authorized dealers and distributors throughout the United States and Canada for $599 USD. 


2012 Evinrude Outboards at the Toronto Boat Show


2012 Tracker, Nitro and Tahoe Fishing Boats at the Toronto Boat Show

To buy one right now, or do some more research, click here!