If you haven’t already been talking about the new Humminbird ONIX sounders, you might want to join the conversation! I have been running the new ONIX units for a few months now, and have found the technical performance and clarity of display invaluable to my recreational and tournament angling. I am pleased to report that I couldn’t be happier with them!
Last month I travelled to ICAST, held in Florida and had the pleasure of visiting the Humminbird & Minn Kota stand. I was excited to see the new Helix 7 won the best new electronics category at the show. The Helix 7 is yet to hit our shores, however it’s a magic little unit for the price and upon arrival it will be perfect for many Australian anglers. Definitely something to watch out for.
Last week I found myself down at Lake St Clair near Singleton in NSW. What an up and down tournament that was! Friday heralded my best practice day on record and saw me catching fish everywhere. I predominately fished the inside edge of the weed very close to the bank with a depth of about 3 feet of water. I was using a weedless rig that involved a small profile paddle tail soft plastic, a worm hook, and a sliding bullet weight. Designed to travel through the weed, this set-up worked a treat and the fish were crushing it!
During the tournament we had some very strong winds come through. Strong enough that my swag poles snapped and my friend’s brand new tent was ruined beyond recognition!
A lot of the field said they had trouble fishing shallow due to the wind and waves. I ended up relying on my Talon to anchor the boat, which allowed me to pick apart an area before lifting the spike and drifting further along. Because of the shallow water I didn’t want to use my Minn Kota pointed backwards as it would be necessary to use it on a very high setting. This would push water into where I was about to fish and potentially spook the fish I wanted to catch. Instead, I used the Talon in rough water mode, which essentially drives the spike in multiple times after a delay. So, when your boat rocks with the waves the spike continues to drive holding your boat solid in the rough water.
I had one spot in particularly that was key to my weekend. I ended up hooking 9 fish from a stretch probably no longer than 10 metres. There was a 50+ kilometre an hour wind blowing straight along the bank and without the Talon I would have drifted over the area only getting one or two casts at the spot before my boat was on top of it. Locating your boat as far away from your fishing spot is a real advantage when fishing shallow. With the use of the Talon I was able to make dozens of casts, really breaking down the spot, allowing me to land 3 key upgrades during the tournament that really helped. I hooked a 4th and unfortunately lost it in a sunken shrub which cost me a cheque and a top 10 finish.
It’s amazing how much I end up using the Talon now after having it installed at the start of the year. Whether it’s beaching my boat, launching and retrieving, or using it to hold my position while fishing it has offered me a real advantage.
I’ve got a few weeks at home now which will be welcome after a busy month and then back to Glenbawn dam in NSW for the final round of the BASS Nation Tournaments. Glenbawn is always fun for me and I enjoy it even more now with the new ONIX units. Being able to count fish on trees and inside a weed bed is a cool trick and undoubtedly improves my chances of finding the right spot come tournament day.