StructureScan® Explained by Luke Ryan

Luke Ryan talks about how you can distinguish a good fish from bait by using StructureScan.

A relatively new tool that has made its way to the market is something called StructureScan. Some units have it built in, others will need to buy an adaptor box to make the unit capable of displaying the reading. A new longer style transducer is also required, which operates at really high frequencies of 455kHz and 800kHz.

StructureScan was primarily designed for shallow water work up creeks and rivers. It works by shooting a beam outwards to the left and right of the boat, giving you a side on view. This allows you to look into the structure and determine whether there are fish present or not. StructureScan can also be used in a DownScan view, similar to how a normal sounder works. Now, being such a high frequency, the readings are displayed with great amounts of detail. The images that StructureScan can display are with so much detail, it is almost like looking at a picture.

The DownScan can work effectively out to 60 metres of water, and I think that in certain situations StructureScan will work better than others, proving it can be a very useful tool. I think when using StructureScan in deeper water, the conditions need to be good. From my experience, using the tool in rough water didn’t seem to give us as good of a reading.

One situation where StructureScan can be a very useful tool is when you come across new ground that is showing good readings of fish schooled close to the bottom. You may be unable to distinguish whether they are good fish showing, or if it is just bait. What the StructureScan will do is separate the image and give you a much more detailed picture of what it really there. You can have your sounder working on a split screen with the structure on the other. The sounder may display blobs and balls close to the bottom, however on the structure it will show you the difference between a good fish and bait. It gives you such a fine image that you can actually see individual fish that are separated from each, unlike a blob figure displayed on the sounder image.

There are some important things to remember when using the StructureScan. One is that the beam that the StructureScan transducer shoots out is a lot smaller and narrower than the beam that the regular transducer produces. A fish that is picked up on the outer ring of the regular beam may not be displayed on the DownScan image. Obviously, the deeper you go, the less area the beam will cover. Also, due to the high frequency, you will experience interference if you have it highly tuned. Travelling at low speed is a must.

My preference in electronics is with the Simrad brand, not because I am associated with them but because out of all the brands I have used over the years I find that Simrad has hands down outperformed every other unit I have ever used. I fish a lot more than the regular angler and I demand the best gear available, that’s why I choose Simard.

Luke Ryan

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