For the last few months I have been in possession of a new product from TF Gear, but I have been unable to add it to any of my carp fishing Vlogs or articles because it has been a little hush-hush, secret squirrel and all that cloak and dagger stuff.
Now however leading up to its imminent launch, the cat is well and truly out of the bag so I can tell you a little about it.
My new bit of kit is called the Fishspy Echo Pro, which is a castable floating echo sounder/sonar device but with a major added bonus of having an inbuilt camera! I was more than excited to get this new bit of tech out onto the water and trying to keep it under wraps has been difficult as you can imagine.
On a personal level it couldn’t have arrived at a better time as I am currently tackling a vast gravel pit that contains some ancient but very large carp, these fish know every inch of their environment and for me to get one step ahead of them I needed to know the lakebed in as much detail as those wise old carp.
So for my big water feature finding and carp hunting I simply attached the Echo Pro to the back of my boat and towed it as I motored and rowed my way around the wide expanse of a very special lake.
This, obviously, would be a real edge for those of you that use a bait-boat as it would be a simple job to attach the Echo Pro via a strong cord and instantly add not only a sonar but the ability to toggle over to a wireless camera to see the reality of what was below the boat.
Obviously the castable design makes the Echo Pro so versatile and I have been able to get accurate sonar data and live camera anywhere I have been able to cast it and with a range of 100 metres I have been plotting huge amounts of water very quickly, this information has, I am sure accounted for many of my captures already this year.
So, how does it work?
The device has two different frequencies on the sonar, one is a wide beam for shallower water and the other is a narrower beam that will give you a more defined reading in deeper water. The sonar would be the default mode that I normally employ to start a session with.
Simply attach the Echo Pro to a strong braided mainline via the side mounting ring and cast it into the desired area. Once connected to your phone or tablet it will give you a detailed sonar display of the bottom; depths, contours and any mid water objects, such as carp for example will be shown.
However, whereas a normal sounder will stop there, the Echo Pro can be remotely toggled from the bank using your phone or tablet into camera mode. You now have a floating camera that will live stream the images of what you have found, directly to your phone or tablet. You now have the best of both worlds Sonar and camera in one compact castable unit!
There are many little tricks and tips that you can adapt the Echo Pro to perform and one that has proved incredibly effective for me this year is to use it around snags, let me give you a little example.
On the lake I fish there are literally thousands of snags but, as is always the case, the fish prefer just the odd one or two and searching the snags first can answer a lot of questions about location.
As we all know, carp can be particularly spooky when they see an angler hanging out of a branch right above their heads but, with the Echo Pro, I have been able to cast it into position around the snags, set to camera mode and retire to a safe distance to watch the live footage of activity in and around the snag. I have even left it in there for an hour, pressed record on the camera and then returned to check the footage it really is amazing how quickly the fish return and become relaxed again once you are not present.
Sonar devices used as fish finders are notoriously unreliable, they cannot really differentiate between the species and, quite often, they will show a group of small fish such as roach as a lesser number of larger fish on the screen, even the really expensive boat mounted models will do this as it is just a beam that gets interrupted on its way to the bottom. For scoping the topography and showing bars, weed and features they are amazing, but the camera function on the Echo Pro adds a whole new dimension that will help to alleviate the false readings and for the first time we will be able to see the actual reality of what is down there in your swim.