For those of you who have used or seen Garmin LiveScope technology, you know this technology is truly deserving of the phrase “game changer.”
Unlike traditional sonar, down-imaging or side-imaging technology, every pixel on a LiveScope display refreshes approximately 15 times per second, thus giving the viewer a video-like image which allows simultaneous monitoring of fish, cover and your presentation, all in a package which can be steered by manually turning the transducer in the direction you desire.
Back in the summer of 2019 in this column I addressed the topic of using a separately deployable pole mount for the Garmin LiveScope transducer which thereby avoided using the transom mount bracket or trolling motor bracket which come packaged with the Garmin LiveScope transducer kit.
By mounting the LiveScope transducer in a fixed position to the transom, the user is limited to looking only in one vertical plane roughly inline with the boat’s keel. By mounting the LiveScope transducer to the shaft of a trolling motor, the LiveScope is of limited value as the transducer can only “see” in the direction the trolling motor is pointed.
So, for example, if your boat is on Spot-Lock and therefore oriented into the wind, but a crappie-filled brushpile is out 45 feet to the right side of your boat, you would not be able to see that brushpile while on Spot-Lock because the transducer is oriented forward. If the trolling motor is steered to the right to “look” at the brushpile, the GPS lock is deactivated and the boat begins to drift with the wind.
Thus, having a separately deployable pole to mount a LiveScope transducer to is invaluable to getting the full potential out of the LiveScope system. It allows the trolling motor to stay on Spot-Lock while the user slowly steers the pole 360 degrees to view what surrounds the boat.
The article I wrote last year described how I fashioned such a device out of components readily available from RAM Mounts. Earlier this week, while conducting on-the-water sonar training, I got my first look at the first commercially available transducer pole designed to accommodate the Garmin LiveScope transducer which I was impressed with. I have seen two other brands, but was not impressed with either their durability, nor their functionality.
The device I am referring to is manufactured by Seelite, a small company based in Arkansas and founded by outdoor enthusiasts who allowed necessity to become the mother of invention.
In a recent phone interview, Seelite Operations Manager Seth Jones explained how one of the owners, Josh Bradley, was frustrated by the lack of LED lighting rugged enough for the rigors of duck hunting.
This led to the development of one of Seelite’s foundational products, duckboat LED light sets.
Jones further explained how co-owner Caleb Jones met with similar frustration in the lack of options on the market for LED-style lighting for bowfishing. A second product line was born out of this need.
Josh Bradley and Caleb Jones both share a love for crappie fishing. Both came to appreciate the Garmin LiveScope’s ability to see fish out away from the boat like no other technology can. However, they were disappointed by the various apparatuses available on the market to allow the LiveScope transducer to be steered in various directions to search for fish and the structures they are attracted to.
American ingenuity kicked in once more and the Seelite SeeFish Transducer Pole was born.
Modification came along and now the company sells the Seelite SeeFish Transducer Pole 2.0.
Essentially, the system consists of an 8-inch tall mounting base which is fastened securely to either the gunwale or elevated deck of a boat, a 48-inch pole with a handle to which the transducer is affixed and an 8-inch arm which connects the pole to the base.
The diameter of the pole allows for easy installation of the LiveScope transducer using the Garmin-supplied trolling motor shaft mount.
For boats which have Versatrack-style systems, like Tracker boats, an adapter is available to allow the pole to attach to that track system.
Thirteen-inch extensions are available for both the 48-inch pole and for the 12½-inch handle. Seth Jones explained that if extensions are ordered along with a pole assembly, those extensions will be drilled and tapped for you by Seelite prior to shipping.
There were several things which really impressed me about the mount. First, it is rugged with secure connections and tight tolerances. Next, it is easily adjusted. Finally, it stows easily in two formats.
After using the pole for fishing, the pole can simply be rotated rearward and upward 90 degrees and locked in place hanging over the side of the boat if you will be fishing again right away. For longer term storage, the pole and connecting arm can be moved from a vertical orientation outside the boat to a horizontal storage position inside the boat with the pole and arm still secured in the mounting base’s collar so it is not subject to sliding around.
Unlike many small businesses, COVID-19 has not impacted Seelite’s ability to maintain stock, and they have the SeeFish system ready to ship. Their website lists pricing at just under $250.
Customers must buy their own hardware for fastening the mounting plate to the boat’s deck, gunwale, etc.
Seelite may be reached at Seelite@rocketmail.com or 479-747-2626. A helpful YouTube video by Joey Johnson covers the basic functions of this SeeFish device. Search YouTube with the phrase “seefish transducer pole.”