In this kayak fishing trip I have fitted the Lowrance Elite 4 HDI to my Profish Tackle Pod and plan to use it to find a feed of snapper for the weekend. Rough plan, head out from Army Bay trolling a hard body bibbed lure over the shallows. Then target the shallows for big snapper living in the weed using a combination of strayline baits and casting soft plastics.
Watch the trip report video
There is a lot of foul ground along this coastline which holds plenty of fish and also means the chances of fouling your lure are high if you get your depths wrong. I have the Navionics chart card in the Elite 4 which is important to have when trolling bibbed hard body lures, you can keep the lure in the depths that it is designed for. My trolling speed varies depending on the conditions, on this occasion I was doing no more than 6-6.5km consistently.
Using the technique of trolling along the edge of the reef and keeping an eye on the Elite 4 for any lift in the weed I landed a snapper and a kahawai using the Mad mullet from Lively Lures, trolled over 6-8m depths. I have been using the Elite 5 for a while now and though the 4 has a smaller screen I could read it just fine, even with the screen split to 3 different views at times (charts, sonar and structure scan). The zoom and scroll on the charts even seemed to present the new chart data quicker than my 5.
The North Easterly wind made it difficult to target the shallow water as I was being blown over top of my bait or lure quicker than it could be effectively presented. With only my sea anchor to stop me I quickly gave up on this headed out to deeper water using the charts to track towards Wellington Rock while trolling the lure over the reef, this time landing another kahawai.
The Elite 4 picked up a lot of good sign on the back of the reef and then eventually I found some big bait balls… paddle over the bait balls looking for bigger returns on the sounder, once located I deploy the sea anchor off the bow and got a fresh cut of kahawai down on top of the sign using 1/4oz ball sinker and 4/0 recurve target hooks… every bait resulted in a fish, some worth keeping others released.
I spent the next hour or so doing the same thing .. Paddle over the bait balls which seemed to be keeping me in mostly the same area behind Wellington Rock, locate good sign under or around them the drop a bait. Closer to dark the fish started biting harder and the result were some bigger fish which went in the bin.
A good result for winter fishing here on the Hibiscus Coast, I know of a couple of others who were also fishing in various places on the peninsular and their results were not as good. Whilst that’s just fishing sometimes I also know that they were not using sounders and they were applying the old anchor up and hope for the best technique…whilst this can work well in summer months I find you need to hunt the fish down more during the colder months and a good sounder like the Lowrance Elite series is going to help get you on the fish more often.
My first real session using the Elite 4 I am happy all round with its performance, a great unit for its size and price, look forward to using it more over the winter and putting more of its functions to use.
If you want to know more about the Elite series of sounder s check out the specs and technical info at this link. Lowrance Elite series
If you’re interested to know more about trolling bibbed lures I recommend this article written by Stephen Tapp – Trolling for Snapper
More images from the session