New Electronics: Humminbird Mega Live TargetLock
Traditional sonar offers virtual snapshots of the underwater world, but live sonar provides the equivalent of streaming video. Anglers can see fish swimming about in real time and even watch their lures. Now Humminbird and Minn Kota have joined forces to take live sonar to a new level with a system called TargetLock, designed primarily for freshwater fishing.
The key to live sonar such as Humminbird’s Mega Live Imaging is a transducer that electronically sweeps the water to create high-resolution real-time images. In order to scan about vertically and horizontally (what Humminbird calls Forward and Landscape modes, respectively), the transducer is usually mounted on the shaft of a bow trolling motor such as a Minn Kota Ultrex.
While this makes it easy to look around the boat, it also creates an issue—when you turn the trolling motor, you also turn the transducer beam, which means you can lose whatever targets you were watching. Even with the popular Minn Kota Spot-Lock feature that holds the boat in place, the trolling motor is constantly turning to maintain boat position.
TargetLock solves the problem with an optional bracket adapter kit for Minn Kota’s Ultrex 45- and 52-inch-shaft freshwater trolling motors. TargetLock acts like a turret to allow for independent rotation of the Mega Live transducer, and you can aim it three ways—using a foot control with left and right steering, pressing commands on a compatible Humminbird multifunction display, or by tapping a wireless hand remote.
But TargetLock goes beyond independent operation. With the press of a button on the foot control, the Humminbird screen or the remote, the Mega Live transducer locks on a target you select and maintains tracking within a range of about 100 feet, even as the boat moves. This lets anglers maneuver closer or improve the casting angle to the target, be it submerged brush, rockpile or a school of fish.
Read Next: Electronics Tips and Shortcuts for Inshore Anglers
A yellow arrow atop the TargetLock turret indicates the direction in which the transducer is pointed to help you draw a bead on the target. This feature requires the addition of a Humminbird or Minn Kota heading sensor.
TargetLock also comes with “Mega Live Sweep,” which mechanically sweeps the transducer back and forth over a 120-degree arc. Employed with the Forward mode, this give you a wide live-sonar search pattern to find fish and productive structure. Once you do find a key target, you can activate a feature call Minn Kota Steer, which synchronizes control of the transducer with the trolling motor via the Ultrex foot pedal.
Finally, Mega Live TargetLock can run simultaneously with Humminbird’s Mega 360 Imaging, using an optional dual-mount adapter bracket ($199.99) with the Minn Kota Ultrex trolling motor.
The TargetLock adapter bracket starts at $1,499.99 without transducer; $2,999.99 with transducer.
Changing the Game: Innovation for 2023
Thanks to modern advances in boatbuilding, onboard systems and technology, the sport of cruising is poised for some exciting times ahead.
Boat Test: 2023 X Shore Eelex 8000
The Eelex 8000 provides a quiet, fun ride.
New Watermakers for 2023
New products from Blue Water Desalination, Parker Hannafin and Spot Zero
New E-Series Batteries
ePropulsion adds lithium-iron-phosphate models to its battery line.