When Garmin released its much-anticipated Pantoptix sonar a couple of years ago, it garnered the attention of many anglers in all walks of the fishing world. It was touted as being the future of fishing sonar in an industry that already has side-scan, down-scan, and nearly lifelike imagery.

One of the biggest advantages to Panoptix is its Live Vü technology feature. While other sonar systems show imagery of what the boat has passed over or passed by — in essence, the recent history — Live Vü projects ahead of the boat.

Forward viewing has several advantages never before seen in sonar technology. Forward real-time sonar allows you to see your bait as it works its way into and through the water column. If you think you’re casting a 12- to 15-foot, deep-diving crankbait, you can verify that by watching the bait on the screen. Think you’re slow-rolling a spinnerbait just off the bottom? Look and see.

Another benefit of forward-view is the ability to see fish as they approach your offering and see how they react to it.

Getting a lot of follows but no bites? Time to switch baits.

The ability to see the action in front of you allows you to see a fish’s natural reaction, not how they react with having a boat overhead or just passed. No more spooking fish in order to see what they’re up to.

Finally, Panoptix provides a 3D view of the bottom, structure and fish. The system also allows the angler to control how quickly the area is scanned to provide greater or less detail, making it very easy to identify both where the fish are and even what species they are.