Contemporary bass boats (and all their accessories) are technological marvels that are light years ahead of what seemed like the pinnacle of technology just a decade ago. Leaps in innovation in multiple categories – batteries, sonar, shallow-water anchors, charging systems, etc. – have created a need for management of a bass boat’s technology in one centralized system.
Louisiana pro Gerald Spohrer uses his Lowrance HDS units as the command center of everything rigged on his Phoenix bass boat.
“Everything on our boats now is so advanced and technical that it makes sense for them to be connected somehow,” said Spohrer, who runs twin Lowrance HDS LIVE 12s on both the console and bow of his Phoenix . “Adding up all the accessories and electronics shows just how expensive they are, and what’s the point of investing that much money if they don’t work together?”
Spohrer utilizes his Lowrance units to view essential data from his outboard and batteries and optimize his trolling motor and shallow-water anchors.
Spohrer runs a Suzuki outboard and with their C10 gauge, he can connect the data to his Lowrance unit and view all of his engine data on the screen of his graph.
“Everything connects to my Lowrance and there’s a Suzuki icon right on my graph and it turns my HDS Live into a 12-inch smart gauge,” he said. “You can customize the page to show everything from RPMs, fuel economy, trip logs, oil pressure, and water pressure. You don’t even need gauges on your dash anymore. You can overlay any data you want to see on any Lowrance page; I like it on my map when I’m running.”
To connect his Lowrance unit to his Power-Pole CHARGE battery management system and Power-Poles, the Power-Pole Gateway to NMEA 2000 Connector does the job.
“You connect that into the system and it connects your Power-Pole CHARGE and you can control your batteries from there and see all of the charge levels right on your Lowrance unit,” Sporher said. “I can also control the Power-Poles from there if I want to.”
Spohrer can also perform an emergency jumpstart from his Lowrance unit with everything connected.
“I run a 36-volt Monster Marine Lithium for my trolling motor batteries and have a 12-volt cranking battery,” he said. “The CHARGE allows me to jump one or the other in an emergency, which you can’t normally do with a 12V and 36V; it has a relay that converts 36V to 12V. Just hit one button on your graph and it’ll start your engine if your cranking battery dies after running so many accessories all day.”
With his Lowrance Ghost trolling motor connected to his graphs via a NEMA connection, Spohrer realizes several benefits that save him time and help him be more efficient on the water.
“Say you’re fishing multiple waypoints offshore and want to troll to the next one that’s 50 yards away – you can just touch the waypoint and have the Ghost take you there,” Spohrer said. “I can sit down and retie a crankbait real quick and not even look up and know it will get me there and keep me on the waypoint with Anchor Mode. It’s a big time saver.”
The Ghost also has programmable buttons that can do many different things, right from the pedal.
“It has buttons for Anchor Mode and constant on, but you can program the other two,” Spohrer said. “You can set it so one will make a waypoint or have them control your Power-Poles. It’s cool that you can program them however you want to.”
Having everything connected and integrated makes sense for Spohrer.
“If you’re going to spend the kind of money this all costs, it makes sense to take advantage of the integration and have it help you be more efficient and informed,” he said. “Electronics are more than just marking waypoints and finding fish. They can do a lot more.”