Wanted to call Carl after tripping over a Humminbird vid of him explaining the Mega Live TargetLock deal in a way that made sense to me. TargetLock is an electronics wrinkle that so far is barely talked about but might have huge potential for what can be done with a combo of forward-facing sonar, 360 and boat positioning.
Let's let him 'splain it, here we go:
1. How would you describe Humminbird TargetLock from a fishing perspective?
> "It's just yet another fish-catching tool that is going to help you utilize your other tools on the boat even better. it's getting [Minn Kota] Spot-Lock back...being able to use it and Live at the same time which is a big deal."
2. Any idea how often you'll use it?
> "I have it on my boat, I had it on most of the end of last year, and we;re actually still learning so much about it. I'm starting to fish with a it a lot different than I had been. But it's pretty much a permanent fixture and will be on most people's boats – because of convenience...put your trolling motor in the water and it's there when you need it. TargetLock makes it easy."
3. In that Humminbird video, you're also using 360 with it – do you think 360 is necessary to get the most out of TargetLock?
> "Yeah. So I'll give you a little story of how it works. At Pickwick Lake last year on day 1, there was an island head and the current was pushing up under that underwater head... I SpotLocked on the front of the island head, put 360 in rear view 100' behind the boat, and then I turned TargetLock back behind the boat because it has an independent arm.
> "SpotLock was able to keep me there, and then I was able to fish from the back of the boat and look at those 2 screens on my console because they're all connected. I could see those fish – I could see those fish moving around that island head....
> "I was able to continually make those casts [to those fish]. Three boats were on either side of me total – they were asking me how I was able to make those casts. They were throwing up there because they knew the fish were there [but weren't able to make the precise casts Carl was making].
> [The only other way to fish it was to hit Spot-Lock and] "use LakeMaster [maps] and throw back on that island head and hope you run into them.
> "That's like a real-time scenario for exactly what it's built for. You're able to utilize everything now."
4. Japanese anglers have a great finesse game they bring to tournament fishing here. What particular strength do you think you or Australian anglers bring?
> "We have a pretty big Japanese influence as well, a very finessey style. Not a lot of people know this – I don't tell people this, but I pretty much introduced the FG knot to America. It was not used over her at all when I came here in 2011 – I'd been using the FG and 25' leader and all that since 2008.
> "That actually helped me in Australia. I figured it out through learning it through a tackle store – guys fishing for big trevally [a salty fish]. ...I was table to teach Seth and all of those guys, which was pretty cool.
> "We have a pretty strong niche of super finesse and really big power baits for barramundi and Murray cod [a bass-like freshwater fish]. So I am good on smallmouths with super-light line, and I like fishing a big rod, big line and a big bait.
> "I would say Australians are some of the best all-around anglers in the world. Everyone fishes for every different type of species, from saltwater to freshwater...."
5. When you took Gussy to Australia, did you have to talk him out of trying to mope for barramundi? 😁
> [Laughs] "I actually did. He wanted to try it – he had it tied on several times. He used the 7" [Z-Man] Jerk Shadz instead of the smaller one and had a bigger jighead. Eventually he did try it several times, and there actually were a few situations where it would've worked if we had more time to figure it out. But he definitely wanted to catch one on it."
[Hahaha I was just messin', had no idea! Here's a couple Insta shots of 'em with the barras.]
Bonus Q: Been asking everyone what one pre-spawn bait is their favorite. What's yours?
> "It all depends on where I'm at, but in TN, right before the spawn is when I throw the glide bait. That's my favorite time to throw it. The Molix 178 Glide [Slow Sink version] and a paddletail, the bigger XZone Swammer with a Flashy Swimmer on it. They are the 2 I like to go back and forth on.
> "I change the Molix hooks to #2 quads. That extra point just makes a massive difference. I catch a lot of 2.5, 3 and 4-lb fish on a glide like that, so when they slap at it or nip it, I tell people your land rate goes from 50% to 80%+ when you put those quads on...it gives that extra point another spot to grab them and get them in the boat."