I have received a lot of positive input, as well as some questions, about the use of the MAL and MAL Heavy in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope.

So, I wanted to share with you what I have observed and share with you what I have found to be the most useful Garmin LiveScope settings.

This is all assuming you are using the MAL Lure (original or heavy) in a vertical presentation by dropping the lure beneath your boat on Spot-Lock or Anchor Mode, then reeling it upward through the water column through fish primarily in the lower third of the water column. If you are new to this, just go to YouTube and search "MAL Lure" for a tutorial. Tutorial


1. Most white bass/hybrid action tends to take place in the lower third of the water column, nearest bottom, so, instead of viewing the entire water column, I "zoom" in with LiveScope to look at just that portion of the water column where the fish are. This assigns more pixels to any given target (your MAL, a fish, etc.) and makes it easier to find and follow.

2. All things being equal, those fish suspended up off the bottom and moving left to right or right to left tend to be more active than the fish beneath them. If I see moving, suspended fish, I will always reel up to and past them to try and get a response. Note that this does not apply to suspended fish which are immobile.

3. Think of how you must lead a dove while shooting at it with a shotgun -- now, try to do the same with your fishing by timing the rise of your MAL Lure to move just ahead of the tip of fishes' noses as they are moving right to left or left to right on your screen. Sometimes this means really hustling your lure upward more quickly to get it in front of their direction of travel. Sometimes this means delaying your retrieve a few seconds to let fish move in closer.

4. This ties in with #3 - avoid reeling through suspended fish and avoid reeling behind suspended fish after they have passed by. Your chances of catching these fish are far lower than if you "lead" the fish by getting your lure in front of their direction of travel.

5. Stop setting the hook!! I cannot begin to tell you how poorly my clients with a bass fishing background do as compared to rookies without a reflexive hook-set response. If you will simply turn your spinning reel's handle hard and fast one or two times to get the MAL Lure's blade spinning, then taper back the speed to a moderate retrieve and just maintain that cadence until you either catch a fish or reel up beyond the level of the fish, you'll land infinitely more fish. The problem with a hookset is that with a no-slack technique and zero-stretch braid, you feel the fish before the fish really has taken the bait fully in its mouth. If you set the hook hard at this point, you'll feel the fish for all of a second or two before the hook pulls out of the lip skin it caught on. And, you'll also have pulled that lure so far away from pursuing schoolmates that you won't have a good shot at getting them to bite, either.

6. When you begin reeling the MAL upwards off bottom, try to avoid speeding up, slowing down, pausing, or hesitating when you see fish begin to chase your lure. These things all make it that much harder for a fish (with a pea-sized brain) to come up with an angle of pursuit and overtake speed calculation to intercept your bait. If the fish begins chasing, keep right on reeling until it either gets caught, or turns away.

7. When you see suspended fish on LiveScope, be sure to reel 2-3 handle turns past (above) these fish to give them a chance to show you on the LiveScope screen whether they will chase it, or not. Many clients stop right at the level of the fish, which is counter-productive. Again, if the fish begins chasing, keep right on reeling until it either gets caught, or turns away.


1. Most folks do not realize there are four transducer positions the LiveScope transducer can be set in (not including Perspective modes). Those are port side down, port side forward, starboard side down, and starboard side forward. Be sure you use one of the downward modes for working your MAL Lure.

2. If you are fishing in the bow and your buddy is in the transom, yet your lures appear reversed on the screen, you either need to change your transducer from port to starboard (or vice versa) by spinning it 180 degrees, OR use the "FLIPPED: ON" setting to reverse the view on the screen.

3. Here are the settings I use for MAL Lure work:
Gain: 75-83% depending on depth and water turbidity
Color Gain: 76%
Color Scheme: Blue (I know amber and copper are popular, but look at blue for 30 minutes and then decide for yourself)
Bottom Fill: On (this makes the bottom appear in brown so that fish and the MAL, which appear in shades of blue, red, and yellow, will not blend in with the bottom)
Use AHRS: On
Orientation: Down (and make sure your transducer is in one of the two down positions)
TVG: High (this stands for Time Variable Gain)
Noise Reject: Medium
Focus: Auto Fresh

Here are the results from my efforts, primarily on Lake Belton, for the month of May 2021, doing with my clients exactly as I have described above.

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Find MAL Original and MAL Heavies at www.whitebasstools.com

White Bass Tools.com

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Last edited by Holding The Line; 06/04/21 03:46 PM.

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Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411
Holding The Line Guide Service
Stillhouse & Belton
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