Oh boy, some fireworks are about to happen! By now everyone’s heard about Humminbird’s side imaging units, which use an incredibly tight sonar beam shot out to either side of the transducer to paint an extraordinary picture of what lies off to either side of your boat. Shortly after they rolled it out Lowrance introduced StructureScan, which also includes a view of what’s off to the sides.

Humminbird’s parent company Johnson Outdoors just announced that they had filed a patent infringement lawsuit – and Navico (parent company of Lowrance) wasted no time swinging back, sending out a press release last night that their LSS-1 StructureScan imaging module (which is compatible with HDS multifunction displays) will continue to be sold and distributed. Louis Chemi, COO of Navico Americas, said “Navico will defend the recent legal proceedings initiated by Johnson Outdoors.”

This could be pretty darn entertaining, if it didn’t have such a big impact on those of us who care about the gear and using it, as opposed to legalities. Who’s in the right? Heck if I know – I’m not a lawyer and I have enough trouble just figuring out the ever-changing fish & game laws. Anyway, here’s what the two systems look like, on-screen.

Humminbird's view

Humminbird’s view

The look from Lowrance


The look from Lowrance

Let’s just hope the incoming mess gets cleaned up quickly, and we can get back to doing what we like: fishing. Be it with a Humminbird at the helm, or looking at a Lowrance.

Written by: Lenny Rudow
With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to publications including YachtWorld, boats.com, Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and he has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.