Where To Mount A Lowrance Active Target Transducer (Explained)
UPDATED 17 MAY 2023
by Robert Ceran
Are you wondering where to mount your Active Target transducer?
As you undoubtedly know, it’s essential to position your transducer correctly in order to get the best results.
And choosing the right place to mount an Active Target transducer is more challenging than most people anticipate, since each location comes with its own pros and cons.
In this article we’ll cover the best places to mount an Active Target transducer, and what you need to pay attention to in order to choose the right location for your transducer.
What is the best place to mount your Lowrance Active Target transducer?
The four main places to mount an Active Target transducer are:
- Trolling motor mount
- Pole mount
- Transom mount
- Ice fishing transducer mount
Out of these, trolling motor mounting is the most popular option among bass anglers, while pole mounting is the most popular among crappie anglers. We’ll discuss the reasons for this below.
Transom mounting is useful if you want to use live sonar imaging while trolling, and an ice fishing transducer mount is obviously the way to go if you want to use Active Target live sonar for ice fishing.
Now let’s examine each of the best transducer mounting locations more closely, and discuss their advantages and disadvantages in full detail.
Mounting Active Target on your trolling motor
In my experience, the majority of bass anglers like to mount their Active Target transducer on their bow mount trolling motor.
The reason for this is that bass anglers like to use their trolling motor to dissect promising fish-holding structures, and then move on quickly if they don’t catch fish.
And when you’re fishing from the bow of your boat, the trolling motor is usually pointed in the direction that you’re heading towards, which is exactly where you want to cast your lure.
This positions the Active Target transducer perfectly to provide sonar coverage of the area where you’re headed with your trolling motor (especially if you’re using scout view).
The main disadvantage of using a trolling motor mount for your Active Target transducer is that it doesn’t work so well when you want to stay in one position with spot lock.
In that case the trolling motor dynamically points in different directions as it maintains the spot lock position, which is going to move the transducer’s sonar cone all over the place.
So if you like to use spot lock a lot, then a pole mount might be better for you.
Now let’s look at the different parts of a trolling motor on which you can mount your Active Target transducer.
Trolling motor compartment mount
Similar to many other Lowrance transducers, you can use a round mounting bracket that fits around the motor compartment of your trolling motor to mount your AT transducer either on the side of the motor, or on top of it (see image below).
Mounting the AT transducer on the side of your trolling motor is ideal if you want to use the down view or forward view.
However, if you want to use the scout view, you’ll need to mount the transducer on top of the motor compartment so that you can position it on its side.
However, the disadvantage of this mounting location is that it can result in Active Target interference if you’re using a brushless trolling motor.
That’s why I personally prefer to mount my Active Target transducer on the shaft of the trolling motor.
Trolling motor shaft mount
Shaft mounting is by far the most popular location for mounting an Active Target transducer.
The same mounting position can be used for all sonar views, but the direction in which the AT transducer points needs to be adjusted as shown in the image below:
One of the advantages of shaft mounting is that it’s relatively easy to reposition the AT transducer if you want to switch between different sonar views (from scout view to forward view, for example).
Another advantage of shaft mounting is that it allows you to position the transducer further away from the motor compartment, which is helpful if you experience trolling motor interference.
Finally, if you’re planning to use the new Lowrance Active Target 2, and want to use scout wide view, you’ll need an additional mounting bracket for your trolling motor shaft that positions two Active Target transducers correctly.
Pole mount for Active Target
As mentioned above, one of the main disadvantages of trolling motor mounting of an Active Target transducer is that it doesn’t work well with spot lock.
That’s why some anglers prefer to use a pole mount, which they can control independently from their trolling motor.
Pole mounting is most often used by crappie anglers, as they like to use spot lock to stay on top of a school of crappie for extended periods of time.
And while the spot lock trolling motor is free to swing around in any direction while maintaining boat position, you can control your pole mount independently to view the crappie with Active Target live sonar.
Mechanical pole mounts are pointed in different directions by using the handle, and can be controlled independently from the trolling motor.
Keep in mind that you also need to position your HDS Live (or other Lowrance unit compatible with Active Target) so that you can effectively watch the sonar data while you’re fishing.
Motorized pole mount
While pole mounts were originally purely mechanical, there are now several motorized pole mounts on the market, such as the ones by Rite Hite or RyTek.
These motorized poles allow you to use a pedal to reposition the transducer while you’re using your hands to fish.
This is handy when the fish start to move out of your sonar cone, and you want to follow them without putting down your fishing rod.
Lowrance also provides a transom mount for the Active Target transducer.
This is useful if you want to use live sonar while trolling – transom mounting your transducer allows you to point it at your trolling rigs from the stern of your boat, which allows you to spot fish as they follow your lure.
Ice fishing transducer mount
If you want to use Active Target live sonar for ice fishing, you need to use a modified version of a pole mount that is designed to sit on top of an ice fishing hole (see image below).
The important thing with this setup is that the pole needs to be long enough to position the AT transducer underneath the ice, and that it can be freely rotated in all directions as you look for fish.