I have been using the Garmin Panoptix Livescope Ice Bundle this season with the following big gains in shallow trout fishing:
1) finding the weed edges and knowing exactly what is down there. Yes, I have used a camera in the past but cameras do not have the visual power to see 30 feet (especially in the early morning). The two screenshots clearly show a sloping area with multiple types of vegetation.
2) monitoring fish movement and location across a flat. My sonar really only works once the depth is 7 or 8 feet. A camera or sight fishing only shows the fish right below the hole. While watching fish come into my lures or coming near my location the Panoptix allows me to see if the fish are using a different part of the flat, again up to 30 feet away (3-4x the depth actually).
3) finding and reacting to suspended fish. We were fishing in 12 feet and fish were coming through 2 to 6 feet down. On a sonar they are visible, but on the Panoptix we can see them coming from 20 feet away, and raise our lures before the fish get in the vicinity. This is true horizontal live sonar on the ice.
4) monitor multiple lures. We had three people in a 6x12 shelter. By setting up the Garmin outside the shelter we could see all three lures and watch fish move in, inspect, and bite on each one. The 9" screen on the ice bundle was big enough for all to see. Outside the shelter we separated a bit more and had three holes 10 feet apart. Two people could see the action and it was easy to tell the other person what was happening. It is now easy to set a deadstick 10-30 feet away and know when a fish is eyeing it.
The real kicker was some time we spent exploring the deeper flats at Antero on the way back to the car. The 12-foot flats hold fish, but weeds are few and far between so no one fishes them. We would drill a hole and scan the area for weeds. It was easy to find individual clusters, mark the distance from the first hole, drill on top of them, and watch the fish come through. Often the fish were suspended. this would be really tough with traditional sonar and might be possible with a good camera, but not as easy.
The second shot is from Chatfield (9.7 foot depth). The dropoff is a roadbed and I have a deadstick at 0 and a lure at 15 feet away from the transducer. I was able to see trout use the top of the road and hit my deadstick while monitoring the walleyes that seemed to move up from the deeper edge by my lures. It is easy to see structure and the sonar does a surprisingly good job of seeing "over" a dropoff without shadowing.
For shallow water trout fishing, I still recommend a camera for clearly identifying weed types, color, and fish at times but the Panoptix is now my go-to sonar. I probably will not take my Vexilar trout fishing again.
For walleye, I recommend the Panoptix to scan the area for fish movement, but will still use my Vexilar to show the reaction of specific fish under my hole. Triggering walleye is not easy and while the Panoptix shows fish movement, sometimes you can learn more by the zoom and the quicker flasher system.
For lake trout jigging the Vexliar is still the king. Nothing is a fast and nothing shows fish reaction to jigging strokes. If fishing spawn sacs it is fun to use the Garmin Panoptix and watch multiple lines at once (third photo, 36.6 feet depth). It does have a zoom feature and we were able to track fish movement between baits over long distances (30-50 feet). I could sit at the unit and tell my friends and kids which rod had a fish near it. When the bobber or rod tip went down, they would set the hook.
Basically, the Panoptix LiveScope ice bundle is a real game changer for shallow water fishing in Colorado. It makes it easier to find and understand the weed structure at Antero while also watching fish move into the baits real-time.