How to Install a Fishfinder

Learning how to run and install your fish finder is very important as it is considered the first step into a full understanding of the device and how it works. Fishfinders are the most helpful devices when you go fishing. They help you find fish and locate obstacles and much more. 

Some people suffer from the consequences of poor fishfinder installation. To prevent that and have the best fishing experience, here are the detailed steps on how to install your fish finder properly. 

1. Positioning the Transducer

The transducer is one of the most important parts of your fishing trip. Transducers mimic the way sea predators locate their prey, they send out sound waves and receive echos enabling us to get a visual idea of what is in the depth of water.

Accordingly, if you have a poor installation of the fish finder, the device won’t properly send sound waves and won’t properly locate fish and the reading will not be correct. 

The fishfinder should be positioned according to the wires connecting the device to the transducer. This means that while finishing your fish finder’s installation you will have to fix the transducer to the boat as it has to be fixed on the transom; the spot where the vessel’s name is usually displayed.

One of the most important tips is to position your transducer horizontally, this allows you to achieve a complete effective functionality in your transducer. Accordingly, you will have to fix it in on the transom. 

You need to make sure that the part it’s fixed on is at around 12 inches in distance from the propeller. If you decide to install a thru-hull transducer, this will include a necessary hole at the bottom of the boat, in such case, you might want to seek professional help for the installation.

2. Silicone Sealant

Before mounting the fish finder, you need to add sealant to the holes you’ve drilled, and to pass the wires through. You do not need to add too much sealant, just enough to keep everything in place and to prevent any unwanted movements. 

Once you’ve added the sealant, it is time to apply it to the bolts holding the mount of your fishfinder. This will guarantee that everything is stable while you’re in open water. 

3. Testing and Running the Wire Leads

The length of the wires may be too long or too short, so you might have to tie up the wires together or shorten them by using some boat cable. Most importantly, do not cut any of the manufacturer’s in-line included fuse as this invalidates your warranty. 

Next thing to do, push down the wires through the holes you’ve drilled. Make sure the plug can easily reach the unit without exposing unnecessary wiring outside the helm. The next step is to run the wire to the helm’s fuse block. 

Bear in mind that the red wire is the positive one and the black wire is the negative one. Make sure to find the appropriate connectors to use if it wasn’t already installed by the manufacturer. 

The following step is placing the wires for the transducer, the transducer should be positioned in the deepest part of the boat which cannot be disturbed by any water movement. Then, hold the transducer mount against the transom and install wires to the dash.

Make sure to keep everything organized and in place, do not mix the transducer wire with the engine wirings to avoid any possible hassle in movement. 

4. Installing the Transducer

After you’ve done the boat wiring for the transducer, now it is time to install it. First, hook up the transducer to the wires, then, add a fair amount of sealant, enough to hold the bolts tight and to prevent any water from getting through the holes you’ve drilled. 

Make sure the battery is switched off, afterwards, you can complete your final wiring by connecting the wire leads and plugging the transducer wire to the back of the fish finder. 

Before taking your boat to the water to try it, you need to give it enough time for the sealant to dry out from 5 to 7 days to make sure there won’t be any water intrusion. 

5. Pro Tips

When it is time for you to take your boat to the water, everything will be 99% working fine, but some minor problems can occur with the remaining 1% such as hitting the throttle and facing the chance of losing the entire reading. 

In such a case, the transducer might be too high or even riding completely out of the water. However, if the bottom reading is only irregular then it means the transducer might be only a tiny bit high. 

In other cases, it might even be too low; it might cause turbulence. Fortunately, almost all transducers brackets allow enough space for adjusting it by raising or lowering the transducer. You know you’ve done a great job placing the transducer when you can still have a solid reading while going at a 30 mph speed. 

Consider buying a waterproof cover to secure the entire unit as the ones provided by the manufacturer normally don’t cover the entire fish finder. Once you’re all set, it is time to see how the new fish finder will help you fill your cooler with plenty of fish. 

Final Thoughts

Installing the fish finder properly will allow you to make the best out of the fishing trip. You will have the most helpful device to locate fish and obstacles for you. Make sure you install it properly using all the previous tips to ensure a fully functional performance.