Fish finders are very important to have while fishing. Locating and catching fish is much easier when you know exactly where to go instead of aimlessly moving your boat around the water, hoping to find a good fishing spot.
Those small devices help you by locating the hot fishing spots and detecting any obstacles on your way. They also help you save your favorite areas with their integrated GPS. To make the best of fish finders, you need to, first of all, learn how to use and read them properly.
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How to Use a Fish Finder: Step by Step Guides
1. Understanding the Information Displayed
First of all, all fish finders display technical information such as the water depth in the body you’re fishing in, the water temperature, and your boat speed. This info is usually gathered together on the top of the screen on the right or left side, depending on your fish finder’s model.
To get more details on where to find everything, try reading the manual you receive with the fish finder. It will have plenty of technical details. However, having a general idea of how it all works will be very useful to you.
2. Mounting the Fish Finder and Turning Power on
You will need to refer to the manual to get the exact way of how this specific transducer is installed, as there are many different types of mounts such as trolling motor and transom mounts. You need to figure out the type of transducer to implement it properly on your boat.
The most important thing is to make sure your fish finder is plugged into an outlet to make sure it doesn’t run out of power while you’re in the water. Once you turn on the device, you’ll see many pre-programmed options, and you can set them to your preference.
You can always try to set the fish finder on the automated mode once you’re comfortable using it and see how it will respond to your movements.
3. Adjusting Sensitivity
Fishfinders are pretty impressive when it comes to automatic tuning, as it always gives you precise information. However, sometimes you should turn the sensitivity down a bit, especially when you’re in turbid water or thick planktonic water.
In such cases, fish finders show you false information about clutter. To fix this issue, Reduce the sensitivity until most of that clutter is gone. On the other hand, while fishing in shallow water, you want to set the sensitivity to a higher frequency.
Yet, bear in mind that boosting or adding filters to reduce clutter on the surface will cut the sensitivity down, which could result in you losing vision of the first few feet of water beneath your boat.
4. Setting Your Fish ID Setting
The fishing ID feature allows you to locate the fish you are targeting and to know what type of fish is in the area in which you are fishing. The only setback with the fishing ID feature is that it doesn’t give you an accurate view of what’s under the water.
Still, you can choose a fish finder with a better display quality depending on the pixel sizes to have a clearer vision of what’s under the waves.
5. Control Your Display
You get many options to control the things you want on the screen. For example, you can zoom in the areas in which you’re interested in fishing. You can find the zooming option in the settings. This feature helps you figure out what depth fish swim in to help you locate and catch it faster.
Most importantly, the zooming in feature allows you to know more about the bottom in which you’re fishing. However, it is quite confusing when it comes to the reading, as the hard bottom will be displayed as a thin bottom line.
On the other hand, a soft bottom will display a thick bottom line. If you’re using a full-screen mode with deep water like 40’, it will be more challenging to tell the difference. So, make sure to zoom in the last 5’ of water to determine what kind of bottom you’re dealing with.
6. Side Imaging Mode
Using the side imaging mode helps you find fish more efficiently as it uses a higher frequency to locate fish. To read the display while using the side imaging mode, read it from the top down.
The very first icon on the top of the display is your boat, and beneath it is everything your boat passed over. Information closer to the top is the newest, while information on the bottom is old.
7. Pro Tips:
- Upgrading Your Fish Finder
Some upgrading options and accessories will help you get a more accurate picture of the water and the location of your target, such as a depth cursor. It is mainly a horizontal line in which you can move up and down the screen and adjust over the fish arches.
- Using Suppressor Feature
The suppressor feature is used to block the background noise from the ocean. Noise occurring in the background can be blocked, and you can fish properly with more clarity.
You shuld use the suppressor feature on a low level to make sure it does not affect the sonar signal. In which case, you will have a clear sonar signal while having most of the background noise blocked.
Fishfinders can be a bit confusing at the beginning but, with a little practice, you will get the hang of it. Make sure to have a clear idea of how to use the device you have before leaving for your fishing adventure, and most of all, enjoy your trip!