can you tell?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by catfishrus, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    can you tell how big a fish is on your depth finder? if so how? i see big arches from time to time and fish for them and catch small fish. i also found a spot last year that had some huge arches. fished for them several times and know several other folks that fished them same acrhes and nothing. i tried diffrent baits and found out what i think was gar. hard scales make nice arches. i fish santee and find areas where i mark plenty of fish and catch fish but never really mark any big fish and go back at night and catch big fish but still dont really mark big fish. seems like sometimes i mark big fish and catch big fish. then other times i catch big fish where i dont mark hardly any big fish. i referring to fish from 5lbs to 50lbs. also does a fish on a hard bottom mark differnt than a soft bottom?
     
  2. CaptainBrad

    CaptainBrad Member

    Messages:
    610
    State:
    North Dakota
    That all depends on the electronics. In most cases the bigger arcs are simply a fish that is placed in the signal a bit better. It may appear bigger but not really be.

    Last year I spent some substancial money on a dual beam graph that takes a wide picture and a narrow picture side by side. I can see some arcs on the wide side that look small but when they get a direct shot they are huge. In most cases when I get the good narrow shot the graph tells me very accurately what is beneath me.
     

  3. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    thanks i had a lowrance x15 mt and now i have the hummingbird 997 side image. still learning on the side image though just got it a month ago.

    so what your saying is even in the narrow beam you still cannot tell the size of the fish? only location is closer to the boat.
     
  4. biga

    biga Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,111
    State:
    evansville
    that just doesnt sound right to me.. i know a few guys that mark a big arch and catch a big fish... some guys have said it really depends on how well you know your unit and its features.. i am just learning about them myself...
     
  5. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    biga i have seen that too. esp. fishing in current.
     
  6. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    State:
    Lynchburg, VA
    If you have the Humminbird 997 w/ side scan sonar, can't you see the fish directly?
     
  7. CaptainBrad

    CaptainBrad Member

    Messages:
    610
    State:
    North Dakota
    I don't think I explained myself right. I see big arcs I assume big fish. When I see a big arc on my narrow beam (I use a Vexilar Edge 3) I know it is a big fish. Until you know and understand everything you are looking at on the screen you may be looking at a big fish that looks smaller and may think you have a big arc when it is simply a smaller fish in the stronger part of the beam.

    If you have a 997 finding and knowing you are on big fish will not be a problem.
     
  8. killentime99

    killentime99 New Member

    Messages:
    98
    State:
    north carolina
    next time you mark a big arch ask your indian to confirm the actaull size:smile2:
     
  9. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    killentime that indian i seen on the side image. he moved out to his summer stomping grounds and i havent seen him since.:wink: i been picking with some of these guys about finding indian arrow heads on the side image.:smile2:

    as for seeing the fish directly on the side image...i havent learned the unit well enough to know that yet. i have seen white spots that look to be fish on the side image but still dont know what to look for when it comes to big fish. see plenty of bait though. looks like clouds on the screen. the 997 comes with a sears and roebuck cataloge. im learning it just havent made it that far into it yet. reason i bought the side image was for finding under water structure for flatheads mainly. i know it will tell me much more than that with practice. i can also run the dual freq. on the transducer with a split screen. just figured that out last week. now its learning to read it properly i guess.
     
  10. jsharper

    jsharper New Member

    Messages:
    293
    State:
    TX
    Also, keep in mind that the speed that you are traveling makes a lot of difference in arc size. An arc at 8mph is much more compressed because you go over it faster than one of the same size fish at 3 mph.

    Jim
     
  11. brinley45cal

    brinley45cal Active Member

    Messages:
    2,606
    State:
    kentucky
    Ok im missing something here, could you explain this indian stuff your talking about? im lost and not catching your meaning.
     
  12. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    it was just a joke i told some of these guys about the side image and what i have seen with it. i told them i seen a indian standing beside a tee pee on the bottom of the lake and then made another pass and the indian came out and started a fire on the bottom of the lake. seen it all on the side image. add in the fact of finding a indian arrowhead on the bottom of the lake with the side image. just a bunch of b.s. really at a tournament.:wink: back to marking big fish now.
     
  13. jsharper

    jsharper New Member

    Messages:
    293
    State:
    TX
    I have only had a decent sonar unit a couple of years, but am still trying to figure it out, where I know what I am looking for. As for fish, I look at the strength of the signal, ie, more yellow on mine, to figure the size of a fish as distance and speed make a difference on arc size. I still fish some stuff on the bottom that isn't fish at all, just weeds or rocks. I have marked places on the gps that I thought were fish, went back the next couple of trips and it was still there, probably not fish.

    Jim
     
  14. poisonpits

    poisonpits Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,696
    State:
    arkansas
    Name:
    johnnie
    at this time no depth finder will tell you what kind of fish you are looking out.they may be gar,carp,stripers,or cats.i use mine to locate structure and bait fish.when you find the bait fish and arches youve put yourself in a good situation.may not be cats but its at least a fish feeding on other fish.
     
  15. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    I've got the 997 as well. You can see fish in the water column as you've described on the side image, but I don't think it will show you cats on the bottom. I don't think the sonar return from a big cat nestled tight into structure or sucked down to the bottom is something the side image will show.

    As for the bottom, red is a stronger sonar return and you can tell by the "secondary" return how far the sonar ping is going into the bottom. If it's a good, hard bottom, not much of a secondary return and a nice, clear red line. Soft bottom will not be the nice, bright red line and have a more pronounced secondary return (in my experience, anyway). I have mine set to "white line" for the bottom since the side image tells me the bottom composition most of the time.

    As for the arches, as someone alluded to, the "arch" is made by the differing sonar returns as the fish enters the sonar cone and passes through it. A slow moving little fish could theoretically return the same (or bigger) arch as a big fish moving faster.

    Another consideration is water depth. The width of the bottom you see in conventional sonar mode narrows greatly as you move to shallower water.

    I bought the 997 for the same reason you did - to see structure and bait. I use it to find the structure and then fish the structure. I will occasionally get excited by big returns that could be fish, but the Missouri River is so loaded with Asian carp who knows if the returns are cats, Asians, gar, or half-full soda bottles:smile2:

    If you turn the "Fish ID" feature on, small fish are from 1-5 pounds, medium fish are from 5-10 pounds, and big fish are 10+ pounds. I called H'bird tech support one day to find that out. Remember, though, that the software that creates the fish icon is using the same data as the "normal" mode screen creating arches, just presenting it differently. They couldn't answer me as to when their algorithm decides a return is too big to be a fish and doesn't show it as such. Since most of us are looking for 50+ plus fish, it's a valid question. One day they'll learn that the world doesn't revolve around a species with a 21# world record:smile2:

    Anyway, read the manual, push the buttons, and have fun with it! I keep the manual in a waterproof box on the boat and when the fishing's slow, I read the manual and play with the sonar unit. Good Luck!

    Branden
     
  16. brinley45cal

    brinley45cal Active Member

    Messages:
    2,606
    State:
    kentucky
    Oh ok. i didnt know what the heck you were talking about,thanks for clearing that up.:wink:
     
  17. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    I primarily use my FF to locate bottom structure changes...as well as schools of baitfish.

    You see suspended fish all the time...but they rarely bite.

    I have found that by moving towards structure that is located conveniently to these suspended fish...you tend to locate the more actively feeding members of the school.

    Whether these be catfish, crappie, walleye, or bass...it works just the same in my experience.
     
  18. Old Bill

    Old Bill New Member

    Messages:
    448
    State:
    Oklahoma City
    OK, since the subject is fish finders and identifying fish, let me ask a very off beat question...but, something that has bothered me for years.

    Years ago I was fishing with my brother-in-law on the his boat, which had a cheap humminbird fish finder on it ($79.00 model). We were tied up in a bunch of old tree stumps with the boat not moving at all.

    As we set there...not catching any fish...but drinking a beer or two...I noticed the fish finder was displaying the bottom moving. I could see the tree stumps moving from one side of the screen to the other...yet the boat wasn't moving!

    Anyone have any idea what might cause this, besides me having too much to drink? :crazy:

    Bill
     
  19. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    BILL i think you answer your own question...lol. you by chance have to put your foot on the side of the boat to stop it from spinning on you?:smile2: sorry i couldnt pass that one up buddy. i dont know about your question really but i will say a boat is the water will move even tied up or anchored. the wind will push on it and it will move some and that might of been what you was seeing if the boat was setting right on top on the brush.:wink: keep in mind the cone on the depth finder really isnt that big in shallow water.:big_smile:
     
  20. Old Bill

    Old Bill New Member

    Messages:
    448
    State:
    Oklahoma City
    OK, OK, I knew that writting about the stumps moving, and drinking beer, wasn't too smart of a thing to do!!:big_smile:

    But, catfishrus, you may have hit on the cause (in addition to the beer!) because we were tied up in very thin water (maybe 3-feet), and I guess the boat wouldn't have had to move much to get a change in the fish finder's reading!

    Dang, I sure miss those fishing trips with ol' Ernie. Maybe because it's been 6-years, 3-months and 5-days since I last had a beer!:cool2:

    Hey, I'm just kidding....it's only been 3-years!:big_smile:

    Bill