Catfishing with a Fish finder - Tips and suggestions

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by CarpKiller, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. CarpKiller

    CarpKiller New Member

    Hello BOC

    I just purchased a Eagle Fish easy 320c Fish finder.

    Do any of you guys use fish finders for help catch cats? If so, What are some suggestions or tips you have in using these? Anything would help, From installation, To using it effectively to find cats.


  2. crazy

    crazy New Member

    Kansas CIty, MO
    Oh yeah, there a valuble tool i can't have. Even though my transduser is broke. It tells me the depth of water so i don't get stuck on a sand bar in the middle of the river.

  3. vlparrish

    vlparrish New Member

    Bedford, Kentucky
    The first and probably most important thing to remember about a fish finder is to install it properly. You should read your owners manual from front to back to learn how your equipment is to be installed properly. Not every fish finder installs the same though many are similar. After reading your owner's manual cover to cover you should be ready to install your equipment. Always remember to mount the screen in a convenient place where it can be seen while you are running and also mount it in a place where it will not be likely for it to get damaged while you are fishing, pleasure boating , etc. One common mistake the consumer makes when mounting the transducer is to mount it too high on the hull, thus causing the unit to "cavitate",(this is when bubbles and air get under the transducer and cause the unit not to read or to read improperly) while the boat is underway. Believe me about cavitation I've remounted two transducers before and I'm sure others have had to remount their transducer to get a proper read.
    Once you have your unit mounted and properly functioning it's time to hit the water and learn the basics. You should take your owner's manual with you the first couple times out. there is alot of usefull information that can be learned from it. You should familiarize yourself with the different settings and options, especially how to turn on the backlight and other important features so you wont have to be fumbling through all the settings to find the one your looking for.
    Now that you've become familiar with your equipment you should be ready to find the fish. First thing to remember is that just because your unit does not show fish doesn't mean that there isn't any fish there. Also if it doesn't show fish doesn't mean that you can't catch fish there. I primarily use my fish finder for reading the depth and structure more often than for finding fish. On a river you want to look for steep ledges, holes, and underwater structure to locate fish. One way of finding ledges on a river is to start around the middle of the river and drive straight towards the bank slowly. This should give you an idea of what the water under you looks like. If the depth changes slow and gradually then it is likely not the best spot that you can fish. If the water climbs abruptly from say 20 to 10 feet all at once this is a likely place to catch some fish. remember though if you anchor right where you just read the bottom and then you throw your rods out down current that you may be fishing out of the "honey hole". If you find a spot that you think you would like to try, you should move up current slightly and anchor "above the hole" and throw down to it. Sorry this is such a long winded post but I was trying to help anyway that I can and down know how much knowledge that you have of using a fish finder. I hope that you can gain some usefull information here and good luck.
  4. davesoutfishing

    davesoutfishing New Member

    Menominee Michigan
    no need to say sorry alot of good info you just told I was also thinking of getting one.
  5. cook

    cook Active Member

    Plattsburg,Mo.(near K.C.)
    Good post V-P

    I don't use mine often to find fish,but mainly to find depth,contours etc...
    When I first got it,I would try to mark fish,and would get hung up on trying to catch the ones showing up.Wasted hours on what could be an inactive fish or even just a rock :crying:

    Finally learned to use it to put me in good locations,and the fish would take care of the rest :).......sometimes :rolleyes:
  6. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

    Ithaca, MI
    Now this drives folks nuts when I say it but it works good.

    If you have the money get 2 fish finders and 2 anchors. Find your honey holes when youre first out there OR get a topo map and find what would be good and go scout it out.

    Place one tansducer on the back of the boat and the second fish finder should be mounted on the front of the boat with a thru-the-hull transducer.

    when you travel you can follow contours and REALLY TARGET depth and thermoclines. Muisky fishermen use this tactic in rivers in northern MI as well as waleye guys in the canadian rivers. its great for control trolling.

    with two transducers you can line up your boat on a specific depth contour and troll OR WITH THE SECOND ANCHOR, you can go above your honey hole and anchor sideways across the current leaving your entire downstream side of the boat for all the action.

    I had a second fish finder a cuda 128 Eagle to go with my 380 eagle fishmark.. but my brother broke his only fish finder so I gave the cuda up... twoweeks later me jross and sparky were on the k-zoo and my anchor got stuck in a log jam... so I was down to one anchor for a while, but now I got anchor 2 up and a hummingbird portable ice finder to convert into a thru-the hull frnt finder this winter.


    bear in mind that with a 20 degree eye on a transducer you'll only see a skinny window of what is below you unless youre in deep deep water.
  7. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Little Rock, AR
    There has been tons of stuff written for bass fishermen about using a fish finder to locate good spots, as well as a number of videos. In water at least 2'-3' deep, any structure that is attractive to bass is also attractive to catfish. One of my favorite catfishing spots is where a stump row runs alongside the edge of a channel leading out into the main part of the lake. And don't forget that catfish will sometimes suspend, just like other fish.
  8. CarpKiller

    CarpKiller New Member

    Thankyou for your replies! That was very helpful
  9. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    send me your email address and I'll send you a very good sonar tutorial. By the way, D.H. if you are reading this, what happened to that, remember I sent it to you guys to put in the library but I never did see it?...W
  10. CarpKiller

    CarpKiller New Member


    Check your PM box!


  11. Redtick

    Redtick New Member

    Neoga, Illinois
    I have a Hummingbird Matrix 37 and I wouldn't go fishing without it. Like the others have said, I don't use it to find fish as much as I use it to find the structure where there should be fish. But, I can go over certain areas and if it doesn't show bait fish and/or fish, I will go and find the baitfish, then I usually find cats.
    Jtrew is very correct about finding structure that is good for bass, it is usually good for cats also. I will add to that by saying I usually find cats where I find crappie. I usually find most fish of any species where I find baitfish.
    I hope to purchase a "sidefinder" transducer for my unit next Spring. Then, I will be able to scan to the side as well as under my boat. There are certain times and places this should be very valuable in locating catfish.
  12. jim

    jim New Member

    Jacksonville NC
    Go to the lowrance website for everything you ever wanted to know on this subject plus they have free downloadable emulators of all their finders on which you can actually practice.