Reading depth finder

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by master_cat, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. master_cat

    master_cat New Member

    Messages:
    686
    State:
    tennessee
    i need some tips on how to read a depth finder like when you locate fish how far do you drive past them how do u know yer casting near them and where do i need to place my transducer on my boat wheres the best place
     
  2. Doctor

    Doctor Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Springfield, Ohio
    master_cat,

    This is the way I do it, my transducers are located on the rear of my boat Humminbird on one side and Lowrance on the other, when I mark a fish or structure that I want to target I look to the shore and pick something out that I can use as a reference point as to where I marked the fish or structure, I use 125 foot of anchor line so I just motor up a little bit farther than I need to be and drop anchor and then ease the boat on back to the area that I marked on shore, if I'm too short then I can make up the difference by casting a little farther, if I'm back to far then I can take up anchor rope till I'm where I need to be, generally I like to ease the boat right up on the structure or fish and drop baits down right behind the boat, I also use the man overboard function on my Lowrance if I'm in an area where there are no reference points that I can go by, and ease the boat back to the point marked on the map...................Doc
     

  3. vlparrish

    vlparrish New Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    State:
    Bedford, Kentucky
    Master Cat, everything Tim has told you is great advice. Also I would like to add three things. If you drop anchor in current as soon as the fish, structure or what ever you are targeting appears on your screen, you will be down current of your target. Also, I like to be travelling up current when I am attempting to set up, so after I get the place marked I can get the proper distance and drop anchor, otherwise you will have to turn around and do it all over again. Thirdly I find it is better to be more upriver from the target area than down for two reasons. One is there is a slight delay between what you see on your screen and what is actually under you and two in heavy current and deeper water it is impossible to get a bait directly under your boat, but easy to get it to travel down river a good piece. All the same advice will be similar in a nice breeze on a lake, just treat the wind as if it is current. Vern
     
  4. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    Just remember when reading the finder only the right hand edge is current.By the time you are looking at the full picture in the middle of the screen it is history and behind you.How far depends on your boat speed.The others have given you excellent advice and a long anchor rope gives you more leeway.:big_smile:
     
  5. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    The only thing I'd add is that you should probably worry more about setting up on the specific structure you see - humps, dips, logs, whatever - rather than specific fish.

    If you see fish and structure together, you're golden - just try to get anchored so that you can cast in the vicinity of the structure. If you're fishing in a river, the current will carry the bait scent downstream and the cats will find your bait. It's a little more difficult in a lake but if you cast your bait where the fish will be traveling by, you'll get their attention eventually.

    Anyone who tells you they can mark a catfish on the bottom, then set up on it and catch that fish specifically is full of BS.
     
  6. Doctor

    Doctor Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Springfield, Ohio
    Anyone who tells you they can mark a catfish on the bottom, then set up on it and catch that fish specifically is full of BS.[/QUOTE]

    Believe what you may MR.T but I do that very same thing time and time again, mark a fish turn around and catch it have done it for years and continue to do it and there are plenty of people on this board that have been with me and have seen it happen, baits hit the bottom and sometimes you don't even get the pole in the rod holder and they jump on a bait, I trust fully what my Lowrance tells me, I'm a run and gun type of fisherman, normally don't drop baits unless I'm marking fish and if they are sitting in front of a piece of structure i know i can put that fish in the boat in a matter of minutes if they are feeding actively......Doc
     
  7. DeerHunter01

    DeerHunter01 New Member

    Messages:
    2,113
    State:
    Kentucky

    Well have you ever been told you was wrong ?

    I have done this several times and it can be done as long as you know your electronics well. This winter in Feb/ 16th 2006 I marked four catfish laying behind a stump on the Ohio River and caught all four fish in a matter of a hour , one at 75 Pounds and the rest were under that but nothing under 21# Pounds.

    Some day you got some time make a trip and go fishing with me or some of the other guys on this board I am sure they will help you understand the use of a fish finder.

    Here is one of my posts that you can read:
    Click here

    One thing I can say is Doc showed me alot on fish finders when I was learning and I read as much as I could and studied it until I knew what I was doing but one thing I can tell you is your wrong. That I will bet my house on.
     
  8. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    State:
    Greenup Co. KY
    DH,
    I didn't know you were a bass fisherman...

    For several years I’ve fished rivers and streams almost exclusively and have enjoyed uncrowded angling for walleyes, catfish, bass, pike and crappies.
     
  9. DeerHunter01

    DeerHunter01 New Member

    Messages:
    2,113
    State:
    Kentucky
    John your very funny please read that again in what I made bold lettering..lmao


     
  10. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    State:
    Greenup Co. KY
    LMAO,sure its not you,I bet you bass fish in your pink tutu with your snoopy pole.Woops,I better quit,you have pics of me kissing a bass.SORRY! LMAO!

    I apologize for getting off subject on your thread,I just had to poke fun at DH for bass fishing...My Apologies!!!
     
  11. master_cat

    master_cat New Member

    Messages:
    686
    State:
    tennessee
    im planning on goin with jw here somtime soon maby he will show me the ropes
     
  12. Abu65

    Abu65 Member

    Messages:
    583
    State:
    Kentucky
    I re-read these post & I think what Mr.T was trying to say was marking a fish on the bottom not a inch or to from the bottom but on the bottom, because in his post he said if you can mark fish on structure that is golden. I think thats how I read that. Anyone wanting some awesome info on depth finder reading should look at Doc's page www.hookedoncatfish.com its has some awesome info for the advanced & beginners alike...Abu65
     
  13. master_cat

    master_cat New Member

    Messages:
    686
    State:
    tennessee
    im needing a new depth finder if anyone has one for sale
     
  14. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,168
    State:
    NC
    Depthfinders serve a couple of real and proven purposes; finding water depth, temperature, showing bottom structure, and showing fish.

    With all that said I know of NO ONE that can tell what kind of fish they are looking at. It is impossible to tell the difference between a catfish, carp, or a bass. You can tell a difference in size, and grouping can give you an indication as to the possible types of fish, i.e. shad, perch, and other schooled fish, but be able to pick out a fish and catch it is more luck than screen reading skill.

    A depthfinder gives you a relativley narrow window to look at under your boat. Most project a 60 degree cone, so this means that the area you are seeing is a circle slightly larger than the depth of the water you are in. If you are in 40 feet of water it is a relatively large area, but if you are in 8 feet of water you are looking at a very small area.
     
  15. DeerHunter01

    DeerHunter01 New Member

    Messages:
    2,113
    State:
    Kentucky
    master_cat

    When is JW taking you out, this sounds like a good class to attend ?
     
  16. master_cat

    master_cat New Member

    Messages:
    686
    State:
    tennessee
    some time in july if time alows
     
  17. onlyriverfish

    onlyriverfish Member

    Messages:
    319
    State:
    Nebraska
    Name:
    james
    Believe what you may MR.T but I do that very same thing time and time again, mark a fish turn around and catch it have done it for years and continue to do it and there are plenty of people on this board that have been with me and have seen it happen, baits hit the bottom and sometimes you don't even get the pole in the rod holder and they jump on a bait, I trust fully what my Lowrance tells me, I'm a run and gun type of fisherman, normally don't drop baits unless I'm marking fish and if they are sitting in front of a piece of structure i know i can put that fish in the boat in a matter of minutes if they are feeding actively......Doc[/quote]

    Tim,
    I am with you. I have been doing this for years now. Anyone who says it aint so dont fully understand sonar or the enviroment. They may learn for thier own bennefit some day(?).

    I take it one step farther and bet you do too -that I can judge thier weight within a small percentage and be very close every time!
     
  18. Big Sam

    Big Sam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,288
    State:
    Booneville AR
    Name:
    Sam
    I'm with ya on that one....I mark fish and turn and go after them..Some of the name brand fish finders have a web-site that gives tips and instructions on how to go at them and what programs to set your finder on....:roll_eyes:
     
  19. Dmitri

    Dmitri New Member

    Messages:
    577
    State:
    Illinois
    I could use that much anchor line next time I go out to our old strip pit, haha.
     
  20. dcaruthers

    dcaruthers New Member

    Messages:
    756
    State:
    Alabama
    I'm in the same boat as far as needed taught how to properly use a fish finder. I've read many many threads on this subject and there seems to be two schools of thought. I remember one reference to an email from an actual Lowerence engineer that said the sonar picks up the air bladders and not the skin as many of you argue. If this is true the who concept distinguishing fish type would be impossible.

    With that said, I am a complete novice at the fish finder useage and to argue with any of you with the pictures and proof to back up your claims is stupid. I'd love to fish with any of you and learn how you "Luck" up on so many big cats, lol.

    I think there may be a few cases of sonar ability envy out there.