Reading the fish finder??

Discussion in 'Fishing Electronics Review' started by crazyKat, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. crazyKat

    crazyKat New Member

    Messages:
    549
    State:
    kentucky
    do u guys look for big fish or a deep drop off? i got my boat out this weekend just for a little bit. didnt fish but looked at the fish finder. trying to figure out what to look for. the boat was great.
     
  2. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,464
    State:
    IN
    Name:
    Winston
    Jody,
    If sonars are new to you it will take time to learn to translate what you see on the screen. Even if you are familiar with them there is always a learning curve with a new one. Drop offs and channel edges are much easier to identify than things that may or may not be fish. Look for structure rather than trying to find fish. You will see fish arches and the like but until you are familiar with your sonar you may not really to be able to say what is fish and what is not.
    Use what you see on the shore to help you determine what may be below the surface. Fallen trees, rock, points, creek channels etc. that are visible on the shoreline usually continue out into the lake/river. If you can survey an area you already know well you will be able to see how the sonar displays things you are familiar with.
    The new side imaging sonars are a different case; you can actually see fish with them but I assume you are not talking about those units.
    As a rule, set your sonar to manual mode and make adjustments yourself so that you always know what the depth. sensitivity, greyline, surface clutter, noise suppression settings are.
    Fish relate to structure. Find that and you will find the fish...W
     

  3. crazyKat

    crazyKat New Member

    Messages:
    549
    State:
    kentucky
    im all new to the boat and fish finder. its not a expensive one its a eagle easyfish came with the boat it only cost 200 bucks new at walmart. i was reading the book. right now it doesnt display the arches its set to show the fish icons. i need to mess with it. so if im going down the river and say its 20 feet deep and then i come across a spot that goes from like 20feet down to 40 feet then back up to 20 is that a good drop off to fish? and what if the finder isnt showing fish just a drop off? should i still fish the hole? i know nothing about a fishfinder. just now got my first boat so its all new to me. been bank fishing my whole life.
     
  4. Grimpuppy

    Grimpuppy New Member

    Messages:
    3,556
    State:
    Concordia, KS
    99% of them fish Icons are not fish. I do not remember who said it but, it was something like this. "I believe that all fish finders have a preset program it runs in auto mode that shows fish at random to make it look like it is doing its job." Most fish finders are worthless in auto mode except if you just want to know the depth.

    Weather you see fish or not on your sonar, you should fish them drop offs. I am no expert with sonar by any means. I never fish a spot just because I think I see fish on the sonar. I fish spots that I see structure. I have two on my boat. I like to use them both at once when I find a drop off. The front one will read like 8 feet and the rear one will read 12 feet. That lets me know I am directly on top of the drop off.

    Metalman said it best
     
  5. David Knotts

    David Knotts New Member

    Messages:
    2,569
    State:
    Bossier City, La
    I gave up on tryin to see fish with mine, I just started lookin for drop off, and stuckture, I seem to do good on catchin fish this way. I was talkin to a guy that knows a lot about fish finders, he told me that the fish has to be dead center of thesonar cone befor it will show up. Not sure if thats true or not.
     
  6. alands94

    alands94 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,706
    State:
    Lebanon, I
    I use my sonar to check depth and look for structure. I don't pay any attention to the fish icons.
     
  7. catman from owensboro

    catman from owensboro New Member

    Messages:
    569
    State:
    ky
    fish icons is anything not on bottom and even air bubbles sticks leaves fish and more the aches are must likely fish and i don't no if the fish has to be in the center i never heard that. but as for me if i see a drop with arches i fish it. and like this weekend the only place on the river we got aches was 19 to 25 feet out of that range nothing. hope this helps adam
     
  8. crazyKat

    crazyKat New Member

    Messages:
    549
    State:
    kentucky
    cool i will try it tonight. i hope they bite after the rain. just built a rack above the engine for 4 pole holders to fish off the back of the boat. my buddy did a good job. i will try messin with the finder tonight
     
  9. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    Do yourself a favor and turn off the fish symbols right now. They "dumb down" the display so much that you'll miss lots of useful information once you learn how to read what you're seeing.

    Spend some time reading articles on this web site:
    http://www.hightechfishing.com/
    especially here: http://www.hightechfishing.com/sonar.html

    Then get out on the water and practice what you've learned.
     
  10. bumper

    bumper New Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    State:
    Georgia
    If you see fish icons on the screen the definitely change your settings. Most of those aren't actually fish at all. Set your screen to show the raw sonar data and actual fish will show up as arches on your screen. The problems are that not all arches you see are catfish(could be other fish) and that if the fish are laying directly on the bottom the fishfinder may not pick them up. I mostly look at bottom depth and try to find ledges, dropoffs, and/or structure and I usually fish those places no matter if arches show on the screen or not. Hope this helps, good luck.