Reliability of fish finders

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by georgiamike, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. georgiamike

    georgiamike New Member

    I bought one of the Hummingbird portable fish finders with smartcast technology. While using it the screen did not show any fish but I caught a 3.5 lb cat and then lost 2 big buffalo while the screen did not show anything. Now it did show fish at times when I was getting bites so it does work, just doesnt seem to always show the fish. Just wondering what your experiences are?

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    I have no experience with this particular brand. I will say that when used properly they are very effective. Take the time to learn the tool and then put it to good use. Best of luck to ya!

  3. beakus

    beakus New Member

    derby kansas
    i'm in the same boat with you on this one but with a bottomline finder,i think a lot of it is if there on the bottom its hard to tell the diffrence between fish and conture,its easer to detect suspended fish.we just have to get out and really use them.
  4. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat Well-Known Member

    I don't own a fishfinder, but have the same sort of problems when reading a friends. Usually the screen will show fish, but I can't catch them. Except for depth, and contour, I pretty much ignore it now. I'm sure there's better ways to put it to good use, but I'm not smart enough I guess.
  5. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    You'll get better results when you start thinking of it as a "sonar display" rather than a "fish finder"...
  6. bhunt

    bhunt New Member

    I agree with Mr T. You have a very small cone area behind the boat that the fish finder shows. Lots of times when you mark fish it can be logs our turtles our any kind of floating structure in the water. I mark structure mostly on my fish finder and fish the structure and cover. Catfish on the bottom will usually knot show on fish finders. Also when looking at your fish finder when you are motoring in your boat you usually have already passed what is showing on your screen. No pro but thats what I have seem to learn about fish finders. Good luck.
  7. trnsmsn

    trnsmsn New Member

    Missouri Originally Now I
    I'm with BHUNT & Mr. T, I don't use the fish symbols @ all. If you like to see something that would be/is fish use your "arch" setting instead.

    You will be able to see clouds of baitfish once you get more familiar with your unit. Go for the structure, which is usually permanet & then you can mark that spot for future reference, should it turn out to be productive
  8. CatHound

    CatHound New Member

    I have and use the Smartcast system on a regular basis - both from shore and while in one of my watercraft. Unfortunately, those units do not have the target separation that the more advanced(and more expensive) units have. They really can't differentiate between a fish on the bottom and structure (like a rock or a log or a clump of low lying weeds).

    Mostly, when I use mine, it is solely for identifying structure and looking for potential fish holding areas.

    Like Mr. T. mentioned, try thinking of your fish finder as a sonar and contour locator. If there are fish suspended, your unit can pick those up.
  9. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    West Tn
    If you tie the hook right below the unit it would show the fish. But if its way out to the side it will not show it.
    Also if your in shallow water under 10ft I would say the fish would have to be right under it to show up.
  10. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    My sonar has a 22 degree cone angle. The transducer is about 4 inches in diameter, so to speak. So at 35 feet of depth, how big is the circle on the bottom gonna be? This is the deceiving part of a depth finder/sonar. We look at that screen and thing we see the whole bottom around us. When in fact we're looking at a circle of about 9 or 10 feet in diameter straight down from the transducer. A very small picture of the bottom. Unless of course you own one of the humminbirds like Pete has. They show 240 foot to either side of the boat if I remember right. And there are a few others that look to the sides, but most of us have the "more normal" kind. LOL Very good tool if you use it like it's designed to be used. And don't get to thinking you know more than the people/engineers that made it.