Shad sonar pattern

Discussion in 'Shad Talk' started by onlyriverfish, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. onlyriverfish

    onlyriverfish Member

    Messages:
    319
    State:
    Nebraska
    Name:
    james
    Sonar-bait observation I observed last year on Missouri River.
    Saw alot of balls of bait fish til around Aug then later started seeing less balls and more "long lines" showing on graph. Posted here, but got no response.

    Ran across some articles the other day that talked about what baitfish look like and the structure they relate to. Said larger shad school different than the smaller shad. Small shad form tight balls and larger shad form in long lines or tubes.

    It would appear as summer progressed to fall the increase in "tubes" or big shad meant they were growing up.
    I thought at the time it was due to predation causing tight balls, but author suggest that it is small shad normal instinct. Course if an arch is around then we know where to drop the line!:cool2:

    Other baitfish like crappie/bluegill show as xmas trees or pancakes as they like to stack up on each other. Apparently author did dives with his electroncs to verify these conclusions.
     
  2. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    I've never seen a ball of anything on the Missouri River, bait fish or otherwise, and I've spent countless hours out there looking at the sonar... You must have different current up there than we have down here...
     

  3. EricM

    EricM Active Member

    Messages:
    362
    State:
    Harrison TN
    Name:
    Eric Maurer
    I hadn't thought about it, but you're absolutely right. On the Tennessee River I see both bait returns from threadfin shad. Today I was out and threw the net at a constant layer of shad and they were the larger ones, so I changed to the 3/8" netting - it sinks faster. When I get over a really solid, thicker return, they are the small ones and I have to change to the 1/4" net - the little shad all poke their heads through the 3/8 and get gilled, and the net looks like a silver-trimmed christmas tree. Now I have a good idea which net to use! Thanks!!!!!!!!
     
  4. onlyriverfish

    onlyriverfish Member

    Messages:
    319
    State:
    Nebraska
    Name:
    james
    Marty,
    Dont know, but figure there is def. differences.

    I think its interesting hearing you guys down there talk about the "asian problem", yet here we dont see quite the problem (yet-seems to be pushing north more every year).
    Maybe I will try taking a pic sometime.
    Wish the darn sonar had a "flash card" and a "dedicated button" to capsure screen shots with some data. :crazy:
    My last year hog was predictable enough that a friend video recorded the whole thing. Because of that its motivated me to video record more catches. Thinking of mounting a video recorder at bow pointing to stern for next hog. Should also design a "waterproof-quick camera mount" for these types of things close to sonar.
     
  5. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    What kind of sonar do you have?

    Most of the newer Lowrance units (and pretty much all of them with GPS) have the ability to record sonar to a data card. You can then play that back on your PC and get a screen capture that way.
     
  6. Ictalurus Punctatus

    Ictalurus Punctatus New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    Greensboro, NC

    Very interesting. I'm glad you posted this. I noticed this very thing yesterday while fishing. I immediately remembered this post when I glanced down at my sonar, and for one, fleeting moment, I knew what was going on:wink: .

    Jon
     
  7. onlyriverfish

    onlyriverfish Member

    Messages:
    319
    State:
    Nebraska
    Name:
    james
    Marty mines a HB 565 and a lowrance x125 (running dual).
    I figure the next unit I buy will have it, but gonna milk mine for all its worth til some big improvment is made. Data and GPS isnt enough of an upgrade (or color IMO).
    I see some of DH's pics of his sonar and it does the job. I do always carry a digital, but takin the time is anyother thing. Pretty much have to have the camera in hand ready to go to take pic.

    Havent tried "slowing "chart speed" to min then real quick get camera...." but that would be the method.

    Same with video recorder. Has to be hard mounted and waterproofed with just one button at console to hit so its "on". Catching the bite and landing it no.1 all else second
     
  8. onlyriverfish

    onlyriverfish Member

    Messages:
    319
    State:
    Nebraska
    Name:
    james
    Hey Eric, Thats very smart to change nets per the sonar observation. Thanks for sharing that. Q: have you added any weight to the 3/8 to sink faster?
     
  9. Kat-addict

    Kat-addict New Member

    Messages:
    114
    State:
    ohio
    I live here in southern Oh and when we locate shad on nearby lakes they usually just look like a lot of small fish together...not a big cloud of fish...these would be quite small shad(around an inch and a half),but rather, lots of smaller size fish in one location. Generally,in order to see these like this on the graph,they will have to be deeper,ie...more than 5 feet ! If they are shallow they will scatter before you see em on the graph. I suppose the "normal " size here would be around 4-5 inches long. I hope this helps anyone trying to thrownet them !
     
  10. EricM

    EricM Active Member

    Messages:
    362
    State:
    Harrison TN
    Name:
    Eric Maurer
    I throw an 8' net with the 3/8 mesh, and it's already weighted at 1 1/2 lbs per foot - it was a little expensive, but worth it. Those smaller meshes need the extra weight in deeper water!
     
  11. StuBone278

    StuBone278 New Member

    Messages:
    625
    State:
    south central Louisiana
    I don't know about yall, but I haven't even been getting arcs lately, in 17 feet of water, I've seen maybe a few arcs, but mostly little balls of things coming on the returns...Sometimes if I'm lucky i'll get half an arc, and I've leveled my transducer....if I decide to let the sonar unit tell me if its a fish, EVERYthing on the return is a fish....:confused2:
     
  12. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    If it's legal in your state, use a net with a 5/8" mesh instead of 3/8" -- you'll need only about 1 lb per ft and it'll reliably get shad out of 30 to 40 ft of water, if you've got enough lead line. But in the summer, you shouldn't need to look more than 5 or 10 ft deep, so just about any old cheap 3/4 lb per ft net should do the trick.

    Those 1.5lb/ft nets are man killers - too heavy and too hard to throw. I've got a 12 ft radius net with 1.5lbs/ft that just sits in the garage and mocks me - it seemed like a good idea at the time, but I'm not man enough to throw that monster... :crazy:
     
  13. Scott Daw

    Scott Daw New Member

    Messages:
    2,002
    State:
    Allentown, Pennsylvania
    thanks for the tip.
     
  14. onlyriverfish

    onlyriverfish Member

    Messages:
    319
    State:
    Nebraska
    Name:
    james
    I've not found but one or two arches to set up on this year but have been catching blues just fishing the right structure. Expecting post spawn or when river calms down for a length to sonar more. No complaints here though....

    I think higher water plus debre this year puts more fish along banks where sonar is difficult.

    Maybe too, the fish are busy swimming up river more (to my area):big_smile: We'll see.:cool2:
     
  15. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    Messages:
    4,339
    State:
    West Tn
  16. onlyriverfish

    onlyriverfish Member

    Messages:
    319
    State:
    Nebraska
    Name:
    james
    Geez Pete-Did you have to show what we are all missing not having one of those expensive tools:lol:.
    Catfishhunter was just raving about his the other day too!

    Thought I'd "milk" my one season old "std sonar" but its getting harder all the time.:lol: Hmmm...

    Thanks for the pics.
    So you really loving that thing?
     
  17. EricM

    EricM Active Member

    Messages:
    362
    State:
    Harrison TN
    Name:
    Eric Maurer
    Aw, Pete! Just when I get my fish down to under $100 per pound, you had to post that and now I can see that the price is going to have to go back up again! Great toy, er, tool!:tounge_out:
     
  18. onlyriverfish

    onlyriverfish Member

    Messages:
    319
    State:
    Nebraska
    Name:
    james
    StuBone278,

    Another potentially important aspect that came to mind is that "area of bottom coverage" on a sonar varies with the "sensitivity" level setting. I have been running a lower sensitivity level due to the qty of suspended particles in river lately with high water and that = smaller cone reading. You been doing the same?

    Been meaning to do some testing in calm water with a balloon rig and weight for actual test at various depths with different sensitivity settings, but haven't taken the time yet. Gotta get on that. Have a HB on one side and x125 on the other so comparison would be interesting.
     
  19. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    Messages:
    4,339
    State:
    West Tn
    Shoot guys. I think my fish are only costing around $398. per pound now. LOL
    It does help out on finding stuff fast. :smile2:
    Pete
     
  20. George Graham

    George Graham New Member

    Messages:
    12
    State:
    Texas
    I was fishing some flats next to a dam in mid april and was seeing lots of arches and some large "blobs", thought might be shad, but did not have long enough lead rope on cast net to check, "blob" appeared to be 25 to 30 feet down.

    have any of you seen this situation???