A Comprehensive Guide On How To Read A Fish Finder

Fish finders are technically advanced products that are designed for novice as well as experienced anglers. The beyond compare technology has made fishing a really interesting task. Fish finders are designed to locate, catch and target fish under the surface of the water. The incredibly enhanced technology works greatly to measure the levels of depths, structures, locations where fish might be taking covers and speed. Some devices are designed to check the ever-changing temperature in the terrain. learning how to read a fish finder is knowledge you need on a boat.

How does it work?

A transducer is a device that makes it all possible by converting the electronic impulses (released by a fish finder) to sound waves. A transducer should be rightly installed under the boat. From where it functions. As the sound waves meet the target or any structure, an immediate echo is produced and is instantly picked up by the transducer. Finally, the transducer manages to convert it into electronic impulses. The impulses are furthermore sent to the fish finder. And you would see an on-screen avatar of the object whether target or structure.

Types of fish finders

There are various types of fish finders like grey fish finders, fish finders with color display and GPS fish finders.

  1. Grey Fish finders

    Many would be of the belief that a black or grey screen fish finder would be less effective than the colored ones. The answer is not really! The grey fish finders are equally competitive and useful. They are designed to function with some advanced technologies. The use of these technical features makes a grey one as effective as a colored one. Checkout the specifications that a grey fish finder normally has.

    • GPS technology to charter the boat location
    • User-friendly and easy to navigate screens
    • Designed to function in all weather and water conditions
    • Noise-reduction features to catch a fast moving target
    • Can search the exact location
    • In-built trackback capability
    • Speedometer (to let you know the speed of the boat)
    • Lesser in price
    • Side scan ability to inform you about the targets in the surroundings
    • Zoom in/out
    • Depth alarm
    • Fish alarm
    • 265 shades of grey
  2. Color Display Fish finders

    Fish finders with color screens are comparatively recent technology. Unlike a grey-screen fish finder. Let’s scout out a few specifications of colored fish finders.

    • Millions of colors to give great detailing
    • pops out the fish and underwater objects on the screen
    • easy to see in brightness
    • works best in weather conditions like dark and cloudy
    • good on eyes
  3. Fish finders and GPS Combo

    Not all the fish finders come with a GPS. Most of the time anglers have to buy a separate GPS for the tracking the target. But now almost all the big brands for fishing manufacture the fishing products with highly efficient GPS combos. It’s a useful combo as it saves your money. You get the benefits of two for the price of one. All you need is to install the unit and start working.

Type of info a Fish finder Displays

A fishfinder is usually designed to gather the required data from the underwater terrain. Let’s have a look at the fields it covers.

  • Depth
    Water has different levels of depth where fish reside. A fish finder has an inbuilt capacity to explore all the different levels of depths, containing the fish hiding covers. Each device displays the depth in its way. Numerical displays are utilized to illustrate the underwater conditions of various depths.
  • Location
    Advanced techniques like traditional sonar, side imaging, and down imaging are used to locate the fish. Side imaging pictures the location of the fish all around the boat. Down imaging would visualize the fish targets passing under the boat. With the help of sonar, GPS, and the above-mentioned features, locating fish is quite easy to manage.
  • Temperature
    Underwater temperature is quite different from the outer temperature. Below the water, the temperature keeps changing every hour. And it really may affect the biting time. So for the professional anglers, to know the temperature of underwater terrain is quite significant. Fish finders have inbuilt capabilities to display the transitions of temperature on screen. Normally its displayed in a numerical way.
  • Structure
    Underwater temperature is quite different from the outer temperature. Below the water, temperature keeps changing every hour. In addition, it really may affect the biting time. So for the professional anglers, to know the temperature of underwater terrain is quite significant. Fish finders have inbuilt capabilities to display the transitions of temperature on screen. Normally it’s displayed in a numerical way.

How To Read Fish Finder?

The readings that show up on your device’s screen are known as ‘Echoes.’ Technically speaking, the highest and the lowest echoes are identified as ‘bottom.’ And anything between them is considered to be the structure or fish.

  • Down scanning/ Down Imaging
    Down imaging works from right to left side of the screen. Just the way a traditional sonar functions.
  • Side imaging
    It works from top to bottom on the screen of the device. The top object is concluded to be the boat. And all other bottom objects are what passing under the boat.
    Let’s take a look at the reading methods in different types of fish finders.
  • Reading a colored Fish finder
    In a colored fish finder, the color presentation is the way to illustrate the underwater conditions. As a high-density fish school passes near the boat, stronger reflections are displayed in red or orange hues. While blue or green colored icons are displayed to show the weaker ones. Other than the graphical display, the numerical display presents the various depths underwater.
  • Reading a black and white fish finder
    A black and white fish finder works almost the same way. Different levels of depth are displayed numerically. While the presence of fish school or other structures or sea bed is illustrated in images. The grey fish finders come in around 256 shades of grey. And all are used to present the levels of density of a fish school or structure.
  • Fishfinders with chart plotter
    It’s a method where you have a split screen. One side displays the navigational details and the other shows the sonar readings.

How to Read Hummingbird Fish finder?

  1. Press the power tab to activate the device. Press the menu key and scroll down to the option named as ‘Simulator’, it’s one of the three options.
  2. Using simulator and owner’s manual simultaneously gives a better understanding of using the device.
  3. Top of the simulator displays a horizontal line that designates the surface. A small zero in the upper right corner designates the surface. A large font in the upper left corner shows the depth level.
  4. Top left of the screen shows the temperature indicator. Right below it, three lines would be visible. First for elapsed time, second for distance traveled, third for average speed.
  5. The large fonts displayed right under the box containing three lines (as mentioned above) stand for current speed of the boat.
  6. Lower right corner of the screen shows the approximate depth of the surrounding area.
  7. All the data on the screen moves from the right to the left corner of the screen.
  8. Know the type of bottom surface ca be detected by the bands on the lower screen. A thin line stands for a compact surface. The thicker line for the sandy or muddy surface, broken lines for rocky bottoms.
  9. What’s the condition of the surface? Know it with the bands on the upper screen. A thin line stands for a clear surface, a dotted or thicker line shows the debris or algae on the surface.
  10. A colorfully dotted and horizontal line traveling all across the screen shows thermocline. That is the changed level of temperature of the water above and below.
  11. Fish can be displayed in profile position or as arches. Orange indicates the fish right under the boat. Blue symbols are the fish in the outer edge of the perimeter.
  12. The depth of the fish is displayed numerically, right above the fish symbol.

How to Read a Lowrance Fish finder?

  1. Before you turn it on, make sure it’s properly installed according to the guidelines given in the manual. Then turn on the power button.
  2. Upper left-hand corner indicates the water depth under the boat.
  3. Both upper right and lower right corners indicate the depth range of the water in the split-screen.
  4. Top right side (split screen) shows the clutter in the water. It shows the marking indicating the algae, fish, air bubbles or plankton.
  5. A shaded grey line near the bottom of the screen indicates the water bottom structure like; hard, rocky, muddy etc.
  6. Irregular shapes rising from the bottom are trees or other objects.
  7. Arches stand for fish.

How to Read a Deeper Fish finder?

  1. The top of the main screen is about the physical water surface. The bottom about water depth and structures in the seabed.
  2. Deeper displays only about the things lying right under the boat.
  3. The right corner of the screen indicates the recent sonar info. The edge indicates the current information. As you get a new update, the view would scroll to the left side.
  4. Click on the history button to explore the recent spots.
  5. As Deeper spots the target, you get a sound notification. Sounds can be muted.
  6. A motionless Deeper would send you a fish alarm, as it passes near the boat.
  7. If the bottom structure is hard, you will get strong signal. Orange color for the hard bottom, brown for medium and black for the softest.
  8. Bottom of the water is always displayed in strong color and strong signals.
  9. Top of the screen shows multicolored lines. These show the clutter level in the water.
  10. The screen is sensitivity-controlled. Increased sensitivity shows more sonar returns (including the debris) and decreasing it would display lesser.

How to Read a Garmin Fish finder?

  1. Switch on the device.
  2. Go to the menu button.
  3. You will get options to Select depth, temperature, speed, distance even the language.
  4. You will be asked to turn on the fish alarm when it’s in the shallow water.
  5. The right side of the screen will display all the data of objects under the boat at the moment. All the other data to the left shows the order data.
  6. Numerical details like depth, temperature are shown on the left top side of the screen.
  7. The solid yellow line in the bottom show the sonar returns. Weaker returns are showed in blue and red color.
  8. Solid structures in the bottom are also showed as yellow.
  9. The numbers on the right side show the sonar range
  10. Fish floating in the water are shown in arch shapes.
  11. Backlight can be turned low or high.
  12. Log option in the menu is used to know the temperature and depth trends. Number only option in the menu informs you of the temperature, depth, water speed in numbers.
  13. Range option in the Garmin would normally set the range automatically. However, you can set it manually as well.
  14. With the zoom option in the menu, you can have a zoomed view of the terrain.

More information : how to install fish finder

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