Nov 05 2020 All Articles

Taking some of the mystery out of fish finders

Taking some of the mystery out of fish finders

Find yourself fishing for information on how to use a fish finder?

Tune in to the wisdoms of people like Adam Clancey who is keen to take the mystery out of reading fish finders. As he says, it’s one thing to have a fish finder (or sounder) on your boat – it’s another to know how to read it.

Adam, the author of Fishing New Zealand, says that unravelling what your screen is showing is quite straight forward once you have seen a few different scenarios. When interviewed by NZ Fishing News, he said the good news is, in time, fish finder users should be able to tell snapper from other fish and spot kingfish and kahawai.

Adam shares a whole heap of fish finder tips here:

  • The first thing that is important with any fish finder is the correct installation and setup. Most often it’s a good job to leave to the experts
  • Make sure you get a transducer with enough power to meet your needs. Most transducers perform well up to 100 metres, but if you are planning on some deepwater fishing, you will need to choose your transducer carefully. Transducer positioning can be a real problem and varies from boat to boat
  • Your target(s) may vary from the traditional ‘arch’ to just a streak or even a massive blob of colour
  • One thing most fish finders do is give a shadow that can fool you into thinking there is more of a sign than there actually is
  • If you have fish on the fish finder that look like they’re a decent size and you are getting no bites, two things might be happening. The fish may not be able to be caught on rod and reel, or it may simply be that the fish aren’t feeding at that time
  • Don’t get despondent! Rest assured - as you grow more accustomed to your fish finder, you will be able to identify actively feeding fish by their movement or by their position in the water column
  • When lure fishing, ensure you have your lure in the cone of the transducer
  • Changes in temperature at different depths can give a false reading, and at other times large amounts of plankton or small animal life can be in the water. To avoid this, reduce your gain a little (the gain controls the sensitivity of the fish finder), so only more solid targets show up
  • Interference from air bubbles – caused by wake that has passed you, and electrical interference – can be a problem. If this is ongoing, try increasing your noise rejection. In most cases, auto gain and auto range work fine, but these are both worth adjusting if there are consistent issues
  • Make good use of the settings on your fish finder. For example, the A scope shows the strength of the actual echo by displaying its width and colour
  • Zooming in on an area of interest is a good way to see what is going on and identify targets
  • Some people prefer to leave fish alarms and the likes off and focus on the picture instead
  • Turn your fish-finder demo mode off! Fish finders don’t lie unless someone makes the mistake of leaving the new unit on demo mode.

For the full story, click here.