How to Read Fish Finder Screen
Lessons in Reading a Fish Finder Transducer
Among all the devices that were invented for the fisherman, the fish finder might just be the most incredible. However, it may be difficult to learn at first but once you get the hang of it, you can do it with your eyes closed.
When using a fish finder, you should remember that the SONAR is reflected on the screen of the fish finder in a right to left direction. This means that the latest reading is the one which is being shown on the right. This kind of direction may not be a problem if the boat you are on is moving. The SONAR which is reflected on the right most is the area which your boat just passed. However, it becomes tricky when the boat is not moving. When the boat is still, this is not considered a reason for the SONAR to stop moving. It continues its right to left movement. So, you will be seeing the same SONAR reading repeatedly.
If you look it up in the market, you may be able to find three kinds of fish finders. We should take a closer look at them just in case.
Dedicated Fish Finders with Traditional Transducers
The image shown above is an example. This is a Hummungbird PiranhaMax 190c. This one has the most basic of features and displays its readings on a 3.5 inch colored screen. It is classified as an entry-level fish finder.
As you may have noticed, the image reflects two number on the top left of it screen. These two readings indicate the depth of the reading and the temperature of the water. The temperature only shows up on the screen if it has a sensor which reads the temperature. It is also possible to read how fast the boat is going. However, it is not available in all the models.
Take a look at the thick red wavy line that the monitor of the image above is showing. This line indicates the bed of the body of water where you are at. If you may have noticed, when a thick red wavy line has green beneath it, it signifies that this portion has a soft bottom. This kind of reading is caused by SONAR waves bouncing back from the bottom after penetrating the bed deeply. If it is a soft bottom, it causes the waves to bounce back slowly. If the monitor only shows a thick red wavy line, then this indicates that the bed beneath your boat is hard.
You may see that there are green readings sticking out of the red wavy line. This indicates a structure on the bottom and it should be noted that fish loves to hang out in certain structures. So, this is the best place to look for your catch. If you see arches above the structure, then that is a definite indication that you have hit the jackpot.
High Frequency Down or Side Imaging Finders
This model that you are seeing above is an image of a Hummingbird 398ci Side imaging fish finder. The sides images are made possible by the side imaging transom mount transducer. This is specially made for this model. In addition, it can also read the depth of the water which is indicated at the top left corner of its screen. It is also able to read the water’s temperature and its speed.
If you noticed, the images that it reflects are clearer compared to the previous model. This is because it uses a higher frequency. The resulting image is the same as when you stick your head into the water, or taking a look at your self at its surface.
Since it takes a view sideways, the line you see going through the middle is the water’s surface. Considering you are using the above color scheme, the potion which has a dark blue color in both sides is the water level. The one with a purple shade is signifies the bottom of the water. You should take note that there are other models which allows for a change in the color scheme. There are others which allow you to change it into brown or green. It practically depends on the model that you bought.
Upon closer examination, you may be able to see various tree-like structures at the left side of the screen. It is the one right beneath the depth reading. At times, you may even see its shadows.
If you look even closer at the monitor, you may be able to see tiny dots on the screen. These are fish, however, they are too small, and so this might still be baitfish. Putting that aside, you are still on the right track. If there are baitfishes, the bigger fish are more likely on the way as well.
This goes the same at the right side of the monitor. If you look further down, you may see images of trees and twigs yet again. The tiny dots may also be debris from different structures floating around at the water.
If you put the two models mentioned above side by side, you will truly see the difference. For a regular fish finder, the small school of fish seen in the down or side imaging fish finder, may be mistaken as a regular structure in the one mentioned formerly.
The only drawback for this kind of model is that it can only extend its field of vision to around 100-200 feet deep. If you are fishing in a deeper body of water, it may not do you any good.