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How To Read A Fish Finder

How To Read A Fish Finder
A fish finder is the most effective tool that is looking for very specific things in the water. By this tool, you can see what's going on under the surface of the water. It can help you to find the locations where certain species congregate or know better where your bait is in relation to the fish in the water.
A modern fish finder is a basic small computer with special software designed specifically shows you what's happening under the water. The sound waves bounce off of objects and fish, and the readout shows that where they bounce back from.
Not all fishermen are technology savvy, so it's nothing unexpected that many people don't understand the fish finder basics. The fish finder manufacturers should do a better job instructing their customers.

How to Use a Fish Finder and How To Read a Fish Finder.

Identifying Fish

The first thing you have to learn is how to identify fish. This technology converts the raw data received from the water into a user-friendly interface to help you explain what is below you.

1. Fish Icons

Fish icons are a helpful tool when you are getting started with a sonar device. Your fishfinder interprets the sonar data it receives and tries to find out if it is a fish or not. It's work based on factors like the size of the object and the strength of the sonar return.
Fish swim at different speeds, in different ways through the sonar cone your fishfinder sends. It doesn't mean that one uniform reading they always give. Sometimes many underwater objects or vegetation may give readings similar to that of a fish. So for the best accuracy using your fish finder, you have to figure out how to interpret the data yourself.
Fish Arches
If you have an arch fish finder, then hope to be receiving lines and arches from the transducer. This will save your time once you understand how it works.
They show fish as arches more clearly than Fish IDs. So when this fish finder shows bigger arches, it means it has detected a big fish. And when it shows small arches that mean it found a small fish. Though it might be a hassle trying to find out the rocks and plants. But with the time you'll get the idea of how to use and understand your fish finder.

2. Judging fish size

Now you have spotted some fish arches, it’s a great opportunity to understand what each arch tells us about how big the fish is. As earlier we said, a bigger arch means a bigger fish. But there's more to this as this may not be the case in every time. We are going to inspect this based on the thickness, width, and fullness of the arches.
Fish Arch Width
So, if the fish finder doesn't show you the original length of a fish, can it then show you the arch width? Yes, you’re probably going to get the actual size of the fish is you look at the width of the fish arch.
Always consider the thickness of the arch instead of the size. If the fish finder gives a return of a full arch, then it is probably going to be a big fish. So if you get a return of school of fish of a similar size, you can easily spot out the biggest one with the thickest size.
Half Or Full Fish Arches
The arches on your fish finder can either be half or full arches. Your fish finder screen will show a full arch if the fish swims to the whole sonar cone. But it will display a half arch if the fish swims through part of the sonar cone.
The most important thing to remember is that a half arch doesn't necessarily mean a small fish. There are still high possibilities it could be a big fish. So, the size of the arch doesn't show whether it is a big or small fish. We suggest you keep an eye on the thickness of the arch.
Finding Baitfish on Your fish Finder
Baitfish will show on your display as dashes, lines or even just dots, so they can sometimes seem like vegetation. There are 3 key differences though:

  1. The baitfish will usually be suspended in the water, not on the bottom.
  2. Your fish finder will show baitfish in a different color to vegetation.
  3. The baitfish will often be in balls, which will then be indicated like a cloud or cluster, rather than lines.

Finding a Trophy Fish on Your Fish Finder Display
The best way to find a trophy fish is to look at the previous tip we dropped earlier. Always look at the thickness or width of the fish arch that how you can find a bigger fish. It doesn't really make any difference if the arch is full or half.

3. Identifying Different Types of Underwater Structure

If you understand the sonar and interpret the display, you will be able to read the depth, determine the bottom contour of the underwater structure. And a cool feature that gives you a wide view of this is the depth finder feature.
The depth finder on a transducer gives you a clear view of the depth of the water underneath your boat. It also lets you know the type of fish to expect in that river. Generally, the depth finder feature can easily be seen in most fish finders on the top left corner of the screen.
Besides this, the depth finder feature does a fair job of showing you water temperature to help you know the type of fish you're going to catch.
Vegetation And Weeds
There are times you will need to choose areas with vegetation and plants as your potential areas to cast. Just like looking for logs, your fish finder will show a spotter return or vertical lines on your fish finder screen when you bump in areas with vegetation.
Particularly for carp fishing, small depressions will be an ideal feature to target. Frequently these depressions are created by the fish themselves. Spotting them with your fish finder is not difficult just lookout for small, v-shaped dips in the bottom contour as you reel or troll.
Points are slower than drop-offs, but spotting them is easy. Ensure you maintain a steady speed when trolling or reeling so you get an accurate reading on how steep the incline is. You should scan with a narrow sonar beam to get the clearest reading and to ensure you see any shelves or humps which wider beam scanning probably won't get.

4. Judging Bottom Type and Hardness

Whatever species you are hunting, knowing the hardness of the lake bottom and its consistency is another key piece of knowledge when you are trying to crack the code and get the fish biting. There are 3 factors to consider when working out if the bottom displayed on your fish finder is hard or soft: bottom color, bottom thickness, and the presence of a 2nd bottom return or not.
When your fish finder returns, a stronger echo, it then displays a thicker, bold line. That means, the bottom of the water it encounters is less porous and a lot harder. But what about if the transducer shows a thin, light line? Then it is showing you a softer water bottom like dirt.
Color and 2nd Returns
Another thing you have to understand about fishfinders is they do come in either color or Grayscale. Models with colored fish finder will show high and dark colors if the echoes returned by the transducer are powerful. In other words, if the transducer returns a stronger echo, then the fish finder will show a stronger or darker color.

Final Words

By using a fish finder you can easily find what kind of fish you're looking for. Many ways that a fish finder shows you the fish and floor of a body of water below you or around you will require you to spend a little bit of time out the water practicing with the tool. However, you’ll quickly be able to get the hang of it with a little bit of time.
In the end, all we can say is that fish finders are relatively easy to use. Now you know how it works and how to read a fish finder. If you are a beginner you will need some time to get use it but all of this is incredibly simple and easy to use. If you have any questions please let us know through the comment section.