Fishing and Fishfinders.

Fishing and Fishfinders.

In the last few years fishing has gone from only a man with a rod on a boat to 30 metre fishing boats using radars, chart plotters and all-important fish finders. Angling has moved from a passtime using only natural instinct to using ultimate fish tracking technology.

When it comes to fishing, both for sport or commercial purposes, the use of fish-finders has become an integral part of finding the perfect catch in any blind environment.

What exactly is a fish finder?

Fish finders originated from fathometer technology that was used sonar to determine water depth. A fathom is a unit of water depth measurement, thus the choice of naming the instrument  a fathometer.

Fishfindes first were made to detect swimming schools of fish and debris underwater using the same sonar technology that a fathometer used and could also detect water depth. Since fish finders did the same job as fathometers did, the two devices merged over time and became one.

Simply put, a fish finder works by shooting sonar into the water and which bounces back to the fish finder after hitting fish or the bottom of the sea. The distance is then determined by the strength of the signal returning to the fish finder.  Strong signals appear in red while weaker signals will show up as green or blue signals. Large fish with appear as large red individual marks and schools of fishes with look like dense red marks.

How to optimise your fish finder?

In order optimise your fish finder for accuracy under your boat, the fish finder must be properly setup and tuned. To do this, start by turning off any noise or clutter reduction. Next reduce the gain to zero. With the boat drifting or at slow speed, set the depth range to 2.5 times the water depth. Slowly increase the gain setting increased until you pick up the bottom at 30 meters. Continue increasing the gain until there’s a faint repeat image of the bottom again at 60meters. At this point, the gain is set, and you should see the bottom at 30 meters and a secondary image of the bottom at 60 meters. There will likely be clutter on screen so noise reduction can be increased until weak signals are filtered out.

A good frequency to use with this method is 200 kHz in water less than 60 meters and 50 kHz in water deeper than 120 meters. One benefit of using 50 kHz is that the beam angle is much wider than 200 kHz, so fish that are not directly under the boat can still be seen.

Fish finders are available for different levels of use, from sports fishermen to full commercial fishing crews. Fish finders offer all in one location info with most offering marine radar, GPS and compass capabilities. They offer an ability to worry less about locating fish and more about actually reeling in the big ones.

Action Gear offers a range of fish finders from the Garmin brand and offers expertise and superb repair policies on fish finders and fishing gear.

Look out tomorrow for a review of Garmin’s latest fish finders.


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