Fish Finder Shopping Guide
How To Choose The Right Fish Finder
Before you invest in today’s state of the art fish finder, it is important to be able to differentiate between them. As the buyer, it can be quite confusing especially when faced with the jargon used. Thanks to experts, there are a few points to keep in mind when shopping for a good fish finder that will suit your needs.
The higher the frequency, the better the details
Different models of transducers or fish finders are known to emit different frequencies which usually result in different details of images that are projected onto the screen. According to expert opinion, the higher frequency transducers are known to be great at producing crystal clear images especially in shallow water. Low frequency transducers on the other hand usually work best for deep water or commercial fishing vessels.
In order to have the best of both worlds, you need to consider purchasing a fish finder which can switch between low and high frequencies especially depending with the depth of water. If you prefer rowing your boat out into the open ocean or fresh water lakes, having a multiple frequency transducer is the best choice.
Depth is determined by wattage
If you are looking for a fish finder that can scan the deepest recesses of the lake bed, you need to have a unit with high wattage. This means that the more power a transducer receives, the more effective it is in transmitting and receiving signals. Fishermen who prefer to determine river and lake depth should instead use a fish finder operating at 100 and 250 watts. A transducer operating at 1000 watts on a 50 kHz frequency will be able to scan over 4000 feet deep.
Difference between transom, in hull and thru-hull transducers
Transducers are designed to be installed in different ways but this has its benefits and drawbacks. In-hull transducers can be easily mounted on boats but this method will not offer quality signal when compared to thru-hull transducer. For a thru-hull transducer, a hole is required which should be drilled through the boat but this is not an option for wooden boats.
To ensure proper installation, special housing should be considered especially depending on the material used to make the boat. For example, when installing a thru-hull on a metal boat without incorporating proper housing, it could lead to problems. Experts recommend plastic housing for fish finders especially if one has a metal or fiberglass vessel.
In order to avoid confusion about the right transducer housing, you need to consider buying a transom fish finder instead. This can be easily attached to and removed from the boat’s outer hull. Transom transducers won’t work well with sailboats due to the ship’s constant heeling. If your boat engine is mounted inboard, turbulence will affect its signal.
After you have evaluated all the above aspects, you are now ready to buy the right unit that will work with your boat. If you are in doubt, do not hesitate to inquire from a professional or get advice from a sonar and fish finding equipment expert.
How Do Fish Finders Work?
The technology behind portable fish finders is the commonly recognized SONAR (SOund Navigation And Ranging). Portable fish finders emit these SONAR waves through the water at a constant speed. As the wave bounces off an object and returns, the portable fish finder will determine your distance from the object. This devices, then, can scan the water and potentially map out the bottom. Every brand and model has a different method for how this information will be graphically presented with some only offering numerical values, others displaying contours of the bottom, and some only representing actual “fish.”
Portable fish finders are a technology indiscriminate on what it will detect as a fish. This means that any old flotsam or jetsam, beer can, plant life or other floating object will register as a fish. The best advice, then, would be to use the finder as a general guide while keeping that information in mind.
Don’t expect to be a pro using a portable fish finder for your first time. Practice makes perfect. It takes experience to realize that a single hit isn’t a reason to cast a line. Scouting the area and getting a better sense of the water depth as well as the physical depth of the fish is generally a superior idea.
There are also variable settings that you can use when practicing with your portable fish finder. One possible variable you can toy with is the “window.” This is the viewing range in the water which you can manually adjust. Typically, the first ten feet of water will have low volumes of fish. Instead, many anglers will focus the window on the bottom ten feet so that the SONAR will produce less background noise that might confuse the device.
A smart technology that many portable fish finders possess is the ability to guess at what type of fish it is detecting. This is a useful technology for beginners, but more advanced users will turn this off so that they get a greater amount of information to draw a education conclusion from.
Don’t expect that a portable fish finder is suddenly going to have fish from a thousand fathoms deep jumping onto your line. It takes practice, patience, experience, and knowledge to master the technology in conjunction with actually casting a line. This technology, though, is nearly invaluable in estimating potential fishing spots. This means more productive outings and less frustration.