How To Use a Fishfinder?

Traditionally, many anglers have often relied on their gut to locate and catch fish, however, using a fishfinder can open a whole new window to your fishing world. Most fish finders in use today have a lot of features with amazing capabilities.

Any fishing enthusiast can use this device to locate fish because the device technology can easily clear the watery fog that alienates man from fish. Although learning how to use a fishfinder may take some time, the benefits are worth the efforts. Once you have unpacked your fish finder, it is important to visit the manufacturer’s website and register your device to claim your warranty.

Read The Fish Finder Manual

The first lesson on how to use a fishfinder starts by reading your product manual in order to familiarize yourself with the workings of the device. To get the most out of your fish finder, you can use the device in conjunction with a chartpotter. You can do this by splitting your screen into two displays to accommodate the fishfinder and chartpotter windows. There are many benefits of viewing the split window compared to the traditional, kayak fish finder window because you will be able to record various positions; thereby enhancing your fish finding ability. In case you have a device that does not have the combined capability, simply upgrade your software.

Up to Date the device software

Before upgrading your device, check the device software to make sure it is up to date. You can install the software on a blank SD card and then place it on the unit’s SD card port, then follow the installation process through. During installation, make sure your fish finder unit has a proper and adequate power supply and a protective fuse. To ensure seamless device operation, trolling motors should not in any way interfere with the fishfinder operation. For example, if you are running a 12V trolling motor, avoid running your fish finder with the same power source as your sonar unit.

Mount Your Fish Finder

You can mount the best fish finder using a trolling motor, portable mount, transom mount or hull mount. Once this is done, turn on your fishfinder. The unit will initially use automatic or preprogrammed settings. You can also choose to set your own custom settings or run the device in manual mode, depending on the fishing conditions and your level of experience. The easiest way to learn how to use a fish finder is to set it on automatic mode and move around the lake for a few minutes. Next, check the display on your fishfinder to get a feel of the waters and adjust the settings, one feature at a time until you get the best settings. Below is a list of some important fish finder features.

Sensitivity Setting

Sensitivity setting like as Humminbird Helix 5 SI GPS is one of the most important features on the fishfinder, since it controls the power. As a rule of the thumb, the lower the sensitivity power, the lower the quality of view in your fishfinder. To begin the sensitivity setting process, set your sensitivity in the range of 75% to 100%, until you find a customized, optimal setting.


The ability to use your fishfinder and plotter simultaneously, makes it easy to track marked history as well as zoom at the bottom with lots ease. Understanding how to use this concept works will also give you a glimpse of how your fishing area looks like. When zooming, try to zero in on the last 5’ or 10’ of water to obtain a good bottom cover. While learning how to use the zoom feature, take time to identify the thermocline. These are basically the barriers that are found between layers of water and fish

Fish ID

The Fish ID setting will help you read the fish arches from your screen. When doing this, it is important to recognize that hard returns from fish and the speed of your boat can cause hard arches to form on your display. This reading will give you a more accurate picture of what is taking place under the water.

 Auto-Depth Feature

The Auto Depth is a pre-programmed feature that instructs the unit to auto-scan the depth at the bottom. This feature is very helpful when you are still learning how to use the fishfinder. However, once you become acquainted with the device, it is important to know that a smaller display window, means better screen resolution. Most professional anglers prefer to stop the scan about 10 feet below the depth of the lake. The horizontal lines that appear on the display window are known as depth cursor. These lines will help you know exactly how deep the fish are before you drop the bait. The cursor can be adjusted up and down.

 Suppressor Setting

Suppressor setting is the other important setting on your fishfinder. The suppressor setting will tell you about the noise levels in the background and guide you on how to filter the information out to ensure maximum clarity. To make the changes more efficiently, make sure your transducer is properly mounted. If the settings in your transducer are too high, your sonar signal can be blocked and this will make fish tracking process difficult.

 Important Transducer setting tips for your fishfinder

Your fish finding results can be greatly affected by the turbulence coming from the boat and how well the transom transducer is mounted. To overcome, the latter challenge, you need to adjust your transducer and change its location, until you get a clear water flow. When choosing the location for your transducer, make sure it is close to the center line of your boat. Transom transducer must always be installed using a transducer mount board and an effective adhesive sealant.

The transducer should also maintain contact with the water at all times. A careful transducer installation process is even more critical if you are using down imaging fish finder and side imaging sonar. If you have any doubts about mounting or using a fishfinder, do not hesitate to consult a professional. Lastly, the best way to learn how to use a fish finder is going fishing every often and spending more time on the water.

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