How to Read Fish Finders Screen Properly

Before you decide to buy the Fish Finder GPS Combo equipment for your vessel, it is better you first learn how to use the device and its features to find the fish. You must have basic understanding sonar and interpreting the display.

Learning using the device will make the fishing easy and fun. By using a fish finder device on your boat, you can catch the fish like professionals. You will save lots of time roaming around in the water in the search for the fish.

Guide to Read Fish Finders Screen

  • Reading user manual:

The device of fish finder comes with user manual. Check the package for the user manual booklet to teach yourself How Fish Finders Work and How to Read it. Every device has their own operating system so the buttons configuration on the screen might be different for all the devices.

Some devices will have extra buttons to operate the screen, and some will only have 2 or 3 navigation buttons. The user manual will help you to know the use of each button. In the process, it is important to understanding fish finder images.

  • Understanding basic information:

All devices show the basic information on the screen such as the current location, speed of your boat, water temperature, depth of the water, etc. It is generally presented on the top or bottom of the screen. To understand the meanings of information take the help of the manual graphics. Location of this information will be varied depending on the model of your fish finder device.

  • The screen displays right to left:

The device generally displays the information from the right to left. The right one is the recent image taken by the device, and it will float from the right to left. All the left images will be old images so take this into consideration when you are deciding where to stop in the water.

If you are not moving, then you will see still constant image of the current location displaying from the right to left. You will see still image of the current position.

  • Side Image mode:

The side image mode on your screen work completely opposite. When you are using the side imaging display, read the information from top to bottom. In the side imaging, the topmost image is taken from the boat, and it goes down to the bottom of the water.

Everything that comes with the contact with the SONAR wave will be detected in the transducer, and it will be presented to your screen. Look for the little dots on the screen. The side imaging feature uses high frequency to scan the water so you will get a sharper image of the underneath of the boat.

Side Image mode
  • Detect fish on the screen:

Try to look for the blobs or small patches on the screen. You will see these patches are changing as the new images start receiving on the screen. These blobs will be fish schools or the small fish. If you are using sideways mode, then small fish will be shown in the dots.

You can analyze how much fish you are seeing in the water and decide where to stop. The big dots represent the big fish an smaller will have small fish detected on the radar. These dots will be floating in the middle of the seabed and your boat. Do not look for the fish on the seabed as those might be vegetation or the rocks. Concentrate on the area between your boat and the seabed.

Detect fish on the screen
  • Large shape dots:

The large dots indicate there are big fish floating underneath. Salmon, catfish and similar size fish will be displayed on the screen. It will be manifested in the arched shape dots on the fish finder displays if you are using the SONAR mode. In the side image mode, it will be displayed in large dots.

How Use Fish Finder
  • Using SONAR to identify the terrain:

The fish finder device is useful for understanding what kind of terrain underneath your boat. The thick line at the bottom of the seabed represents the bottom body of the water. If your display is showing more information on the bottom line, it means there is soft sand or mud beneath your boat.

If there is nothing below the bottom line, then there might be hard rock surface on the seabed. While fishing, it is important to know in which area you are fishing. In the most of the fish finder devices, the bottom line is marked in the red color.

fish finder device screen

Features of the fish finder device screen

  • Zoom in function:

You can use the zoom in a function similarly you use on your mobile camera to see the large image of the interested area. This enables you to take a closer look at the surface area and see what is lying underneath.

  • Adjust the color palette on the screen:

The device will allow you to change the color of your screen according to your need. You can adjust the color palette to get the clearer image. Some people prefer white background image. You can also change the color mode to black & white.

  • Increase the update speed:

Increasing update speed is used to get data faster than the default mode. This feature is useful when you want to scan the surface while moving. The slow update speed indicates your data is older. The fish that you have detected on the screen might have moved from that position.

  • Use graphical mode:

Some fish finder devices give you the option to select the screen to user-friendly graphical mode. Once the graphical mode is on, it will use the fish symbol to convert the dots from the radar to the fish graphic icons. The vegetation will translate to its original graphical image. The visual data is easy to read, and it helps to take the decision faster.

  • Tuning Sensitivity:

You can tune the sensitivity of the SONAR waves by adjusting the setting. The Fish Finder GPS Combo devices provide you the option of the auto-tuning which can tune the setting according to the requirement. Auto-tuning works best in all kind of environment.

The tuning generally requires when you are in the water where the bottom of the surface is filled with the algae, plank-tonic vegetation or the water is very turbid underneath. In this scenario, the display may fool you and indicate you that there are fish underneath. In such water, you can adjust the sensitivity until you get the clear picture of the water.

You will observe, there are many features available in your device design to fulfill a different purpose. Some will be helpful to find the location, and other will be suitable to detect the fish underneath of your boat. Try all of them one by one and understand how you can use it for better output.

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