How to Use a Fish Finder

Have you ever spent hours just waiting to catch fish, and then you go home empty-handed or with only very few fish? It probably because you drop the line in wrong places where there are no or very little fish.

So, how to get more fish in each your fishing trip? This is a good way to go for you: getting a fish finder which will help you find the best locations with more fish.

What is a fish finder?

What is a fish finder

A fish finder is a sonar tool to locate fish in different sizes. Designed for both amateur and professional anglers, it will help you find out the location of fish and the depth of the water.

This useful tool can be used when you go fishing on the sea, rivers or lakes – any water that fish may hide in.

A fish finder is a particularly ideal accessory for many types of fishing such as kayak, ice, and bay fishing.

In the past, this tool was sold at relatively high prices in shop specializing in the fishing equipment in America and Europe and some Asian countries.

In Western Europe, in about 15 years ago, a fish-finder with liquid crystal display screen (LCD) and the acceptable resolution was at the prices which were not cheap.

With such high prices, although amateur anglers may afford to buy a fishing boat, they are rather afraid of taking a fish-finder from shops.

Recently, with a same amount of money, you can own not only a fish finder that is as good as professional anglers with a color screen and various functions but also other useful tools such as GPS navigation devices for your fishing trip.

If you just need a fish finder to make the bottom of the water and fish visible, you just spend only 15 times cheaper than it was in previous days.

Basic configuration

In general, there are three components which are display, transducer and power source in a fish finder.


fish finder

This central unit of a fish finder consists of screen and buttons. The image displayed on the screen are usually the water level, bottom and schools of fish in between.

On the basis of data that is received by the fish finder and the settings, the shape, distribution, concentration, and hue of all factors displayed on the screen will vary.

The buttons help users to adjust the fish finder’s functions, and how it displays information or images on the screen to make it suitable with each of their purposes, time or places of fishing trips.



This is an adapter which changes electrical power into mechanical energy when transmitting signals and vice vase when receiving them.

In some modern fish finders, additional sensors are also installed in the transducer to measure the speed of vessels and water’s temperature.

This unit is mounted at the bottom of the boat and immersed in the water.

It can move its “scanning focal distance” from about 250 mm to 400 mm to change the angle and distance of detection.

Power source

The source of energy of a fish finder could be a standard marine battery which supplies power to the display and transducer via wires.

To make it safe to use, it is imperative that this part should be put in a waterproof box.

How to use a fish finder?

A fish finder is so helpful to anglers. With it, they can make the better decisions when they find the kinds of fish they want, but there are some unexpected obstacles in the water.

Besides, a fish finder will save much of time to find the ideal location to drop the line which may be hidden by water.

However, for people who have never use this tool before, understanding the signals, charts… displayed on the screen is not an easy task. Not like the one in which they just turn on a TV then needn’t do anything else to watch the “life under the water” which was recorded by robots or drivers.

Anyway, it is not something impossible to learn. This article will show you how to use a fish finder properly.

Read the manual carefully

This may be bored to do it because of the technical information in the handbook, but it is not too stressful or difficult to read the directions or structure of the fish finder in the manure.

This action will help you to be familiar with this tool and may figure out generally how your fish finder works.

Turn on the fish finder

It may be quite strange for you at the first time of using a fish finder because you may wonder how you can use it correctly or smoothly without making mistakes.

Don’t worry! You just turn on it and let it run in automatic mode.

Then, to be get used to using your unit, let take some time – maybe five or ten minutes around where you fish in like bays, sea or lakes.

Your task here is watching the images displayed on your fish finder’s screen continuously to see how it changes when you move to the different areas.

When you feel familiar with it, you can switch it to other custom modes to make it meet your requirement more.

Adjust fish finder

At the first time of practicing this action, you are advised to change the features of your fish finder one by one.

It means that you should start your adjustment with only one feature in each time.

This may take much time, but it is helpful to understand clearly every feature of the tool.

Let try doing it with one of the main settings which is Sensitivity. When the Sensitivity is changed, the power will change based on the rule which shows that the lower sensitivity, the lower quality of the display on the screen.

To determine what is the optimal sensitivity setting for the mode you choose, let try setting power from 75% to 100%.

Suitable speed

Most of the fish finders are adjusted to visualize things exactly in the water at the speed of 120km/s.

It could work at higher speed if you leave it to tilt forward about 2 to 3 degrees.

However, if you append this device to your fishing boat, you need not make its angle exceed 1 degree.

Read a fish finder’s screen

It is obvious that a fish finder is an incredible supporter in each fishing trip provided that you understand what it displays on its screen.

You first should bear in mind that the information is performed from the right to left.

You can know the depth and temperature of the water by the numbers showed on the upper left side of the fish finder’s screen.

Besides, the other information you need to pay attention to are soft and hard water bottom, the position of underwater plants and structure.

Understanding the colors of what displayed on the screen is an important task.

For example, the color of the wavy line will indicate the soft or hard bottom: The red line without any trace of other colors suggests that your current position has a hard bottom.

Final Thoughts

Fish finders are and more popular because of their significant advantages, so know how to use this tool will help anglers more successful in each fishing trip. Hopefully, my story is helpful for you who are keen on fishing.

If you are looking for more information than you can check outdoor blog list on feedspot.

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