The Benefits Of Using A Fish Finder

The Benefits Of Using A Fish Finder

If you're new to the boating and fishing game, there's a good chance you've heard a lot of noise surrounding fish finders. Also known as depth sounders and sonars, the primary objective of a fish finder is to locate and visualise objects beneath the surface of the water before relaying the information to anglers via the unit's display screen. It's of little wonder then that they're a must-have boating accessory for beginners and seasoned anglers alike. The majority of anglers around the country will know that for every good session on the water, there are plenty of fishless days in between. So, any advantage one can get over the fish is highly sought after. With the advent of fish finder and sonar technology, that advantage is worth its weight in gold. In days gone by, anglers had to rely on experience, word of mouth and lining up two or more landmarks to find fish.

However, as tends to be the case across most industries, technology has changed the sport of fishing at a rapid rate, and now we're blessed with the ability to see the fish before they see our baits and lures. Furthermore, fish finders can - depending on the model - provide anglers with valuable information such as water depth, water temperature, bottom structure, side scan, waypoint and GPS coordinate storage and more. Anyone who's spent hours trying to locate bait fish, likely fish-holding structures, drops off, bommies and reefs will understand just how beneficial having this information available really is.

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Garmin Fish Finders

How Do Fish Finders Work?

As much as we'd love them to, fish finders aren't going to point you in the direction of where the fish are holding. They will show you once they're under or beside the boat though. Fish finders are only as good as the sum of their parts, of which they consist of four: transmitter, transducer, receiver and display screen (head unit). Fish finders use sonar technology to relay images via a display screen. In order to do so, a transmitter sends a signal to the boat-mounted transducer, which in turn sends a sound wave or pulses into the water via a cone orientation. When the sound wave hits something solid, such as a fish or structure on the bottom, it reflects to the transducer which sends a visual to the head unit's screen via the receiver. By understanding that the sound waves are sent back and forth via a cone orientation, it should make it easy to remember that fish seen on the display screen will not always be located directly under the boat. They will be in the immediate vicinity though.

Garmin Striker Vivid Fishfinder Series

How To Read A Fish Finder

Learning how to read and interpret your fish finder's screen is critical to get the most out of any fish finder unit. As the old adage goes, 'You only get out what you put in', and it certainly rings true in this instance. Time on the water spent familiarising yourself with your particular unit will provide the most important lessons, however, there are plenty of explanatory videos available online to help you better interpret what you see on your screen. Do yourself a favour and read the manual, as every fish finder works in its own unique way, with different brands and models boasting variations in features. It also pays to adjust your settings based on the style of fishing you do, as well as your preference for display options, such as fish appearing as symbols or arches.

How To Choose The Right Fish Finder

With such a vast array of options on the market, it can be hard to know what sort of fish finder you should buy. As is the case with most things in fishing, you get what you pay for, however, price is not the be all and end all. There are some other things to consider before making your purchase:

Screen Mounting Space & Options

Consider the configuration and space available on your boat's dashboard. This should inform you of the screen size you should go for. While bigger screens provide better vision in various lighting conditions, they will hit your hip pocket harder. They obviously take up more room too, so you need to make an informed decision based on available space and your needs.

Transducer Types

They come in both single and dual frequency. Single-frequency transducers will perform best in shallow water across lakes, rivers and inshore bays, whereas dual-frequency transducers are required for offshore work. The higher the wattage of a transducer, the deeper the sonar signal can penetrate, which may also increase the clarity of sonar returns. Keep in mind, CHIRP (Compressed High Intensity Radar Pulse) doesn't need as much wattage as non-CHIRP transducers to achieve the same performance at depth.

Transducer Mounts

You will need to think about your mounting options when it comes to the transducer. They can be mounted in-hull if you have a fibreglass boat, but not an aluminium or wooden hull as the signal will be greatly affected. With that in mind, if you have either an aluminium or wooden hull, you are best off with a transom mount or through hull. Transom mounts are easy to install but only work to their maximum capacity in calmer waters and if travelling at a slower pace. Through hull mounts will provide the best performance but are harder to install and are more expensive.

Fishing Environments

If you only fish in one or two bodies of water that you know well, you should be able to get away with a fish finder, however, if you're looking to explore a range of new waters, you may want to consider a combo. These will not only provide you with fish finder technology but also the likes of GPS and chart plotting functionality.

Garmin EchoMap UHD Series

What Are Some Of The Top Fish Finders?

When it comes to the top fish finders on the market, it really depends on what your specific needs are and what you are trying to catch. However, Garmin is a very well-known and respected brand and is a go-to when it comes to the best fish finders. For example, the Garmin STRIKER Vivid series boasts seven new high-contrast colour display options that allow anglers to choose their preference based on time of day, location and contrast requirements. If you've ever been out on the water and struggled to see your screen due to reflection or poor light quality, you'll understand just how important this feature is. Notable features include Quickdraw Contours mapping software, that allows anglers to create and store up to two million acres of maps with one foot contours. This means you can recreate successful fishing trips with ease, and even share them with fellow fishos via the Garmin Quickdraw Community. The ability to also mark boat ramps is important for safety, especially if you get caught out in a storm when visibility is less than ideal.

Another great choice is the Garmin EchoMap UHD Series, which takes all of the best features of a high-performing fish finder with a seriously intuitive chartplotter and rolls it into one ultra-high-definition package. The series offers built-in support for Garmin's premium sonars, including traditional CHIRP, CHIRP ClearVü and CHIRP SideVü scanning sonars. It also supports Panoptix LiveScope™ LVS12 sonar, the Panoptix LiveScope system and the entire Panoptix™ all-seeing sonar line. It also comes preloaded with BlueChart g3 Australia and New Zealand coastal charts with Auto Guidance technology that uses your desired depth and overhead clearance to calculate routes and display a suggested path to follow.

Find The Best Fish Finders At Anaconda Today

When choosing the right fish finder for you, remember to always do your research so you find the right one that best suits your exact fishing needs. Before you head out though, ensure you are fully stocked up on all your other fishing needs such as fishing rods, fishing line, bait, fishing hooks, tackle boxes, fishing lures, jigs, coolers and more. Make sure you check out our Adventure Centre for more helpful tips and exciting destinations that you can visit with your friends, loved ones and family. If you liked the Benefits Of A Fish Finder, then you might also like some of our other articles for helpful fishing tips such as:

Find your local Anaconda store and check out our extensive fish finder range for your next outdoor adventure.




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