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Radnine

more fish finder questions

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Hi all.

After fishing Big Doe last week with the B-in-Laws, my fish finder has been called into question.

First of all, the boys are good fishermen with loads more experience than me. And to a man they all said that they drive around looking to mark fish then once found, fish the heck out of the area.

My fish finder never marked a fish on the bottom all weekend (in 25-35 FOW). I tried it with the ID on and off. With the ID on, I got no top interference and lots of top fish (erroneous I’m sure) and never marked on fish sitting on the bottom (and yes they were there cause that’s where we caught them). With the ID off, I get lots of top interference and the odd lump or log looking thing on the bottom.

I have the following questions that I could use some help with.

 

1. What is the best way to ensure that my FF is working accurately?

 

2. Do you guys use your FF to locate fish then fish the area or find the bottom/structure then assume the fish will be there?

 

3. Do you guys trust your FF’s completely?

 

4. If mine is not so good because it is bottom of the food chain, how mush more would I have to spend to upgrade to an accurate trustable one?

 

I know that I have posted about these bloody things before, but I would like your thoughts.

Thanks,

Jim

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You want to find out if it's working correctly, Put a 1/4 oz jig on your line and slowly lower it down, close to where the transducer is. It should easily track it all the way to the bottom. Then slowly reel up, it should immediately show the jig coming up off the bottom. If it doesn't, the transducer may be pointed incorrectly, turn the unit sensitivity up a little bit at a time and see if it will track the jig, or, maybe your unit needs launching...and burnout on re-entry. I can follow a 1/4 oz jig down 100' with my old Lowrance, lift it 2 inches and it shows. Good luck. Oh ya, I trust my FF..100% for depth, there is not a fish finder out there that will identify species, it could be crayfish walking around down there or some loose weeds. When it tugs back, that's a fish.

Edited by Fisherman

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My humminbird not only tells you the species but the direction they are swimming as well :lol::lol::lol:

Edited by Percher

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My Lowrance LMS 520c unit will tell me if they are walleye or pickerel. If pickerel I move on for bigger fish.

 

Seriously look for a unit that has at least 2400 watts of power. With that you should be able to see ANYTHING down to at least 100 feet. When perch fishing I can see my perch rig down to 72 feet without a problem.

 

Bob

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My Lowrance LMS 520c unit will tell me if they are walleye or pickerel. If pickerel I move on for bigger fish.

 

Seriously look for a unit that has at least 2400 watts of power. With that you should be able to see ANYTHING down to at least 100 feet. When perch fishing I can see my perch rig down to 72 feet without a problem.

 

Bob

2400 watts, you trying to cook the fish before you catch them.. :rolleyes:

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When ice fishing in the Saguenay River, the more sucessful fishermen use fish finders. The fishing is done in 150 to 600 feet of water for cod, lingcod, ocean perch etc.

 

Ocean perch are a favorite among the icefishermen because they are more numerous. A big ocean perch is about 13 inches long.

 

Anyway, we can see a 2 ounce jig on the screen. If we spot a fish swimming at the 250 foot level, we quickly bring the jig up a few feet higher than 250 feet. We then can actually see the fish react to the jig and we can see that the fish will swim upward towards the depth of the jig. We usually get a bite when the fish reacts to the jig. As you can imagine, the guys using fish finders are always glued to their screens in order to intercept fish that roam around at different levels. Many fish do not react but there are enough of them that do to warrant the use of a fish finder.

 

A lot of the guys have ingenious contraptions that house the screen in a heated box with a clear plastic lid. They place a thermometer in the housing and turn on a 12 volt light bulb to heat the interiour of the housing. Most even have a 12 volt motorcycle battery inside the housing too.

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I forgot to add that with my old Hummingbird LCR 3004 (from the late 70's), I could easily see my no 8 Gamakatsu hook baited with the head of a night crawler into at least 50 feet of water.

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Thanks for all of the great replies.

I've got to be honest, I never thought of dropping something down there and seeing how it tracked. I suppose I could take it a step further and actually throw a few things down and see how the sizes are reflected on the screen.

Thanks again. Brilliant.

Jim

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BillyBob my unit is a FishEasy320c and show Transmitter 800 watts peak to peak power

100 watts RMS power, you think this is too weak unit or its ok

for me to see and understand what is on bottom??? thanks in advance Jorge

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When I turn on my finder I think I see the fish mooning me :asshat:

 

Anyway, on a good finder you should be able to make out the rocks on bottom and useing a big jig you should be able to see it.

 

When testing a friends who was 100% sure his was working we parked the boats side by side and turned mine on got the reading of depth, and you could see the jig.. Turned mine off then his on, could not see the jig and depth was off by a wide margin. little checking and adjusting he got the same thing.

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My son has a Fisheasy 240 and has no problem with using it in the deep part of L Simcoe at around 100', marks everything quite clear. He even uses it all winter, no problems.

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BillyBob my unit is a FishEasy320c and show Transmitter 800 watts peak to peak power

100 watts RMS power, you think this is too weak unit or its ok

for me to see and understand what is on bottom??? thanks in advance Jorge

 

Depending on what you use it for it the Fish Easy 320c unit is a very nice sonar. I would guess with only 800 watts of power that once you start getting into water over 50 feet you may not have the power to show detail as well as some of the more powerful units. MANY guys that fish the Great Lakes like at least 2400 watts of power with some using models that put out 4000 watts of power.

 

The best thing you can do like someone here already mentioned is drop a 1/4 or better yet 1/2 oz jig down while you are not moving. Make use you drop it below your transducer and see how far down you can track it on your screen. I would bet you will have no problems 30-40 feet down but once you hit 50 feet it might be harder to track. Let us know how you make out, it will be interesting to see. Now of course the higher end models also have better resolution to detect fish right on the bottom. I have a LMS 520c unit and I can track my perch rig without any problems in 70+ depths. It also has very good resolution to separate fish on the bottom.

 

Good Luck,

Bob

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Depending on what you use it for it the Fish Easy 320c unit is a very nice sonar. I would guess with only 800 watts of power that once you start getting into water over 50 feet you may not have the power to show detail as well as some of the more powerful units. MANY guys that fish the Great Lakes like at least 2400 watts of power with some using models that put out 4000 watts of power.

 

The best thing you can do like someone here already mentioned is drop a 1/4 or better yet 1/2 oz jig down while you are not moving. Make use you drop it below your transducer and see how far down you can track it on your screen. I would bet you will have no problems 30-40 feet down but once you hit 50 feet it might be harder to track. Let us know how you make out, it will be interesting to see. Now of course the higher end models also have better resolution to detect fish right on the bottom. I have a LMS 520c unit and I can track my perch rig without any problems in 70+ depths. It also has very good resolution to separate fish on the bottom.

 

Good Luck,

Bob

Okay, I'm calling bunk on this one, like I said above, my sons got a F/E 240, same model less pixels same power and can see a 1/4 oz jig or 1 inch spoon in 100' of water. Absolutely no need for for that kind of power unless yiour into the multi 100's of feet. Even my old X-40 tracks bottom and fish in deeper areas of Owen Sound, (down to 320') with no effort.

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Okay, I'm calling bunk on this one, like I said above, my sons got a F/E 240, same model less pixels same power and can see a 1/4 oz jig or 1 inch spoon in 100' of water. Absolutely no need for for that kind of power unless yiour into the multi 100's of feet. Even my old X-40 tracks bottom and fish in deeper areas of Owen Sound, (down to 320') with no effort.

 

I'll take that challenge. I have used the lower end units on fly in fishing trips and they couldn't find fish in the deeper waters or separate fish from the bottom in even 30' of water. Until you have use a powerful unit with GREAT resolution you don't know what you are missing down there. I can separate walleyes with their bellies right on the bottom. Get fish on SOFT bottom and those low end units even have problems tracking the bottom correctly.

 

Purchase what you can afford or want. I rather have a more powerful unit when fishing for bottom dwelling fish like we have here in Lake Erie. The perch will scatter out and stay RIGHT on the bottom and my LMS 520 can find them. With square miles to contend with not acres I don't have to waste too much time fishing bare water.

 

There is a HUGE difference in marking fish suspended way off the bottom and separating them RIGHT on the bottom. The lower watt units cannot do it. That is why more powerful units are available.

 

Bob

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There is one big problem with high powered fish finders.....they scare the fish when used in shallow water.

 

I see this every year for over 20 years on opening day of brook trout in a nearby river and then a month later for opening day for walleye on another river. All the boats are huddled together in the same area and bombard the bottom with signals. The fishing turns off real early in the morning. Now there are guys who get out on the water at midnight in order to catch fish before the big rush. Later in the day when there are fewer fishermen, the fishing gets better.

 

I don't use a fish finder when I fish these places. I know the layout of the bottom. For the walleye, I just very slowly move here and there with my electric motor while bumping the bottom with my jig. I try to steer clear of the tight groups of boats. I catch way more fish than the others. Yes, I do get followed around a lot because I catch dozens of walleye. Yes I release all but my limit of male walleyes on opening day. It's hard to secretively catch those large females without someone spotting me and pointing to me. In any event, the whole area has between 4 and 10 feet of water. Some areas of the bottom are covered with large stones, other areas where the current is almos non-existant are a bit muddy with a few weeds. On top of that, there are tons of suckers that are also spawning in the river plus perch and bullheads.

 

It's the same for the brook trout in the Chicoutimi river on opening day...but here the fishing is done from anchored boats and canoes and the best fishing for the brook trout is on the bottom in 30 to 50 feet of water amongst the large boulders. Using a fish finder when anchored is ridiculous. The best way to fish for the brookies is to use 4 lb mono and use just a Sutton 77 spoon with no bait. There is some current and the spoon does move around a lot but when it gets to a spot where the current is weak, it eventually gets to the bottom where the current is almost nil and that's where the brookies are and they attack the spoon, thinking it's a smelt.

 

If you want to try something, put your hand under the transducer of your fish finder.....palm side down. You will feel the pin pricks on the top of your hand. If things are very quiet, you can even hear the ticking sound the transducer sends out.

 

Pros fishing in shallow water use low powered fish finders and then switch to high powered fish finders when fishing in deep water.

 

If you really think about it, when slowly drifting or motoring over a section of water with your line in the water, do you really need to use your fish finder? Your line is in the water....does the use of the fish finder help make the fish bite? Using a fish finder to locate structure is great....especially if the angler does not know the area well. But, after the structure is found, just the fact that there are signals on the screen does indicate what species of fish it could be. A small fish that stays in the center of the sonar's beam will appear huge while a huge fish that just passes through the outer portion of the beam will appear small. If you are fishing parallel to a steep slope, I doubt you will see any fish at all because there is a phenomenom called the (shadow) where one side of the cone is in shallow water while the other side of the cone is in deep water. Anything inside the cone will be invisible except for the very center of the cone that gives you the depth of the water. With a single beam fish finder, you would never even see that you are moving along a steep incline.

 

I now use a 3-D fish finder that sends out 7 signals. I have been using various fish finders for over 25 years. Unless I'm fishing somewhere new....I don't even bother to use one anymore.

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