How To Use a Fish Finder

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Technology is becoming better with each dawn and its permeating every aspect of modern life to improve the living standards of people. Starting from smartphones, smart TVs, to touchscreen laptops just to name a few, fishermen have not been left behind as they can boast with a technological device known as fish finder. If you’re hearing this name for the first time, fish finders are sonar devices that help fishermen to have a clear view of the underwater world of fish to know exactly where to catch fish. The device makes fishing easy and fun but if you don’t know how to use it, it can hinder your fishing adventure. Given that we care so much about you, we want to improve your fishing experience and here is how you can excellently use a fish finder.

Read the manual

First things first, familiarize yourself with the fish-finder. Some functions might be easy and obvious to use but it’s good to consult your manual before getting started. The manual contains crucial information and you can get everything you need to know about the fish finder such as how to set it up, how the mount fits on your boat, as well as other technical information you might need. Therefore, don’t be ignorant and spare some of your time to go through it.

Use a fish finder with a Chartplotter together

Combining your fish finder with Chartplotter is a sure way of improving your fish-finding experience. If your fish finder has a Chartplotter function, switch it into a split-screen mode and they will have a constant communication to ensure that you spot areas where fish are in plenty. This means that you can mark areas with potential fish activity on your Chartplotter and continue looking for other potential areas and come back to the marked areas. If your fish finder and Chartplotter are separate, it’s possible to mark a waypoint on the Chartplotter anytime you identify areas with a large number of fish.


Fish finders come with a zoom function which is easily accessed through the options menu and helps you to zoom in on areas of interest to get a clearer image and more details about activity at a specific depth. This option is also helpful especially if you have a clear understanding of what depth the fish you’re interested in swims as you can set the device to zoom in on specific depth. To maximize your ability to read display, you can adjust the color palette according to your preferences. For instance, many fish finders with black backgrounds use white inscription. However, if you change to the black inscription on a white background, you’ll find out that the display is easier to read.

Tuning sensitivity

Fish finders are just like any other device and they are prone to errors. At times, they give inaccurate information and in some areas, they may suggest that fish are active only to find out that there is none. However, you can correct these inaccuracies by peaking the transducer where you adjust the sensitivity of your device manually.
You are supposed to increase the sensitivity and stop as soon as a second reading emerges. When you see substantial visual clutter or messy display, it’s a way of telling you that you need to reduce the sensitivity. This can professionally be done until the clutter is gone but ensure that the second reading is still visible as it will give you the idea of what’s happening beneath your boat.

As a rule of thumb, avoid adding or boosting filters as a way of reducing surface clutter as it could have an adverse effect on the sensitivity of your fish finder. Besides, fish have a tendency of swimming away from the surface meaning that if you add or boost filters to reduce surface clutter, you are making it impossible to locate fish.
It goes without saying that large fish activity creates arches on the fish finder display. However, you should never assume that it will always happen that way as there are variables to put into consideration, such as the speed of the boat. When your boat is not moving, fish moving below your boat appear as lines or blobs as opposed to arches. Therefore, you should never adjust the sensitivity of your device trying to make the fish arch.


Every fish finder shows basic information about the current temperature, the speed of the boat, and the depth it’s likely to measure. However, if you still feel that your device is misleading you and you have a transom-mount transducer, adjust it or change its location completely. It’s worth to note that boats create a turbulence which can affect the performance of your fish finder and that’s why it’s important to adjust the transducer to get a clear view of water flow and the underwater world of fish.

Bottom line

It is the desire of every fisherman to locate fish with easiness, and there’s no better way to do it than using a fish finder. Having this device on your boat improves the fishing experience as it eliminates the need of driving aimlessly on the surface of water trying to find fish and improves the adventure by monitoring the fish finder and dropping your line in the water with potential fish activity. If you’re looking forward to buying your first fish finder, the above techniques and tips will be of help to you as you explore another world of adventure.

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