Jump to content
KyakR

Are These Baitfish?

Recommended Posts

Was out yesterday with my new portable fishfinder (Piranhamax 165). I'm new to fishfinders! I was amazed to see what I presume to be large schools of baitfish below me with many large fish in the midst of them. I couldn't catch any, no matter what I threw, but I didn't mind because the drama going on below fascinated me. This was happening all over the lake 20 or so feet down. This is what I saw:

                                     post-44923-0-21698700-1381412211_thumb.j

Are these clouds baitfish? Echoes? Thanks!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still learning about FF myself, but one thing I wanted to mention was that I've read those fish ID thingy (with fish icon) often times not accurate and give you false alarm. People suggest to turn that off and read the sonar straight to get a better idea, which I did. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It could be, could be a weed floating, dense cloud of silt, may even be a cold spot of water. I dont even use the fish id unless I know the spot and then usually I forgot to turn it on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They look like bait fish to me but i am a newbie at deciphering my fish finder screen also.I hope wayne p sees your post,he is the fish finder guru on here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WAY too little info given. And that's not from you. It's the sonar image itself.

 

First, turn off the fish icon thing. It's not helping. Realize, that is not a horizontal view of the lake bottom with fish hovering over it. Could be, but just as well could be not. There can be a lot of stuff down there that is not "fish". A strong return could be a weed clump, a log, a heavy branch (appearing to be "floating" by its lonesome bc it's sliced off by the sonar beam or just wider out in the cone).

 

Best way to get to know your sonar is to meter known stuff. Find some clear water on a sunny day, turn off the "fish", set the sensitivity to manual, and play. For example: Find some a hard cobbly bottom and set your sensitivity so that it shows as a nice solid line. Then find a soft silty bottom and watch the line disappear. Inc the sensitivity to pick it back up again and then find a soft to hard transition, or soft bottom with hard areas like boulders or stumps. Then try something more confusing, like trees, or brush, or vegetation. Soon you'll start to get a feel for first, what your sonar actually does, and second better at your interpretations. These interpretations are somewhat contextual too so the better you know a particular lake the more you can "assume" you are looking at.

 

Also, I don't know what resolution your unit offers but you want as much as you can afford. Sonar's come way down in price so skimp on the bells and whistles and purchase some resolution as many vertical pixels as you can.

 

Hope this helps.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spawning water spots..lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kyakr, get you some Windex w/ vinegar for cleaning that screen, hun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WAY too little info given. And that's not from you. It's the sonar image itself.

 

First, turn off the fish icon thing. It's not helping. Realize, that is not a horizontal view of the lake bottom with fish hovering over it. Could be, but just as well could be not. There can be a lot of stuff down there that is not "fish". A strong return could be a weed clump, a log, a heavy branch (appearing to be "floating" by its lonesome bc it's sliced off by the sonar beam or just wider out in the cone).

 

Best way to get to know your sonar is to meter known stuff. Find some clear water on a sunny day, turn off the "fish", set the sensitivity to manual, and play. For example: Find some a hard cobbly bottom and set your sensitivity so that it shows as a nice solid line. Then find a soft silty bottom and watch the line disappear. Inc the sensitivity to pick it back up again and then find a soft to hard transition, or soft bottom with hard areas like boulders or stumps. Then try something more confusing, like trees, or brush, or vegetation. Soon you'll start to get a feel for first, what your sonar actually does, and second better at your interpretations. These interpretations are somewhat contextual too so the better you know a particular lake the more you can "assume" you are looking at.

 

Also, I don't know what resolution your unit offers but you want as much as you can afford. Sonar's come way down in price so skimp on the bells and whistles and purchase some resolution as many vertical pixels as you can.

 

Hope this helps.

Amazing advice! This helps a ton! I'm headed out today to a clear lake I know well and will do exactly what you said. And thanks Loop_Dad......I also read that the fish icons were misleading but wasn't sure why. I've often looked at better units and now I'll look harder.......as I'm in a kayak juryrigging a spot for the transducer is my main obstacle. Guess floating debris isn't too dramatic  :wink2: 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With Humminbird units, the fish icons are a useful tool due to the filtering/processing of the returns.

An icon is only assigned if the return meets a certain criteria. Other brands don't do that

I have that feature activated all the time with my Humminbird units.

 

The PMax 165 has 240 vertical pixels. The FishID can offset the affects of the lower resolution displays when it comes to "fish finding".

 

This image shows a bass within a school of shad. How did I verify that ?----I caught it.

 

BassInShad_zps2d3c6f6c.jpg

 

The FishID will also indicate sizeable fish within cover like these bass in this tree. Yep, caught them too.

 

TreeandBass_zps3da24d36.jpg

 

 

Know your equipment !!!!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm getting super input here! Those are amazing images! Thanks Wayne P. Looks like the learning curve is to verify and to find a way to get that feedback from the lake.......might be worth it to me to drop a 1oz weight into that "spot" to see if I can pull up a branch. I've verified all kinds of weeds and bottoms of different compositions, but the resolution on my little portable seems to be a problem with the deeper stuff. Guess I'll learn to scuba dive this spring, not kidding!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With Humminbird units, the fish icons are a useful tool due to the filtering/processing of the returns.

An icon is only assigned if the return meets a certain criteria. Other brands don't do that

I have that feature activated all the time with my Humminbird units.

 

The PMax 165 has 240 vertical pixels. The FishID can offset the affects of the lower resolution displays when it comes to "fish finding".

 

This image shows a bass within a school of shad. How did I verify that ?----I caught it.

 

BassInShad_zps2d3c6f6c.jpg

 

The FishID will also indicate sizeable fish within cover like these bass in this tree. Yep, caught them too.

 

TreeandBass_zps3da24d36.jpg

 

 

Know your equipment !!!!

 

So with Lowrance Elite-4, you suggest to keep the fish ID off, correct?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So with Lowrance Elite-4, you suggest to keep the fish ID off, correct?

 

I wouldn't suggest either way with that unit.

When I had other brands, it was not a feature I used due to the false data.

It has already been stated to turn it off which I assume is a general suggestion without knowing all the capabilities of all brands.

I just know for sure it is a useful function with Humminbird units.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With Humminbird units, the fish icons are a useful tool due to the filtering/processing of the returns.

An icon is only assigned if the return meets a certain criteria. Other brands don't do that

I have that feature activated all the time with my Humminbird units.

 

The PMax 165 has 240 vertical pixels. The FishID can offset the affects of the lower resolution displays when it comes to "fish finding".

 

This image shows a bass within a school of shad. How did I verify that ?----I caught it.

 

BassInShad_zps2d3c6f6c.jpg

 

The FishID will also indicate sizeable fish within cover like these bass in this tree. Yep, caught them too.

 

TreeandBass_zps3da24d36.jpg

 

 

Know your equipment !!!!

 

 

What DI settings are you using in that setup? Like - what frequencies and 83hrtz sensitivity?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What DI settings are you using in that setup? Like - what frequencies and 83hrtz sensitivity?

 

 

 

DI is Down Imaging and there is no 83 kHz for that. DI can be 455 kHz or 800 kHz

 

The DI settings are:

Frequency--455 kHz

Sensitivity-10

Enhance Contrast --12

The rest are Default settings

 

The 2D settings are:

83 kHz--0

200 kHz--10

Bottom View--WhiteLine

FishID--On

FishID Sensitivity--5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wayne, what are the numbers next to fish icons?

Those numbers are the depth of each fish.

Most, if not all, sonar companies that have a FishID function have that feature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DI is Down Imaging and there is no 83 kHz for that. DI can be 455 kHz or 800 kHz

 

The DI settings are:

Frequency--455 kHz

Sensitivity-10

Enhance Contrast --12

The rest are Default settings

 

The 2D settings are:

83 kHz--0

200 kHz--10

Bottom View--WhiteLine

FishID--On

FishID Sensitivity--5

 

 

That's what I mean. For the sonar are you using the 83/200 split?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's what I mean. For the sonar are you using the 83/200 split?

 

 I don't use 2D sonar much. When I do, sometimes I use 83/200 and sometimes I use 200 only. It depends on the coverage I want at that particular time. The two images I posted had each setting.

 

About 95%+ I just have the full screen Side Imaging displayed. That shows me what is under the boat and what is away from the boat along with the depth readout. I usually don't need anything else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's what I mean. For the sonar are you using the 83/200 split?

I use 200 and have been experimenting with clear and max mode. Not a fan of 200/83, but I really haven't put much time into it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing forum

    fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing poles

    fishing

    fishing reels

    fishing

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×
×
  • Create New...