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nixdorf

New To Fishing Off Shore - Help!

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Hi guys. Life long bass angler here. I recently bought a boat with entry level electronics. Last summer, I upgraded the console sonar to a Lowrance Elite 7 HDI.

I must admit that I'm new to fishing off shore. I've been fishing close to 30 years, but mostly farm ponds from the shore or a small boat. Lakes have never been more than 10 feet deep.

Since buying the boat, I've had trouble finding fish off shore. I tend to fish the TVA chain of lakes in North Alabama: Guntersville, Wheeler, etc. Usually when I focus on fishing off shore I end up blanked for the day, so I tend to fall back on beating the banks on the next trip (laydowns, docks, and other cover) with okay results. I have no confidence in fishing off shore with the typical baits (deep diving crank baits, jigs, etc) even if I have success with the same baits near shore.

So on to my questions: how do you know where to target for offshore fish? What should I look for when picking spots? If you find a likely spot that should hold fish, do you do a once-over with sonar before you fish? I'm used to fishing shallow water and always conscious of spooking fish with the boat.

Finally, how do you know when you have your sonar "locked in"? I've been messing with minor adjustments with the sonar in automatic mode, but never seem to get a clear picture of the bottom with the HDI. I can spot fish and bait fish, but not pick out the detail on HDI that I think my unit is capable of (eg a clearly submerged tree instead of a blob on HDI). For reference, the transducer is on the stern a couple feet from the engine. The boat is aluminum hull.

If anyone can help answe my questions and possibly refer to other videos/reading materials, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you!

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First thing I would do is get a map or map card that will get you in the general vicinity of structure

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