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Neil McCauley

Actually understanding sonar/fishfinders - helpful videos/sites/books?

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I found this video below really helpful. But it's short I am looking for any similar ones.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4T0Tuv6RvY

There are a lot of videos online that basically consist of "this patch here looks like baitfish" and "this right here is a brush pile." These are really unhelpful imo because they don't really explain anything about how the signals bouncing back and the movement of the transducer actually get transformed into a 2D display on a screen. That is what is important and hard to get. We can all figure out what a fish or brush pile looks like but I want to know where it is in relation to the boat, what direction it's going, whether it is moving, what size it is, species, etc. I am sure a $2000 fishfinder helps but knowing the fundamental concepts really well you can probably get the same out of a cheap one. Obviously the companies making new fancier fishfinders every year have no incentive to help with this. 

As someone in medicine I'd compare it to learning EKGs. Anyone can memorize what a heart attack looks like  but very very few- even most doctors aside from maybe cardiologists- can understand and clearly explain exactly what the waveforms represent. And that is the key to learning them, they all knew it at some point in med school. They didn't memorize it. If you just memorize "what looks like what" then you will always be getting tricked and making mistakes (like confusing heart attacks with a case of pericarditis or a bundle branch block all due to not really understanding exactly what is being seen on the screen and what it represents. Trial and error and experience can help but without learning the fundamentals correctly from the start I do not feel it is possible to master using it. I want to learn the fundamentals not what shape a fish is. 

Anyway, rant over, any good videos or even books? 

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There are many, just choose the sonar technology you want in your search.

There are several websites just about Humminbird Side Imaging if that is what you want to learn.

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I think that after a very little bit of interpretation, 2D sonar is not able to tell you a whole lot.  That's why a great number of fishermen have bit the bullet and shelled out the dough for modern units with side- and down-imaging.  There is LOTS more information and lots less mysteries in interpreting it.

The Garmin 93SV I bought last summer is the best fishing tool (and navigation aid) I could imagine; worlds of difference from the 2D sonars I used in the past.

Tight lines,

Bob

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I learned more about one lake I fish in three months with a Helix 7 SI GPS and a Lakemaster card than I did in the three years of prior fishing with just a 2D sonar unit.  Even using the printed maps that were available did little to show me what the lake actually looked like.  The problem with 2D sonar is you don't know where in the "cone " the object is.  Depending on your cone angle and depth it could be a few inches right or left to several feet right or left.

Yes, it takes a bit of practice to understand what the new unit is displaying but with all the videos online about imaging and sonar it is a much simpler process.  All the major manufacturers have videos as well as others on how to use these new units.  Doug Vahrenberg and The Technological Angler are two good ones to watch.

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Dr Sonar has a cd out on core models 2d/di/si    that's really good ....If your looking for hummingbird

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Doug Vahrenberg  and Dr. Jason Halfen are 2 names you should look up.

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Thanks everyone for the links, exactly what I was looking for.

On 12/29/2015 at 6:12 PM, desmobob said:

I think that after a very little bit of interpretation, 2D sonar is not able to tell you a whole lot.  That's why a great number of fishermen have bit the bullet and shelled out the dough for modern units with side- and down-imaging.  There is LOTS more information and lots less mysteries in interpreting it.

The Garmin 93SV I bought last summer is the best fishing tool (and navigation aid) I could imagine; worlds of difference from the 2D sonars I used in the past.

Tight lines,

Bob

Well you can't argue with near-photograpic detail images on DI and sidescan...but, I am just too cheap. <_< And these things will get better/cheaper soon the way flatscreen TVs and computers did. I think 2D Sonar has a lot of untapped info, just have to be willing to learn to interpret it.

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