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RHuff

Help reading sonar

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First few times out using my new Garmin EchoMap Chirp and I'm really having a hard time distinguishing between the heads of the lilly pads that are coming up towards the surface and suspended fish. It all looks the same to me on the screen. I know the fish will look like arches most of the time but does anyone have any tips on how to tell the difference? I'm okay with seeing weeds and stumps so far, and balls of baitfish. But this really has me puzzled. Also, these images are showing up on the sonar screen but not really appearing on the clearvu at all. Is this a clue? Still learning with this thing as I go. 

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Chirp simply means multiple frequency in lieu of single frequency and allows high chirp setting to distinguish fish from clutter, clutter being organic matter. Scanning sonar shows objects as dots not arches. Not being familiar with Garman units I don't know what you have? Side imaging or down looking sonar is usually scanning sonar showing fish as dots not arches. You probably have side scanning if you are searching Lilly pads in shallow water.

Tom

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I'm referring to down scan. When I put up the traditional sonar screen vs the clearview side by side I can see the arches on the traditional and there isn't really anything on the screen in the clearview. When looking at the traditional downscan sonar I am having trouble figuring out which marks on the screen represents lilly pads that are growing up near the services vs scattered suspended fish. 

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Not being familiar with Garman ability to seperate fish targets from cover or structure my guess would be the clear view lacks this technology. 

Can you clearly see fish using clear view in areas without cover?

Tom

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Down imaging doesn’t show fish, only structure. That’s why you’re not seeing them on the clearvu screen. 

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Just now, LonnieP said:

Down imaging doesn’t show fish, only structure. That’s why you’re not seeing them on the clearvu screen. 

 

As Ace Ventura would say: REEAAALLLLYYYYYYY??

 

 

 

so what I’m seeing on the traditional could be fish OR lillies or both?

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It’s hard to tell without seeing a picture . I have a Garmin striker 7 and its pretty easy to tell what’s a fish and what’s not. Maybe your settings need to be adjusted? I keep the fish alarm on on mine and it beeps when your over fish.

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So Garman clearvu eliminates return signals that include fish? Got to get rid of all the clutter including those fish your looking for....hmmmmmm!

Tom

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I just need to spend time out on the water with it. I’m still new to the electronics game. Knowing now that clearvu only scans the contour and such helps though

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8 hours ago, RHuff said:

I just need to spend time out on the water with it. I’m still new to the electronics game. Knowing now that clearvu only scans the contour and such helps though

Time on the water is key along with watching videos on line and reading. What I've seen that makes the most sense and would be pretty helpful would be to have clear vu and 2d split screen. The 2d shows the fish pretty well then look over to the clear vu. They're not as pronounced as in the 2d, they show up as specks on the screen. 

 

If Garmin couldn't show fish returns on Clear Vu they wouldn't be in the marine electronics game. They would've been blown away a long time ago.

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If your seeing lily pads then I got to believe you are in very shallow water.  I would think it would be difficult to 'see' any fish with clearvu or traditional 2d.  Your cone coverage can't be more than a couple feet.

 

SE Kansas grass grower

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Some units have settings where you can set them to either not screw around with the returns, or to make the returns look like arches, or to make the returns look like fish.  Turn off the arches and fish images if you have them on and learn to interpret the raw data yourself.  If both you and the fish are not moving, the fish will look like a horizontal line.  If either are moving it MIGHT look like an arch.  If very close to the bottom it might look like a bump.  Keeping in mind how narrow the "beam" is , you might miss fish altogether.  You will see marks that are unattached that may be a piece of weed, a fish, or noise if sensitivity is too high.  But in time you will , if you turn off the arches and fish, get to interpret what you are seeing pretty well.

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1 hour ago, 12poundbass said:

Time on the water is key along with watching videos on line and reading. What I've seen that makes the most sense and would be pretty helpful would be to have clear vu and 2d split screen. The 2d shows the fish pretty well then look over to the clear vu. They're not as pronounced as in the 2d, they show up as specks on the screen. 

 

If Garmin couldn't show fish returns on Clear Vu they wouldn't be in the marine electronics game. They would've been blown away a long time ago.

 I didn't realize that fish showed as specks on the clearvu. I usually run split screen and while I have no problem seeing fish on the traditional it's hard to see any on the clearvu screen. I'll have to look closer next time I go out. 

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2 hours ago, Sprocket said:

If your seeing lily pads then I got to believe you are in very shallow water.  I would think it would be difficult to 'see' any fish with clearvu or traditional 2d.  Your cone coverage can't be more than a couple feet.

 

SE Kansas grass grower

 

 I have lillies that grow from the bank all the way out over the middle into 8-12 ft of water. 

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1 hour ago, RHuff said:

 

 I have lillies that grow from the bank all the way out over the middle into 8-12 ft of water. 

The return signal area on traditional down looking sonar is about 1/3 the depth at the deepest reading, meaning the bottom. Surveying a 12' depth with fish suspended 4' the fish return signal size of the fish  is only 18", very low possibility to drive ove a live fish without it moving and see it on down looking sonar in shallow water. Scanning sonar broadens the signal area and side scanning looks sideways returning signals 50' away or whatever your unit is capable doing.

Arches aren't a setting, it's the shape of a round signal return ( air or gas ) as the weakest edge of the signal approaches the fish, gets wider as the signal strength increases then tappers back down as the signal moves past it creating the arch shape displayed by the sonar signal. Scanning sonar shows the round air or gas inside the fishes air bladder, not the shape of the fish, as a dot. Your sonar doesn't know what the signal is, it could be a air or gas bubble or a fishes airbladder. When you use fish ID the sonar is programmed to show a fish icon regardless of what the return signal is.

Basic sonar 101.

Tom

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3 hours ago, LonnieP said:

 I didn't realize that fish showed as specks on the clearvu. I usually run split screen and while I have no problem seeing fish on the traditional it's hard to see any on the clearvu screen. I'll have to look closer next time I go out. 

Trust me I can't see them very well either unless they're pointed out. There are times I can see them bust mostly not yet. 

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I see the arches on the screen and i had the fish id on and it would beep but I turned it off because the constant beeping distracted me. So the arches could be fish or just could be air bubbles or whatnot in the water? 

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Wow I would have never thought you could see fish in a pad field on sonar. Maby i should have went with Garmin instead of hummingbird thats impressive. I just fish pads visually looking for the deepest pads the thickest pads or hard bottom or mixes grass.

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Nm

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On 4/16/2018 at 6:47 PM, LonnieP said:

Down imaging doesn’t show fish, only structure. That’s why you’re not seeing them on the clearvu screen. 

Mine does 

18AF644C-8AEB-4119-AADB-6D2B027E3E42.png

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Here is a photo of what I'm seeing. Since this are arches on the traditional sonar and only dots here and there on the clearvu, does that mean they are suspended fish? 

IMG_2532.JPG

IMG_2533.JPG

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You need to turn the gain up on the down scan.  Yes, they appear as dots.

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4 minutes ago, J Francho said:

You need to turn the gain up on the down scan.  Yes, they appear as dots.

So turning up the gain on the downscan will make dots (fish) easier to see? If so I need to turn mine up as well. 

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Yep.  I find I generally have to adjust the sensitivity every time I go out.  It all depends on water clarity and how much debris is in the water.  It helps if you put the unit in demo mode, and go through each of the settings to learn how each affects the clarity of the returns.

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I'll be sure to adjust the gain as soon as I get to the water next time. Thanks J I appreciate the help. 

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