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Flatrock

Fishing with sonar on

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I've heard several sides to this subject but I'm curious as to if anyone has noticed fish becoming spooked because of your in the shallows and you have your depth finder or sonar is on, I mean fish are very sensitive to their environment, why not the ping of a fish finder ?

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While I'm up front casting, the console unit is on stand by, the bow unit and the 360 imaging units are usually running. 

Every once in a while - if I'm sitting in a place long enough (talons down)- I may turn one or all of them off. 

And here's a little nugget for you, the more I use it, the more I believe that the 360 unit - attracts bass - so there's that.  

And then we have the "Hydrowave" - isn't that a deliberately transmitted "electronic sound" that is advertised to attract bass ?  (I do not own one btw)

Who Knows. . . . . .

:smiley:

A-Jay

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My answer is still the same as it was 2 years ago in the linked thread above - mine never get turned off.

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90% or more bass boat anglers turn on their sonar units when they start their boats and turn them off before putting the boat on trailer. How many of those boaters have ever caught a giant bass with the sonar on or off? Very few!

I always turn on the sonar when luanching my boat to determine several factors from surface water temps to bait and bass activity depths, sonar is a wonderful fishing aid.

Back to the opening question, I don't know of a single trophy bass angler who leaves their sonar units on while targeting giant bass with 1 exception trolling contours. We use our sonar to locate structure, bait and bass, however very few leave a sonar unit it on while stopped casting to areas known where big bass live. Live bait anglers switch sonar units off after anchoring, no reason to leave it on.

Does it make a difference,  the answer is it doesn't help to leave it on, so why warn wary bass of your presence. If bass are active feeding I don't believe it doesn't make a difference.

Tom

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I have read many articles; attended a number of lectures; and asked a few pros about leaving your sonar on while fishing.

 

The majority of opinions and information is that those little green monsters get "conditioned" to various noise and sights that may, or may not, have an impact on their behavior.

 

Remember, going all the way back to Uncle Homer Circle's and Glen Lau's video series, Bigmouth Forever, Uncle Homer stated that his and Lau's study of the largemouth bass showed that the larger ones get "conditioned" to move into safer areas at the sound of a trolling motor.

 

So how do the "pings" of your sonar impact bass behavior? Don't know. No one really knows. I don't recall any studies on this specific subject so if you know of one or two please let me know. I do know that some pros believe the pings do interfere with bass behavior while others do not.

 

And I have never seen any studies or articles by the manufacturers that suggest the bass will avoid areas where the sonar units are pinging.

 

New technology allows us to watch our sonar screens like a TV program with fantastic resolution and clear pictures. Ray Marine had one of the first units that really showed what was under our boats in a clear and concise manner. Lowrance and Garmin followed and now we can purchase sonar units that give us TV quality pictures that allow us to see our baits on the screen.

 

The bass, and other species, do not seem to swim away when we use these new units. So it may be correct to state that the "pings" do not interfere with the bass' behavior.

 

I am not concerned about the "pings" from my Lowrance unit. I am more concerned about the noise and vibrations from my trolling motor. Both units are important when we bass fish and it is up to you to decide to leave them on or turn them off.

 

In other words, it boils down to what you have confidence doing.

 

You may want to conduct your own experiment by fishing with 1) both on; 2) sonar on, only; 3) trolling motor on, only, 4) both off, and let us have your conclusions.  Thanks for a good post that should generate many replies.

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When backing the boat down the ramp as soon as my prop hits water I fire up the outboard, turn the electronics on & they stay on until the boat is back on the trailer.

 

As far big bass the 35 double digits I've caught don't count cause they weren't "teeners"!

 

I don't think the trolling motors scare em either, this is a picture of a boat trail in our marshes, the guy up front fishes ahead of the boat while the guy in the back fishes the behind the boat. Quite often the guy in the back out fishes the guy in the front.

 

DPYIVGGVKNDZDGFXYRHCJ7OCKY.JPG

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That's a beautiful picture.

 

Thanks for the information and photo.

 

Brings back lots of great memories.

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16 hours ago, A-Jay said:

While I'm up front casting, the console unit is on stand by, the bow unit and the 360 imaging units are usually running. 

Every once in a while - if I'm sitting in a place long enough (talons down)- I may turn one or all of them off. 

And here's a little nugget for you, the more I use it, the more I believe that the 360 unit - attracts bass - so there's that.  

And then we have the "Hydrowave" - isn't that a deliberately transmitted "electronic sound" that is advertised to attract bass ?  (I do not own one btw)

Who Knows. . . . . .

:smiley:

A-Jay

^This.

if you ain’t catchin’ them, I can 99% guarantee you it’s something the angler is not doing right rather than electronics being on. 

Its noisy around bridges. A lot of fish are caught around bridges.

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I worry more about the spot lock holding the boat, but my experience of a few days ago doesn't indicate that smb are "chased away" by electronics or spot lock.  We sometimes had as many as 6 big smb in sight, some going right under the boat in about 6 feet of water.  WE had a hard time getting any to bite, but they looked like they were just chilling.  Water was obviously very clear and there was no wind.  Always tough for me.

 

I think we had gotten in too close to their spot and that was part of the problem.  Remember the string about long casts?  I took one immediately on getting into the area, 3 chased it.  A few gave a "lazy" chase at some lures, but as time went on they stopped that.  But they didn't leave.  I think if we had been out another 30-40 feet we would have caught more than the few we did.

 

In the past I've fished with both spot lock and electronics on and caught a lot of fish.  A month ago I took 13 lmb from a little corner of a "pond," without moving. Nothing huge, I admit, only up to about 19 inches, the rest smaller.

 

One time a few years ago three of us found smb packed into shallow water and we took about 60 in about 2 hours with spot lock on.  Most over 3 pounds, some above 5.  But they were obviously not chiilng that day.

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"I don't know of a single trophy bass angler who leaves their sonar units on while targeting giant bass" 

 

I keep suggesting this to my largemouth bass mentor. "Let's try fishing with less depthfinder and less trolling motor."

 

We catch a good number of large fish and he reminds me of the one recent year he caught over 50 bass from 8 pounds to 11.5. And all in Virginia.

 

After he repeats that I always ask, "But what if we're chasing the big ones away?"   :teeth3:

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