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lunkerdown

Hilariously Amateurish questions

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Hey ya'll!

 

Proud owner of a new Bass Pontoon, which is my first boat...and first time as an adult fishing FROM a boat.  I went ahead and got a "middle tier" fish finder (Garmin 73 SV) to go with it, and---much to my consternation---I just can't seem to "get it".  Sad to say, but I actually work in Information Technology, and this stuff is beyond the wisdom of Solomon, much less myself.  So anyway, here are some realllllly amateurish questions, if any of you feel so inclined.  Thanks in advance!

 

First:  My transducer is mounted on the very back of the left pontoon log, so literally the back left corner of my boat.  When I see a fish (or what I am assuming to be a fish, that nice little arched shape) come onto my screen, as it scrolls right to left, *where is that fish in relation to my boat*?  Is it such that the moment that fish appears on my sonar (like as soon as it pops up on the far right of my screen) it is directly under the transducer location, aka "the very back of my boat"?  Or is it out further?  Or further up front?

 

Second:  Is it possible to cruise slowly, using the outboard, to spot anything? If so, at what speed?  Or does it cause too much "sonar noise" to be of any use?  

 

Third:  It felt like basically every time I spotted a fish (and several times, it was several fish) on the sonar, I would go into GPS anchor with the trolling motor, get ready to fish, and then the fish would be gone from the screen.  What gives?  Was I running past them all?  Scare them away?

 

I know this sort of stuff must sound really ignorant, but this is a whole new world for me.  I really appreciate any advice.  Thanks again!

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The Bass Resource Articles section has a ton of info covering all things Bass - 

Including several directed specifically at electronics . . .

It's a really good place to start . . 

https://www.bassresource.com/bass-boats/

 

A-Jay

 

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2 hours ago, lunkerdown said:

Hey ya'll!

 

Proud owner of a new Bass Pontoon, which is my first boat...and first time as an adult fishing FROM a boat.  I went ahead and got a "middle tier" fish finder (Garmin 73 SV) to go with it, and---much to my consternation---I just can't seem to "get it".  Sad to say, but I actually work in Information Technology, and this stuff is beyond the wisdom of Solomon, much less myself.  So anyway, here are some realllllly amateurish questions, if any of you feel so inclined.  Thanks in advance!

 

First:  My transducer is mounted on the very back of the left pontoon log, so literally the back left corner of my boat.  When I see a fish (or what I am assuming to be a fish, that nice little arched shape) come onto my screen, as it scrolls right to left, *where is that fish in relation to my boat*?  Is it such that the moment that fish appears on my sonar (like as soon as it pops up on the far right of my screen) it is directly under the transducer location, aka "the very back of my boat"?  Or is it out further?  Or further up front?

 

Second:  Is it possible to cruise slowly, using the outboard, to spot anything? If so, at what speed?  Or does it cause too much "sonar noise" to be of any use?  

 

Third:  It felt like basically every time I spotted a fish (and several times, it was several fish) on the sonar, I would go into GPS anchor with the trolling motor, get ready to fish, and then the fish would be gone from the screen.  What gives?  Was I running past them all?  Scare them away?

 

I know this sort of stuff must sound really ignorant, but this is a whole new world for me.  I really appreciate any advice.  Thanks again!

1. Traditional 2D downward sonar signal looks like a pointed cone and tiny at the transducer getting larger in diameter the further down towards the bottom, everything outside of the cone shaped signal area sonar can't see. The cone signal return is about 1/3rd the depth, i.e.; 15' deep the cone area is about 5' diameter.

Everything displayed on your sonar screen is a scrolling history of what the "cone" area passed over is behind the transducer somewhere in your wake.

2. Your sonar unit returns signs very fast, faster in fact then your pontoon boat can travel forward. The slower you move forward the more detail will be displayed.  Clutter on the sonar screen display is caused by air bubbles from the potion surfaces not interference or noise. The clutter should only be surface to about 2' down.

3. Read #1, everything is behind you with 2D downward looking sonar.

Tom

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Hey Lunkerdown welcome to the forum.

As Ajay just stated there is a ton of basic information on this site regarding fishfinders which you should definitely check out but as someone that has the same Garmin model that you have I have found that you really need to spend time on the water focusing only on the unit...not fishing.

There is so much to learn and understand on this unit, especially with the side view, customisation, map creating and sensitivity settings that it takes a bit of time but you should find it rewarding in the long run.

It's a great unit. Enjoy!

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2 hours ago, WRB said:

1. Traditional 2D downward sonar signal looks like a pointed cone and tiny at the transducer getting larger in diameter the further down towards the bottom, everything outside of the cone shaped signal area sonar can't see. The cone signal return is about 1/3rd the depth, i.e.; 15' deep the cone area is about 5' diameter.

Everything displayed on your sonar screen is a scrolling history of what the "cone" area passed over is behind the transducer somewhere in your wake.

2. Your sonar unit returns signs very fast, faster in fact then your pontoon boat can travel forward. The slower you move forward the more detail will be displayed.  Clutter on the sonar screen display is caused by air bubbles from the potion surfaces not interference or noise. The clutter should only be surface to about 2' down.

3. Read #1, everything is behind you with 2D downward looking sonar.

Tom

Your #2 states that one should be able to read the bottom as you're moving. However mine kicks out essentially after 7+ mph. What gives? 

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Could be the TD is mounted too high or the pontoon is creating a void with no water under the TD at 7 mph is unlikely.

Bassman37 owns the same unit maybe he can advise you?

Tom

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On 7/23/2019 at 6:06 PM, lunkerdown said:

Hey ya'll!

 

Proud owner of a new Bass Pontoon, which is my first boat...and first time as an adult fishing FROM a boat.  I went ahead and got a "middle tier" fish finder (Garmin 73 SV) to go with it, and---much to my consternation---I just can't seem to "get it".  Sad to say, but I actually work in Information Technology, and this stuff is beyond the wisdom of Solomon, much less myself.  So anyway, here are some realllllly amateurish questions, if any of you feel so inclined.  Thanks in advance!

 

First:  My transducer is mounted on the very back of the left pontoon log, so literally the back left corner of my boat.  When I see a fish (or what I am assuming to be a fish, that nice little arched shape) come onto my screen, as it scrolls right to left, *where is that fish in relation to my boat*?  Is it such that the moment that fish appears on my sonar (like as soon as it pops up on the far right of my screen) it is directly under the transducer location, aka "the very back of my boat"?  Or is it out further?  Or further up front?

 

Second:  Is it possible to cruise slowly, using the outboard, to spot anything? If so, at what speed?  Or does it cause too much "sonar noise" to be of any use?  

 

Third:  It felt like basically every time I spotted a fish (and several times, it was several fish) on the sonar, I would go into GPS anchor with the trolling motor, get ready to fish, and then the fish would be gone from the screen.  What gives?  Was I running past them all?  Scare them away?

 

I know this sort of stuff must sound really ignorant, but this is a whole new world for me.  I really appreciate any advice.  Thanks again!

 

1 and 3:  Yes, but with some variables.  Depending on depth, that fish "could" be many feet in front, to either side, or behind the transducer.  The cone that WRB eluded to.  The depth that you are in, determines the size of the circle that the sonar sees on the bottom, and up through the water column.

 

For example, if you are in 10ft of water (and the boat is moving), the cone is about 3.3 ft wide, so that fish you see could be smack under the transducer, or it could be 1.5ft behind, forward, or to the side of the transducer, or anywhere in between.

 

If you are in 100ft of water, there is more than 15ft in any direction that the fish could be from the transducer.

 

Not only that, the fish could be moving, while you are moving, and be gone by the time you spot lock and drop your bait.  If you are spot locked and you see a straight line that starts, then ends, that is a fish moving through the cone, you saw him come into, them move out of, the cone.

 

If you are spot locked and you see a straight line that stays and just goes on and on, that fish is holding in the cone.  How close he is to the transducer can be estimated by your depth.  Might not be a bass though :).

 

2:  Quality of the installation, and I'm sure to an extent the quality of the transducer is the reason for the sonar not being able to give a clean return as you speed up.  The scroll speed of your screen also plays a roll in this I think.  Basically, turbulence creates water that is not uniform in consistency and the transducer can't see through it, bubbles, swirls, etc.  You can play around with mounting depth and placement to find a way to keep clean water going across the TD.

 

My boat will give me "decent" returns up to about 7mph, and read depth up to about 20mph.  Any much past that it starts blinking, which I think means the unit has lost the bottom (I have the same unit as you on my console)  My boat is aluminum and has rivets and strakes, dents, and scratches, it's a mess under there.  I just use the chartplotter to stay in the deep water as I run from place to place.

 

I ran into the same issues you describe, trying to drop anchor and hit that fish on the head with my bait that I just saw on the graph.  But what I am learning as time goes on, is that you want to use the graph/chartplotter to give you clues as to where the fish are holding (depth, structure like points, channels, etc), and then find several of those places on the chartplotter and fish them.

 

Later on, you sneak up on that "spot" so as not to spook the fish, you know they are there because you graphed over them a couple hours ago, and you caught other fish on similar structure in other parts of the lake.

 

Fishing offshore is tough, it is what I have devoted my foreseeable future of bass fishing to, until I get the hang of it and learn bass behavior.  Graphing and figuring out the spots on the lake that the fish are holding should be done before ever dropping a line.

 

Admittedly, I do still fish previous "spots" sometimes, where I caught fish before, but you may be wasting time if you assume they are there today cause there were there yesterday.  I had a "spot" that I was catching fish on consistantly for 3 weekends in a row.  Then all of a sudden on the 4th weekend, they vanish, never to be seen again :).

 

 

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Thanks everyone!  Reading the responses here (and the items linked) has helped a lot.  I'm still learning, still doing a ton of research, and still trying to fish!

 

Rodfather, a couple of things:

 

Quote

My boat will give me "decent" returns up to about 7mph, and read depth up to about 20mph.  Any much past that it starts blinking, which I think means the unit has lost the bottom

 

100%, I've noticed this.  For me, if I am going across deep water at 15+ mph, it blinks out, and loses depth entirely.  Anything slower and I'm fine.

 

Have you messed with adjusting the beam width at all?  And what frequency and gain do you run, or do you leave it default?

 

One other thing:  Is the temp on the screen---straight out of the box---water temp?

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On 7/28/2019 at 10:37 AM, lunkerdown said:

Is the temp on the screen---straight out of the box---water temp?

Water surface temperature.

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