Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
BD

Sonar sticky -UPDATED W/ LINKS AND PICS

Recommended Posts

I would love to see this site have a sticky for articles on how to 'read' your depthfinder. People could post screenshots, and then explain what you're viewing. Links for books on this topic, and or, other articles would be handy too.

It seems there is not enough pictures/websites/how-to articles, etc for what you are actually viewing, or how to determine sometimes the difference between grass, rocks, road beds, sticks on the bottom etc

The pros here, you all feel like contributing please?

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My cheap ($115) Eagle depth finder can be set to display the boomarangs or fish symbols. When I first got it, I wanted to see boomarangs and whatnot.

But when it's set to that boomarang mode, the whole display gets pretty dark and it's nearly impossible to read.  I never bothered to figure it out, so I just keep it on the fish symbol mode. All I'm really looking for is to see if there's any grass down there anyway.

Now, if I had a $1,000 depth finder, then I'd probably put in the time to figure the dang thing out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is one of the best ideas I have heard in a while.  I know when I first got my finder I had a hard time determining exactly what I was looking at.  I also know that there are short cuts on some lowrance finders and it would be great to tap into others knowledge.  

Good idea BD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's truly amazing how pros can interpret those things as well as they can. I just spent the weekend listening to sonar seminars by Don Iovino, the leading expert on electronics.  He sells a book and DVD that are both excellent to prime us on the basics of using sonar to locate precisely where the fish are and catch them using finesse tactics primarily in deeper water.  A few things I learned:  turn off the fish ID icon!  Use the arches, they can indicate exactly where the bass entered the sonar cone left or right and many other details, such as movement.  Adjust sensitivity so that you get a second reading, but barely, if it's adjustable.  If you are using 2 sonars, you must turn one off or you may be introducing interference.    On the LCD, the DARKER the bottom, the harder it is (more sound waves being reflected as opposed to being absorbed by a softer bottom)   ...I've just begun reading his book so there is much more but I hope this little bit helps someone a litte bit, for now...Peabody

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first thing you want to do on any depth sounder,

is turn OFF the fish icon and learn to decipher the raw signals.

Roger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right on RoLo. I am trying to get replies on learning HOW to decipher the screen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first thing you want to do on any depth sounder,

is turn OFF the fish icon and learn to decipher the raw signals.

Roger

What's the second thing?

(insert joke)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to give it another try.

When I first hooked my depth finder up (many many years ago), I tried it with the fish symbols off for about a half hour. I remember it displaying a mixture of gray and dark gray and I just couldn't read it. I thought maybe it was too sentive or not sensitive enough or something needed adjusting. So I just changed it to the fish symbols on mode and it cleared up the screen and made the bottom profile/vegetation a lot easier to read. I ain't switched it since.

But I spose I'll give it another try. I'd like to see boomarangs down there. I never pay any attention to the fish symbols anyway. I usually just assume it's floating grass or bubbles or whatever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really the first thing you need to do is turn off the "auto" feature, and then turn off the fish symbols.  Then.... NEVER GO BACK!!  Force yourself to use it.  It's a pain in the rear to begin with, but trust me, over time, you'll love it.

Ideally, find a buddy who knows how to read sonar (your local rep is ideal) and take him out on the water in YOUR boat using YOUR sonar.... don't do any fishing.  Spend a couple of hours as an on-the-water class.

Short of that, read articles, and buy videos on the subject.  Here's a few to get you started:

http://www.bassresource.com/fishing/fishfinders.html

http://www.bassresource.com/fishing/depthfinders.html

http://www.bassresource.com/fishing/depthfinder_fishfinder.html

Enjoy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you are trying to see arches on your graph,you must be at idle speed to get a full arch.If your'e going any faster than idle speed,your arch will turn into more of a straight line.The longer the fish is in the cone of the finder,the better the arch you will see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fivebass, thanks this is exactly the stuff that should be in ONE thread. The whole point was to have one 'place' to point to.

Tip, suggestions, things to remember, etc is what I am aiming for. It's to HELP other people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bd,  My first graph was a lowrance paper graph.    I found the clearest water available.   I started with muddy bottoms to see how it marked, the thickness of the black line was approx. 3/4' thick on bottom symbolizing soft bottom.

I moved to a sandy bottom, not mud, like beach sand, and it marked about 3/8", not as soft as mud, a little harder.    I graphed the dam with rocks of the facing, the rocks gave irregular black line 1/8-1/4 inch with some gray area mixed in, seen as not a solid black line.

The rule, the softer the bottom was created because some of the compression waves are asorbed by the bottom, less return.  on hard bottom, the returns are sharper, more defined black line on graph.

I found stumps and compared to a rock return to decipher the difference on screen, then bushes, like buck brush, xmas tree,   then on to trees.

I went to known areas, clear water to see with no doubt what was down there.

I went parallel down bridges at idle speed, my transducer was mounted on stern, rear of the boat.   I wanted to see how far at idle speed the bridge pilings showed up on screen as i passed them.   This gave me an ideal of the realationship of an object i passed by before I saw it on screen.

I repeated the passes, doing what the others mentioned, turn off Auto Mode, adjusted chart speed due to boat speed to see at what speed of the boat correlated to when it appeared.   I adjusted gains also to see what it did to my current picture as compare to before.  I moved further away from the bridge in small incriments to see how wide my cone angle was seeing.   I was looking in 20ft of water to see when the bridge pilings no longer showed on screen.  This gave me an idea of big an area my trans ducer was covering.  In 5 ft of water, my window was limited to a couple of yards on each side of the boat, actually, i saw more on the starboard side because of the mounting position.  As the depth changed so did my coverage area down below.   I saw more bottom and what was between.

My graph only had boomer rang symbols.    I watched the birds to tell me when baitfish were schooling, I made passes over them, large schools of shad looked like clutter, tight clutter indicated fish are feeding.

This is how I learned my old graph, the nice thing was, I could keep my paper graphs for future study.

Time on water using your graph in manual mode is the best teacher.  Don't worry about fishing while your learning, spend a day in good known structures and contours and you'll gain confidence in your electronics.  

I hope this will help you out.

Matt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BD, If you live in Atlanta I have a seminar that I am doing for the Geogia DNR at Red Top MTN at 8am this Saturday. It's Power Point presenation that is all about sonar interpretation and how to use your sonar to put more fishies in the boat.

I'll tell you what. Glenn if you set the board up or however you want to organize it. I have about 100 Sonar and Side imaging pictures I can put up and explain and we can ALL learn from it. Sonar interpretation is the biggest thing that most of my clients ask me to help them with on guide trips. I'm trying to bridge that gap with my seminar this coming Saturday. I think a seperate board called Sonar Interpretation would be a great learning tool for everyone and be something other boards haven't done yet.

Here are just a few examples of sonar pictures that I have explained already.

another site

T Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NOW that is exactly the stuff we need!! I am really wanting to see this thread become a sticky!

Triton I am in OK, but I would LOVE to see the P.P.......can you email me the p.p.? I can then post a link to it.

:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also (and not to sound brash at all) can we get some pictures from a non side by side from you all? Some of us don't have very expensive units. I guess basics of 'this is a creek channel' 'this is a road bed' etc are very helpful more over than side by side w/ GPS and all the other bells and whistles.

I hope that made sense lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Triton_Mike....can you email me that powerpoint presentation please?

PM me for email.

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BD,

I'll tell you what. Glenn if you set the board up or however you want to organize it. I have about 100 Sonar and Side imaging pictures I can put up and explain and we can ALL learn from it.

Yes please do this :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest the_muddy_man

Hey fellas started cleaning up and checking equipment for the upcoming season While I was wiping down my fish finder I SNEEZED on the screen Question DOES THIS QUALIFY AS A SONAR STICKY :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey fellas started cleaning up and checking equipment for the upcoming season While I was wiping down my fish finder I SNEEZED on the screen Question DOES THIS QUALIFY AS A SONAR STICKY :o

That depends on whether you wiped it off or not. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×