I want to help you understand your depth finder / fish finder. This very important piece of marine electronics makes you a hero or a zero, so learning to use it should be as important as finding the drive-through at your local burger joint when your belly is growling because you got skunked, AGAIN!
When I was working on learning to fish a new spot, I sat down at the table at home and looked at the navigational chart very closely. I would look for steep drop-offs. I would look for a crease in a flat, that being a section of the bottom that was deeper than the surrounding area. I would look for hard bottom and soft bottom, in other words, really get to know the place before I set out and fished it.
On the day that I went to check out my new fishing spot, I would not be so concerned to tie on a fly or a lure but first let’s have a look at the screen. I would steer the boat so I came up on the steep drops perpendicular to the slope. I would then run down the slope on a slight angle. This drill would show me first if it was as steep as the chart shows and on the slight angle, further confirm how long the drop-off ran. I would get through that first drill then do it again, this time looking for fish or “marks”. If you have a good moving current you may see the fish holding just below the drop-off, and this way, as the bait was washed over the drop, the fish who was looking upwards could make an easy meal.
Are you getting this?
It is simply not a device to turn on like your TV and see fish. You’re going to have to get to know what things are going to look like! I often heard “I have one of those on my boat but it doesn’t work!” and I would start the lesson on that cue. Well what do you know! I got a few calls from guys thanking me for helping them not waste money by throwing that non-working depth finder away. As the waters of time flow under your keel, you will begin to use the “control“ buttons on the machine. This will only improve your use, but, to get you going keep the settings on “auto”. However, you should probably “lock in” a bottom depth to keep the machine from finding the bottom on its own and confusing you.
Best of luck!
Depthfinder... It's not just something to clutter your helm!
Last Updated (Sunday, 28 November 2010 15:59)