How to Read a Hummingbird Sonar Fish Finder

How to Read a Hummingbird Sonar Fish Finder
Learning how to read a Humminbird Sonar fish finder is not difficult. Designed with simplicity in mind, these fathometers are accessible even to the technically challenged. Utilizing a digital display screen, anglers read information in one of two ways. Either by numerical display, such as in the case of water depth, for example, or through graphical display, which provides images of bottom contour and even variations in water temperature. With a minimum of time, novices can learn basic functions that will allow them to attempt their first sonar fishing trip.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Press the power button on the face of the device to activate the fish finder. Press the menu key when the start-up screen appears and use the arrow key to scroll and highlight the word "Simulator" from the three options displayed.
Step 2
Use the simulator and owner's manual together for a more comprehensive understanding of how to use the device.
Step 3
Look at the top of the simulator display and you will see the surface designated by a horizontal line, a small zero in the upper-right corner designating the surface and, in the upper-left corner, a number in a large font surrounded by a box designating the water depth.
Step 4
Find the temperature indicator on the top left of the display and immediately below the depth listing. Observe the box directly below the temperature indicator and note that elapsed time is displayed on the first line, distance traveled on the second line and average speed on the third line--each in a smaller font.
Step 5
Check current boat speed by looking at the numbers displayed in large font to the center left of the screen directly below the box mentioned in Step 4.
Step 6
Search for the approximate depth of the surrounding bottom terrain by checking the numbered display in the lower-right corner of the screen.
Step 7
Watch the display screen to understand that all incoming data enters on the right of the screen and moves to the left as newer data is recorded.
Step 8
Study the bands on the lower screen designating the type of bottom surface. A compacted surface will appear as a thin line, a sandy or muddy surface as a thicker line and rocky bottoms will be displayed as bumpy or broken.
Step 9
Study the bands on the upper screen designating the surface content. A clear surface will appear as a thin line. A surface with debris, such as a layer of kelp or algae, will appear in the form of a thicker line composed of dots running horizontally below the surface line.
Step 10
Study the band on the center of the screen. A multicolored line of dots displayed horizontally across the screen indicates a thermocline--a level of water that is different temperature than waters above or below.
Step 11
Learn the fish icons that can appear on the display. Watch for fish displayed either from a profile position or as arches. Look at the colors displayed as well to determine fish location as orange indicates a fish directly below and blue indicates a fish on the outer edge of the sonar perimeter. Note that fish depth appears numerically just above fish icons.

Article Written By Mike Biscoe

Mike Biscoe has been writing since 2009. Focusing on travel, sports and entertainment topics, he has credits in various online publications including LIVESTRONG.COM and Trails. He often writes articles covering uncommon travel destinations from firsthand experience. Biscoe holds a Certificate of Completion in acting from the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.

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