How to Read a Fish Finder?

How to Read a Fish Finder?
Fish finders have taken most of the guesswork out of fishing. Sonar technology creates an image for viewing above the surface. But even the best fish finder is useless if its operator cannot read it.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • fish finder
Step 1
Make sure the fish finder is on.
Step 2
Pay attention to the bottom of the screen. The area highlighted is the bottom of the area you are fishing. This could be sand, silt, structure, etc.
Step 3
Looking at the screen, look above the bottom for small blips. These are fish. The number next to them indicates the depth at which they are swimming. That's where you'll want to fish.
Step 4
The top of the screen will usually list total area depth and temperature.
Step 5
Pay attention to the color indicated on the screen as well. The darker the color the denser the object. The areas indicated in dark red are hard-bottom areas or structures and schools of fish. This is important as most fish are located on hard-bottom structures.

Tips & Warnings

Always fish around structures as fish are drawn to them for food and shelter from predators.
Black and white fish finders are read in the same way, although density is measured in shades of gray.

Article Written By Justin Otto

Justin K. Otto is a freelance writer & editor from Pensacola, Florida. He has been writing for 9 years and professionally for just over 2 for several publications such as The Pensacola News Journal, a Gannett Publication, the PJC Corsair and Kayak Angler Magazine. He is currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in journalism.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.