How to Choose a Fish Finder

How to Choose a Fish Finder
The right fish finder can dramatically improve your chance of success on the water, especially if you are fishing vast lakes or heading out across the ocean. Sonar technology can also help you locate underwater structures and determine the depth of the water beneath you. Some models equipped with GPS even allow the angler to enter coordinates into the memory, so you can return to the same spot every day.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Determine your budget. Basic fish finder models are available in the $100 range. Full-feature units with built-in GPS, sonar and color screens can cost thousands of dollars.
Step 2
Learn how fish finders work so that you can determine what features are most important to you. A fish finder consists of three main parts: a display console; a mounting bracket to hold the display on the boat dashboard; and a transducer, which delivers the sonar signal into the water so it can bounce off the bottom and transmit image information to the display screen.
Step 3
Choose a monitor display from the two types: LCD or color screens. LCD displays are less expensive, but can be more difficult to view in bright sunlight. Color displays present information in different color codes and symbols, so you can quckly identify what's going on beneath the boat.
Step 4
Decide if you need a permanent fish finder installation or a portable unit that can be taken aboard different boats. Some fish finder models are designed for installation on the dashboard of your boat, with a permanent transducer installation under the boat or through the hull. Portable fish finders are equipped with suction cups for attaching the display and transducer. These models can be moved quickly from one boat to another and installed in minutes
Step 5
Compare the different transducers available. Transducers with more frequencies are more expensive, but give the angler greater flexibility in locating fish consistently because the fish finder sends multiple sonar signals.
Step 6
Check out fish finders with GPS systems that monitor underwater activity beneath a superimposed map and help you locate your position at all times. Data cards preloaded with detailed maps of significant lakes and ocean areas are also available for purchase.

Article Written By James Clark

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.

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