How to Work a Fish Finder

How to Work a Fish Finder
Fish finders revolutionized angling by providing a window to the underwater world. Using sonar technology, fish finders bounce sound waves off the bottom of a body of water and send a signal back to the fish finder, which translates the information into an image on an LCD or cathode ray tube screen.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fish finder
  • Boat
Step 1
Use a good fish finder with some power behind it -- at least 3,000 watts -- so you get a clear picture of what's happening under your boat. Less powerful models cannot detect or display as much information as the serious angler needs to locate fish.
Step 2
Turn on the unit to get an automatic depth reading, which will help you adjust the other settings, then switch to manual.
Step 3
Adjust the sensitivity control to at least 75 percent while you become familiar with the waters you are fishing.
Step 4
Study the jagged line and any shadows that appear on the bottom of your monitor, as these indicate underwater structure -- rocks, brush piles -- a prime location for targeting big fish.
Step 5
Bring along your instruction manual the first few times you use the fish finder, or take time to memorize the icons that display different species and sizes of fish.
Step 6
Dial up the sensitivity knob if your signal is weak and little is appearing on your monitor, but be aware that increasing the signal response means you will get a lot of useless readings, such as a blip signaling a piece of junk floating by underwater. Also, a tight school of passing baitfish could be misinterpreted as the Loch Ness monster, so until you gain some experience, stick to the manual settings and keep the sensitivity knob at roughly 75 percent.

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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