One of the hardest parts of putting together a fishing trip is figuring out what supplies you need to bring along. And there are few decisions more difficult or complicated than selecting a fish finder. If you understand what a fish finder is and what it does, then you’ll make a better decision when you’re ready to buy and maybe even save a few dollars as well.
A fish finder is a device that basically serves as a guide – it measures how deep the water is in the area where you’re fishing as well as how much ground there is beneath the water. It will also indicate where and what types of items are floating in the water. It’s especially useful for locating fish that you may not be able to see by showing you spots where the fish are likely to be hiding.
These devices use sonar, just like submarines, to measure the distance between your boat and the bottom of the body of water. They are also able to measure the size of any other objects that are in the water. The sonar will only work if you have a transducer on your boat, which is usually installed at the bottom-most level for maximum performance. Once you’ve added the sonar and the transducer, you’ll need to set the speed; this will tell you at what speed your boat should be moving in order to bring in the most fish.
The in-built GPS system will guide you to the exact point where the fish have gathered. Just keep in mind that while GPS units are great, there are some things they can do and some things they can’t. Let’s say you’ve found several objects that look to be about fish-sized – the GPS will tell you where they are, but can’t tell you if it’s really fish or something else that you’re following. Also, GPS does not provide information on depth of objects, which is why the sonar technology is so critical to a successful fishing expedition.
Another great feature to look for in a fish finder is a device for reading water temperatures. Different fish like different water temperatures, and if you know which prefer warm to cool and vice versa, you’ll know which fish to look for on that day.