Commercial and naval fathometers of yesteryear used a strip chart recorder where an advancing roll of paper was marked by a stylus to make a permanent copy of the depth, usually with some means of also recording time (Each mark or time 'tic' is proportional to distance traveled) so that the strip charts could be readily compared to navigation charts and maneuvering logs (speed changes). Much of the world's ocean depths have been mapped using such recording strips. Fathometers of this type usually offered multiple (chart advance) speed settings, and sometimes, multiple frequencies as well. (Deep Ocean—Low Frequency carries better, Shallows—high frequency shows smaller structures (like fish, submerged reefs, wrecks, or other bottom composition features of interest.) At high frequency settings, high chart speeds, such fathometers give a picture of the bottom and any intervening large or schooling fish that can be related to position. Fathometers of the constant recording type are still mandated for all large vessels (100+ tons displacement) in restricted waters (i.e. generally, within 15 miles (24 km) of land).
Once you've got your rod and reel setup how you want it, pull the right fishing line and tackle for the waters you're fishing from your tackle box and get to work. Add a sinker for more depth or a floater that can help track your line. A thick fishing line and hook will provide more resistance for reeling in larger fish. If nothing's biting from the shore, why not load up your fishing tools into a fishing boat or raft and try exploring further out. Customize the power of your boat with a trolling motor or do things the old fashioned way with a canoe and paddles.
Do you prefer having more detailed and high-contrast visuals on your fishfinder? Color LCD options from Academy Sports + Outdoors can ensure you don't miss a single catch. With higher-quality screens, you can zoom into specific sections of the water and even target specific fish. With additional sensors, our collection of marine GPS can track the movement of fish in real time, allowing you to trail and snag them before they swim away. Academy also carries portable fishfinders as well as castable fishfinders which are great for kayak, surf or bank fishing.
As with many products, you’ll have to pay close attention to the specific features delivered for the price, simply because the investment for combination fishfinder and GPS can range from $500 to $1200 or more. Fishfinders and GPS units are well advanced when compared to equipment used just a few years ago. Most of the time you can get excellent 3D mapping, scanning, charting and navigation at a very reasonable price. It’s not necessary to spend hundreds more unless you really want to go after the top-of-the-line unit.
To get the most of the both there’s the dual beam type of transducers. It’s also called dual frequency and which combines both features in one unit. Other types of transducers are more specialized. They include multiple beams (can be 4 or more). These cover a larger area of the underwater and can even give a 3D image on the display. One more option is the side beam transducer. These units shoot their signals to the sides, which increases the search area for fish.
When compared to other finders, this screen is relatively small, but it still gets the job done. Since it’s in full color and has high contrast, you can still see everything quite clearly. The only downside is that you have to switch between menus, which can be a problem if you are trying to find fish and mark your location. Overall, it’s not necessarily a deal breaker, but it may be enough to warrant a larger screen. Fortunately, the Striker can come in bigger sizes if you want to upgrade.
CHIRP fishfinders transmit less peak power than a conventional fishfinder, but their wide-band, frequency modulated pulses (130-210kHz, for example) can be very long in duration and put 10-50 times more energy into the water. Using digital pattern matching and signal processing, CHIRP devices achieve unprecedented resolution and target detection. Your ability to resolve individual fish, or separate fish from bottom structure, is now a matter of inches, instead of several feet with traditional fishfinders. See individual fish in groups, instead of a single mass.

Fishing traps are culturally almost universal and seem to have been independently invented many times. There are essentially two types of trap, a permanent or semi-permanent structure placed in a river or tidal area and pot-traps that are baited to attract prey and periodically lifted. They might have the form of a fishing weir or a lobster trap. A typical trap can have a frame of thick steel wire in the shape of a heart, with chicken wire stretched around it. The mesh wraps around the frame and then tapers into the inside of the trap. When a fish swims inside through this opening, it cannot get out, as the chicken wire opening bends back into its original narrowness. In earlier times, traps were constructed of wood and fibre.

For ice fishing enthusiasts one of the recommended and top rated fish finders is the Humminbird ICE-35 model. One of the most liked features on this device is the zoom flexibility. It allows you to zoom in not just to the bottom, but also zooming in for more details in any part you choose of the water column. The three color fiber optic display gives you a clear view of the readings. The extreme temperature LCD technology reports the lake bottom and automatically sets the flasher. Other features include dual frequency, maximum 200 depth capability and 800 watts peak-to-peak.
A GPS also gives you navigation through the waters. For this you will need to select a unit that comes with background maps and charts. One more benefit of the addition of the GPS is safety. Wherever you fish, you will have the confidence that at the end of the day the GPS will easily point you home. For example, you could be fishing throughout different locations during the day, or you could lose sight of land, or some severe weather could suddenly roll out. In such situations, a GPS will give you the exact direction to your home and will tell you how far it is.
Pay a bit more and you get a bit more with the Humminbird Helix 7 SI GPS. The screen is massive, compared to other combination units – 12 inches with 1280×800 pixel resolution. The any-angle viewing and reduced glare are excellent. The Humminbird also has the electronic capability to support almost any advanced feature you can imagine, including, of course, precision GPS.
BABY STEPS: You don't have to spend a ton of money or be an engineer to get your kayak electrified. Here we have the Lowrance X50DS. The fishfinder and the installation kit will run around $250. Look at what you spend for a rod/reel/braided line, and you'll find this kit is certainly affordable. The display is 4-level grayscale, and the battery pack contains AA batteries. However, what it may lack in fashion it makes up by function. The battery pack goes in a dry bag, and the unit itself is easily removed at the end of the day. It features a built in temperature sensor and 120 degrees of wide angle coverage.
Points are more gradual than drop offs, but spotting them is just as easy (see the screen shot below). Make sure you maintain a steady speed when trolling or reeling so you get an accurate reading on how steep the incline is. You should scan with a narrow sonar beam to get the clearest reading, and to ensure you see any shelfs or humps which wider beam scanning might not pick up (our page onhow sonars workexplains why this is).
These are very valuable features to target for a range of species, and the good news is, they are easy to spot with a fish finder. As you troll or reel in your device, you will see the depth contour change – don’t forget to use the depth reader on your display (on the Deeper App it’s in the top right corner of the screen) so you can track how quickly the depth is rising or falling.

The intensity of the sonar return from a hard bottom will be different to one from a hard bottom. Your fish finder uses colour to show this difference. In the standard colour palette of the Deeper display, the colour varies from dull brown (softest) to intense orange (hardest). In the day mode colour palette (see screen shot), the difference is even easier to see, with the colour ranging from purple (softest) to red to orange to yellow (hardest).
For just around 600 you can get this Raymarine Dragonfly fish finder that offers features that are usually found on much pricier models. It uses next-gen CHIRP technology that gives photo-like imagery with high resolution structure. The CHIRP technology transmits a wide spectrum of frequencies and the result is a much higher resolution. The generous size (5.7 inches) of the display gives an easy read of the underwater details and the 1600 nits gives clear viewing even in bright daylight.

‡‡Shipping fees apply. Shipping fees and delivery times vary depending on location, size and weight of the item(s) and is only available within the province of the Canadian Tire retail location (“Store”) from which the item(s) was purchased. Bulk items will only be delivered within a 100km radius of the Store. Not available in Recontre East, NL. Conditions and restrictions apply. Visit for more information.
† In the form of electronic Canadian Tire Money® (CT Money®). To collect bonus CT Money you must present a Triangle Rewards card/key fob, or use any approved Cardless method, at time of purchase or pay with a Triangle Mastercard®, Triangle World Mastercard® or Triangle World Elite Mastercard®. You cannot collect paper Canadian Tire Money on bonus offers. Any bonus multiplier is based on the base rate of collecting CT Money, and will be added to whatever the Member would otherwise collect, without the bonus. Not all items sold at Canadian Tire are eligible to earn CT Money. Terms and conditions apply to collecting and redeeming. Visit for more information. The offered rate is exclusive of any bonus or promotional offers or redemption transactions. CT Money is collected on the pre-tax amount of the purchase. Bonus CT Money collected from online orders will be applied to the member’s triangle rewards™ account within 5 weeks of the purchase date.
Fishing traps are culturally almost universal and seem to have been independently invented many times. There are essentially two types of trap, a permanent or semi-permanent structure placed in a river or tidal area and pot-traps that are baited to attract prey and periodically lifted. They might have the form of a fishing weir or a lobster trap. A typical trap can have a frame of thick steel wire in the shape of a heart, with chicken wire stretched around it. The mesh wraps around the frame and then tapers into the inside of the trap. When a fish swims inside through this opening, it cannot get out, as the chicken wire opening bends back into its original narrowness. In earlier times, traps were constructed of wood and fibre.
Screen Color & Resolution is an essential factor in your selection. Color screens are the new norm on today’s fish finders. A color screen enables you to more easily decipher objects in the water, giving you valuable insight into your game fish. Also consider the amount of pixels on your screen—the more pixels, the greater level of detail you can see. LED backlit screens provide brilliant visual display, particularly for fishing in low-light conditions.
Moreover, the 7SV also has a built in Garmin GPS that allows you to make your own waypoint maps, which makes marking all those stumps, docks, and brush piles as easy as clicking a button or two. All map information is transferrable to other Garmin fish finder devices if you upgrade as well, adding even more versatility to the 7SV. Additionally, the 7SV also has its own rechargeable battery pack that helps you stay on the water all day long, thereby increasing your chances of finally reeling in that trophy catch you’ve been looking for all these years.
The final point to remember when you are looking out for fish arches is that it doesn’t need to be a full arch. Half arches (like the ones shown in the screen shot above) also show that there is fish. In ourtutorial on how sonars work, we explain in detail why sometimes you get a full arch and sometimes you get a half arch. The short answer is that you will get a full arch if a fish swims through the whole of your sonar cone, and a half or partial arch if they only swim through part of it.
Additional information for residents of Quebec only: The regular annual rate for persons applying for the Triangle credit card is 22.99% for cash transactions and related fees and 19.99% for all other charges. Some applicants may receive a higher or lower regular annual rate depending on a credit evaluation. The minimum payment is the sum of (a) interest and fees shown on your statement, (b) the greater of any amount past due or any balance over your credit limit, (c) the amount of any equal payments plan instalments then due, and (d) $10. Balances under $10 are due in full. For residents of Quebec, the period between the statement date and the due date for payment is 26 days. The billing period covered by each statement can be from 28-33 days. The Triangle Mastercard does not have an annual fee. Examples of borrowing costs (rounded to the nearest cent) assuming that all charges are purchases bearing interest at the regular annual rate of 19.99%, a 30 day month, no charges made on special payment plans and no other fees, additional payments or other changes are:

Check out our Factory Outlet Store where you can find all of our recertified marine electronics. Items and quantities are limited, so do not hesitate if you find and item you are looking for. Recertified products are restored to like new condition and carry a 90 day warranty, so you know you are getting one heck of a deal. If you have any questions you can always contact our support team via our support ticket system at We are always happy to troubleshoot and answer any questions you may have.

Simrad’s GO9 XSE Combination GPS/ Fishfinder offers a networkable 9” Touchscreen unit at an affordable price point. An Internal 10Hz GPS Receiver quickly and accurately locates position on the included C-Map Pro Charting while the included TotalScan Transom Mount Transducer provides detailed underwater images. Compatible with detailed mapping from C-MAP MAX-N, Navionics, Insight, Insight Genesis, and NV Digital Charts.
Depending on where you fish, sometimes the difference between finding a hot channel where you can always count on the fish to return during a certain time of day and absolutely nothing can be just a few feet. If you’ve ever fished for walleye, you know what it’s like to find those feeding channels or to have the days where you just can’t quite make it work.
Few things aggravate ice anglers more than frozen rod guides. Chipping away with fingernails, teeth, or anything else lying around can easily damage both the frame and rings of the guides, but you have to keep them clear because iced guides will weaken line, especially super-­light monofilament or fluorocarbon. There are a number of homebrew remedies for tackling this problem, but none are more effective than lip balm, which creates a film on guides that inhibits them from freezing and building ice. It’s waterproof and takes quite a while for wet line or precipitation to break it down and necessitate reapplication. A small stick or tin stores easily in your pocket, and just a few swipes with your finger on guide rings will protect them from ice-up for several hours.
Standalone fishfinder: If you just want to see what’s below, dedicated fishfinders give the biggest display and the most performance for the least cost. If you have a small boat that you use for fishing small inland lakes or are on a limited budget, a standalone fishfinder is for you. Conversely, if your pilothouse has room for multiple displays, or if you just bought a new GPS, get a serious big-screen fishfinder. You can usually add a GPS sensor later to many units, turning them into chartplotter combos.
You want to turn the fish finder on. It will be set in automatic mode already, with the pre-program settings already on. You can switch it to a manual mode at any time to customized the finder. When you first turn it on, you can leave it in the automatic mode. You then want to drive on the water in automatic mode to get an idea of what it’s seeing.
Humminbird 140C Fishin’ Buddy is one of the top rated fish finders among the portable type. So you can use it on your boat, on the leased boat, on the dock or for fishing from anywhere else. To use the device you won’t need to do any rigging or wiring. Instead it uses extendable transducer tube housing with the length suitable for most small and mid-sized boats.

Eventually, CRTs were married with a fathometer for commercial fishing and the fishfinder was born. With the advent of large LCD arrays, the high power requirements of a CRT gave way to the LCD in the early 1990s and fishfinding fathometers reached the sporting markets. Nowadays, many fishfinders available for hobby fishers have color LCD screens, built-in GPS, charting capabilities, and come bundled with transducers.[5] Today, sporting fishfinders lack only the permanent record of the big ship navigational fathometer, and that is available in high end units that can use the ubiquitous computer to store that record as well.

Early sporting fathometers for recreational boating used a rotating light at the edge of a circle which flashed in sync with the received echo, which in turn corresponded to depth. These also gave a small flickering flash for echos off of fish. Like today's low-end digital fathometers, they kept no record of the depth over time and provided no information about bottom structure. They had poor accuracy, especially in rough water, and were hard to read in bright light. Despite the limitations, they were still usable for rough estimates of depth, such as for verifying that the boat had not drifted into an unsafe area.
Hand nets are held open by a hoop, and maybe on the end of a long stiff handle. They have been known since antiquity and may be used for sweeping up fish near the water surface like muskellunge and northern pike. When such a net is used by an angler to help land a fish it is known as a landing net.[12] In the UK, hand-netting is the only legal way of catching glass eels[13] and has been practised for thousands of years on the River Parrett and River Severn.