It’s no secret that HDS displays are used by more tournament fishing pros than all other fishfinding brands combined, so we didn’t have to go back to the drawing board to build it; we just made the best fishfinder/chartplotter in the world even better. HDS LIVE  delivers premium performance and support for the best collection of innovative sonar features available – from Active Imaging™, StructureScan® 3D, FishReveal™ and LiveSight™ sonar, to exciting navigation functionality like C-MAP® Genesis Live mapping – all designed to help you find more fish.
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 we mentioned, the strength of a fish finder is in how well it can locate the fish, which is why you need a high-quality transducer. CHIRP technology is one of the best you can find, and it provides a 200-watt RMS signal that can reach down to 1,600 feet in fresh water and 750 feet in salt water. Overall, you can find plenty of fish with this device.
A fishfinder or sounder (Australia) is an instrument used to locate fish underwater by detecting reflected pulses of sound energy, as in sonar. A modern fishfinder displays measurements of reflected sound on a graphical display, allowing an operator to interpret information to locate schools of fish, underwater debris, and the bottom of body of water. Fishfinder instruments are used both by sport and commercial fishermen. Modern electronics allows a high degree of integration between the fishfinder system, marine radar, compass and GPS navigation systems.
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There is a huge variety of fish finder brands, their models and types. All this can make it quite complicated and time consuming to find the right one for your needs.  To help you in your search, we have compiled this best fish finder reviews of the models that are popular and top rated in 2017. With our reviews you can find the right fish finder for your style of fishing. To make sure that you get the right features for your needs, it’s important to do prior research. So read our reviews and comparisons to decide which model you need.

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.
The size of the area you’re scanning will be affected by the angle of the cone. A wide beam cone scans between 40°-60°, meaning you’ll be covering a large area. A narrow cone will scan between 10°-20°. So make sure you’re aware of whether your fish finder is using a wide or narrow cone when you’re looking at the data on your screen. The Deeper PRO and PRO+ have wide and narrow beam scanning (55° and 15°), the Deeper START has a medium/wide beam (40°). One other point to remember about how you sonar works is that it is constantly sending and receiving data, which means your display will be continually scrolling. The current scanning data will be on the right – the further left on the screen, the older the data.
The best rated fish finder, Lowrance Elite-7X, features one of the biggest screens among the models that have made it to our list of 12 top fish finders. The 7 inch widescreen offers excellent brightness, contrast and resolution. This allows viewing details even in bright sunlight and at a wider angle. The screen and keypad have an adjustable backlight for better viewing and usability at night and daylight.
Your fishfinder needs to accomplish two objectives: find the fish and help you record where they like to hide at your favorite fishing spot. In both respects, Garmin’s Striker 7SV definitely delivers the goods and then some. This superior scanning sonar gives one of the most complete images available of what is in the water around you and how deep the fish are hiding in real time with near-photographic detail. In terms of an easy to use interface, this model uses dedicated navigation and function buttons to provide reliable responses for more intuitive operation even by novice users.
Raymarine’s DragonFly 4 PRO with Navionics Plus Mapping offers Dual-Channel Sonar with CHIRP DownView enabling easy identification of fish and underwater structure with photo-like images. Reaching depths of 600ft with CHIRP DownVision and 900ft with CHIRP Sonar the DragonFly 4 includes a built in GPS receiver and provides accurate coastal navigation data all on a 4.3” Color Display.

The last model we would like to mention in our top 12 list is a model also from the Humminbird brand. It’s also one of the best inexpensive fish finder models. It comes with a black and white display. The sonar is dual beam and its frequency (200/455 kHz) allows viewing readings of depths of up to 600 feet. It’s also a small fish finder with the display being just 4 inches. The clear edge grayscale display clearly shows everything even in direct sunlight.
Fish will show up on your screen as an arch (the reason why they are shown as an arch is explained in detail here). But it’s important to remember these arches can vary in size (length and width), and might not be a full arch – look out for those half arches too. The screenshot below gives some nice examples of different arches. They vary in length and width, and some are not full arches, but these are all fish.

Fish will show up on your screen as an arch (the reason why they are shown as an arch is explained in detail here). But it’s important to remember these arches can vary in size (length and width), and might not be a full arch – look out for those half arches too. The screenshot below gives some nice examples of different arches. They vary in length and width, and some are not full arches, but these are all fish.
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When choosing the fish finder, you also need to choose the unit with the right frequency, which is also an important feature of the transducer. The frequency is directly related to angle of the cone. On most of the transducers you can find the following frequencies: 50, 83, 192 and 200 kHz. A higher frequency will give you more detail on the screen. You can find models that offer dual, single and multiple frequencies.
For those who want the ultimate in fish finding technology, we have the Lowrance HDS-9 as a top rated fish finder. Not only do you get a large screen, but it’s touch activated for even more convenience. It’s so wide that you can chart two maps at once, and it’s all high-definition which allows you to create 3D models of the bottom of any lake or river in real time. Overall, this is as good as it gets.
A GPS is a must have for many fishers and having it in one unit with a fish detector is economical, space saving and convenient. Having the addition of a GPS gives you many benefits. It will give you the ability to mark hot fishing spots and easily return to them in the future, as you can mark the spot on the GPS and then track your way back to it later. These spots are called waypoints and on most units you will be able to mark hundreds or even thousands of them.
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.
A fishing line is a cord used or made for fishing. The earliest fishing lines were made from leaves or plant stalk (Parker 2002). Later lines were constructed from horse hair or silk thread, with catgut leaders. From the 1850s, modern industrial machinery was employed to fashion fishing lines in quantity. Most of these lines were made from linen or silk, and more rarely cotton.[3]