Here’s a useful tip for judging the width / thickness of a sonar return: switch on the vertical flasher (also know as a-scope) on your fish finder if it has one (to do this on the Deeper App, go to Settings > Sonar > Vertical Flasher). The vertical flasher on the right side of your screen will show you exactly what’s under your sonar at this exact moment. You can use it for vertical jigging, and of course forice fishingtoo. For judging fish size, look at both the thickness and width of the returns on your vertical flasher. A larger fish will give both a wider and a thicker return.

MOUNTING THE FISHFINDER: Cockpit space in any paddle craft is premium real estate, so definitely do some planning before you do some drilling. The carpenters pencil is your friend in this case. I suggest that before you drill/cut, you spend some time on the water and use that pencil to mark up potential mounting spots. You have to be able to see it well and to reach it, but it needs to be out of the way when you cast, land a fish, or get in/out of your boat. If your boat has some sort of console, that's an obvious mounting choice. But, if you don't then Ram Mounts offers a number of multi-position solutions that will allow you to mount it just about anywhere. Once you decide where it will go, you have to get the wiring to the battery and to the transducer.


The Axiom 9RV from Raymarine is a top of the line 9” Multi-Function Display with RealVision Sonar and comes packed with an RV-100 Transom Mount Transducer. The included RV transducer will provide CHIRP DownVision, CHIRP SideVision, High Frequency CHIRP and RealVision 3D all in one. Detailed U.S and Canadian Mapping for Coastal and Lake water is also included with Navionics+ Mapping.

Just getting started using a fish finder? Know the basics but want to get more out of your fish finder? Not sure you’re reading your fish finder display correctly? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. This short tutorial will teach you how to make sense of your fish finder display so you can tell what’s a bait fish, what’s a trophy catch and what’s just a submerged tree that you’ll snag on. Take just 7 minutes to go through this tutorial and at the end you’ll be able to read your fish finder display for:

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.

With the Fish Symbol feature disabled, an angler can learn to distinguish between fish, vegetation, schools of baitfish or forage fish, debris, etc. Fish will usually appear on the screen as an arch. This is because the distance between the fish and the transducer changes as the boat passes over the fish (or the fish swims under the boat). When the fish enters the leading edge of the sonar beam, a display pixel is turned on. As the fish swims toward the centre of the beam, the distance to the fish decreases, turning on pixels at shallower depths. When the fish swims directly under the transducer, it is closer to the boat so the stronger signal shows a thicker line. As the fish swims away from the transducer, the distance increases, which shows as progressively deeper pixels.
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).
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