Unless you are an experienced fishermen, you will only use one type of beam in order to find fish. A wide beam transducer covers a large area but provides less bottom detail and often has a less powerful frequency of around 50 kHz. Narrow beam covers less underwater but provide more detail and bottom definition from the additional frequency around 200 kHz.
The most common mistake anglers make when reading their fish finder is thinking that a long arch means a big fish. This is not the case. On your sonar display, you should think of length as representing time. For example, imagine you keep your fish finder stationary in the water (in other words you are not reeling or trolling it). If there is a fish underneath that is also stationary, what will you see on your fish finder display? You will see one continuous line. That doesn’t mean there’s a blue whale stranded in the pond you’re fishing. It means there is a stationary fish under your fish finder, and it might be a very small one.
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.
Big baits catch big fish, but this presents a problem for the ice angler. Hunting behemoth pike and muskies requires large, lively baits that do not play nice with tip-ups. Suckers and live trout are strong enough to trip the flag of almost any tip-up, causing you to waste time resetting lines after false alarms. Attaching a planer board clip to your tip-up to hold your main line will prevent even an 18-inch sucker from triggering a false flag. The added pressure of the clip, which can be adjusted, has enough tension to hold suckers and trout but still allow predators to pull the line free and run. The flag will trip when it matters, but the bait won’t have the strength to trip it by itself. Just snap the clip to the line guide of the tip-up under the spool. This will allow the planer board clip to hang freely under the water. Simply clip in the main line after setting the bait.
CHIRP devices can transmit simultaneously on high and low frequencies. The lower frequency gives greater depth penetration, and it requires less power than a higher frequency signal so it generates less noise. The result is a “whisper into the water” that locates the fish without disturbing them. The higher frequency signal gives even finer detail at shallow to mid-water depths.
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.

PERMANENT INSTALLATION: I say an installation is permanent once you start drilling holes. A permanent installation will require you to provide power/wiring, physically mount the transducer, and mount the fish finder itself. A few years ago, these things were a lot tougher to do - similar to baking a cake from scratch. I don't like the notion of "trial and error" when I have a drill in my hand. But now that our sport has become more mainstream, products are being offered specifically for kayaks, and fish finder installation can be so easy, even Betty Crocker could do it.


PERMANENT INSTALLATION: I say an installation is permanent once you start drilling holes. A permanent installation will require you to provide power/wiring, physically mount the transducer, and mount the fish finder itself. A few years ago, these things were a lot tougher to do - similar to baking a cake from scratch. I don't like the notion of "trial and error" when I have a drill in my hand. But now that our sport has become more mainstream, products are being offered specifically for kayaks, and fish finder installation can be so easy, even Betty Crocker could do it.

The image to the right shows a school of white bass aggressively feeding on a school of threadfin shad. Note the school of baitfish near the bottom. When threatened, baitfish form a tightly packed school, as the individuals seek safety in the center of the school. This typically looks like an irregularly shaped ball or thumbprint on the fishfinder screen. When no predators are nearby, a school of baitfish frequently appears as a thin horizontal line across the screen, at the depth where the temperature and oxygen levels are optimal. The nearly-vertical lines near the right edge of the screen show the path of fishing lures falling to the bottom.
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).
The common earthworm is a universal bait for fresh water angling. In the quest for quality worms, some fishers culture their own worm compost or practice worm charming. Grubs and maggots are also considered excellent bait when trout fishing. Grasshoppers, flies, bees and even ants are also used as bait for trout in their season, although many anglers believe that trout or salmon roe is superior to any other bait. Studies show that natural baits like croaker and shrimp are more recognized by the fish and are more readily accepted. A good bait for red drum is menhaden.[5] Because of the risk of transmitting whirling disease, trout and salmon should not be used as bait.
THE LIMBO: How low can you go? Or, how low do you need to go? This is an important question you need to answer. If you don't need to see what's 1000 feet below you, they you can certainly save yourself some money. You did save the gift receipts for those much_appreciated_but_unwanted Christmas gifts, didn't you? Before we take the drill off the charger, let's ponder some options and then work backwards to determine what your needs/wants/limitations are.
Whatever species you are hunting, knowing the hardness of the lake bottom and its consistency is another key piece of knowledge when you are trying to crack the code and get the fish biting.There are 3 factors to consider when working out if the bottom displayed on your fish finder is hard or soft: bottom colour, bottom thickness, and the presence of a 2nd bottom return or not.

Power output is measure in watts, often represented by the “W” symbol. With more power you’ll get clearer, more-accurate readings, and you’ll be able to find fish in deeper water. Units with limited power won’t always send the signal out far enough and you can get poor quality images. Look closely for a good power output and frequency options. The right combination can help you choose the right unit, based on overall ability. You’re looking for balance of depth, power and clarity of image.
Fully Networkable, 8” Touchscreen Chartplotter and Sonar. Garmin’s GPSMAP 7608xsv includes built in maps for Coastal and Lake mapping, a 10HZ GPS Receiver providing fast acquisition and position tracking. High Performance HD-ID Sonar, 1kW CHIRP, CHIRP DownVu and CHIRP SideVu. Now enjoy FLIR Camera Compatibility, Smart Boundaries and More. Transducer Required and Sold Separately.
PERMANENT INSTALLATION: I say an installation is permanent once you start drilling holes. A permanent installation will require you to provide power/wiring, physically mount the transducer, and mount the fish finder itself. A few years ago, these things were a lot tougher to do - similar to baking a cake from scratch. I don't like the notion of "trial and error" when I have a drill in my hand. But now that our sport has become more mainstream, products are being offered specifically for kayaks, and fish finder installation can be so easy, even Betty Crocker could do it.
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).
Thru-hull: This means a threaded bronze, nylon or stainless steel shaft passes through the bottom surface of the hull. You have several styles to choose from: external football-shaped head with water flow smoothed by a fairing block that also corrects for the dead rise (sideways slope of the hull); or round mushroom head thru-hulls, either semi-flush or flush mounted. These are the most challenging to install, but likely to provide the best signal quality. Displacement power and sailboats generally use thru-hulls.
While catching a fish is often a case of matching wits—and great patience—a fisherman is at a distinct disadvantage without the right gear. eBay stocks the fishing supplies you need, like spinning rods, casting rods and more by St. Croix, Shimano and other top brands. There are plenty of saltwater and freshwater choices, so it doesn’t matter if you’re after salmon, trout or marlin.
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