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.
Best of all though, the Helix 7 is a complete package, and includes underwater sonar transducer and all necessary mounting hardware for quick and easy installation on your boat. All you need to do is power up the device, toss the transducer in the water, and wait for sonar returns to start rolling in. Make every fishing expedition a trophy winner with the Humminbird Helix 7 CHIRP DI GPS G2 Fishfinder.

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.
More pixels per square inch will provide better detail of structures, a better representation of what’s below you, and improved split-screen images. More pixels—higher screen resolution and a big screen—allow you to see the air bladders of smaller fish, see fish near the bottom, separate closely spaced targets from one another, and to see fish on the edges of “bait balls.” But remember: the contrast of the display must also be sharp in order to use the resolution. Like many features, you get what you pay for with display resolution—the more the better.
By calculating the amount of time between when the sound wave was sent and when it bounced back, it measures the distance and shows it on the screen. If the wave doesn’t encounter anything on its way, it reaches the bottom. If the bottom is soft and it’s just mud and weeds, the signal gets absorbed. A rock bottom will reflect a stronger signal back.
Having a GPS onboard is something I've wanted for a while, so that makes the Humminbird 385CI a powerful combo to me. I love "jungle fishing", getting back in mangroves and other areas that are loaded with structure. It's also easy to get turned around in those areas because if you're concentrating on fishing it's easy to lose track of where you are, where you've been, and how to get back to the launch. Obviously, this will help. Between having built in navigational charts and doing your own recon concerning tides for the day, you can make better choices as to where you want to fish.
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.
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.
The best value fish finder models that we have listed above are the most popular in 2014. All of them have high fish finder ratings and predominantly positive reviews of the users. According to your needs, one model or other might be a better choice for you. When you compare fish finders, you should consider your budget and the features you would like the fish finder you are looking for to have. Before choosing fish finder, you need to decide do you need a portable unit or a fixed one for mounting onto your boat. Also consider will a fish finder be sufficient for your needs or do you also need an integral GPS in the unit. We hope that with the information that I have provided in this best fish finder reviews, you will find a fish finder that will help you catch more fish.
However, fish finders for professional use, i.e., those used by commercial fishermen, can make use of other frequencies. Such frequencies include 15, 22, 28, 38, 45, 50, 68, 75, 88, 107, 150 and 200 kHz. There are some special fish finders that utilize the frequency of 400 kHz, but it is quite a rare case. As you can see, there is an extensive range of configurable frequencies available for fish finders for fishery vessels, and a fish finder generally makes use of a combination of two frequencies (high and low frequencies). The selection of the frequencies depends upon the intended purposes of the fish finder, which include, inter alia, finding specific fish species; grasping the seabed condition; conducting a wide-area-search with the search angle of 90 degrees at one go; conducting detailed search for fish schools; detecting fish schools that give weak echo returns; avoiding interference/conflict with other fish finders used nearby. The searchable range (depth) and search area are dependent upon the frequency used. On the one hand, high frequency ultrasound is suitable for a detailed search, although it cannot be used for search in deep water. Low frequency ultrasound, on the other hand, is suited for general searches in a wider area as well as searching in deep water.
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.
Winter weather may run us inside, but that doesn't mean the sport sleeps. Those "other things" I mentioned will be covered when I write my book, but for now they will have to wait. In the mean time, let's discuss some other "deep thoughts". Or should that be "thoughts about the deep"? Or maybe it would be "I thought this water was deeper". This article is about depth finders, or more commonly called "fish finders". In this issue, we'll discuss your options when it comes to selecting one of these gadgets, along with tips for temporary or permanent installation.

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.
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.

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.
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.
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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).
A sinker or plummet is a weight used when angling to force the lure or bait to sink more rapidly or to increase the distance that it may be cast. The ordinary plain sinker is traditionally made of lead. It can be practically any shape, and is often shaped round like a pipe-stem, with a swelling in the middle. However, the use of smaller lead based fishing sinkers has now been banned in the UK, Canada and some states in the USA,[4] since lead can cause toxic lead poisoning if ingested. There are loops of brass wire on either end of the sinker to attach the line. Weights can range from a quarter of an ounce for trout fishing up to a couple of pounds or more for sea bass and menhaden.