Detection range (depth) of a fish finder depends upon the frequency used for ultrasound transmission. In principle, the higher the frequency of ultrasound, the shorter the propagation range can be. The wavelength of high frequency ultrasound is short, and its directivity angle is narrow, which enables detailed searches, but it attenuates significantly while travelling through water. Low frequency ultrasound is characterised by its long wavelength, wider directivity angle and high level of tolerance toward underwater attenuation, hence enabling wide-area-searches in deeper water. To summarize, you can choose low frequency if you are searching in deep water and high frequency if you are conducting a detailed search in shallow water. Further, when using low frequency ultrasound, you may be able to conduct more precise deep-water searches by adding an optional Power Adapter, which amplifies the transmitter power to a few kilowatts. Please note, however, that when using the Power Adapter, a dedicated transducer capable of handling higher transmitter power will be needed.
2-4 PERSON CAPACITY: Comfortably sized 2-4 people capacity including set-up dimensions of 81" x 71" and 71" high with plenty of room to fish and even stand up inside of.|POP-UP STYLE SETUP: Sets up super quick and tears down just as easily by simply pulling up on the roof and then on all four sides so youÆll be good to go in minutes.|FULLY INSULATED FABRIC: Features 300 denier insulated oxford fabric with frost-resistance up to 22 degrees Fahrenheit to keep you warm no matter the weather.|DURABLY DESIGNED: Includes solid fiberglass poles, diecast hubs, and heavy duty zippers designed for repeated use plus 4 strong ground stakes and 4 pull ropes.|WELL-VENTILATED ACCESS: Two zippered doors on opposite ends and hook and loop fastened windows allow for easy access and provide a well-ventilated.
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.

Transmit Power: Transmit power is expressed in watts RMS (root mean squared) and is related to how well you see in silt-laden water, view down to greater depths and successfully resolve separate targets and bottom structure. A 500-watt (RMS) fishfinder should have plenty of power for most coastal applications. Serious bluewater anglers should look for 1,000 watts or more. Inland lake fishermen can see the shallow bottom with only 200 watts.
Commercial fishermen also make use of these characteristics. They conduct a search by low frequency (i.e., 15 kHz) beams first to grasp the general locations of fish schools around the boat. Subsequently, they narrow the search area for a fish school, using high frequency beams (200 kHz), to detect the exact location of the fish school and operate the boat to be directly above the targeted fish school.
ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR PADDLING_KIND: In the 2009 ICAST article, I mentioned a combo system that was in the new products exhibit, but wasn't available at the time of the show. It's most certainly available now, and that unit is the Humminbird 385CI. Like us, fish seek comfort, safety, and food. This unit will allow you to gather "data" that you can process in to fish finding "information".
In operation, an electrical impulse from a transmitter is converted into a sound wave by an underwater transducer, called a hydrophone, and sent into the water.[3] When the wave strikes something such as a fish, it is reflected back and displays size, composition, and shape of the object. The exact extent of what can be discerned depends on the frequency and power of the pulse transmitted. Knowing the speed of the wave in the water, the distance to the object that reflected the wave can be determined. The speed of sound through the water column depends on the temperature, salinity and pressure (depth). This is approximately c = 1404.85 + 4.618T - 0.0523T2 + 1.25S + 0.017D (where c = sound speed (m/s), T = temperature (degrees Celsius), S = salinity (per mille) and D = depth).[4] Typical values used by commercial fish finders are 4921 ft/s (1500 m/s) in seawater and 4800 ft/s (1463 m/s) in freshwater.
Many people prefer to fish solely with lures, which are artificial baits designed to entice fish to strike. The artificial bait angler uses a man-made lure that may or may not represent prey. The lure may require a specialised presentation to impart an enticing action as, for example, in fly fishing. Recently, electronic lures have been developed to attract fish. Anglers have also begun using plastic bait. A common way to fish a soft plastic worm is the Texas rig.
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.
Our Depth Sounders are designed to mount flush in the dash of your boat. Our friendly user interface, automatic range & sensitivity and proprietary algorithms produce precise readings at speeds in excess of 60 MPH. Say goodbye to the days of not knowing the depth while running your boat on plane. Our Hand Held Depth Finders takes portable sonar systems to a whole new level. Get precise readings on the go with just a press of a button.
Networked system: Fully networked systems are available from all the major suppliers, and usually will support a huge range of data sources including radar, raster and vector GPS charts, video, and SiriusXM satellite radio. Many allow Bluetooth/WiFi, and you can control them from your iPhone or Android smartphone. Your fishfinder, often an external “black box” module, is just one of these sources of data. Multiple-display network systems are great for medium-sized or large vessels. Capabilities get more amazing every year.
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.
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.

Choosing the perfect fish finder for your requirement is hard with many features such as imaging, power and more. The main purpose of a fish finder is to catch more fish with the screen displaying the fish and underwater structure and physical objects. Other information such as water temperature and depth are common on the majority of devices with many high end fish finders providing much more.
Offering popular premium features at a more affordable price than any display in its category, Elite Ti2 gives anglers a level of powerful fishfinding and navigation functionality usually reserved for more expensive fishfinder/chartplotters. From Active Imaging™ support , FishReveal™ and built-in Genesis Live onscreen mapping to features that make your life easier on the water, like an easy-to-use touchscreen, wireless networking, smartphone notifications and trolling motor/Power Pole® integration – Elite Ti2 was designed to help you have an easier time finding fish.
The Garmin Echo 551DV is one of the newer and more advanced models in the Garmin line of fish finders and it’s the top fish finder under 300. It’s one of my top choices and I really think that it’s the best fish finder for the money. It offers the best fishing sonar and a large clear display. The transducer has 500 watts of power, which allows the wave to go as deep as 2300 feet. It comes from the echo fish finder series that are known for their great accuracy.
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.
Transducers: Fishfinders operate using a single frequency transducer, dual frequencies, multiple frequencies or a broadband CHIRP system. In general, higher frequencies give the finest detail resolution, the least background noise on your screen and the best view from a fast-moving boat, but don’t penetrate as deeply as lower frequencies. Shallow-water inland anglers generally choose higher frequencies of 200kHz, 455kHz or 800kHz. For maximum depth, use lower frequencies. We recommend 200kHz or higher (up to 800kHz) for water depths up to 200' and 80kHz or 50kHz for deeper waters.
Fish finders are incredibly valuable tools, and the more you learn about how to read them, the more successful your fishing trips will be. A key part of learning as angler is to go from trial and error to a more knowledge-based approach. Maybe you regularly catch at a certain spot with a certain presentation – but do you know why? A fish finder will help you understand not just your failures, but also your successes. And once you know this, you can recreate this success more easily.

Higher frequencies, such as 192 or 200, are ideal for fishing in shallow water. Lower frequencies, such as 50 or 83, are perfect for deep water fishing. To find the top fish finder for the money, knowing what area you’re planning on using it in will lead to more catches. Remember that the higher the frequency, the more detail you’ll have on the screen.
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.
A compact, affordable combination GPS/Fishfinder. Simrad’s GO 5XSE is an all in one solution to quality chartplotting and sonar. The included Med/High/DownScan transducer provides exceptional sonar imaging in near-photo like detail. Multiple Charting options from Insight, Navionics and C-Map enable the Simrad GO5 to go anywhere the water takes you.
The depth scale on the right of the screen enables you to identify the depth of any features you find. The depth reading in the top right of the screen shows you the bottom depth under your fish finder right now – bear in mind this is not necessarily the same depth as the features you have just scanned, especially if you are scanning drop offs or points.
If you’ve never used sonar before, you want to keep the auto depth turned on. It automatically tracks the floor of the water, making it easier to see how far down it is. When you become more experienced, you can adjust the setting. The auto depth feature can be adjusted to hide the first few feet underneath, and above the true bottom. It’s useful for setting your sights on the fish you want to catch.
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.

ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR PADDLING_KIND: In the 2009 ICAST article, I mentioned a combo system that was in the new products exhibit, but wasn't available at the time of the show. It's most certainly available now, and that unit is the Humminbird 385CI. Like us, fish seek comfort, safety, and food. This unit will allow you to gather "data" that you can process in to fish finding "information".
Whether you're off to a nearby stream for some fly fishing or heading out into the open waters for a deep sea fishing adventure, the right fishing gear will make your trip even more exciting. When the weather's nice, find a quiet spot to cast your line with a new fishing reel. Pick up a rod and reel combo that's ready to go right out of the box or customize your fishing gear with a separate rod and reel.
Whether you're off to a nearby stream for some fly fishing or heading out into the open waters for a deep sea fishing adventure, the right fishing gear will make your trip even more exciting. When the weather's nice, find a quiet spot to cast your line with a new fishing reel. Pick up a rod and reel combo that's ready to go right out of the box or customize your fishing gear with a separate rod and reel.
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.
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.

This unit has a colorful and compact 3.5 inch color screen that is fully equipped with a Garmin high-sensitivity GPS and Garmin’s very own Sonar, which uses Garmin CHIRP ClearVu Scanning. This GPS gives you the ability to mark your favorite hotspots and fishing areas, docks, and slipways, while using high-speed data technology to display any information that you may need, immediately on the screen.

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.
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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