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 image above, at right, clearly shows the bottom structure—plants, sediments and hard bottom are discernible on sonar plots of sufficiently high power and appropriate frequency. Slightly more than halfway up from the bottom to the left of the screen centre and about a third away from the left side, this image is also displaying a fish – a light spot just to the right of a 'glare' splash from the camera's flashbulb. The X-axis of the image represents time, oldest (and behind the soundhead) to the left, most recent bottom (and current location) on the right; thus the fish is now well behind the transducer, and the vessel is now passing over a dip in the ocean floor or has just left it behind. The resulting distortion depends on both the speed of the vessel and how often the image is updated by the echo sounder.

The colour on your display is crucial here for identifying a brush and logs. Because they will send a different frequency of sonar return, your fish finder will show them in a different color to the bottom (otherwise, it will just look like a hump). So make sure you choose a color palette that will highlight this difference. In the Deeper App, choose either the Classic color mode (where brush and logs will show green, like vegetation) or the Day color mode (where they will show purple).

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.


The CHIRP sonar that is built into this model is second to none in terms of performance, and always gives you a clear picture and measurement of the floor and surface beneath your boat, as well as the location of the fish around it. Another feature that we really enjoy about this Humingbird fish finder is that it comes with a built in SD card slot so that you can save your favorite waypoints to it. You can even upload additional maps to your software using the SD card feature.
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.
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 with many products, you’ll have to pay close attention to the specific features delivered for the price, simply because the investment for combination fishfinder and GPS can range from $500 to $1200 or more. Fishfinders and GPS units are well advanced when compared to equipment used just a few years ago. Most of the time you can get excellent 3D mapping, scanning, charting and navigation at a very reasonable price. It’s not necessary to spend hundreds more unless you really want to go after the top-of-the-line unit.
Inland fishfinding has changed, with high-frequency (455 or 800kHz) transducers that look to the side, straight down or can aim over a 360-degree range. Fishfinder manufacturers offer the inland angler a growing (and often confusing) assortment of choices in frequencies, beamwidths, even the underwater direction you can look. Inland anglers who search for fish in shallow lakes don’t need the power to see down to 5,000', but can gain a big advantage by looking out to the sides, so Garmin, Raymarine and Lowrance have products using multi-beam transducers for that purpose. Here’s where the Marketing Jargon takes over, with names like StructureScan HD™ and CHIRP DownVision.
The temperature and pressure sensitivity capability of fish finder units allow one to identify the exact location of the fish in the water by the use of a temperature gauge.Functionality present in many modern fish finders also have track back capabilities in order to check the changes in movement in order to switch position and location whilst fishing.
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 image above, at right, clearly shows the bottom structure—plants, sediments and hard bottom are discernible on sonar plots of sufficiently high power and appropriate frequency. Slightly more than halfway up from the bottom to the left of the screen centre and about a third away from the left side, this image is also displaying a fish – a light spot just to the right of a 'glare' splash from the camera's flashbulb. The X-axis of the image represents time, oldest (and behind the soundhead) to the left, most recent bottom (and current location) on the right; thus the fish is now well behind the transducer, and the vessel is now passing over a dip in the ocean floor or has just left it behind. The resulting distortion depends on both the speed of the vessel and how often the image is updated by the echo sounder.
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.
Simrad’s GO9 XSE Combination GPS/ Fishfinder offers a networkable 9” Touchscreen unit at an affordable price point. An Internal 10Hz GPS Receiver quickly and accurately locates position on the included C-Map Pro Charting while the included TotalScan Transom Mount Transducer provides detailed underwater images. Compatible with detailed mapping from C-MAP MAX-N, Navionics, Insight, Insight Genesis, and NV Digital Charts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It changed the game once. Now it’s poised to do it again. The HELIX Series has evolved, now offering MEGA Imaging+, Dual Spectrum CHIRP and Bluetooth connectivity in select models, along with exclusive technologies like Humminbird Basemap that you won't get from any other fish finder in its class. Power. Bold styling. Ease of use. In this family, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
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.
CHIRP fishfinders transmit less peak power than a conventional fishfinder, but their wide-band, frequency modulated pulses (130-210kHz, for example) can be very long in duration and put 10-50 times more energy into the water. Using digital pattern matching and signal processing, CHIRP devices achieve unprecedented resolution and target detection. Your ability to resolve individual fish, or separate fish from bottom structure, is now a matter of inches, instead of several feet with traditional fishfinders. See individual fish in groups, instead of a single mass.
Hand nets are held open by a hoop, and maybe on the end of a long stiff handle. They have been known since antiquity and may be used for sweeping up fish near the water surface like muskellunge and northern pike. When such a net is used by an angler to help land a fish it is known as a landing net.[12] In the UK, hand-netting is the only legal way of catching glass eels[13] and has been practised for thousands of years on the River Parrett and River Severn.
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.
It is without a doubt that Lowrance has once again raised the bar for current technology. With their newly refined interface, their loyal customers will find the flow of operation to be much smoother than ever before. Don’t let the simple user operation fool you; Lowrance has built a technologically advanced unit with all the features you would expect.

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).
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