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".
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.
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.

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.
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.

Pay a bit more and you get a bit more with the Humminbird Helix 7 SI GPS. The screen is massive, compared to other combination units – 12 inches with 1280×800 pixel resolution. The any-angle viewing and reduced glare are excellent. The Humminbird also has the electronic capability to support almost any advanced feature you can imagine, including, of course, precision GPS.

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.


The sound wave spreads as it gets further from the transducer. The wider the cone, the larger the coverage area, but the as the cone angle spreads, sensitivity diminishes. A 20-degree cone is considered a versatile angle for fishers who frequent different water depths. More advanced devices come with double and triple beams, ideal for scanning deep water depths.
Another great feature of the Elite-5X HDI is the Downscan Overlay that combines traditional sonar with Downscan. Downscan’s primary purpose is finding structure, but it can’t very accurately spot individual fish. That is better done by sonar. Combining the two in one, this device displays on one screen both bottom and structure. So you can see every rock and submerged object as well as fish.
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).
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.

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.
For precise detection of structures and fish, our Raymarine radar bundle gives you remarkable resolution. The Garmin Chartplotter radar combo updates your position 10 times per second to accurately maintain your heading. A large screen with an outstanding LED display on our Humminbird fish finder GPS provides images that are easy to read even in bright sunny conditions. You can find the best marine depth finder GPS combo here, and we stand behind all of our products with a 30-day guarantee against defects. Contact our team of experts if you should need any assistance in finding the products you require.
Fish icons are a useful tool when you are getting started with a sonar device: your fish finder interprets the sonar data it receives and tries to work out if it is a fish or not. It does this based on factors like the size of the object and the strength of the sonar return. In the case of Deeper sonars, we use an advanced algorithm in the Deeper App to interpret the data. Unfortunately, even the most advanced units aren’t 100% accurate in interpreting correctly.

Harpoons are spears which have a barb at the end. Their use was widespread in palaeolithic times.[11] Cosquer cave in Southern France contains cave art over 16,000 years old, including drawings of seals which appear to have been harpooned. Tridents are spears which have three prongs at the business end. They are also called leisters or gigs. They feature widely in early mythology and history.
The swivel sinker is similar to the plain one, except that instead of loops, there are swivels on each end to attach the line. This is a decided improvement, as it prevents the line from twisting and tangling. In trolling, swivel sinkers are indispensable. The slide sinker, for bottom fishing, is a leaden tube which allows the line to slip through it, when the fish bites. This is an excellent arrangement, as the angler can feel the smallest bite, whereas in the other case the fish must first move the sinker before the angler feels him.
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As you look for a GPS/fishfinder combo, keep in mind that the best power and frequency won’t mean much if you can’t use the information. Think in terms of a computer. You can have the most-powerful and efficient computing capability, but without a high-quality monitor, the data does you little good. That’s why it’s always a good idea to spend a bit more to get a top-shelf screen.
2. Save numerous locations and data for accurate and successful fishing next time out – You navigate quickly and accurately to your top fishing spot, then save the locations so you can return to them later. Reduction in physical size has been accompanied by massive increases in computer memory, so you can have the information on numerous locations ready to use every time you go, no matter where you go.

Fishing with a hook and line is called angling. In addition to the use of the hook and line used to catch a fish, a heavy fish may be landed by using a landing net or a hooked pole called a gaff. Trolling is a technique in which a fishing lure on a line is drawn through the water. Snagging is a technique where the object is to hook the fish in the body.
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