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.
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.

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.


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.
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.
We’re only slightly kidding when we say that one of the simplest ways to pick a transducer is to decide just how big of a hole you want to drill in your boat. Fishfinders intended for the small-boat, freshwater angler often come with a transducer, usually a transom-mount type. But many transducers are purchased separately and need to be installed through the hull.
Humminbird 140C Fishin’ Buddy is one of the top rated fish finders among the portable type. So you can use it on your boat, on the leased boat, on the dock or for fishing from anywhere else. To use the device you won’t need to do any rigging or wiring. Instead it uses extendable transducer tube housing with the length suitable for most small and mid-sized boats.
Overall, if you want to get the best fish finder, then our top pick has to be either the Humminbird Helix 7 or the Garmin Striker 7SV. We love the large screens and comprehensive functions that you get with both devices, as well as the rugged dependability. If you want to save money, though, the Garmin Striker 4cv will be your next best bet as it comes with high-performance results, even with a smaller screen.
Just getting started using a fish finder? Know the basics but want to get more out of your fish finder? Not sure you’re reading your fish finder display correctly? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. This short tutorial will teach you how to make sense of your fish finder display so you can tell what’s a bait fish, what’s a trophy catch and what’s just a submerged tree that you’ll snag on. Take just 7 minutes to go through this tutorial and at the end you’ll be able to read your fish finder display for:
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.

There are plenty of different things you want to keep in mind while searching for the perfect GPS fishfinder for you. First, keep in mind that not all models are created equal. Some will clearly be more useful than others. You will also find that different boats call for different fish finders. Many times ditto depending on the style of fishing or information most important to you.
When it comes to fish finders and fishing GPS technology, the HELIX 5 delivers some of the best in functionality and creating a seamless user experience for fishing pros and hobbyists. This unit uses precise broadband CHIRP, a Reflex interface, imaging sonar and the power to chart and create maps using Auto Chart Live. The HELIX 5 has taken what is already a premier fish finder tool, and taken it to new heights in terms of features and creating an even better user interface. The display looks rich and clear, and is powered with 4,000 watts of PTP power output.

The side scan will scan much more around the boat but are not as effective, especially in deep water. For this reason alone, you may feel the need to buy two seperate fish finders but some premium models have both side and down scanning capabilities. This means you can usually view both at the same time for a very detailed scan around the boat in all directions.
Bait: If you're not using live bait or cut bait, you'll want to use artificial bait or lures. Most artificial lures resemble the type of bait fish or other food, such as worms or shrimp, that the fish you're trying to catch normally eat. These artificial baits can be scented and have metal spoons attached to them or be painted in metal flake to reflect light in the water. Other types of bait include jigs and jig heads, spoons, flies and spinnerbaits, which you can attach artificial or real bait to, and attractants to make artificial lures smell lifelike.
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