An electronic fish finder makes it possible to locate fish while eliminating the guesswork. Anglers can benefit from using an electronic fish finder's capability to locate the best fishing locations. Modern sonar provides more information than older units and allows a fisherman to check depth, structure, speed and temperature readings pertaining each fishing application. Additionally, using a GPS-enabled fish finder can make your outings safer by marking waypoints, tracking productive trolling passes and launch spots for safe return. Fishermen that want to fish the traditional way and use their instincts and experience to catch fish, benefit from the additional information that an electronic fish finder provides.
Picking a unit
An electronic fish finder comes in two basic types of unit: single and dual frequency. Single frequency units work best in shallow areas on lakes and rivers. Dual frequency finders work best for deep water applications.
Display screens come in a variety of sizes, with higher resolution screens providing a clearer and more detailed view of the landscape underneath the boat. Hobbyists can generally get by quite well using a single frequency or a dual 200 khz to 83 khz unit.
Portable and fixed options
Not all fishermen are going to want the same type of unit. Deciding on whether to purchase a portable or built-in fixed option depends largely on the type of fishing you plan on doing and your vessel.
Boat owners generally tend to choose fixed units. Fixed units provide more security and can be neatly and permanently attached.
Portable units work well for fisherman that rent boats, go on different types of fishing expeditions and fly-in retreats. For example, a fisherman that wants to take the unit ice fishing can benefit from the mobility of a portable unit. Portable units are compact and include a traveling case that can come in handy on long expeditions. Fixed units provide a higher resolution and larger viewing area compared to portable units.
Units with side scan technology
Side scan technology comes with more advanced units and allows a fisherman to detect anything to the side of the boat. A fisherman that wants to cover more area should consider purchasing a unit with side scan technology.
Traditional downward transducer beams only detect the area directly in the path below the boat. Most side scanners can scan selectively over 200 feet to either side of the craft.
Getting back to shore
Venturing too far out on a lake can end in disaster if you get lost and can't find your way back to shore. GPS tracking makes it possible to add an additional layer of security. An electronic fish finder that includes GPS tracking allows you to record a trolling pass, mark fish, place waypoints on structures and launch locations for future reference.
Electronic fish finders are a valuable tool to increase your productivity while keeping safe on the water. Ultimately, they are a useful piece of equipment to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of a outing. Even if you don't use a fish finder to locate fish, the ability to quickly and accurately mark locations of obstructions below the surface of the water, preventing a collision, is worth alone the cost of the unit.