Splashing $2,000 for a Lowrance or Hummingbird fish finder is a decision that requires proper calculation and a few assurances. First, you need to be sure that with all that money spent, you at least have an idea about sonar interpretation. Also, you should be able to read the data on the particular fish finder you purchase because not all of them portray the same reading.
So, what do fish look like on a fish finder? A first glance at any fish finder shows waves and all types of colors. However, arches (fish symbols) on the screen represent fish.
Fish Finder Buying Guide
Your focus might be on the transom mounts, echoes, sonar or even transducers but the question you need to ask yourself when purchasing a fish finder is this; will it help me catch more fish? Before buying a fish finder, ensure that you have an idea of the depth of the water where you intend to go and fish. Low-frequency fish finders work well in deep waters while those with a high frequency work best in shallow waters.
Also, ensure that the transducer material is compatible with your boat and the cone angle is not too small so as to cover a wide area. Lastly, make sure your fish finder has color screens as they make room for greater detail whether during the day or when the weather gets cloudy.
Identifying the fish from everything else
While some fish finders will provide a broad range of data in color ranging from depth, temperature, and speed sensors, others are plainly black and white. However, spotting fish can be made easy once you get an understanding of how fish finders work. After the sonar waves make their way back to the transducer under your boat, the display on your fish finder lights up with raw data regarding whatever is below your boat.
A thick, bold, thin, or light line at the bottom, usually in a dark color, represents the lower portion of the water body. Fish are generally represented by arches because sonar waves depict stationery objects like lines and moving ones as curvatures. The bigger the arch, the bigger the fish.
Apart from using arches to recognize fish on your fish finder display, you can also use Fish-ID technology to make your reading a little more clearly. The technology uses icons to portray the readings the transducer receives so a fish will not be hard to distinguish from a bedrock. Either way, the best fish finder for you is the one that you will easily understand.