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#11557403 - 04/21/16 03:28 PM Fishfinder question.
mrdvant Offline

Registered: 07/26/15
Posts: 99
Hey, I just got my first boat. It's small, but it's a start. I have a question about my fishfinder. Do you guys look specifically for fish, or do you find good structure or cover and set up hoping something will come along?

#11557812 - 04/21/16 07:06 PM Re: Fishfinder question. [Re: mrdvant]
kickingback Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 08/13/13
Posts: 839
Loc: Texas
Depends on your sonar. If it is higher end you can make out the fish better especially with side imaging. You can get a Helix 5 with SI for under $499 and be able to "tune" it well to see the structure of course but also the blips of the fish as small as shad. Good luck!
USAF Retired and Fishing!

#11558262 - 04/21/16 10:11 PM Re: Fishfinder question. [Re: mrdvant]
mrdvant Offline

Registered: 07/26/15
Posts: 99
The one I have right now is not at all high end and I've noticed I catch small amounts of shad without ever seeing them. Until I can invest in a better one perhaps I should just keep an eye out for promising locations.

#11558449 - 04/22/16 05:30 AM Re: Fishfinder question. [Re: mrdvant]
pelican Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/27/11
Posts: 2420
Loc: Grapevine
If the settings aren't set right you'll have a problem seeing much of anything on even a high end FF, so make sure you're getting everything you can out of the one you have by making sure the transducer is mounted properly and you know how to tweak the settings. If it's sonar only you'll have a small sonar cone until you get into deeper water, (at least 10' but really 15' and deeper) this is why I always suggest a SIde image unit with GPS when you upgrade, then you're set for shallow water and be able to locate structure, cover and fish.

I've never been good, But I've been Lucky!
I don't Lie or Exaggerate, but sometimes I remember BIG!

#11558500 - 04/22/16 06:56 AM Re: Fishfinder question. [Re: mrdvant]
bush hog Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/12/13
Posts: 2005
Loc: Beckville, TX
Yes, keep relying on structure and fish ambush points. To me a fish finder is better at telling me where the fish are not. It helps me to eliminate unproductive areas. It will let you see fish in a small area under you but chances are your sitting on some good structure or point. Use you maps to identify places on the lake that will likely hold fish and then use your fish finder to see if they are indeed holding there. Good luck.

#11559583 - 04/22/16 03:52 PM Re: Fishfinder question. [Re: mrdvant]
mrdvant Offline

Registered: 07/26/15
Posts: 99
Appreciate it guys. Thanks.

#11560165 - 04/22/16 09:47 PM Re: Fishfinder question. [Re: mrdvant]
44 Diesel Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 12/25/12
Posts: 3956
Loc: Burleson,TX
Pretty much any sonar with good mapping will help. If your sonar does not have any card slots for a map card then the Navionics for your phone is a great investment. Then you can use the two together to find productive areas

Edited by 44 Diesel (04/22/16 09:49 PM)

#11560644 - 04/23/16 09:06 AM Re: Fishfinder question. [Re: mrdvant]
Muzzlebrake Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 12/26/14
Posts: 1075
Loc: Euless
I use mine 80% of the time for depth and temperature when not using the naviaonics maps to get where I need to be. With the side scan I can see under docks and that helps to locate structure. It's another tool for me but I still have to catch the fish on a hook.
Infidel and proud of it.

From Genesis: "And God promised men that good and obedient wives would be found in all corners of the earth."

Then He made the earth round...and He laughed and laughed and laughed!

#11566391 - 04/26/16 11:13 AM Re: Fishfinder question. [Re: mrdvant]
Capt Craig Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/25/09
Posts: 1088
Loc: Richland-Chambers
Best way is to educate yourself about the species you intend to target. Where do they like to spend their time and what landscape features do they prefer.

Then you can use the GPS features to study the lake and mark those areas to explore. When in a particular area, you use the sonar to locate bait schools or schools of fish that you are targeting.

The goal is to use all available features of the unit.
Capt. Craig Copeland

2013 Nautic Star 2110 Shallow Bay Boat

Nautic Star Boats Pro Staff (
Redneck Fish'n Jigs Pro Staff (


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