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Finding fish on 2d sonar and etiquette questions #13195921 06/25/19 08:11 PM
Joined: Apr 2019
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Sandman on Cedar Creek Offline OP
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Hi all,

I am pretty new to white bass fishing and I really appreciate all the information I have received in a prior post.

Here are a few more questions:

1) I donít have side scan, only 2d sonar. So when I get to a particular underwater feature (for example, on Cedar Creek - St. Annes east, Merimac point, Samís hump, etc), Iím not sure how many times I need to go back and forth across the structure to adequately cover the feature in order to determine if a ďfishableĒ concentration of fish exists. I realize itís a combination of how wide my sonar cone is at a certain depth and how big a typical concentration of fish measures. So how big, from an aerial extent is a typical school of whites?

2) When you start your day looking for whites, how do you determine which spots to check out? Do you just start with the known spots closest to you and work your way further and further away or do you automatically eliminate some of your go to spots based on the water depth being too deep or shallow, etc?

3) Lastly, I have an etiquette question. When I get to a particular place that I want to check out with my 2d sonar and a boat is already on location, how far away should I stay from the boat while looking around with sonar? Is it OK to use the motor and if so, about what speed should I stay under to minimize wake? Once I determine I want to fish the spot, how far away should I stay while fishing? Most of my experience is offshore and I have no context for these situations.

Thx

Re: Finding fish on 2d sonar and etiquette questions [Re: Sandman on Cedar Creek] #13195977 06/25/19 09:02 PM
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Holzer Offline
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My 2cents

1) When you see a few fish, bait fish and/or signs of feeding fish always stop and fish a little. Set your self up for a drift to where you think the fish are going to be. Sometimes you'll get lucky and you'll drive/drift over a school of feeding fish that will light your screen up. But most of the time, anticipate that your motor spooked them away a bit and you'r just getting the tail end of the picture. See a little - fish a little. See a lot, fish a lot.

2) Wind & Current are always my #1 to start with. After that, I listen to my eyes. "Active" long neck birds, gulls, loons, jumping bait fish are signs that I'll look for to stop and fish a little even if there is nothing on my screen.

3) My rule is that if I can cast and hit your boat or visa/versa, you are too close. And I'll always use the trolling motor or drift off a good ways before I start up the big motor if others are still fishing. But bottom line is that Distance will differ from lake to lake. Some guys own the whole lake and you are trespassing and others actually want you to tie up with them to help keep more baits in the water.

I still have the 2D units. Just haven't pulled the trigger on upgrading yet.


Holzer
My pic is gone frown
Re: Finding fish on 2d sonar and etiquette questions [Re: Sandman on Cedar Creek] #13196011 06/25/19 09:33 PM
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RespectTheFish Online Content
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Side imaging is not very helpful at finding whites. When fish are bottom hugging which whites tend to be, they rarely show up on SI. 2D and DI are much more helpful. I personally donít drift much because it leaves a lot of success up to luck...maybe you happen to drift into fish, maybe you drift away from fish. Find the fish, get on them and fish.

I donít think you need to drive over structure too many times to determine if fish are there. I use to think fish would be on one little piece of the hump or point and from experience Iíd say that the fish are there or they arnt most of the time. Not like you missed the 10 ft area they were on. You are simply sampling part of a hump/point to see if fish are there.

I use to rely on wind but I donít anymore. I was always told fish the wind blown side of humps and points/structure. The past few years I have come to learn that some of the best areas are wind protected or opposite side of a hump the wind is blowing on a hump....almost like a salmon staying behind a rock to stay out of current. So be open minded to where they could be! Itís a decent rule of thumb but not a rule! It held me back starting out, donít let it do the same to you!

Look for humps that come up to 10-20 fow on top and youíll likely find fish. If there are scattered rocks ontop of the hump even better! Most of my best areas are the highest points of humps/points even if itís only 6 inches shallower then the rest of the hump.

As far as etiquette, I would just stay away from ppl. If I see someone fishing one of ďmy spotsĒ, I do not go look at that spot, I go to one of my others areas. Nothing makes me more mad then me catching fish and some idiot drives by staring at me reeling in fish 100 feet away and wave at me....rocking the boat like heck. Geeee thanks.

I fish a 4000 acre lake and there are so many areas I can find and catch fish that there is no reason for me to mess with other people.


And take notes of your trips. Where were the fish? Where were they not? And eventually you will know your lake and even predict their locations with some certainty.


Clay

RespectTheFish YouTube Channel

Re: Finding fish on 2d sonar and etiquette questions [Re: Sandman on Cedar Creek] #13196455 06/26/19 03:43 AM
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Dennis Christian Offline
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Sandman, here are my answers:

"1) I donít have side scan, only 2d sonar. So when I get to a particular underwater feature (for example, on Cedar Creek - St. Annes east, Merimac point, Samís hump, etc), Iím not sure how many times I need to go back and forth across the structure to adequately cover the feature in order to determine if a ďfishableĒ concentration of fish exists. I realize itís a combination of how wide my sonar cone is at a certain depth and how big a typical concentration of fish measures. So how big, from an aerial extent is a typical school of whites?"

My answer: It has been my experience that fish are not typically all over a structure if they are there at all - they are on a part of it. The number of passes over it will depend on the size. Without side-scan I move over about 12 yards and make another pass. For really small structures that's likely all you'll need. You can cover the tip of Saint Annes East in 2 or 3 passes. But if there are no fish there, you may find them not on the tip but way back on the middle of the point (about 50 or 60 yards back toward the shore). I'll work my way back up the point back and forth over it moving over about 12 yards at a time. If I have side-scan, I'll move over 25 yards between passes. For long drop-offs like Key Ranch Drop-off, I'll start at one end and work my way along it moving over 12 yds or 25 yds. I either don't understand Clay's comment about sampling a structure or disagree with him. For example along Key Ranch Drop-off the fish are rarely all along the drop-off . They may be on the south end of it, on the north end along the drop-off toward the east or on the north end on the drop-off toward the north. Sometimes they will be in multiple places along it but most likely they are on one of two spots, so you have to be thorough and patient in checking out the structure. Spillway Hump is another example of a large structure where fish are not "all over it or not at all." No, usually they will be on a part of it - the north tip, the southeast tip, the west tip or somewhere in the middle. Again, you have to be patient and thorough in checking out the structure. I will say that side-scan, once you have confidence in it, really speeds up checking out a large structure because you don't have to make nearly as many passes to cover it.

"2) When you start your day looking for whites, how do you determine which spots to check out? Do you just start with the known spots closest to you and work your way further and further away or do you automatically eliminate some of your go to spots based on the water depth being too deep or shallow, etc?"

My answer: It depends on your objective for the day. If it is to catch as many fish as possible, use all the intel you can gather as to where the most fish are being caught and go straight there. Keep trying known good spots until you find fish. If you find a good bunch, just stay there and catch until they stop biting. If your objective is to find as many spots as possible that are holding concentrations of catch-able fish, then start at the closest known spots, find and catch some fish there, then move and check the next spot and find and catch some fish there, and keep on doing this until you are out of time. A variation of this on a big lake is to target an area of the lake. Go there and find as many places as you can that are holding catch-able fish. I do this most of the time when fishing by myself. I do it so i'll have more choices the next time out when I take somebody with me or to give scouting reports for the weekend fishermen. Another objective might be to learn a new lake or to explore for new structures on a familiar lake. In that case I'll use a topo map to id potential structures and go see if they hold fish - always verifying by catching some before moving on to check out another spot.

"3) Lastly, I have an etiquette question. When I get to a particular place that I want to check out with my 2d sonar and a boat is already on location, how far away should I stay from the boat while looking around with sonar? Is it OK to use the motor and if so, about what speed should I stay under to minimize wake? Once I determine I want to fish the spot, how far away should I stay while fishing? Most of my experience is offshore and I have no context for these situations."

My answer: Approach very carefully and quietly. Stay out of casting distance from them. Be careful about trollers. IMO they ought to have markers out identifying their trolling area, but they don't always do that. Try to determine their trolling area and stay out of it. If the structure is a small one, I just skip it and go to another. For a large structure several boats can fish it without being too close to one another. Examples of large structures on Cedar Creek Lake are Spillway Hump, Enchanted Isle Ridge, Key Ranch Drop-off, Sunken Island, Dam Ridge, 60 Acre Hump, East Dam Hump, Long Ridge and Long Ridge West and Dam Hump West of the Pole. If I am the one being approached and I'm catching fish, I invite people looking to come join me. Hey,it's an opportunity to demo the Mepps method!


Last edited by Dennis Christian; 06/26/19 03:44 AM.
Re: Finding fish on 2d sonar and etiquette questions [Re: Sandman on Cedar Creek] #13196785 06/26/19 04:11 PM
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Notaguide Offline
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If you are questioning your etiquette turn the big motor off

Re: Finding fish on 2d sonar and etiquette questions [Re: Sandman on Cedar Creek] #13197521 06/27/19 03:54 AM
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CaptnC Offline
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Dennis, fun you mention putting markers out! I told a fishing buddy that my orange marker buoys have boat magnets in them. Last Friday I had a guy drop his gps trolling motor about 10 feet from my marker...he never moved so I motored up...with my big motor to retrieve my marker. The Wednesday before I dropped a buoy while on the troll. We made one drift by it, landed our hook ups, when I looked up we were maybe...maybe 50yds away. I have no idea where he came from, but a boat was doing little circles around my buoy while the other guy was gething his rod ready.

I have several more stories about my markers...here one last story that's pretty fun.

Last year I again marked a school, dropped a buoy...we had made two or three drifts by it (didn't have a electric trolling motor yet) but we hit another school of fish on that drift so we were 75yds or so away. I know the guy seen us fishing the marker, but he anchors so close to it I'm only about a foot away from his boat when I retrieve it.

Well guess what I see the guy post on another fishing forum (his boat is his avitar) so I apologize for getting so close to his boat boat when I retrieved my marker...he had the balls to say..."no problem, it was ok!"

His new nick name is Captn Clueless!

Re: Finding fish on 2d sonar and etiquette questions [Re: Sandman on Cedar Creek] #13199269 06/29/19 01:38 AM
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Black Horse Offline
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Drop one of them new fangled Ďsploding marker buoys. Not really but it would sho be funny!

Re: Finding fish on 2d sonar and etiquette questions [Re: Sandman on Cedar Creek] #13199578 06/29/19 02:58 PM
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ssmith Online Content
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if you can be hit by a lure cast you are too close there is a whole lake out there don't understand why folks cant use common courtesy.

Re: Finding fish on 2d sonar and etiquette questions [Re: ssmith] #13199632 06/29/19 04:17 PM
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gborg Offline
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Originally Posted by ssmith
if you can be hit by a lure cast you are too close there is a whole lake out there don't understand why folks cant use common courtesy.


If they could find their own fish, they would . World is full of potlickers !!

Re: Finding fish on 2d sonar and etiquette questions [Re: gborg] #13199656 06/29/19 04:54 PM
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RespectTheFish Online Content
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Lol ainít that the truth!


Clay

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