Before the invention of fish-finders (also commonly known as sounders) fisherman had to rely solely on their intuition and experience to locate fish, this was largely by trial and error or by throwing endless amounts of burley in the hope of enticing the fish closer, both methods only had mild success and finding fish was the real difficulty.
What are the benefits of having a fish-finder?
Since the first fish-finders hit the market many decades ago they have become an extremely helpful tool in reading depths and locating fish, this has been used to simplify and shorten the time spent hunting your target species. Fast forward to today and the incredible advancements in technology found in the current range of fish-finders have turned them into a must have accessory on any fishing vessel. “Sounders have revolutionised the way anglers locate underwater structure and target fish forever”. The technology is not only being utilised by fisherman, with boaties of any form also taking advantage of the accurate GPS functions and depth readings.
Will I catch more fish with a fish-finder?
Nothing beats the knowledge and experience you receive from “time on water”, a quality sounder will definitely help your catch rate, but first you must be able to read and understand the images. By customising the settings on your fish-finder you are able to change the sensitivity, contrast, depth, speed and many more to personalise the image returns to suit your style of fishing. “Changing the chart speed to mirror your boat speed can be extremely helpful for picture quality”
What is Chirp Sonar Frequency?
The picture-like quality images that come from the use of chirp multiple frequency sonar has to be seen to be believed, unlike traditional sonar which sends one individual frequency or ping at a time, chirp takes advantage of the full spectrum of frequencies and is divided into Low, Medium and High frequency. The lower range will penetrate deeper water with a wider beam angle, while the high range will give much better target separation to returns and individualise fish schools and structure such as tree branches.
Will Sidescan/Downscan help you catch fish?
To maximise your time on the water the innovative side scan and down scan functions found on most higher end units allows you to cover vast amounts of water and identify fish and structure, not only beneath the boat but also up to 240 feet (roughly 70 metres) out to the port and starboard of your vessel. “Having the ability to drive down the centre of any waterway and identify if there are fish located between your boat and either river bank is pretty cool”. By simply adjusting the settings you can change the sensitivity and depth to suit your fishing situation, normally 25 metres will be adequate coverage for enlarging returns and take better advantage of the technology.
Using your sounder to find and fish wonky holes
Wonky holes are ancient freshwater springs that emerge from the sea floor, they can be found large distances offshore and create the perfect natural structure to entice a variety of species including large-mouth nannygai, coral trout, cod and numerous trevally species. Large amounts of silt and soft corals are commonly found at the entrance to wonky holes which is perfect for attracting large schools of bait, most commonly herring, squid and a variety of small pelagic species. Wonky holes are found in the northern half of Australia, with the Great Barrier Reef in North-East Queensland being a prime location, “anywhere you can find an underwater plateau that extends far offshore is worth a look”.
What are the Fish-finder brands the BCF’ing experts recommend?
If you are looking for a sounder that is user friendly, reasonably priced and provides quality images, Lowrance and Garmin both have exceptional units capable of meeting all your requirements. Lowrance have 3 models in their current line up consisting of the Hook2, Elite TI2 and the flagship HDS Live, available in a range of sizes including 7, 9, and 12 inch. The Lowrance 4 inch Hook2 is the perfect sized sounder and a great addition to any fishing kayak. Lowrance have always had simple, easy to manoeuvre fish-finders with all the latest bells and whistles. Garmin are another big name in sounders and navigation devices with incredible picture quality, the Striker and Echomap series have become firm favourites for many anglers.