How to Read Fish Finder Screen: In-Depth Knowledge Guide

Fish Finder is one of the coolest innovations in the fishing sports industry. It comes handy with great fun if one can use it to its highest level of potential. After you have decided the best-fitted fish finder for you, you should know how to install it and most importantly how to read a fish finder screen.

It is a common phenomenon to most of us that we don’t know how to read its screen and hit it. Don’t worry, that’s natural, and it’s not a rocket science either!!

So, though you may have a user’s manual provided by the manufacturers, but I guess this article will give you further clarification. Let’s heeds onto it.

You can’t just magically know where the fish are once you turn your fish finder on but you have to interpret it. Interpreting the signs and signals are a bit complex, but once you are accustomed to it, it won’t be a big deal. There are little differences among the different models in the market based on the price, features and so on but the basics are the same.

The direction of Reading:

Usually the reflection of the Sonar is displayed from the right to left (scrolling) on the fish finder’ screen with a constant speed. In this regard, Garmin’s director of marine sales Greg Deries says, “We always joke that fish swim from right to left in the world of sonar.” Therefore, you can easily detect the location from the right direction when moving on your fishing cart. The rightmost position of your screen indicates the area that your fishing boat just crossed. But interestingly though you are not moving and remain still at the same position, the Sonar reflection will not stop. Rather it will continue going right to left direction on your screen. Actually, it’s showing the same thing repeatedly. Hahaha.

Water-Depth, Temperature and Sped Sensor:

To have a better understanding you should know how a fish finder works. The transducer sends the sonar wave into the water, and that eventually bounces back to the device while encountering any object. Then transducer reads the speed, distance rate and interprets the raw data into visual data like thick colored lines and arches.

Most of the fish finders of modern days are not merely finding fish but used as a depth finder. Which mean these can tell the depth of the water under your boat. And that will assist you to have a precise idea about the underwater environment. Usually, the upper left side of the screen displays the depth. Most often it shows in meters rather in feet as the unit.

The temperature option is just next to the depth finding option. It will show you the temperature of the layer of the water. That is useful to find a particular type of fishes according to the water environment as some prefer specific environment. If there is a temperature readable sensor only then, the temperature can be shown on the screen. However, it doesn’t come with all models.

There is also a feature that some model facilitates. More like speedometer, the speed sensor displays how fast the fishing boat is moving.

Understanding the Color & Echo Return Strength:

The color is closely related to the understanding the overall press of the screen. Whether it is in color mood or grayscale (black & white) the intensity of the color that one should understand. The hard bottom returns stronger echoes. And darker color shows on the screen when stronger echoes it returns. Either the thick bold line or a thin light line is shown. And in the case of color display, you may see a thick red line and a green layer beneath it. When the surface is soft e.g. clay, it’ll be displayed as a thin light line or red line with a green layer. However, only the red-colored wavy line is shown but not the green layer while the surface is hard to your craft.

From that insight, you can trace out where to fish the fish! Because some species could be found in clay as they shrug their and other could be found somewhere between the rock.

Reading Fish-ID:

After knowing the color, echoes, reading direction, it’s time to understand the fish, bottom structure, objects, and the other things that your fish finder will display.

The sonar waves are likely to be displayed on the fish finder in mainly two ways. One is the actual or the raw data, and the other is the easily distinguished icon-based representation of what the fish finder sees.

The Fish-ID technology helps to convert the raw data into a user-friendly interface. It is then much simpler to see the little fish icons in different shapes based on the actual size of the spotted fish. Thanks to this technology that eases the hide and seek game. Some of the advanced fish-ID fish finder displays the school of fish, underwater trees, and rocks. All you need to do is watch the icons and understand the environment and go fishing! The school of fish might be shown as a range of tiny purple dots on the screen. Now you can easily take the decision.

But the Fish-ID is not always true; sometimes it fails to show the actual scenario. Even a lot times, it mistakenly shows the plants as the school of fish and sometimes the rocks as the plants. However, this technology makes one understand those complex data.

Arch Fish finder:

Another way of display the sonar waves is the raw data or arch. The fish finders without the feature of Fish-ID show what the transducer receives in lines and arches. They are comparatively hard to read and understand. But it will go fine with the time being. Moreover, it is actually more convenient.

When the sonar wave sent from the transducer encounters a moving target, it is interpreted as an arch. And the motionless objects showed as lines. Those are the signs to be considered though a hard one of becoming a pro.  Arch fish finders are also easier to explain but with time being and once you overcome the complexity, you might find it more accurate than the Fish-ID.

So, take some time and be comfortable with this cool fishing gear. Although fish finders are a bit complicated to interpret but it gives an enjoyable fishing experience to the anglers. I hope that this knowledge based article will enable you to explore the question how to read a fish finder screen.

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