Fish Finders for Dummies: Features

Fish Finders for Dummies: Features to Look for

While choosing a proper fish finder isn’t an easy task for even the professional anglers, you can still get a decent one with some ideas and information on fish finders for dummies. You can look out for some fish finder features and get the proper ideas on what are the necessary option you can look for in finding you modern sonar finder.

Mark McQuown was talking to a crowd of interested anglers at one of the Eastern Fishing Expos. And I found myself shaking my head in agreement, especially when he talked about the remarkable developments taking place in the world of sports fishing sonar.

And while this is all really good for the recreational angler, it’s a bit hard to understand. McQueen works for consumer electronics leader Garmin. Moreover, it is one of the country’s foremost experts at explaining sports fishing sonar. His excellent presentation reminded me of one of the many good reasons. The reasons, why you can learn good stuff if you attend a sports fishing show.

It also got me thinking about my own sonar and about explaining what’s going on in this new paradigm.

Fish Finders for Dummies: Most Important Fish Finder Features to Look For

While the speech of the professional is really important, you can still be unsure about your personal preference. Like which kind of fishes, you are going to target, what are the places you will travel etc., etc.

It also got me thinking about my own sonar and about explaining what’s going on in this new paradigm. If you’re looking to outfit a boat or upgrade your sonar equipment now, here’s some advice.

1. Intuitive Operation

Despite sophisticated technology, you should be able to work the latest sonar/GPS equipment. And this should be without having to read a Ph.D. dissertation-size manual. Manuals are all online anyway and you should get, save, and read it to fine-tune your usage.

Features to Look for fish finders

But, when it comes to a brand-new unit that you view at a show or store, you should be able to get it working without too much confusion.

2. Quick Startup and Shut Down

One of the things I dislike about my main sonar/GPS, which is only four years old and pretty sophisticated itself, is the long time it takes to get going. Look for a unit that powers up and shuts off quickly, as some do.

3. Return to the Last Screen

Make sure that any new unit you get returns to the last function or screen layout when it gets powered on.

4. Large Screen vs Smaller Screen?

A large screen is great if you need to look at the device from a distance. But large-screen units cost a lot more, and many freshwater anglers can do fine with a smaller screen, which is more affordable. In lake fishing, screen quality can be a feature you should look at.

Large screens show more history. But, smaller screen models that have the same features like larger screen models. And they are just as good at providing information.

5. Full or Partial CHIRP?

If you’re looking at models with the recently refined CHIRP technology, know that this feature provides much greater detail and clearer images without interference (noise). It does this by sweeping through a spectrum of sonar frequencies. Some models, like McQuown’s Garmin products, do this by sweeping from very low to very high frequencies (85 to 495 kHz).

Full or Partial CHIRP?

Others do it by sweeping through a much more limited range of frequencies. The frequencies like just the 85 kHz and the 200 kHz and the results are not the same.

6. Touch Screen or Buttons?

Touch screens are ubiquitous on smartphones and tablets, and convenient. But they make sonar/GPS much more expensive than comparable units with button controls. Using a touchscreen on sonar/GPS that is in a fixed position on a boat. It is a little more problematic, especially when the boat is moving and/or bouncing around.

Or it doesn’t respond to your fingers (and doesn’t work with gloves on). It’s easy to hit the wrong thing and get all bollixed up, which is exasperating. Think about where and how you fish to determine if the touch screen is worth the extra expense. Or go with a unit that can do either.

7. Look for Depth-Shading Chart Features

Some cartography functions on sonar units are capable of depicting shading contours or depth ranges. Called Relief Shading and Depth Range Shading respectively). This color shading provides enhanced viewing and allows you to look at a screen to target specific depths or contours.

This is particularly valuable on large lakes and reservoirs. Some also allow you to adjust a chart based on current water levels.

8. Check Mounting Options

If you need to remove your sonar, you want a quick-release mount, preferably one that is standard to the unit rather than an accessory. This way you don’t have to fumble with tight connectors every time you have to remove or replace the unit.

About the Author Alex N. Ferroni

About me: Hi, I'm Alex N. Ferroni, One of the creators of The Safariors blog and former camping trainer at Tripspot Magazine. I wish some other outdoor, hiking, hunting, fishing and camping enthusiasts have made this blog to share our thought. We are learning a lot through each trip, and we want you to learn that too!

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