A fish finder is a useful tool in helping an amateur to professional fisherman spend less time guessing where they should cast. Additionally, they can provide valuable information which will make catching fish much easier. However, all of the best information in the world is useless if you don’t know how to process and work with it
On this page, we will break down 7 fish finder tips which will help you to improve your skills and become better at using your fish finder. Keeping in mind that even the best fish finder in the world won’t necessarily make you a better fisherman, they are still heavily worth using for the advantages it provides.
#1: Spot Feeding Formations
It’s important to know when to cast and when you shouldn’t. Accordingly, it’s important to cast when the fish are clearly in a feeding formation. This can be easily located by noticing a clear difference in size between a school of fish. For example, if you see several large fish around a group of smaller fish then you need to cast there immediately. Smaller fish normally steer away from big fish since they know that they are their worst enemy.
Fish aren’t that craftiest creatures in the world. This is why they even bite your bait or lure in the first place. When they are hungry, they think less and bite more. Whenever you are lucky enough to see a school of fish which has a diverse size and free of vegetation and structures for hiding, cast the line right away.
#2: Upgrade Your Fish Finder
People using a basic black and white fish finder without any advanced features will have a much more difficult time with fish finder tip #1. Basic fish finders are great at giving you a rough estimate of where the fish are, but the readings are very basic and don’t give precise insights like the water temperature, and can even mistake rocks and logs as a school of fish.
Unless you are on a strict budget, it is sometimes better to use a no fish finder at all instead of using a basic one which isn’t entirely accurate. Once you get your hook caught on vegetation or a log at the bottom of a lake which the fish finder initially read as fish you will understand what we’re talking about here. Here are some of the top fish finders that you might consider.
#3: Zoom in on Readings
Many fish finders come with the option to zoom in on the readings that you make. However, many people are not even aware of this feature. When you think about it, this will help you to get a much more detailed picture of what is going on in the water beneath you. For example, what appears to be a large structure at first might look much more promising when you zoom in.
Groups of small fish can be very good at disguising themselves. If you think about, a large school of small fish that can scare a predator fish away can also trick a fish finder. However, both the fish finder and predator fish would be able to process that the larger object is actually a large group of small fish. All they have to do is get a little closer (in this case, zoom in) to see what is really going on.
#4: Track As Much as Possible
As you likely already know, a common fish finder is capable of measuring the entire body of water. This is why it’s important to keep track of which precise locations that you monitor so that you can start to notice where all of the fish and best casts are.
Like the picture above illustrates, most of the biggest fish (and perhaps best casts) are actually located outside of where the reading which will show up on the fish finder screen. However, if you are quick to measure the surrounding areas you will quickly notice where all the fish are and plan your cast accordingly.
#5: Monitor the Temperature of the Water
The temperature readings of the water is one of the most underrated features. Depending on your individual climate, what time of day it is, and so on, fish tend to stick in certain water temperatures. This can also vary depending on the size and type of fish you want to catch.
For example, if you know that the fish you want to catch tends to stick in 75-degree water, you know that you should avoid going for the fish that is showing up in water which is at 65 degrees. Much how humans like to stick in certain temperatures based on their preferences, so do fish.
#6: Accurately Predict if Fish are Hiding or Feeding
Often times, it can be more beneficial to go with smaller fish where there are several of them. However, other times it might be in your best interest to try and get one of the predator monster fish. Depending on the time of the day, fish are either feeding or not. Hopefully, this rule will go without saying since you can easily research and find daily and monthly feeding times.
Sometimes when you see a ton of small fish sticking together they are simply hiding together from the big fish. This can be easily determined if you see a crowd of fish hiding under a rock or structure where the predators cannot easily reach. However, if this same group of small fish starts coming out into the open and risking their lives, they are more likely to go for your bait than be conservative and hide with the group.
#7: Adjust Tuning Sensitivity
Once you pick up a reading where you have a cluster of small “fish” everywhere scattered across the screen, you will quickly figure out what we mean here. Sometimes a fish finder’s tuning sensitivity is so high that tiny organisms such as algae can be easily mistaken as schools of fish. This will inevitably cause you to become frustrated as each cast only pulls back algae.
However, if you tune down the sensitivity of your device, it will start to get a tad more accurate. There are also certain circumstances where you need to turn up the sensitivity. Once you do a few readings on the water, you will quickly discover whether you should turn up or down the tuning sensitivity. With some practice, you will always be able to tune the settings correctly.
Fish Finder Tips and Tricks: Summary
A fish finder only works as well as the fisherman using it. As a result, it takes a lot of practice to be able to use a fish finder like a professional. Although it may take a while to be able to use a fish finder successfully, keep the tools and tricks mentioned above in mind.
When you first start learning how to use a fish finder, there will times where you love it, and when you hate it. However, when as you continue to learn and develop your skills you will one day look back and wonder why you ever went out fishing without one.