Reading fish finders???

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by junkyardbass, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. I mostly bass fish and I'm trying to get better and fishing deep structure and open water. I'm sick of pounding the shoreline. I know there are more and better fish off shore but I'm lost once I get in the open with no visual targets to cast at. What should I be looking for on the sonar and how do I know were under the boat what ever I see is? Better yet any body know any good web sights or books that have pictures and explain how to use fish finders. I tried google but didn't really find anything very informative.
  2. What type of "sonar" do you have ?
    Do you have a transducer ? where located ?

  3. Bassnpro1

    Bassnpro1 OSU outdoorsman

    My advice is to get a marker buoy and when you pass over some structure to throw it overboard. This will give you something to cast towards.
  4. Don Iovino has a book and dvd on sonar use and mastery, he's a Lowrance rep and serious electronics/gps guru, he sometimes presents seminars at Dixie Marine in Fairfield...He'll tell you : turn off the fish id, you really need at least 480 vertical pixels of resolution to show the fish arches, Lowrance x135 is one of the best on the market for max power (target separation) and high (480) resolution. what you see on the screen to the far right is NOW and everything else (to the left) is history (sound waves travel extremely fast through water). Once you practice a bit you'll be able to see your jig or other lure on the screen and moving in real time, it just takes a while to learn to adjust sensitivity/ping speed/ etc... but it's fun and educational!
  5. On most reservoirs this time of year all you need to understand is what a "bait ball" looks like on your sonar. ;)
  6. thanks for the replys guys. I have a pretty basic finder, a eagle cuda portable. Net, I was looking for bait balls and I'm fairly sure I saw a few. I had the fish ID off because I from what info I could find on my own it all said your better off with out it. I saw fish arches with these bait balls. Most of what I saw were in like 20 ft of water but high up in the water, like only maybe five or six feet down. I was throwing cranks but no takers. Is there a better way to target these suspended fish? If I see that they are, lets say six feet deep, is it better to throw a shallow diving crank or one that goes deeper, ie: a 4-6 or a 6-10?
    thanks again guys
  7. i would throw a shallow bait or one that would run right in there face . you could also try a vibe or jigging spoons fished vertical over the school .
  8. If you're following bait balls into 20+ fow just be aware of the thermocline and try to target the arches you see at or above it. If I'm fishing deep water, the first spots I usually try are where the t.cline and my target structure meet.

    You definitely want to shut off your fish id.
  9. I think I know what a thermocline is but how do you know what depth it is accuring at? Isn't different for each lake and time of year, or am I wrong about that? Are you saying not to target fish below the thermocline? So lets say the termocline is at 15 feet, I should look for strucure around 15 feet but not over that? I'm just trying to see if I'm following what you're saying.
    thanks again.
  10. The thermocline on my home lake (alum creek) is currently around 22'. This is the depth where temperature and oxygen levels first begin to plummet. Easy to see on this graph.

    You can also locate the t.cline by motoring out into deep water and putting your fish finder on manual mode. Crank the sensitivity way up until the screen becomes distorted. The t.cline will show up as a dark blurry area.

    Any fish found below the t.cline are generally inactive due to low oxygen levels.
  11. A few deep water bass tactics I found on the web:

    Deep Timber
    To avoid a lot of hangups when fishing deep timber, fish vertically with a jig or jigging spoon, or with a weedless plastic worm. The key is using an electric motor to stay over the places you're jigging, since drifting changes the line angle and makes it very hard to avoid hooking wood.

    2 Lures on 1 Line
    Fishing two lures on one line is sometimes good for deep, clear-water fishing, especially if you need to make a vertical presentation. Use a bell sinker as a drop weight, and tie two hooks, several feet apart, directly on the fishing line using a Palomar knot. Rig a soft grub or curly-tailed body on the hook.
  12. junkyardbass,

    Lowrance has a tutorial on basic sonar use on their website.
  13. Thanks again guys! Net, Nixmkt, and SwollenGoat, the links and advice you posted were all good reads. Thanks once again, I know I could count on this site to hook me up with some good info. Now it's up to me to try to put some of what I've learned from you guy into practice on the water. I've got alot to learn.
    Thanks again.
  14. No prob junk man. Glad to help.

    For anyone interested in Alum, it looks like they updated the temp/oxygen profile (above). Dissolved oxygen has flattened out all the way down to 26', then it drops to zero. I don't recall seeing such a drastic drop before.