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About Fish Finders, for Beginners

Fishfinders are a relatively new thing, just about twenty years old for the newer state of the art variety.

They are useful, helpful in tournaments but otherwise, they are just fun. Even for the novice fisherman, they are something that you can use to at least help you take home a minimum catch, but what kind, and why?

Fishfinders are essentially made up of three basic aspects.

The Mounting bracket, your display screen and a transducer. Unless they tell you otherwise, most fishfinders come with all these parts, and are complete to install and operate the fishfinder.

You do have options as to the transducer and mounting systems which are largely available in the accessory sections of each of the fishfinder manufactures. To be honest, the mount system isn’t all that critical, but the transducer is.
Transducers come in several “flavors” including a few that have portable suction cup transducers so you can take your fishfinder from boat to boat or put it somewhere else on the same boat.

A Furuno Color Fishfinder

Shoot through hull for mounting in plastic and fiberglass hulls, (the signal shoots right through the hull); through hull fishfinder transducers which have to be mounted in a hole through the bottom of the hull; and transom mount transducers which come as standard issue with most fishfinders.

Humminbird also has some rather good handhelp fishfinders.

Some fishfinders include a temperature capability, so that you can get the water temperature which is helpful if you’re fishing for colder water fish, and some have a speed sensor.

The GPS combo units do give you speeds but its not nearly as accurate as the other variety and won’t necessarily help you to get to an accurate trolling speed.

Further issues with transducers are the number of frequencies that they have. Some come with two or more, such as Lowrance and Eagle, which are for deeper water type fishing, and this does affect the operation of the fishfinder.

As a general rule, for shallow water fishing, such as lakes, ponds and etc, a single frequency is what you want while for deeper water, such as coastal or deep sea fishing, great lakes and this variety, you’re going to want to have a dual frequency.

For fishfinders with a dual signal, you can still use them in shallow water for bass fishing. Another thing that you might like, is side imaging, which is fantastic for shallow water fishing, but a bit more than you might want to put into the cost if you are, like me, a weekend fisherman.

Your display can come in one of several forms. LCD being one, which is far less expensive, but don’t provide great separation and in glare or bad lighting situations they simply won’t be much help. If you have it in your budget, the color fishfinder is well worth spending the money on.


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