Net That Big Catch – Tips For Selecting A Great Fish Finder

Serious fisherman and weekend hobbyists alike can all benefit from the use of a fish finder. Incorporating this device into your fishing routine can drastically increase your chances of landing that trophy fish you have always dreamed about. Many of today’s fish finders also come equipped with GPS, which give fisherman the option to program the device in order to return to hot fishing spots as often as desired.

Fish finders work by using sonar to locate an underwater object, in this case, fish. There are four main components that make up sonar: a transmitter, a transducer, a receiver, and a display. Sonar works by using the transducer to transform sounds waves collected from electrical currents in the transmitter, then sends those waves back into the water. When the waves hit an object they are bounced back off of the object sending an echo response to the transducer. The receiver than takes this response and relays it to the display for the fisherman to view.

Selecting the Best Fish Finder GPS to Review

When shopping for the best fish finder GPS combo, the possibilities can be a bit overwhelming. Because there are so many choices available today, it helps to narrow down the options a bit by taking into account five main criteria:

  1. Power: A good general rule of thumb is, the higher the power of the fish finder, the better the fish finder. Fish finders that have more power usually are a bit more expensive, but offer much better results. Higher power means better images. Many professional fishermen recommend giving the most consideration to power when selecting a device.
  2. Transducer Type: There are two main types of transducers, dual frequency or single frequency. Dual frequency (sometimes referred to as dual beam) units are better able to find fish in deep sea conditions. Single frequency units are ideal for shallower water conditions, such as coastal fishing or lake fishing.
  3. Depth: This criterion has a great deal to do with both transducer quality and power. Higher end fish finders have higher quality transducers and more power, which means the device is better able to penetrate deep water. It is important to note when shopping, the depth recommendations listed on the specification information is for clear water only. This means that cloudy, muddy, or salt water will reduce the capabilities of the sonar. A good rule of thumb for this issue is to buy a fish finder with a depth range of ten percent more than the waters you plan to fish. The greater depth range will accommodate for water that is not clear.
  4. Display Resolution: This simply has to do with how clear the image is on the screen of the fish finder. The higher the resolution quality, the better the image. There are many fish finders that now come equipped with LCD, full color screens that can be seen in bright sunlight, low light, and even dark conditions. Again, the better the resolution, the more expensive the unit.
  5. Display Size: Fish finders come in a wide variety of sizes. Some are quite compact and have a display size of a mere four inches, while others offer large, full size screens. Larger screens are usually a bit easier to see in direct sunlight.

Narrowing Your Choices for the Best Fish Finder GPS

Now that you have a better idea of the main criteria for shopping for your fish finder, you can start to narrow your choices a bit more by determining some personal preferences.

The first step to doing this is to determine your budget. Many fishermen believe that when shopping for a good quality device you should prepare yourself by doubling the figure you have in mind. This will leave you a bit of wiggle room.

Next, you should determine in what conditions you will be using your fish finder. Will you be fishing in deep sea water, on a lake, in shallow coastal water? Do you want to be able to take the fish finder with you on different vessels? Coming up with firm answers to these questions will help you to narrow your choices a great deal.

Finally, if opting for a fixed mount fish finder, you should decide where you want to mount the transducer. The two main options are: hull mounted, or transom mounted. Hull mounted transducers offer exceptional clarity, but can be somewhat expensive and difficult to install. They are recommended for deep water, with higher speed bottom reading. Transom mounted transducers are typically less expensive and simpler to install. They also come in single or dual frequency; however they tend to work better on smaller boats, in calm waters, under ten knots.

About the Author

Jane Warren is a boater and water sport enthusiast. Because of her involvement in boating and water activities, Jane publishes a website with reviews of water towable tubes, such as the popular Sportsstuff Super Mable, and other high quality boating and water sports equipment. Garmin Marine GPS handheld units are included, along with Humminbird Fish Finder GPS reviews.

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