Using Depth SoundersPart 1: Getting Started
These days, very few boat fishers venture out in search of angling action without a depth sounder, sonar unit or “fish finder” fitted to their vessels. Even kayak and canoe enthusiasts are increasingly relying on sonar technology to help find fish. But if you’re one of those folks still struggling to interpret what you’re seeing on your sounder’s screen, this series of Inner Circle blogs should definitely help!
Today, very few boat fishers head offshore, or even onto our estuaries, lakes and rivers, without having some sort of sounder unit on board. These tools are now viewed as an almost essential piece of kit, with base units priced keenly enough to fit almost any budget. Yet I constantly encounter anglers who struggle to make sense of what their sounders are telling them. Hopefully, this series of blogs will help those people.
Many sounder users are best served by simply turning the unit on, setting it to auto and letting it do its own thing!
Modern sounders are incredibly sophisticated and well-developed pieces of equipment. Rather like state-of-the-art cameras and computers, most casual users will only ever explore (or need) about a quarter of the potential power, functions and capabilities of their sounders! In fact, just as with modern point-and-shoot cameras, in the vast majority of cases, these casual users are best served by simply turning the sounder unit on, setting it to auto and letting it do its own thing! So long as it has been installed correctly in the first place and you’ve remembered to switch off the showroom “simulator” mode (a trap for new players!), the sounder should do a perfectly adequate job of telling you how deep the water is under your hull, showing you the basic contour of the bottom, and alerting you to any significant objects in the water column under the boat, all without you ever needing to push another button (except the ‘off’ switch when you get back to the boat ramp).