There's absolutely no doubt about it: Fish Finders make fishing easier. They carry an abundance of features that help you navigate, understand the lake terrain, and find the fish you're angling for.
But, not all fish finders are created equal. There's a reason why they range in price from $50 to $1000 or more. It's the features and effectiveness.
If you're new to the world of fish finders, it's important to understand how they work before you start making decisions. This will help you;
a) Avoid the disappointment of a fish finder that just doesn't give you what you need.
b) Avoid the regret of spending too much money on something you don't need.
Here are the fish finder details you should consider:
What's Your Goal?
Are you fishing shallow rivers, deep lakes, ocean coasts, or a little bit of everything?
Fish finders use sonar waves to determine what's under the water. Some frequencies are good for deep water while others are better suited for shallow water. Before you start looking at frequency options it's best to understand the type of water you'll be fishing in.
What's Your Priority?
As mentioned, sonar waves come in a wide variety of frequencies for different situations.
High Frequency Transducers:
Shorter wavelengths with more wave cycles per second
= More detail but less depth.
Low Frequency Transducers:
Longer wavelengths with less wave cycles per second
= Less detail but more depth.
Dual Frequency Transducers:
= best of both worlds
Of course, traditional sonar has a new(ish) competitor: CHIRP (Compressed High Intensity Radar Pulse) technology. This sends sonar waves in multiple directions using multiple frequencies for the best combination of depth and clarity.
What's Your Style?
Now that you understand sonar and frequencies, you're almost ready to choose a fish finding unit. The next steps are to determine what size of screen you want, the control type, and where you're going to mount it. Here are your options:
Screen Size: Fish finder sizes are always changing, but in general you can get them anywhere between (measured from bottom left corner to top right corner) 3.5" to 12".
Control Type: There's really only 2 options available at the moment - Keypad and Touchscreen. There's no advantage to either option, it boils down to personal preference.
Location: You do need access to power so you can't put it Anywhere, but you can get pretty close if you want to get creative with the mounting post. The two standard locations are either the bow or the console area. There are also portable units on the market which you can clamp down pretty much anywhere.
Do You Need Additional Features?
Some anglers prefer the thrill of the hunt and only want to know how deep the water is (in which case you may prefer a simple depth finder - same technology without the imaging) and some prefer as much of a competitive advantage as they can get.
There are 3 types of Fish Finders on the market today:
- Standalone: Show's what's below
- Combo: Uses GPS for navigation
- Networked: Combines features like radar, GPS charts, Satellite Radio, Bluetooth, and Wifi.
The above image shows you how many details you can get with a full-featured Networked fish finder. If you're constantly exploring new waters and move around a lot, this is probably the best option for you.
Lastly, you'll want to check out what type of other technology your fisher finder will connect with. A great example comes from one of Legend Boats' oldest partners - Humminbird.
We've been pairing our hardcore fishing machines with Humminbird fish finders for years. One of the reasons is their first-to-market attitude and ability to innovate.
Humminbird's i-Pilot technology allows the fish finder to communicate directly with Minn Kota tolling motors. This provides automatic navigation, anchoring, and re-positioning so that you can focus on your rod and reel.
See how it works
That's pretty much everything you need to know!
Now that you have the full picture, you can shop for Fish Finders with confidence. If you're in the market for a new Legend Boat, make sure to ask what model comes with your boat. Most boats have one included in its standard package with the ability to upgrade to another model if you prefer.
Yours In Boating,