Depth finders also known as Fish Finders are a tool available for boaters in order to see below the surface. These tools give the ability to see schools of fish and structures that may normally be hidden from view. Whether you’re boating on a lake or the open ocean, a depth finder will drastically improve your fishing experience.
Depth finder Essential: GPS
Any worthwhile Depth finder will come with GPS. Not only will this allow you to know your exact location and prevent getting lost, it will allow you to tag special locations that you find. When you want to come back you’ll know exactly where to go and if you frequent it, you can begin mapping out the area which allows for more targeted fishing. GPS is a very important factor if you plan on going anywhere you won’t be able to see land or are unfamiliar with. This is a feature I would suggest spending the extra money on and definitely not bypassing.
Depth Finder Options: Down vs Side Imaging
If you’re a fisherman, bottom line you should know that unless you are flats fishing, you should own a depth finder. Determining which finder to get varies greatly depending on your preferences. while there are many different options to take note of, the first step is determining which type of imaging you want, down or side imaging.
Down imaging is better for deeper water. The way it works is the sonar send down a cone and spreads as it gets deep. This results in a larger area and a more accurate reading. Using this type of sonar in shallow waters may result in distorted imaging from reflection. You will also find a very small cone which means it will take longer to find good spots.
Conversely, side imaging is better for shallower waters sending out sonar approximately 100 feet each side. For best results stay within 75-90 feet. This results in larger areas mapped out and viewed on the screen. The problem with side imaging is similar to down imaging only vice versa. The deeper you go with side imaging the less accurate the picture becomes.
If you are having trouble picking one or the other, you have the option of a combination depth finder. This gives you both down and side imaging allowing for the most accurate recreational depth finder.
Depth Finder Bottom Line
If you plan to go out and slay fish this weekend, having a depth finder is going to dramatically improve your catch. Click here for a easy to read guide that explains many of the complicated aspects of this powerful tool. Every fisherman should have one in their arsenal.