How To Choose a Fish Finder
Technology has really made its way to all aspects of our lives, and fishing is not an exception. Fish finders are an amazing invention that allows you to easily locate your fish and multiply your catches.
When you’re shopping the best fish finders on the market, there are a few features that will help you pick the one that’ll suit you the most.
1. Transducers and Their Material
A transducer is an essential building block in every fish finder. They’re the part that sends out and receives sonar waves.
The waves that are emitted into the water and bounce off different objects to return to your transducer and provide you with all the data and information you need.
Understanding the different types of mounts will help you pick the suitable transducer mount for you.
Bigger boats will require a thru-hull mount. On the other hand, a transom mount will be suitable for most boats and is quite easy to install.
2. Beams and Cone Angles
An important aspect of the transducer is its cone angle. The cone angle determines the width of the beam emitted into the water from your boat.
The wider the cone, the larger the area your beam will cover, and the more fish that will be visible on your fish finder’s screen.
The cones of the transducer can range from as little as 9 degrees to as huge as 60 degrees.
The larger the number, of course, the more the range stays solid despite the depth.
A good average cone degree would be 20 degrees –something that fits someone who’s starting out and wants to experiment in different water depths.
Some transducers come with the ability to emit more than one cone from a single point. This includes double beam, triple beam, and even a side beam –depending on how advanced the transducer is.
The deeper and wider the water body is, the more important it is to have a transducer with multiple beams.
3. GPS capability
Although the GPS feature isn’t found on all fish finders out there, it’s a feature that’s definitely a huge bonus.
With GPS, you can mark waypoints for your return, download pre-made maps for various bodies of water and their underwater topography.
You can view all the objects beside or beneath your boat and thereby find the best fishing locations.
Some advanced ones even have advanced individualized cartography and navigation to give you a degree of customizability.
4. Quality and Size of the Display Screen
It’s important to pay attention to both the size and resolution of your display as they’ll certainly affect how well you view your information.
The minimum resolution you should settle for is 240 x 160 pixels. But of course, the higher the resolution is, the better.
In this particular aspect, you shouldn’t worry about spending some extra money as you’ll be paid back in the long run.
That’s why you should always buy the highest quality and largest display you can afford.
It's also a bonus if your display is in color and not black and white. The latter is evidently harder to read in direct sunlight, while the former will make reading and taking in the information a lot easier.
5. Ease of Use and Usability
There are two things that you should find easy to use and be comfortable with.
Firstly, the intangible system that enables you to customize the way the transducer gathers information to fine-tune the unit.
Some units give you the option to adjust the visibility and contrast of your device to fit your needs.
Secondly, think of the physical installation and the mounting processes –make sure they’re both easy.
If you’re going to fish in a kayak, canoe, or if you’re going to store your finder between fishing trips and change its location, make sure the previous point applies.
6. Water Temperature Probe
Experienced anglers definitely know how the water temperature affects the presence or absence of different kinds of fish.
Knowing the temperature beneath and around your boat will help you locate the fish you want to catch.
7. Custom Map-making Function
If you fish in spots that aren’t that popular such as a farm pond, a river, or a creek, then you’ll probably have a hard time finding maps or charts that give you details about the area.
That’s why custom map-making is a great option to create your own custom maps on the go and have a guide ready whenever you return to an area you’ve already covered.