Basics with electronics . Completed

Discussion in 'Freshwater' started by Linebig, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. Linebig

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    Its now time to pay attention and learn the basics with your electronics. No, really its time to learn how to use your graph.

    First, all graphs are basically exactly the same. Their terms and word choices maybe different. One may say Sonar Gain. The other says Sonar sensitivity. They mean the same thing. Or surface clutter or surface noise. Its why many have the same company on the console as they do the troller. I’m the guy with two different units. Haha. I have used Lowrance and Garmin as well Humming bird. From that I realized I like a little bit of each of them and wish I could combine all three to one graph.

    Its why you see guys like Jacob Wheeler with two or three different brands on his boat. He may love the down scan of Garmin yet the Side scan of Lowrance and GPS of Humming Bird.

    being a weekend angler I have 1 up front and 1 on the console. The units I have are not top of the line. However they are also not bottom barrel either. I have the Striker 7SV on my troller and the Humming Bird Helix-5 on my Console. I wish it was 7. However, it was gift from my wife so it stays on the boat, Ha!

    If you have never really paid attention to your graph maybe this will help you. I made it an absolute to learn my units, at least to a point of them making a difference in my fishing. Most of todays graphs do things most will never need to use.

    for me I focused on my traditional 2D screen and my down scan once again different words. Down scan Humming Bird or Garmin, clear view. Same thing.

    with your graph its important to set up each screen. The first thing I set up is the color. That can be done in auto mode as its just picking The screens back light vs sonar colors.

    My Garmin has various back light colors. And for some reason the Garmin’s back light is pure. White is white. It looks like a white piece of paper Or blue paper. Other units kind of have a grainy Back light look even if pretty darn clear. Almost shadow like. My Humming bird is that way. The Garmin is basically a solid color Back light. From that it makes the sonar signals in front of the back light pop out on the screen. Everything is in your face. I’ll add some photos And even with the horrible lighting from being outside and shadows and reflections off the glass they look good. Sorry about all the water drops on my graph...troller water hits in when running the boat.

    1. Set the screens colors, both back light and sonar. Both standard and down scan. If you have side scan, that as well.
    Its easy on my garmin... menu button, settings button. Screen color. From there it opens the options.

    I like blue for my back light with orange/red sonar For standard. I like Blue sonar for my down scan. It does not have a back light. They’re all black on down scan Back light. Sonar color is all you get. Amber is okay, blue seems to be seen better during the day. Green is also not bad. Experiment.

    2. From there its about setting noise reduction. That eliminates or at least for me, false echos. I only get 4 choices On my garmin so its not too hard...

    3. then its about surface clutter. I try to set that to see none.

    4.from there its sonar ping appearance. Remove anything that says fish Id.... Turn it off 75% its not a fish. Its a false echo. Learn the marks and arches if you have them. Humming bird does arches... everything's an arch. It kills me..... My Garmin shows me marks not arches. It shows what I call tubes thin grouped marked lines. Its a thousand times better than arches.

    5. ping speed. Highest setting always. Screen needs to move.

    6. Side bar graph. Its a vertical flasher and is arguably the most important part of my graph if I am working schools with a spoon or ice jig. It gives you a couple seconds to know what is about to go under the transducer. That second or two allows you time to drop the bait on their head.

    7 set the bottom hardness contour. I want to see the hard bottom. That way you can see the soft mud over the hard bottom. On my Garmin its a thick white line. Thats important.You’ll see it on the photos.

    its important to know the bottom right hand corner of the screen means everything.

    The rest is what went by and is most likely gone or moved and might still be close by. You just cant see it. That right corner is what is 100% under the boat. Thats does not mean every fish echo is right under the boat. Thats where the color sonar matters. Mine has blue marks when the fish are on the outer Sections of the cone and get progressively brighter and then start to turn orange to red/orange when directly under the troller.

    thats where the side bar comes into play as well as well stopping the boat if trolling and trying to get the marks to orange on the side bar screen. The graph becomes your eyes.

    okay, now its about sensitivity or gain. This is the one that changes at each lake. The rest of the settings once dialed remain the same. The gain varies. Water color and depth and debris changes the gain settings needed. On my Garmin I can leave that on an auto gain setting however its kind of neat how the garmin works.

    It has 3 auto settings

    low auto it like from 0 to 33% it will bounce around in auto mode from 0-33%
    Med auto 33%-66% and bounces from those setting
    High auto 66-100%. I keep it on auto high as it sits usually at 80-85% by itself. However. If I am spooning or Ice Jigging I turn it up manually to about 90%. Just powerful enough to have tad of screen clutter. I want to see my bait fall and move on every drop.

    something else is my bait does the same thing the fish marks do... If I am drifting and get out of the range of the cone my baits starts to turn White to blue.. if I am under it... hold cow..its bright orange and it Is thick... its not s tiny signal. You can see it perfectly.

    from that point you are ready to rock. If you get those settings dialed, you will really enjoy the graph.

    You can changes transducers if you have duel beam. I like keeping mine on Chrip. It passes thru both 200/77 and 200/50 khz tranducers to give the best signal. Down scan is on 800khz.. I like the picture, it also has 400khz. Its for deeper water they say. You may find you like it better. .

    once thats set, you’ll never change it again...

    you can get into Zoom at that point. Zoom on humming bird is in the settings. Zoom on the Garmin is on the front buttons once you set it for how much you want and what depth you want.

    split screen zoom is really nice. One screen is full depth. The second can be 30-60 as most fish are in 45-55 ft. Spooning thats helpful on smaller screen graphs like a 5”

    this is truly the basics on what you need to setup to get the graph working for you. The auto setting can be so Horrible! And once you dial your unit in you’ll see it right away.

    use the graph for more than depth and water temp... speaking of that...never put your screen numbers on the right side of the screen... remember.... thats what we are trying to pay attention to for the marks. Upper left.. and not large For all numbers... they get distracting seeing them changing all the time with depth and such.

    one last thing......Turn off the damn Beeper!!!! Its like reeling in with a clicker on the reel.... hahaha...

    let me explain the photos now. You’ll see a photo with what looks to be a lot of interface from like 28ft to the bottom at 50-60tt. And there is a nice school of fish sitting above it. That was where the thermal cline Or major oxygen change was at Otay several weeks back. No fish below that area.... no real fish any way.. something says stay out. The next photo shows left hand corner at 28ft a little bit of the clutter. And fish sitting at 25ft over a hard bottom...

    Looking at those two photos what does that tell you... It should tell you do not fish deeper than 25-30ft. At least in that section of lake for sure. Its how I found my spoon bite. :). Eliminate water...It matters and a graph can help you do that.

    You’ll see on another photo where I was late to drop on the school. My bait is off to the right they are on the left. They are long past the right corner of the screen... I was just hoping another school was behind them. Nope... missed it. 19ft is also a bit shallow for dropping on them... most likely they were hauling *** under the boat to get away from it. Never think they dont know we’re there.

    another photo you’ll see my bait in a small group of fish and fish head back in the brush. When I remove my bait the fish come out of the bush and move on.

    all of this is happening real time. I’m watching it happen. Even on my mid price units. My Striker 7SV retailed $599.00 3 years ago. And most are on sale from $399-$450. Humming Bird Helix gen 2 is $375.00 now.

    the next photos...you see that I nailed the drop... I am right on top of the school and got lucky and fish nailed the bait. You can see the school on the side screen And coming off the bottom right corner... took the photo while reeling the fish in... then took a second photo to show the entire school and tail off of the school. If two people would have dropped we’d have doubled up.

    Another photo showing the down scan and a little of the standard screen. Notice the side bar on the standard screen you can see red marks on the bottom. Now look at the side scan.. you see some flat marks on the bottom...those are fish that look like square rocks.... its knowing what your graph is showing, learning it and then trusting it. And I bagged a fish from that as well.

    look at the photo with the three screens. Stand screen looks like a slight drop. Down scan shows its a rock. Side scan shows there are a bunch of rocks. I cant stress using the graph always!!!

    I hope this as we move into deeper fish these coming months.

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    #1 Linebig, Nov 15, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
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  2. old_rookie

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    sounds interesting

    edit: the post originally had two letters but since has been filled.
     
    #2 old_rookie, Nov 15, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
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  3. Linebig

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    Something happened? And then I tried to edit and deleted it? Hate using my phone for this crap. I’ll try to fix it
     
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  4. fisheromen

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    Looking forward to it. Can you use Garmin?
     
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  5. Linebig

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    Thats what I have :)
     
  6. Linebig

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    Got it done.. And if you want more info. Just message me
     
  7. fisheromen

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    I really appreciate this as I can see you put lots of time and thought into it. Maybe the problem is just me, but I don't get most of the language. It is the same with every video I have seen or any directions I have read. It is taken for granted that a person knows the code! You tried really hard to start with this very thing explaining "gain" and "sensitivity" But it still has not clicked yet. Maybe I am just dense . You don't need to try harder. I will just try to understand. I do see arches and lines. ;) I understand about reeling with the clicker on! lol! I get what I get!
     
  8. salt water guy

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    Great info and I appreciate the write-up. I've been thinking about upgrading the ol' Humminbird. (Have to confess, I didn't really put much effort in learning all the bells and whistles!).
     
  9. Linebig

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    You’ll need to be in a boat with a person to show you in real time. That way you can ask questions. Thats the real issue. Watching video or even reading text helps however only to point. The questions need to be asked to be answered.

    take a look at the photos on this post. Make a list of questions and let me know what they are. Even if Its just more defining of the terms being used is whats needed.

    using the graph is such a huge part of fishing.
     
  10. fisheromen

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    I would love to see what is in your photos. I just see big yellow blobs. I think it is brush. I also see lines coming down at about 45 degree angles. Not my line or bait! I just ignore all that and look at the temp and water depth. Sometimes the depth lies to me though. Maybe it is reading from the top of the brush? Who knows? (somebody, not me) I'm sure a lot of guys are getting more out of this than me, so don't let me impede your teaching progress.
     
  11. Linebig

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    We all will see those lines in 45 degree angles at times also. Pay no attention to them really. Many times its air bubbles escaping and or false echo's from wakes or trolling motor prop wash and such.

    as for the Yellow Blobs... Depending if they are on the bottom or not could be a couple things.

    Without seeing your screen? Your color choice might be different than mine? Pick something on my photos and ask me what it is. That will possibly anchor you to yours and the light will come on... the aha moment.

    If you look at my photos the bottom is solid red for the most part. That's from me always having the gain so high. I am not concerned with the accuracy of the brush on the bottom many times. I am more concerned with the fish and bait and my lure within the screen. That's why I like seeing the white hard bottom.

    By lowering the gain or sensitivity more colors come out on the bottom and it shows a more accurate picture of the bottom. If you are bottom searching and not so much for fish. If looking for contours and such, then that's a great way to go.

    If drop mine from 90% to 75% and it changes everything in how the bottom looks. At that point I wont be able t see my bait fall though...

    Its also why you'll see me split screen. Down scan side and standard 2D side. My down scan tells me exactly what the bottom is. The 2D shows me what I want to see in mid water within the screen.

    Having the ability to have multiple views at once is a huge deal. Its why you see the guys with 2 units or three units up front or at the console. Its not to just look cool.

    They want 12" screen showing the down scan or a split and they get two 6x9 screens. it easier to see it that way than breaking them up in to 3" screens and such. Its the only reason they do it.

    On my Garmin when I start it up the very first home screen is which type of screens do I want to view. Traditional- or Clear view-or Side scan. maybe a Combo with clear view and Traditional. maybe a Zoom split with traditional. or like one of the photos 3 screens with side scan- down scan and traditional.

    Its easy to pick and choose without needing much information. Your Garmin I bet does the exact same.

    next time you start the unit pick traditional and set the gain at 85%. Then back out of that screen and pick the Clear View screen. Set its contrast or gain to 50%. Remember you want to see the bottom really well....

    Back out of that and now pick the combo screen traditional split with clear view. Use the clear view to see the bottom structure and the high power standard to see what's on the screen mid water and such.

    just that right there will open an entirely new world of what you are seeing down there.

    After a while... go back to traditional and lower the gain to 75%. then back out and get back to the combo screen. Now look at the down scan and see what those rocks or brush look like. now look at the 2D traditional screen. Learn about one screen from how the other looks.

    This next time out take a little time with the unit. If you you spend 30 min an outing just messing with the unit you'll really start to understand it .and learn to trust it.
     
  12. fisheromen

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    Mine is a $140 unit with a tiny screen that I can read just fine from where I sit on my tube. I choose "traditional" screen I believe. After that I understand nothing of what you just said. Might as well be speaking Greek except I understand a little Greek. I feel like I am wasting your time.
     
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  13. dmorgan3

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    You have the Humminbird Fishn' Buddy 110 or 120 by chance? That is about the right price. They don't make those model numbers anymore but the still make the 'buddy. Great little unit, tells me depth, temperature, rock vs. mud vs. grass vs. trees, bait fish, bass, drop offs, points, creek channels and so on. Even a simple unit like that is way better than nothing. I don't understand why people will buy a rod and reel for $300, a Hobie kayak for as much as $5000 or a boat for even more and not get a fish finder. They really make a difference.

    I love fishing from a tube but I was to fish from a bass boat, I would get the fancier electronics.
     
  14. fisheromen

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    I had a Fishin' Buddy but it was the pre-Humminbird model. I did not trust or understand what it was showing me, So I got a Garmin Striker 4. It shows me the exact same things, in color. Still not sure what those things are. It took me a while to quit thinking the things were cheating! ;) As to tubes or boats. I have both and catch more and bigger fish from my tube. Don't use the boat much.
     
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  15. dmorgan3

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    I had one of the color 'Buddies for a while until it fell in the bay and got corroded. The color did not add benefit. A lot of boat owners do more boating than fishing when they are out. Instead of finding out what the fish want, they go all over the lake trying to find fish that want what they are throwing.
     
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  16. Queue

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    Thank you for doing this. With our fluctuating water levels, something I find helpful for understanding structure is to go over spots I’ve seen at lower water to correlate them with how it looks on the screen.
     
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  17. Linebig

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    Yes, exactly... Its like when I mentioned using the down scan and standard traditional screen in a split. the down scan really shows the brush and trees and rocks. then you can try and match up what the traditional side looks like to know it better,
     
  18. Everydog

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    I used a fish finder for the first time ever. It looked to me like it was working pretty good .I could get over fish and when they weren't showing up any more go back and find them again. Mostly suspending at 18 feet in 25-30 feet of water anywhere they could be found.with the sonar. I picked off one bass on a small underspin. I was going very slowly , so was the fish at 18 feet likely just the same fish swimming under the boat? I didn't notice the fish on the bottom in the lower left hand corner , might have liked to try to get them to bite. Have to get better with way point because I was making visual triangles to trees on the bank for reference. I am pretty sure I was looking at a lot of fish today. Saw lots of bait balls too, which was cool. Could not tell for sure if bass were slashing them, but at times I thought the screen was telling me that some bass were getting the bait and maybe some fish were chasing a bait towards the surface( only saw one buster in a couple of hours. . At times I had three times as many fish images as in this picture , always in the suspended zone.
    Fishfinder (2).JPG
     
    #18 Everydog, Dec 5, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2020
  19. Everydog

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    Forgot to add, why do the fish always swim in the same direction when the sonar is on?
     
  20. Linebig

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    Even though it may seem like they do. They dont swim one direction. The screen moves to the left continually refreshing itself. Bait will seem like its only moving to the left. The fish will move up and down and left and right. However this all happens while the screen is moving to the left.
    Does this make sense to you? Its all new so it will take a little to get used to.
    I would also get rid of the fish marking symbols on the graph. They fool you. Many times anything like air bubbles and such are marked as fish. Keep at it!
     
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