A fish finder is an electronic gadget that is used by fishermen for commercial or recreational fishing activities. The instrument uses sonar technology to locate fish by sending sound waves to the waters and recording the rate at which it hits the wave detector.

There is a variety of fish finder models in the market including portable and inbuilt ones, and the preference depends on the needs of the buyer. Regardless of the type of fish finder you chose, it is important to have credible information on how to use it effectively to maximize on your fishing activities.

Read the manual

Just like any other product, a fish finder comes with a reader’s guide that has a set of instructions for successful use of the gadget. It is tempting to ignore manuals because they are pages of boring words but then they make the big difference in the effectiveness and efficiency of the product. Go through the installation procedure, unit operation and the procedures for underwater operation bit by bit to familiarise yourself with how the instrument works. Different manuals for fish finders have different instructions and, therefore, it not advisable for you to operate for example a Garmin fish finder using the Humminbird fish finder or vice versa.

Do a proper installation of the transducer

The way you install your fish finder will affect the quality of fishing. The transducer is the main feature of the fish finder because it acts as the eyes and ears of the sonar you are using. It is, therefore, important to go for a wide cone transducer if you are fishing in shallow waters while the narrow cone transducers are best for fishing in deep waters. For proper installation, you have to ensure that it is done under still water to prevent air bubbles from interfering with readings.

Understand the key feature of the fish finder

After installation, you will be required to test the features of your fish finder to determine their effectiveness. The settings of the features will entirely depend on the depth and turbulence of the water. For you to get the best results, consider adjusting the sensitivity settings to get the best resolution; high power increases the quality of image and vice versa. Also, there is the fish ID setting that gives the icon of the presence of fish. Be keen to master the different icons to avoid mistaking a fish for something else. The Lowrance, Garmin and Humminbird fish finders have the best fish IDs.

Fish finders have the auto-depth feature that helps you track the depth of the waters as you do your fishing. It helps to track the bottom of the water as one way of identifying the habitats of a school of fish. The feature functions automatically but as you become an expert, you can change the settings for better results. For best results, decrease the size of the window to increase its resolution power but its efficiency will depend on the depth of water. Finally, make changes to the suppressor setting by filtering the background noises that can scare away fish.


Using a fish finder that does not have a tracking device is almost doing zero work. Accessorizing your fish finder with a GPS that can maintain signals is a way of making sure that you keep track of your most resourceful fish ponds through mapping. Additionally, it gives you bearing when you wonder off in the moment of fishing to an unfamiliar area. It should guide you to where you started thus ensuring your security.

Understanding your fishing environment

You will be required to understand the nature of water and the environment of fish reservoirs for you to use your fish finders effectively. Some of the signals, graphs or pictures you get on your transducer could mean a totally opposite thing as per the interpretation the transducer resulting in a waste of time and effort. The easiest way to acquaint yourself with the fishing grounds is to find a map that shows the inlet channels that lead to the fish reservoirs. Going through the maps over and over helps you to master the areas that are safe for fishing, and once you visit the places, you can use GPS to save the details for future use.

Fish finders are almost automatic gadgets, but they require you to follow the details for you to realise their effectiveness and efficiently. Besides, you need to handle them with care during installation and set them right for best results.