Jan 6

best gps/fishfinder combo for small boatsMost anglers that use a fish finder learn the basics of the tool and then stop there. They don’t bother to excel in their fish-finding techniques since today’s sounders work amazing only at a basic level. Still, you can progress in your fish finding skills and that will let you enjoy fishing even more. Here are a few useful tips.

1. Working as a Team

The very first step you can take towards enhancing your skills in using your best GPS/fishfinder combo for small boats is to learn teaming up your fish finder and chartoplotter together. The blobs and blips on screen indicate a lot more as you can spot their exact location, even after several hours you saw them last. You can achieve this in a few ways. The first and most effective one is to split the screen between chartoplotter and fish finder, if you’ve got a combo unit. If you don’t have one, you better upgrade.

These systems let the plotter and finder to be in constant communication, thereby creating the chances to scroll back in your finder and record the GPS coordinates of a spot even long after you went over it. Thus, when you get a strike, you need not instantly run for the helm to record the coordinates of the spot. You can go back later in the history, record the location and the GPS will let you know exactly where you were when you passed over that fish.

2. Zoom

Once you learn to use the above technique, try to zoom in more frequently on bottom. This will let you know more about the bottom type (an exception to this is that while fishing in deep offshore waters, bottom type is somewhat irrelevant). However, keep in mind, the way it looks on screen is counter-intuitive. E.g. a hard bottom will look as a thin bottom line, while a soft bottom will show a thick bottom reading. The reason for this is that the sonar waves pierce a soft bottom to some extent, before being totally bounced back. However, in water deeper than 30’ or 40’, it’s difficult to figure out the difference in full-screen mode. Zoom in on the last 5’ or 10’ of water to see clearly which kind of bottom you are fishing on.

3. Excelling in Finding Location

If you feel that your fish finder is not giving you good results, if you’ve a transom-mount transducer, try adjusting it or totally change its location. 80% to 90% times, this is the reason why fish finders with transom-mounted transducers produce poor results. Commotion produced by the boat and/or powerplant can totally ruin the performance of a fish finder and you have to adjust the transducer till there is a clean flow of water over its face.

Try these tips and you will enjoy your fishing trips even more with the better performance of your fish finder.