Nobody wants to set off on a fishing trip only to wait for hours until he gets a single catch, or worse, come back empty-handed after trying a million spots. The fact that there’s no guarantee that your lure is going to get any bites is a turn-off itself. That’s why a fish finder has become an essential item in a fisherman’s arsenal.
Using a fish finder, you’ll no longer need to depend on your gut feelings. This device is designed to be your eye in the water so that you will no longer have to throw your line and only hope for the best.
For a more in-depth explanation, continue reading to find out why you need a fish finder for fishing.
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1. Locate Your Target
Equipped with sonar systems that emit waves in certain directions, these units provide you with detailed images of what’s happening in the water kingdom below. Contrary to some beliefs, fish finders can help you in many ways besides the obvious benefit of finding fish. In short, they can turn an amateur into a pro with their various features and functions.
Anglers may depend on the fact that they can detect schools of small fish near the surface and take it as an indication that there’s a big-game fish swimming nearby. Nonetheless, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes these stubborn baitfish just dive in near the bottom, which makes it difficult to locate them without a fish finder.
Besides being able to locate any type of fish, these devices give you an overview of what’s under the water from rocks and vegetation to weed lines and floor structures. These structures act as homes for many baitfish as well as game fish that feed on them. Hence, targeting these places instead of looking for individual fish can save your time and energy.
Not only that, but also being able to locate these structures can save your life. If you’ve been in the sport for a while, then you’d probably know that your kayak or boat can flip over a broken tree branch or get broken after bumping against an obscured underwater rock.
Therefore, you need a fish finder to help you detect a safe path and have a safe trip free from any kind of accident.
2. Track Your Bait
One of the fish finders’ merits is that they’ll let you keep an eye on your bait all the time and be up to speed on everything going on with it. The thing is, many anglers find themselves in a situation where they feel that they lost the bait after casting, but they don’t know for sure. Hence, they’d be forced to take the bait out and recast even if they don’t need to.
Fish finders solve this problem by keeping the bait on display the whole time. This isn’t the only benefit you get from following your baits’ actions. In fact, you’ll always be able to make sure that the bait is in the right place and time so that there’s zero chance that the fish won’t bite.
3. Target Specific Species
It’s possible to target a specific kind if you’re using a fish finder. Although the display won’t show you the exact picture of the fish or tell you what species it is, it’s easy to make predictions using what you get.
For example, you can build your assumptions based on the size of the dark spot you’re seeing on the screen or the depth at which it’s hovering. Some fish finders may go as far as estimating the weight of the fish.
Also, as we mentioned before, different structures can tell you what type of fish they’re holding. For instance, if you’re after catfish, you can easily search for them in holes and stumps in rocky banks. Moreover, should you find creatures swimming near lake vegetation or sandy bottoms, you can assume they’re largemouth bass.
This of espeically great benefit to tournament fishermen as they’d be looking for particular species with specific sizes and weights.
4. Better Navigation
Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could replace all the complicated nautical charts with an integrated GPS that can handle the whole deal in a much less complicated way? Anglers, especially those who go on long-range trips, need GPS systems to track their courses and guide their way.
It has become a necessity in modern fish finders to be equipped with built-in GPS systems and chartplotters. For one thing, these systems will provide you with contoured maps so that you can detect your location and navigate smoothly. For another, you can add waypoints and memorize your favorite fishing spots to be able to revisit them as many times as you want.
On top of that, fish finder GPS combo can be a guarantee for your safety in the water. If you ever find yourself in a case of emergency, you can easily use your device to find a safe path to return to the shore, safe and sound.
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5. Detect the Water’s Temperature
Aquatic creatures are greatly affected by the water’s temperature since they’re unable to regulate their own bodies’ temperature. That’s why their feeding and spawning habits change depending on the water being warm or cold. Anglers follow these patterns to detect the perfect timing to lure each species to their nets.
Some fish tend to be more active in warmer conditions or when they’re beefing up in preparation for winter. Hence, being able to tell the water’s temperature through your fish finder, especially in seasons when the water temperature is rarely stable, is absolutely a point in your favor.
Using the information you get from your unit, you can decide whether the day would be worth it or not. Some days you’ll be glad that you called it a day before wasting much time and effort trying to lure lazy fish out of their shelters.
6. Measure the Depth
All anglers can tell the importance of knowing the depth of the water in which you’re fishing.
Knowing the depth can give you an idea about what type of species roaming the spot.
Fish finders can measure a wide range of depths depending on their capabilities. While some sonars can only reach 300 feet in the water, others can cover distances that are 3000 feet far or more.
7. For Ice Fishing
Ice fishing has taken over the last few years, and many people have been trying to find out how to locate a good fishing spot to avoid wasting too much energy and time on an empty hole. So here comes the magic of a fish finder.
Provided with portable power supplies and flashers, many fish finders on the market are designed especially for ice fishing. These flashers use sonar technology to locate fish, structures, and bottom compositions in the vertical water column below.
Hence, with a fish finder, you won’t have to dig many big holes in search of a fish-rich one. All you have to do is pick a spot, dig a small hole, and dangle your transducer. If you receive the desired response, then go for it and dig a proper one.
8. Match Your Style
The good thing about fish finders is that they’re not reserved for one fishing style. We talked about how they’re beneficial for ice fishing, yet the thing is, they’re versatile enough to match any style of fishing.
They come with different types of sonars that render them useful in any situation. For example, if you’re a deep-water fisherman who needs a finder that can give readings from vast depths, you can choose a down-imaging sonar that directs sonar beams down beneath your craft.
On the other hand, anglers who prefer shallow lakes, river channels, or bays can make use of a side-imaging fish finder that would provide them with in-depth images from the sides of their vessels.
What’s more, you’ll find out that fish finders come with features and modes that can be customized to detect schools of small fish or big trophy fish according to your preferences.
In short, whatever your style and wherever you like to fish, there’s a fish finder out there for you that can help you make the best out of your time in the water.
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At the end of the day, we can say that you can survive without a fish finder. However, you’ll be subjected to these days of “zero catches” more often than you think. Not because you lack knowledge or experience, but because it’s a game of luck. You can simply gamble on a place only for it to be fish-free.
Finally, remember that fish finders aren’t only about locating fish. They’re versatile units that can turn your fishing time into a much more entertaining and competitive experience.