How to Read a Fish Finder: A Latest Sonar Guide

For those who are new to modern fishing, the fish finder is an amazing device that will help you catch more fish.

This guide has helped me learn how to read a fish finder gadget and I can now use it like an arch, fishing id so I know whether or not I should install one on my boat and kayak.

Reading a fish finder has been a bit of a task for several users over time. Beginners of fish finding often have this very question how to read a fish finder screen, do you?

If you too have this same question, worry not, because we have got your backs. We have pinned down the basics and the primary and useful tips behind reading a fish finder that will surely come in handy for you when you go fishing.

How to read a fish finder basic- and what to read? When you start fishing, you will need to know the bare minimum features in a fish finder that helps you read the situation well.

A fish finder will help you identify the fish in the waters, discover the different types of structures present underwater, determine the size of the fish, and consider the style and the solidity of the bottom.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in learning about as well, take a look at our blog post for all of the details! Happy reading!

how to read fish finder

Following Steps of How to read a fish finder:

1. To identify the fish underwater- fish arches and icons.

Firstly in how to read a fish finder screen is a fish finder that uses Fish ID technology to help you track down the fish; it displays different icons for plants, other groups of fish, and even the rocks present on your display screen.

However, it is very much possible that the fish icons illuminate, giving you a false alarm because some rocks underwater or even vegetation can be mistaken for fish by fish finders. That is when fish arches come in handy in understanding fish finder images.

1. To identify the fish underwater- fish arches and icons.
Fish Arches

When fish icons do not suit you, you can use the facility of fish arches available. This feature represents the fish detected underwater as arches on the display screen of your fish finder, which can also fluctuate in size displayed according to the size of the fish identified.

On the other hand, looking out for rocks and plants through arches can be a bit of a task.

fish arches and icons. how to read a fish finder
Fish Icon

2. Discover the different types of structures present underwater- depressions, points, vegetation, and weed.

In the reading of fish finder, The tiny v-shapes visible on the display screen of your fish finder portray the depressions underwater. They are simple to keep notice of and are often exemplary to target.  

To catch a point is just as easy. A balanced and stable speed when you reel provides a correct and precise reading of how abrupt the slope is, using a narrow sonar beam to ensure an understandable reading.

how to read a fish finder

Highlighting vertical lines, the vegetation and weed are highlighted on the display screen when you come across vegetation. Sometimes you need to fish on this vegetation, and sometimes away from it.          

Vegetation of read fish finder

3. To determine the fish’s size- fish arc width, half/ full arches, and finding a baitfish. 

The width of a fish arc identifies and portrays the fish’s size is much better than the length. The more wide an arc is, the bigger the fish identified is. The length of the arc does not necessarily say that the fish is big or small. The arc with the thickest width is indeed the biggest fish.

how to read a fish finder
Fish Arch Width

If a full arc is displayed on the screen, that means that the fish swam to the sonar cone fully. If it does not, a half arc is displayed. A half arc does not always mean that the fish is small; it could still be a fish that is very much big. The quality of the arc does not portray how big a fish is.

Full Arch

A baitfish is mostly slinging in the water rather than the bottom. It is displayed using lines and dashes on the screen of the fish finder, looking similar to the vegetation.

The color it is displayed in is, however, different. The yellow color is often used by the down imaging fish finders to display baitfish and green for vegetation, to differentiate between the two.  

4. To consider the solidity and the type of the bottom- Thickness, color, and 2nd returns.

A powerful echo results in a thicker line being displayed. A thicker line indicates a harder bottom underwater. The sensitivity of the sonar also affects how thick a sequence is, so it is better to adjust the sensitivity of the sonar according to your liking. 

Thickness in use of fish finder

A healthier and deeper color is displayed by the sonar from the bottom. The severity of sonar returns from a hard bottom is different from the other. The color intensities in a fish finder vary in standard palettes and day modes.     

More rigid bottoms produce strong echoes, glancing off the surface. This then displays a second (2nd) sonar return side by side underneath the line indicating the bottom. This then shows a rigid base.

how to read  fish finder

Video on How to read Fish Finder:


Q1)What is the best fish finders on the market for fishing?

A1)In 2023, there are some of the best fish finders

Q2) What is the best type of fish finder for kayak fishing?

A2) There are some of the best fish finders for Kayaks, including:

Here is Garmin Striker 4 It is one of our top-quality GPS fishfinder Garmin brands. But you are in looking for side imaging Humminbird HELIX 5 is the best in advanced technology and here is the quality of cheap fish finder Lucky Portable Fish Findercheck it out.

Final Words of How to Read a Fish Finder.

Fish Finder is an amazing device to catch more fish. This guide is very helpful for those who want to start modern fishing and don’t know how to read a fish finder screen gadget and using a fish finder and its feature produces like an arch, fishing id so it will help to catch more fish or to help them decide whether to install a fish finder on their boat and kayak.

We hope that we were able to help answer some of your questions about fishing and helped provide insight into ways to increase your catch with less effort out on the water!

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