By Christian Gervais -
These days, using electronics is essentiel to locate fish. In this report, I will give you some advice on how to use your sonars and some tips on the settings. I will concentrate on 2D sonars and DownScan Imaging type of sonars.
Altough there are more advance technologies like Structure Scan, 360 Imaging and other advanced feature, you will do great with a 2D sonar and DownScan Imaging.
On my console, I have a sonar that has a GPS, 2D sonar and DownScan Imaging because I only use the DownScan imaging to locate structure. You get much better details of what is on the bottom. If there is a tree, you will see a tree and if it’s a rock well that is what you will see. Even if I am running at 45mph, I do not lose the dept and the bottom. When I am running at lower speed (let’s say 5-10mph), I like to split my screen in three (GPS, 2D and DownScan Imaging). This way, if I cruise over a school of fish or a structure, I’ll put a waypoint and then turn around and try to catch them afterwards. If it’s a structure, I might just come back later.
A great way to locate fish and structures is to zigzag at lower speeds. You will find flats, ledges, weedline and treasures that are not shown on your GPS or paper maps.
When I go on the front deck, I prefer with my 2D and GPS sonar. I find that I can detected the fish more easily on the 2D screen compared to the Down Side Imaging. I can also see if the bottom is hard or soft, identify a fish that is holding tight to a structure or if there is lots of weeds. Let’s say you have a drop shot and you see weeds that is around 2 1/2 feet high, you can make a 36 inch leader and drag a XZone Slammer right on top of the weeds.
When adjusting your sonars, it is a good idea to turn off the Fish ID (if your sonar has that option) since it will detect any particle in the water and identify it as a fish. For your sensitivity, always put it at the highest acceptable setting (automatic setting is also pretty good). Your surface clarity, you can put on OFF or LOW since it doesn’t really matter if there is cluster or not on that part of the screen. For the frequency, I prefer the 200khz since it is more sensitive, the 83khz will give you a wider cone. My noise rejection is set to LOW. Since I am mostly fishing for bass, I will also put my dept setting to Shallow which equals 60 feet or less with weedy bottoms.
About Christian Gervais
Look for Christian on NPS, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and lots of forums. He is sponsored by The Rod Glove, Spro, Dobyns Rods and XZone Lures and supports IVRX Fishing, Lews, Devcore, QcTackleShop and Sundog Eyewear.
This article originally appeared in National Pro Staff