Fishing is one of the oldest pastimes in the world, and although nothing much has changed with regard to the mechanics of the sport, there are certainly many improvements in the different instruments and gears used in fishing like telescoping rods and fish finders to name a few. With regard to the latter, some old school anglers may not be too enthusiastic about using a fish finder. But then, it is a fact that this device has provided many benefits to many anglers, both beginners and professionals alike. If you’re wondering if you really need a fish finder for your next kayak fishing trip, here are some reasons that may help convince you.
Find More Fish
A fish finder will certainly be of great help when it comes to locating schools of fish. Every angler knows how challenging it is to spot a fish with the naked eye. But with the help of a fish finder, which basically works like a sonar detection system, finding a promising fishing spot is made much easier. This sonar detection system allows fishermen to see what is beneath the water in almost real time allowing them to spot even small, single fish and attempt to catch them.
Find Bait Fish
Many species of fish like to swim in areas where there is plenty of food available. As such, you are more likely to catch a bass, catfish, or other fish if you know where they usually hunt for prey, and a fish finder can certainly help you with that. Fish finders have the ability to show you where a large schools of bait fish are swimming, and consequently, any big fish that may be swimming nearby that is waiting to pounce on its prey.
Find Specific Fish Species
Using a fish finder will also help to target specific species of fish. Remember, some fish prefer certain water conditions, which means that they can either be found where the water is deep or at a certain temperature. Fish finders have features that allows them to check out both. By understanding fish habits and local water conditions, all a fisherman can do is increase the odds that he will find a certain species of fish at a particular location. But by using a fish finder, schools of small fish can be eliminated and large individual fish pursued. Fishermen can also eliminate fish which are otherwise not worth their time.
Determine Hiding Places
Aside from spotting fish, a fish finder can basically determine the presence of anything that is under the water. That includes underwater obstructions, debris, or other objects the fish are hiding in or under. By scanning their fishing grounds carefully, any fisherman can eliminate areas that are not worth their time and at the same time get an idea of what’s underneath them.
One way that a fish finder tells you where fish is present is by telling where it is not. That said, you can use a fish finder to eliminate those places where there aren’t any fish. By eliminating places were fish are not hiding, fishermen can determine where to best put their lines. Fish finders help fishermen avoid wasting their time by tossing out their lines and sitting in wait in places where fish aren’t available.
Buying a Fish Finder
With all those benefits of having a fish finder, there is definitely no reason why you wouldn’t want to have one. But before you head out to your favorite sports shop or online fish supplies retailer, here are some tips to help you buy the best fish finder for your money.
Choose the Right Features
Fish finders come with a lot of features, so much so that many beginning anglers often get intimidated by them. Most fish finders will have various options like power wattage, number of pixels, with or without transducer, display screen size, and so on and so forth.
Thus, when buying a fish finder it would be best that you have a good idea about your fishing style. This will help to ensure that you buy a fish finder that is most suitable for you. You don’t have to go all out and spend extra money on features that you don’t need or will be using.
That said, be sure that you don’t skimp out on certain features either. If your fish finder is missing something, you may find the device ineffective and unusable.
GPS Is Important
If there is one feature that you shouldn’t go without in a fish finder, that would be a GPS (Global Positioning System). The GPS feature in a fish finder can be very helpful to anglers and fishermen. For one, it allows them to track their fishing routes, which then allows them to mark those areas where they were able to catch the most fish or a specific species of fish. Second, GPS allows you to mark your launching point and provide you with the coordinates should you have trouble getting back to shore. This can be really helpful if you’re fishing in waters or places which you are not familiar with.
Down Scan vs. Side Scan
Traditional fish finders usually make use of either two types of sonar: down scan or side scan. To put it simply, down scan broadcasts signals directly below the boat while side scan broadcasts a fan-like angled signal to the sides of the boat. There is a third option available nowadays though which combines the capabilities of both down scan sonar and side scan sonar. This maybe a better option since it combines both types of sonar in a single device, which then makes it more convenient to bring along. It also allows you to see what’s under the water (i.e. fish, debris, etc.) with better details.
Don’t Go Cheap
Cheap fish finders are cheap for a reason, which is why you’ll want to avoid buying the cheapest fish finder that you can find. For one, you may find that their sonar capabilities aren’t very effective, which means that you will be losing out on a lot of potential catch. The quality, both in build and materials, may also be so low that you won’t be able to enjoy using it for a long time. If you see a fish finder that you like but don’t have enough money to buy it at the moment, consider saving up for it.
Another thing to consider when buying a fish finder is the power since this will have an impact on the speed and depth of the device’s reading. In general, a unit which has high wattage is capable of producing faster and deeper readings, whereas a unit with lower wattage will be slower and work best only in shallow waters. Also, when there’s less power, the frequencies are slower, and the reading isn’t as reliable. When there’s more power, the frequencies are much faster and the read out more accurately. Still, if you’re mainly fishing in shallow waters, then you won’t really need that much power. But if you’re mostly fishing in deep lakes and open seas, then you should get a fish finder with as much power as you can afford.
Screen Display and Resolution
When it comes to screen display, fish finders can either be black and white or colored. Needless to say, the latter will be more expensive than the former. Still, there are a few reasons why you may want to pay extra for a colored fish finder. For one, colored screens are much more readable and clearer. With more colors, you will be able to better see what’s underneath the water. In addition, black and white screens can be challenging to read especially when under direct sunlight so you may need to put it under the shadow of your fishing hat in order to read it.
With regard to resolution you should consider what resolution and how many pixels your fish finder’s screen will have. The more pixels you have, the more details the fish finder can put out. If you can spare the money, it’s worth paying more for a higher resolution display. It will give you more details and give you crisp images.
When shopping for a fish finder, always remember that there is no one-size-fits-all kind of device. Different fishing situations, fishing styles and so on all play a role in which fish finder is right for you. But by going over the tips mentioned above, you should be well on your way to choosing a fish finder that will help make your fishing trip more enjoyable.
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To make your fishing trip more productive and enjoyable, consider investing in a solid and reliable fish finder. Whether you are a beginning angler or an experienced fisherman, a fish finder can benefit you by showing you great fishing spots, eliminating areas where there are no fish, and even helping you target specific species of fish. By equipping yourself with the right fish finder, you are bound to see a considerable increase in the amount of your catch and the quality of your fishing trip.