How Is Sound Used To Find Fish?

Basic fish sonar devices locate and mark the depth of fish under a boat, but modern devices can also help understand how water depth, contours, structure and water temperature affect fish habits and patterns.

How Is Sound Used To Find Fish?
How Is Sound Used To Find Fish?

Many also have GPS-enabled mapping functions that store waypoints so you can return to places you’ve fished before and navigate back home.

the fishing sonar displays information on depth, structure (such as slopes, hard or soft bottoms, rocks), depth contours, and water temperature, among other details. When fish icons appear on the screen, or if you catch a fish, look at all the other data because it tells you where you might find fish elsewhere that day. For example, if you find a school of fish gathering in the middle of a slope 15 feet (4-5 meters) deep, you are likely to find the same type of fish in other locations with similar characteristics.

Some fish finders can save your locations - something you’ll want to do if you fish in a certain location. Knowing where you’ve fished over time is valuable information because fish behavior and patterns change throughout the year.

GPS fish sonar and mapping capabilities that show you exactly where you are in a lake in real time offer several advantages. The first is easy navigation. You won’t waste time trying to figure out where you are and how to get to your next destination or how to get back to the dock or ramp. Another is the ability to identify areas that may contain fish. Lake maps detail underwater depth contours, so if you find fish at a certain depth, you’ll have an easier time finding other areas of the same depth and ruling out areas that probably don’t have any fish.

HOW DOES SONAR DETECT FISH?
Sonar units that find fish send and receive signals many times per second. They concentrate sound into a beam that is transmitted by a transducer. These units include visual screens that print the echoes. The bottom appears as a continuous line drawn on the screen. In addition, all objects that are in the water between the surface and the bottom can also be displayed.

Fish Finders detect the presence of fish primarily by detecting the air in their swim bladders. The air conserved in the swim bladder changes the sound path and energy back. The fish finder detects this reflected energy and converts it into images of fish on the screen.

Fish finders operate at high frequencies of sound, approximately 20-200 kHz (20-200,000 cycles per second). This helps set targets and can even display two fish as two separate echoes or arcs.

Lower frequencies (ie 50 kHz) can penetrate deeper water but may not be able to set individual targets. Putting more energy into the pulse sent by the transducer increases the likelihood of getting a signal to return in deeper water.

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