What Happens If You Put More Formula Than Water How To Install, Use and Interpret Your Fish Locator – Part 2

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How To Install, Use and Interpret Your Fish Locator – Part 2

Let’s continue the discussion about fish habitats. We will discuss the interpretation of the images you see on your screen and how to use these images to catch fish.

Most of the new fish work like a computer. You have a MENU button where you can control the various features available in your local area. If you just press the ON button, your local area will start working in AUTO mode. Sensitivity, surface saturation, fish icons and other factory settings are already programmed in your unit. Read your owner’s manual to see what all the preset settings are for your unit. By customizing and adjusting these settings, you can turn off AUTO mode and customize your environment.

Turn off the AUTO mode and turn off the FISH ID. They look good but chances are they confuse the real picture especially if you are a new user.

Let’s discuss the transducer. Decision is the name of the game. The greater the resolution the better the true image of the object below will be. In AUTO mode the resolution can be 6 inches between the fish where, with MANUAL mode you can get a resolution of ¼ to ½ inch between the fish. The mathematical formula of thumb is depth divided by the vertical pixel unit equals resolution. Example: 50 foot depth divided by 240 pixels = ¼ or ¼ inch division. As you can see, this type of resolution will allow you to see more details.

As a general rule, you probably won’t be fishing for bass, crappie, bream or catfish more than 30 to 35 feet deep. Go to MANUAL mode and set the upper limit to 0 and the lower limit to 30 feet. Turn the sensitivity up to a level that doesn’t take too much clutter or distortion. Remember that the smaller the window, the better the resolution. Another feature that can be turned on is the RED LINE or GRAY SCALE. This feature measures the density of the material and the bottom is scanned. The more defined the bottom line appears, the more difficult the bottom line is. This feature is especially useful when you’re looking at low-level layouts.

In the spring and early summer, most species will be relatively deep so your space will not be used as much. The normal spawning season is during the summer when the fish move out to deeper water and underwater structure. This is when the locator plays a big role in finding underwater structure to fish. Typical summer conditions:

You are fishing spots and looking for underwater brush piles. When looking for brush piles I will focus my search at depth near the thermocline. The thermocline shows up on the locator as a faint gray line usually between 18 and 24 feet deep. This water will be less rich in oxygen and cooler than the water above it and thus more comfortable for fish.

TIP: Make a mental note or write a reminder to yourself about the depth of the thermocline in this particular lake at this time of year. It will pay off with a little searching next year.

A brush pile will show up in the search area as a clump 3 to 6 feet down with a black line on the outside and a solid gray fill in thick brush piles like cedar or oak poles. Often times you will see tiny little specs, marks, squiddlies on top of the brush pile. These can be crappie, bream or catfish. If the brush pile is old, it will appear as a little gray fill and blob-like at the bottom.

TIP: When you find a brush pile be sure and mark the location on your lake map. Put as much information as you have in the article. If you have a GPS, note the coordinates.

Brush piles are not created equal. Some brush piles will hold fish consistently while others will not. To determine which piles are holding fish, you will need to fish them. Those who don’t catch fish can be left off your score because they’re down or for some other reason, just don’t catch fish.

As the year winds down and into late fall, most fish leave the brush piles and begin following schools of bait fish. Here you will use your locator differently. Open your FISH ID and look for big gray haystacks of bait fish. With your FISH ID, you will see bait fish and bass, crappie, stripers or perch as well.

If the bait fish looks like a big gray haystack, the chances are that these are not working and it is not worth making a big effort. If you find your screen full of scattered and broken bait fish, you have probably found a food fish. Concentrate your fishing efforts around these schools of bait fish. Bass will appear as medium points usually in irregular patterns, crappie or perch will appear as small normal points in a vertical formation. Stripers appear as the largest and deepest points on the screen and will move quickly.

As you become more experienced with finding and observing these balls of bait fish, you will be able to predict when the bait fish are being driven to the surface or if they are returning to the lower areas. Most of this activity will occur about half way out of the pocket from the main lake in water 10 to 18 feet deep. As the fall continues, the bait fish will return to the pockets. As winter approaches, the bait fish will return to the main lake and deeper water.

I hope this article was helpful and I hope you keep a strong line.

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